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Sunday, 02 December 2018 00:00

No Problem, He Is My Dad

Written by  Tan Siew Chern, KL & Selangor / Translated by Tai Ren Ying

Besides working part-time to earn his pocket money, Chien Zhi Yen also saves in his coin bank to help those who are in need. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]

After school, 14-year-old Chien Zhi Yen does not hang out with friends. The first thing he does is to check on his wheelchair-bound father, Chien Soo Teng, help him with his current needs, such as, personal hygiene, clearing of defaecation, and so on. This is his “other home work” besides the usual school homework. For his filial act, he was presented with Tzu Chi’s “Filial Piety Award”.


“Dad, do you need anything?”

“Dad, what would you like to eat?”

After school, 14-year-old Chien Zhi Yen does not hang out with friends. Instead, he would stop by his mother, Liew Foung Keung’s workplace, call home and ask if his father needs anything, and bring them home if he could. This is his daily routine.

Upon reaching home, the first thing he does is to check on his wheelchair-bound father, Chien Soo Teng, help him with his current needs, such as, personal hygiene, clearing of defaecation, and so on. Once he settles his father, he gets to relax a bit to have lunch and complete his homework from school.

Day after day, he repeats the same care-taking tasks. This is Zhi Yen’s “other home work” besides the usual school homework, but he never considered it a burden.

Working part-time to ease family’s burdens

When Soo Teng was 23 years old, he was diagnosed with hereditary diabetes. His right leg was amputated and two toes from his left foot were also removed due to festering conditions. In addition to mobility limitations, he also requires dialysis treatment. But he was not eligible to obtain social aid because during his work days, he did not contribute continuously to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organization (SOCSO). To support the family livelihood, his wife, who used to be a homemaker, was forced to work.

When tragedy fell on the family, the sons, Zhi How and Zhi Yen, who are more matured and sensible than the average teens, felt their parents’ helplessness. They took up part-time jobs to ease the family’s burden. After graduation from secondary school, Zhi How works as a waiter in a restaurant while preparing to apply for a study loan to further his studies. Zhi Yen takes up a part-time job at a local noodles shop during weekends, and assists in house chores during his free time. Both children are independent, allowing the mother to focus on work and the father to recover peacefully.

Zhi Yen recalled, “I have never taken any pocket money from home since I started secondary school.” The income from his part-time job is sufficient to cover his daily expenses, greatly easing the family’s financial burden.

The meaning behind ‘responsibility’

Zhi Yen does not mind his father’s unreasonable complaints when in pain. He accompanies his father in the hospital, cleans his wounds, and carries him to and from the wheelchair. Being an inarticulate person, Zhi Yen only described what he does as a son with one word: “responsibility”. His serious look while uttering the word showed the meaning behind it – his filial affection towards his father, his love towards his mother, his own accountability and his commitment to his family.

For a 14-year-old Zhi Yen who has never been trained in nursing, to take care of his 45-year-old father, is understandably, a tough job. However, his mother said, “He does it willingly and has no complaints.” To that, Zhi Yen replied shyly but clearly, “No problem, he is my dad!”

When Zhi Yen learnt that his mother wished to have their own home, he told the volunteers, “I will buy a house for my family to stay in in the future.” The volunteers praised him saying, “He is a very filial child with a pure heart, wishing to fulfil his mother’s wishes.” Filled with gratitude, his mother mentioned repeatedly, “It is a blessing to have such a well-behaved and filial child!”

“Filial piety is the most important of all virtues.” On December 2, 2018, at the Tzu Chi Study Grant & Incentives Presentation Ceremony, Zhi Yen was awarded the “Filial piety award”. He plans to use the subsidy to purchase some reference books in preparation for the Form 3 Assessment (PT3) examinations in 2019.

 

Chien Zhi Yen was presented with the “Filial Piety Award” at the 2018 Tzu Chi Study Grant & Incentives Presentation Ceremony. He plans to use the subsidy to purchase reference books in preparation for the Form 3 Assessment examinations in 2019. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]   Chien Zhi Yen treats taking care of his father his “responsibility”. [Photograph by Goh Chee Tiong]

Chien Zhi Yen was presented with the “Filial Piety Award” at the 2018 Tzu Chi Study Grant & Incentives Presentation Ceremony. He plans to use the subsidy to purchase reference books in preparation for the Form 3 Assessment examinations in 2019. [Photograph by Boon Wui Kong]
 
Chien Zhi Yen treats taking care of his father his “responsibility”. [Photograph by Goh Chee Tiong]
 
When Chien Zhi Yen learnt of his mother’s wish to own their own home, he told the volunteers, “I will buy a house for my family to stay in the future.” [Photograph by Goh Chee Tiong]

When Chien Zhi Yen learnt of his mother’s wish to own their own home, he told the volunteers, “I will buy a house for my family to stay in the future.” [Photograph by Goh Chee Tiong]