60yo M’sian Man Drives Wife Away With His Desire To Hoard Trash In The House 

"It has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies, affecting the comfort of family members."
In recent years, an unusual and troubling trend has been emerging among certain individuals in Malaysia: a deep, almost affectionate attachment to objects that most would consider trash.

This behaviour, often seen as bizarre, escalates to the point where some individuals seem to ‘marry’ the trash, finding happiness in being surrounded by old or recycled items.

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For illustration purposes inly. Photo via The Malaysian Reserve

This phenomenon, known as hoarding disorder, is a psychiatric condition characterised by the excessive accumulation of items and an inability to discard them.

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Hoarding disorder, typically observed in developed countries, is now increasingly prevalent among Malaysians, particularly in major urban centres.

Experts have noted a significant rise in the number of cases, indicating that this is becoming a widespread issue.

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‘I do not bother anyone’

One such case involves a 70-year-old man, known only as Sim, who shared his journey into hoarding.

For illustration purposes inly. Photo via Open Justice

Sim’s unusual behaviour began when he started collecting recyclable items to supplement his income. Over time, this activity transformed into a daily habit that has persisted for over five years, reported Harian Metro.

Sim, who resides in a bustling city, dedicates two to three days a week to his routine of searching for and bringing home recyclable items.

Remarkably, none of the collected items are ever discarded or sold.

“I can’t bear to throw these items away. Previously, I sold some items, but after that, I no longer wanted to sell and preferred to collect them,” he explained.

Living alone, Sim finds solace in his routine, saying it keeps him from feeling bored. Despite his neighbours’ disgust and complaints, he remains unfazed, believing his actions do not bother anyone.

To the marriage falling apart

Couple arguing
For illustration purposes inly. Photo via Canva

Hoarding disorder doesn’t just affect individuals; it can have severe repercussions on their families.

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M. Ravin, a 58-year-old security guard, recounted how his older brother’s hoarding behaviour led to the breakdown of his marriage.

Ravin’s brother, a former taxi driver, developed a habit of bringing home recyclable items, which eventually filled every corner of his terraced house in Masai.

This accumulation of junk created a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies, severely impacting the living conditions for his family.

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Despite numerous attempts by family members to intervene and advise him to abandon the habit, Ravin’s brother remained steadfast.

His refusal to change eventually drove his wife to leave him, moving to Kuala Lumpur to live with their son.

“It has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies, affecting the comfort of family members. Previously, my brother lived with his wife while their son studied in Kuala Lumpur.

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We tried to tell my brother to stop his bad habit because it was making the neighbors worried. But he didn’t change, so his wife left and went to live in Kuala Lumpur with their son.”

Ravin further described the situation: “The pile of trash at my brother’s house might take a long time to clean up because there is so much of it.”

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