Suicide lad’s mum breaks silence photo Kota Kinabalu: The mother of 11-year-old Donni John Duin – the SK Kinarut pupil who was found hanged from the ceiling of their house at Kg Suangon in Kinarut, Papar, on March 20 – thought he would never do so again after advising him on a previous attempt.
Hina Joloni, 37, believed the abject poverty that the family of six siblings endured proved too much to make him want to try again.
“He told me he could not take it anymore living in the conditions we were in,” she said, adding that towards the end, Donni also had to endure cruel teasing at school by classmates who likened the porridge he brought from home daily to that of dog vomit.
Hina said shortly before the tragedy, he confided to her a very disturbing thing that happened in school.
“At first he asked me if I had prepared food, which would be porridge mixed with kangkung (a vegetable) that we eat everyday. “He said he did not eat the porridge that I prepared for him at school earlier because the students were making fun of the food, teasing him that it was like eating dog vomit,” she said, tears welling in his eyes.
After she told him to ignore what the students said, she said Donni John, who looked depressed at the time, asked if he could borrow 20 sen to buy ice cream. “I told him I did not even have 5 sen, let alone 20 sen, to give him…I was so sad I had to tell him that,” recalled Hina.
As they have been living on a fixed assistance of RM70 from the Welfare Department, she said, she could barely afford to provide any luxuries to her children, aged between five and 17. “He sighed and looked at me before asking when was my next appointment at the hospital, as I have thalassaemia and a heart condition.
“After I replied, he said sudah la kita tidak cukup makan mummy lagi balik-balik masuk hospital (we do not even have enough to eat and mummy has to be treated over and over in hospital),” she said. Hina said Donni John had previously attempted suicide the same way but that she got to him in the nick of time.
“I tried my best to control my emotions then, but being incensed and terrified at the same time, I lost it and shouted at him to get him to tell me why he would do such a thing. “My son replied there would be fewer people to feed and to take care of if he were to go and that his share of the food could be given to his brothers and sisters,” she said, fighting back tears. “I know mummy has a heart condition, so if I die mummy can also take my heart,” she recalled him telling her. Hina described Donni as a quiet boy, the kind of person who would only talk when someone talked to him first. She said they were fortunate to be living in the house at Kinarut, thanks to a man who she got to know in the hospital and was kind enough to let them stay for free temporarily.
“Although we have hardly any furniture and electricity, we are grateful to even have a home,” she said. Hina said the family did not receive help from anyone as she did not know where to go to for help. “I am ashamed to borrow from people because I think that would burden other people…the rice that we have at home is also borrowed from my friends.” Previously the family was not living in such dire straits because her husband supported them through the income he obtained from tapping rubber. “I was angry at him for getting involved in drugs so I reported him for the good of our family because I heard people doing drugs could end up doing bad things. “After
I reported him in people started talking behind my back. They said all sorts of things like ‘if I could betray my husband then I would have no problem doing the same to my children’ or ‘there goes the drug addict’s wife’,” Hina said.
“That is why I decided to move from our previous place in Kg Sugut in Penampang to Kinarut…to get away from those people,” she said, adding that her husband, whose sentence runs until 2016, has been in jail for about a year.
Although Donni John’s death has added to Hina’s burden, she is determined to keep going for the sake of her other children. She knows he would want her to do so.
“I miss him so much.”
** Life never treat us good, but its sad to leave someone so dear to us, crying…**