PETALING JAYA: Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad today responded to Najib Razak’s assurance that Shah Alam Umno would look into assisting a roadside car washer whose story went viral this week, saying his office had helped S Sukumarah’s family as early as last year.
The former prime minister had visited Sukumarah and his family after FMT highlighted their plight and given them money from his budget allocation as Pekan MP.
He also said Shah Alam Umno would help them out and take care of the preschool fees for Sukumarah’s son, Hariaran, which amount to about RM480 a year.
However, when contacted, Khalid who is federal territories minister said his office had helped the family obtain a loan last year which was used to buy a motorcycle.
This was in February, he said, adding that Sukumarah now used the motorcycle on his car washing rounds each day.
Khalid told FMT he had always allocated donations and financial support for the hardcore poor in his constituency, adding that most cases were rarely highlighted by the media.
“It is hoped that with all the attention Sukumarah is getting, many will come to his aid. At the same time, there are others equally in need,” the Amanah leader said.
He thanked Najib for his help, adding that the problem of urban poverty needed serious attention from all.
“There are many others who are equally deserving but who get little media coverage. Perhaps Najib can visit them too.”
Help has been pouring in for Sukumarah and his family, with people donating food and money.
Sukumarah’s case went viral after a Good Samaritan discovered that he was washing cars on the street to put food on the table and to buy schoolbooks for his daughter, Sarmini.
He and his wife, M Kanagi, live with their children in a small house in Padang Jawa, on the outskirts of Shah Alam.