Every which way to make ends meet

27 Nov 2020 / 16:17 H.

INSTEAD of wallowing in self-pity, the owner of an event management company took up six jobs in as many months during the movement control order (MCO) period and the subsequent conditional MCO to make ends meet.

“I have five mouths to feed but zero income from my event management company. I need to put food on the table as well as buy powdered milk and diapers for my two young children,” said 45-year-old Stanny Kho Poh Khoon, whose company, Vone Event Management, was among businesses in the music and entertainment industry hard hit by the movement restrictions imposed to stem the Covid-19 pandemic.

Having operated a sound systems outfit for 20 years before venturing into wedding planning and event management, Kho, better known as Ah Khoon to his friends, has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry in South Seberang Perai Selatan.

But with the MCO, which forbade wedding receptions and events, Kho had to shutter his shop, where his newly acquired audio equipment is left gathering dust, and grab whatever opportunity he could find to earn a few ringgit, China Press reported yesterday.

Unlike many in the industry who wait for government aid that never comes, “never say die” Kho became a food delivery rider cum breadman at the start of the MCO.

Today, he wears six hats and amazes his friends with his ability to juggle multiple roles – including selling water dispensers and other daily necessities online, brokering renovation contracts to earn commissions, helping out at a funeral parlour and dealing in old cars and lorries.

“Sometimes, I earn just a few dozen ringgit a day but I have to keep going. I can go hungry but cannot allow my family to starve,” Kho said, describing his family as his biggest driving force.

Along the way, he had to sell off some old audio equipment to pay bills and terminated his two children’s insurance policies to save on expenses.

Recalling his experience as a food delivery rider, Kho said he was involved in three accidents, the last of which cost him his bike, forcing him to stop delivering food for hawkers in the vicinity of his shop.

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