Former Paralympic athlete sells tissue covers to support herself

By Najwa Yusman

PETALING JAYA, 18 January 2022: Under the scorching sun at Bukit Bintang, a glimpse of Koh Lee Peng, a former para-swimming champion selling tissue covers, has touched many Malaysians’ hearts as the story has gone viral on Twitter.

Koh’s identity as a former Paralympic athlete was discovered from her ‘Harimau Malaya’ shirt along with a newspaper clipping about herself in 2019.

Koh used to represent Malaysia in the Asian Para Games between 2001 and 2005. From Koh’s involvement in the championship, she managed to bring seven gold and three silver medals, an actual achievement that made her crowned as state’s Female Paralympic of the year in 2016.

However, Koh’s achievement does not last long as in 2019, heavy accusations were made on her saying that she was a part of the syndicate that collected donations in her hometown, Penang.

Before the pandemic struck in 2020, Koh decided to move to Kuala Lumpur to start a new life, and she managed to reside in one of the places provided by the charity for disabled persons.

In her interview with Free Malaysia Today, Koh said that she now makes tissue covers with her friends and sells them on the streets every day.

“I do not stay in a fixed place and sell the tissue covers on a fixed time. It depends on how I feel and the weather’s condition,” she added.

Koh further remarked that she never begged or interrupted people to buy the tissue covers. She welcomes everyone who wants to buy her goods and sees her current job as honest work as that is the only thing that matters to her.

Asked about her thoughts on government assistance, Koh firmly refused as most of the solutions were meant to be temporary and disappointing, which led her to be self-sufficient.

Readers can find Koh near the pedestrian crossing between Pavilion KL and Starhill Gallery shopping centre in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, every day to buy the handmade tissue covers and show support to her.***

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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