JOHOR BARU - A 70-year-old grandmother, who alleged her drug addict son sold three of his four children to feed his addiction, wants nothing more than having her only grandson left to be legally adopted by a good and loving family.
Man Tai Hoh, who suffers from various ailments including diabetes, heart and liver problems, said she was worried she would not be able to take care of the seven-year-old boy one day.
She is, however, against sending her grandson, whom she fondly calls Ah Bi, to an orphanage as advised by some people fearing he would suffer the same fate as his siblings.
It was reported that Man, who stays at Larkin Flat, alleged that her 36-year-old estranged son had sold his three children to buy drugs.
She said her son had two children, aged seven and nine, with his ex-wife and two, aged five and six, with his girlfriend.
Man said nine years ago when her eldest grandson was eight months old, his father sold the toddler to a transgender and he subsequently sold two other children, aged five and six, to unknown people.
When Ah Bi was three months old, his mother abandoned him at Man's doorstep and ran away.
Man said she was extremely worried that her son might return and run off with Ah Bi as he had threatened to do so many times.
"I am guarding Ah Bi with my life. I live and breathe for him.
"I have neighbours who scold me for not sending Ah Bi to an orphanage saying I am selfish for holding on to him. But I am merely carrying out my responsibilities as a grandmother.
"I want to make sure that he feels loved because he is already in a pitiful state after being abandoned by his own mother and losing his siblings because of his father.
"I also don't want to take the risk of Ah Bi being mistreated at a children's home," she said when met at her house yesterday.
Man said she would only agree to a legal adoption if the adoptive family promised to treat the boy well and follows the legal adoption process.
On her livelihood, Man said besides collecting and selling cardboard and aluminium tins, she gets by with a RM300 (S$97) monthly assistance from the Welfare Department.
She said they barely have enough to get by as her grandson is studying in a Chinese vernacular school in Larkin.
Notwithstanding that, Man believes in giving her grandson the right education and tuition, which is subsidised by the Buddhist Tzu Chi mission.
"I have no choice but to send him for tuition classes because I am at loss when Ah Bi comes home and asks me questions about his homework, which is in English and Bahasa Malaysia.
"I don't mind skimping as I told myself never to compromise on Ah Bi's education because I want him to do well in his studies so that he can change his life around and take care of himself when I'm not around anymore," she said, adding that she looks forward to Ah Bi coming back from school or tuition daily and giving her a hug.