KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Veteran singer Zaiton Sameon expressed gratitude at finally being able to receive monthly assistance from the Social Welfare Department (JKM).
Two officers from Hulu Langat JKM paid a visit to her home yesterday morning to help her in applying for monthly public assistance.
“Only Allah can repay their kindness,” said the 67-year-old who has been living with adopted daughter Che Sikah Ismail, 47, for the past 13 years since 2010.
“I hope after all the forms are filled-up, I can get the monthly assistance I need.”
Thanking Harian Metro for highlighting her plight in an article that was published two days ago, Zaiton said she was not looking for sympathy but desperately needs the financial assistance to survive.
The money she and Che Sikah, better known as Ika, make from selling food like pasta at trade shows is not enough to make ends meet.
“I cook and sell regular food because mom doesn’t have the energy to make 'rendang' anymore,” said Ika who brings Zaiton along to work with her as she worries about leaving her on her own at home.
Ika added that the occasional singing gigs Zaiton gets do not pay much and she would continue looking after Zaiton for as long as she could.
Zaiton, who started singing in the 1970s with the Police Field Force (now known as the General Operations Force) before becoming a nightclub singer, rose in the 1980s to become one of the most popular Malaysian singers of all time.
Known for her powerful vocals, she won the Anugerah Juara Lagu 1987 for her chart-topping hit Menaruh Harapan.
Tragedy struck in 1990 when she and her 13-year-old son Azirwan Abu Bakar met with a road accident after a lorry crashed into their van.
She survived but he didn’t, and Zaiton, who sustained major head injury, was never the same again and could not make the comeback everyone hoped for.
She was given special needs status after receiving her Person with Physical Disability card (traumatic brain injuries) from KL Social Welfare Department last November.