KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — For the past four months, an unlikely hero has been visiting two community housing projects for the poor here with household items, which he “sells” for a mere 10 sen each.
Kuan Chee Heng brought smiles to a family of seven at the People’s Housing Programme (PPR) in Bukit Jalil with a second-hand washing machine last year after their old machine broke down.
It meant the school-going children of housewife Nor Ana Mohd Zain, 40, could wear clean uniforms to school, besides relieving her from the tiresome chore of handwashing a mountain of dirty clothes.
In his latest act of kindness, the 53-year-old former policeman brought five pieces of furniture to his “Pasar 10 sen” yesterday for a family which had lost everything in a fire in their flat on June 16.
The lucky recipient, who only wanted to be known as Iswadi, was at a loss for words when told the items were his ― for free.
Then, there was a housewife who related a story of how Kuan had brought her unemployed husband a pair of pants to wear to job interviews in March.
She said her husband had used the pants since then to look presentable at interviews.
There have also been similar cases of unexpected joy at PPR Pangsapuri Enggang nearby, where the father of three has brought cheer to numerous lives with his 10-sen presents.
Kuan wowed the public on June 16 after news wents viral on social media about him treating a family of nine, which was facing financial woes, to a sumptuous breaking of fast meal.
He was dubbed “Hero Malaya” by some social media users, a nickname that many at the PPR flats also use fondly.
Kuan initiated his 10-sen venture in February to bring items like electrical appliances, clothes, furniture and books to residents in the two areas as he felt they needed help in facing their financial challenges.
The businessman does not give away items free as “people will only appreciate the items when they are bought”.
“If I just donate the items, some may not appreciate it. They might just take them and not use them at all.
“I do not want that to happen because what is useless to one might be more than useful to another. So, the price tag is to ensure people only take what they need,” he told Malay Mail when met in PPR Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Kuan runs the “market” two to three times a month at both venues, depending on the number of items he receives from donors.
“This is the fifth time I am having a Pasar 10 sen here. I will only come when there are enough items to cater to residents’ needs.
“There is nothing more gratifying than looking at the happy faces of residents when they find something they have always needed,” he said.
Kuan said he donated the money earned from the market — usually RM50 per outing — to the local PPR community to upkeep facilities.
“I do not run the pasar myself. I am just here to deliver the items which have been donated. I leave the rest to locals leaders to handle,” he said.
Kuan hoped his Pasar 10 sen could help reduce the financial burden of the poor, whom he said were hardest hit by the rising cost of living.
“I want to make Malaysia a better place for everyone. I want everyone to share love with each other,” he said.
Kuan is also known as a crime buster of sorts through his Community Policing Malaysia group that acts as the eyes and ears of the public in the Klang Valley.
He has been commended by the public for assisting victims of criminal activities.
On his efforts to reduce the crime rate in low-income neighbourhoods, he said he wanted to send a message that there was someone out there to help them.
“When you do things like this, people will know there is somebody out there willing to help,” he said.
Nor Ana was all smiles as she related how Kuan’s gift of a washing machine had changed he life and that of her family.
“I had been hand-washing our clothes for five months as we could not afford to buy a new one. It was tiring as there was laundry from seven members of the family but I did not have any option.
“Our Hero Malaya is the reason we have a washing machine and less work for me now. It was a hand-me-down but it has been working fine,” she said.
Housewife Farah Nabilah Ismail, 45, who was chosen as the leader for PPR Bukit Jalil, said she used the money to help hire workers to clean the compound and unclog drains.
“Kuan is like an angel sent to us by God. Race or religion does not matter to him as he genuinely wants to help. Thanks to him, we can afford to keep our humble flats clean,” she said.