Such is the love of 70-year-old Man Tai Hoh for her grandson, who she has been protecting from his own father, that she refuses to send him to an orphanage but wants a good family to adopt the boy.
Man’s 36-year-old son had two children with his ex-wife and another two with his girlfriend. The elder boy with his ex-wife was allegedly sold to a transgender nine years ago when the child was only eight months old.
He subsequently sold two other children, aged five and six, to unknown people.
The grandson that Man has been looking after, known fondly as Ah Bi, was abandoned by his mother at Man’s doorstep when he was three months old.
The elderly woman said she was extremely worried that her son might come back and take 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,” said the doting grandmother.
Man suffers from various ailments, including diabetes and heart and liver problems, and was concerned she would not be able to look after seven-year-old Ah Bi one day.
She is, however, against sending her grandson to an orphanage as she is apprehensive that he would suffer the same fate as his siblings. Her dearest wish is to have the only grandson she has left legally adopted by a loving family.
“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,” Man said.
She said she would only agree to a legal adoption if the adoptive family promised to treat Ah Bi well.
Man, who lives in Larkin Flat, Johor Bahru, receives a RM300 monthly aid from the Welfare Department, which she subsidises with collecting and selling cardboard and aluminium tins.
Although she can barely make ends meet, she believes in giving Ah Bi a bright start in life by ensuring he has the proper education and tuition.
Ah Bi is studying in a Chinese vernacular school. His tuition fee is subsidised by the Buddhist Tzu Chi mission.
“I have no choice but to send him for tuition classes because I am at a 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,” Man said.
She added that she looks forward to Ah Bi coming back from school or tuition and giving her a hug.