Eviction looms as single mother contends with MCO-induced hardship

Mageswari Krishnasamy with her children inside their flat.

GEORGE TOWN: A woman who lost her dishwashing job during the first Covid-19 lockdown is now facing eviction from her Taman Free School city council flat here.

Her poverty was somewhat relieved after FMT carried a story about her joblessness. The donations she received enabled her to feed her children with more than just black coffee and porridge.

But Mageswari Krishnasamy, a 31-year-old single mother, was recently told to vacate her flat or get evicted on Nov 30 because she owes the city council six months’ rent.

She has been unable to pay the RM97 monthly rent because she doesn’t have a regular income. She does odd jobs such as cleaning homes for RM50 for four hours and cutting vegetables for RM20 a day.

With the latest Covid-19 scare in Penang, the demand for cleaners or any other odd job has gone down.

The scare has also discouraged her neighbours from taking care of her children if she has to be away for work.

“I’ve posted on Facebook asking if anyone can give me a job,” she told FMT. “A man did initially offer me a job as a data entry typist, where I can work from home, but that never happened.”

The vacant possession notice that was recently sent to Megaswari.

Mageswari said the Jelutong parliamentary office had helped her to register for aid from the Social Welfare Department, but she complained about bureaucratic blocks making things difficult.

For one, she had to have a Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) account at a time when she did not have the RM50 minimum deposit to open one.

A neighbour helped her with the deposit last month; so she now has a BSN account. However, she said, she had yet to receive any welfare aid.

“I am having trouble sleeping at night, worried about the eviction,” she said. “Once, when one flat resident was evicted, they came in a big group like gangsters. I don’t want that to happen.”

She also said her youngest child’s cleft palate had yet to be treated as there was a long waiting list in the government hospital.

“The government doctor told me to save money so I can get it done at a private hospital.”

But things may be looking up for Mageswari. Jelutong MP RSN Rayer told FMT he would make sure she would escape eviction by helping her clear the rental arrears. He also said he would give her other forms of assistance.

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