I Want to help
01 Jul 2013
Kwong Wah Yit Poh (29.06.2013)
Despite being physically challenged, she has a heart of gold -- She is truly an angel!
Lim Hooi Gek: I WANT TO HELP!

"Clay Buddha crosses the stream."
This is a famous Chinese idiom used to describe people who have trouble helping others as they themselves are trapped in difficult situations. Indeed, under most circumstances, we are told to help ourselves first before extending a helping hand to others, but this might not be the case for 34-year-old Penangite Lim Hooi Gek. Since young, she was diagnosed with Spastic Cerebral Palsy and had lost her mobility as a result. However, this has not stopped her from taking a pro-active approach in helping those in need, because her greatest wish is to be a blessing to others!

She might need a wheelchair to move around. However, since 1998, she has taken the initiative to overcome the physical challenges by making a livelihood on her own through selling lottery tickets, cultural exhibits and souvenirs.

Throughout the interview, she was able to communicate with the reporters using simple words. When asked about her work, she told them proudly, “I am the Boss”, which shows how much she enjoys her job and derives satisfaction from it. The reporters watched her as she whirled around in her wheelchair doing business and at her camaraderie with the other shop-owners and employees.

Hooi Gek is determined to help those in need; she is assertive and persistent in realizing this goal. According to her, she first approached Pan Malaysian Sweeps Sdn Bhd (Big Sweep) and conveyed her ideas to them. Through some contacts, she was able to email her proposal to Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital. Her outreach touched their hearts, and that led to the fund raising gala dinner for Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital’s Needy Cancer Patient Fund, jointly organized by Big Sweep and Sima Handicapped Centre (Sima). With the support from many parties, the event helped raise a significant amount of donation to the hospital.

She revealed that she is very happy to be able to extend help to others; this time, Big Sweep has helped to fulfill her wish. She repeatedly told the reporters humbly that she is a physically challenged individual and has limited capabilities in helping others, hence she attributed the success of the event to public support and the divine.

She Wants to Help Cancer Patients
When asked if she would continue her efforts, her answer was an unwavering "Yes!" She expressed her wishes to continue to help cancer patients, as she felt that as the more fortunate ones we should do our part.

"Like many others, I am the more fortunate ones as I am not plagued by cancer. I feel that it is our responsibility to help those in need within our capabilities. This has to start somewhere, so I have taken the plunge.” “I am just doing what I want and trying my best. I am not looking for any rewards. I started this so I just want to make sure that I finish it beautifully."

Ang Chai Hong: Kicking-Start Project Angel - An encouragement to the physically-challenged!
"They are angels!"

So says Big Sweep representative Miss Ang Chai Hong. She had accompanied Hooi Gek throughout the interview. In order to encourage physically-challenged individuals to stand up and to provide for themselves, Big Sweep launched Project Angel, which serves as a platform for the physically challenged and provides them with a myriad of learning opportunities.

"I believe there is a reason why God brought them here. Our greatest wish is for them to take the leap of faith and integrate into society. As such, support from their families is very important; their families should overcome their psychological barriers and they should not shelter them forever, but instead, have faith and believe that they too can succeed in life."

She also added that a lot of the physically-challenged individuals wanted to contribute to society too. This has in turn prompted Big Sweep to set up Project Angel. The purpose of Project Angel is not just to help them to fulfill their wishes, but also to give back to the community and to bring warmth and simple happiness to the less privileged.

She cited the collaboration between Big Sweep and Sima as an exemplary Big Sweep provides training for the physically-challenged individuals to teach them how to promote Big Sweep. This has indirectly given them a platform to interact with the outside world as well as to learn to be independent. In addition, the free training provided by Sima has also helped them to secure employments in factories, hotels and restaurants, which opened up even more learning opportunities for them.

Hooi Gek's Awesome Mom
What an awesome mother!

Hooi Gek has a mother, an elder brother, an elder sister and a younger sister. Miss Ang recalled that initially, Hooi Gek’s mother spent a lot of time helping Hooi Gek to get ready before she got out of the house to the plaza. Now, she is pleased that Hooi Gek is independent.

"Since young, Hooi Gek's mother has never given up on her. This is what we wanted to see all along. They have the initial support from their families, and slowly but surely, they become independent."

Miss Ang said she has been “babysitting” Hooi Gek for over a year, so she understands Hooi Gek better now. She also emphasized that the most important thing at present is for society to be more caring and helpful towards the physically-challenged individuals.