PETALING JAYA: Single mother Loh Siew Hong, who reunited with her three children last week, plans to start a food business in Klang to save for their studies.
Currently on unpaid leave as an assistant chef at a hotel in Genting Highlands, she said she was looking for a food truck or a place to set up a stall to launch her business.
“I have always had a passion for cooking. I studied culinary arts at community college,” said Loh, 35, who added that she had long wanted to run a food truck.
“I plan to sell economy rice with a mix of Chinese and Indian dishes and also serve ais kacang,” she said yesterday.
Loh estimated that he would need around RM80,000 to start the business.
However, her request for a bank loan was rejected, so she hopes a good Samaritan will help her.
Loh also said that she ran a budget rice stall in Sungai Petani, Kedah which did well and she thinks she can do it again.
This time, however, she plans to set up the business in Klang so she can be close to her family.
“Opening hours would probably be 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as I want to spend the evening with my family.
“If I can earn enough, I want to send my children to college,” she says.
Earlier, Wanita MCA leader Datuk Heng Seai Kie said they hoped to help Loh in her business as part of the party’s Women’s Emancipation and Empowerment (2Es) program.
“Loh’s tenacious spirit, overcoming domestic violence and forced separation from her children, is exemplary for women trapped in a similar situation.
“As it is important to move forward, Wanita MCA and Beliawanis MCA spoke with Loh about strategic planning for the future,” she added.
Heng said the help will include applying for a microcredit loan from Kojadi, licensing with the local council and fundraising to enable Loh to get the capital needed to start his food business.
At a meeting on February 24, Loh also received a check for RM5,000 from the party.
The story of Loh and her children – 14-year-old twins and a 10-year-old son – has been making headlines lately.
In 2019, she was divorced and awarded sole custody of the children by the High Court.
But afterwards, Loh, apparently a victim of domestic violence, lost contact with her children for three years.
Her former husband, an Indian-Muslim convert, took the children to Perlis and arranged for them to convert to Islam. He has since been arrested for a drug-related offense and is currently in prison in Kelantan.
Last week, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted Loh’s habeas corpus petition and ordered that her children be released from the care of the Department of Social Welfare and returned to its custody.