Man dubbed 'Superman' for taking care of low-IQ brother-in-law

Man dubbed 'Superman' for taking care of low-IQ brother-in-law
Noodle seller tirelessly looks after brother-in-law who has IQ of a six-year-old, but he says it's all worth it.

A fellow stallholder calls him "Superman".

Another says she could never do what he does.

On a typical day, Mr Mah Ah Wah, 67, wakes up at 3am and spends the day delivering and selling noodles, preparing three meals, as well as caring for his wheelchair-bound wife and his low-IQ brother-in-law, before hitting the sack at 9pm.

The praise means nothing to Mr Mah who takes care of his brother-in-law, Mr Lee Guan, tirelessly.

For him, it's all about love - a love so poignant that it's best described in his own words.

He told The New Paper yesterday: "When Ah Guan kisses me on the face, it's all worth it."

For the past 10 years, Mr Mah has been the primary caregiver for Mr Lee, whom he affectionately calls Ah Guan.

Mr Lee is 61, but he has the IQ of a six-year-old.

When Mr Mah sells noodles at his wet market stall at Jurong East, Mr Lee waits patiently for him in his van at a nearby multi-storey carpark.

From 5am to 11am, all he has for company is a bunch of magazines and newspapers, which he tears to shreds to pass the time.

The situation is not ideal, Mr Mah admitted, but he is at his wits' end.

"If I don't put him here, where else can I put him?"

Mr Lee, who is Malaysian, moved to Singapore after the deaths of his parents and siblings 10 years ago to live with his sister, Mr Mah's wife.

"He has another sister in Kuala Lumpur, but she's uncontactable," Mr Mah said.

"My wife is the only relative he has left so, of course, I must help my own family."

Mr Mah renews Mr Lee's visa every six months so he can remain in Singapore.

Although he was Mr Lee's primary carer, he could initially rely on his 64-year-old wife to look after her brother in their three-room flat in Boon Lay when he went to work.

But that changed five years ago when she became wheelchair-bound. Her right leg had to be amputated below the knee because of diabetes.

Mr Mah suddenly found himself responsible for the care of both siblings.

"I have to feed three mouths with my earnings. It was difficult at first, but now I'm used to it."

He used to take Mr Lee to his stall, but Mr Lee would grow restless and would wander off without warning.

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