Johor’s home with a heart


Members of the public are invited to spend a relaxing and interesting Chinese New Year open House next Sunday February 24, 2012 at The Pandan Old People’s Home in Pandan, Johor Bahru.

In what used to be known as the Pandan New Village is a sprawling one-storey building with a beautifully manicured garden now transformed into a home for senior citizens.

The Pandan Old People’s Home is not only a home for the homeless, it is also a home with a warm and generous heart.

Well administered, it is uniquely and jointly managed by several NGOs namely, the Kiwanis and Lions Clubs.

15 occupants live in the single storey building which the Kiwanis Club took over from the state government in 1988.

The area in which the home is housed started as Pandan New Village during the British colonial rule.

From a humble beginning, it is now well-managed with a committee which is elected annually.

As to who can stay there, Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) spoke to members of the management committee during a dinner given to thank their donors.` 

Only those who are homeless and without any living relatives are accepted as occupants of the home.

They have to be physically capable of taking care of themselves and have no critical illness.  The home provides a roof over their heads, a warm bed, medical care and meals.

Occupants are encouraged to take up hobbies of their own such as gardening, painting, music and the likes.

Occupants are given RM 240 by the State Welfare Department to cover their needs.

In addition, many people donate generously during festivities like CNY.

CJMY spoke to Lim Wee Huat, 85 who has been at the home the past eight years.

He’d originally come from Swatow, China and worked in Singapore as a house painter before moving to Johor Bahru. He never married.

He likes the free food and good management of the place. Before this, he had to pay for have a place at a nursing home.

Sau Kok, 78, the longest staying occupant at the home has been living here for the last 14 years.

He said he had no choice but to stay at the home in his twilight years as he was single and there was no one to take care of him.

A glance at the signboard of the centre indicates a full list of invitations to CNY lunches and dinners at various restaurants in the city all sponsored by generous members of the public and NGOs.

Occupants mention that they looked forward to the open day as members of the public turn up to give them ang pows.

A member of the management committee told the reporter that members of the public are very generous partly because they manage the home well and are transparent in all their dealings and donations received.

The money is so well managed that they even sponsor poor students in the area to the tune of RM 30,000 last year.

The home has vacancies for six women.

Those interested in finding out more can call the Ruman Orang-Orang Tua Sukarela Pandan at 07-355 6313.