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A CNY of counting blessings for Suki and her dad

Their celebration will be small but full of gratitude for the help they have received.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
Young Suki Wong touches a string of pineapple decorations hung at the front door of her small flat.
Young Suki Wong touches a string of pineapple decorations hung at the front door of her small flat.

At their small flat unit in Damansara Damai, Suki Wong Pei Yee and her father are getting ready for another Chinese New Year. 

Only the most meagre of decorations are at hand, and there are no red-topped bottles of cookies or other snacks normally associated with the festive season. 

For father and daughter, Chinese New Year will pass like any other day – except for the gratitude that they have for each other, and how much has changed since the last new year they celebrated together. 

The story of Suki, a young stateless girl taking care of her stroke patient father alone, touched countless people throughout the country when it was first reported last year. 

Unable to work after suffering his stroke eight years ago, her father, Wong Kon Foo, had relied on Suki for many things, including running the errands and cleaning the house. 

Because his marriage to his Vietnamese wife was unregistered, Suki was categorised as stateless. Unable to attend school, she spent her days helping her father and taking care of the household to the best of her 10-year-old abilities. 

Today, many things have changed for the better. 

"Since last year, so many people have come forward to offer us help. Suki can now attend a kindergarten where she is learning to read and write," Wong said during a recent visit by MalaysiaNow. 

"She can read and count – every night, she reads with me before we go to bed," he added. 

"As a father, I am so happy to see her progress, especially now that she has so many new friends." 

But no matter how busy she is with her friends and studies, Suki continues to look after her father, who still struggles with his mobility.

"She helps me bathe, and she prepares the food and goes on all of the errands," Wong said. 

"She's so hardworking, and she always makes sure that there is food on the table for me before she leaves for school."

Wong's biggest concern is about what will happen to Suki once she finishes her studies at the kindergarten in March.

She is still considered stateless, and he fears that she will not be able to continue receiving an education. While lawyers are working on her case, it is an ongoing process.

"For now, I don't know what will happen to Suki," Wong said. 

"I hope everything can be settled so that she can go to school like other children her age."

Meanwhile, both father and daughter are looking forward to the new year although their celebration, such as it is, will be small. 

"We'll just be at home, carrying out our normal routine," Wong said. 

"Sometimes my siblings come to visit, but we won't be having any big dinner. 

"But I want to say how grateful I am, and to thank everyone who has helped Suki and I through this hard time."