Monday, April 23, 2007

Malaysia's Magnetic Man

Axes, knives and hammers are among the things which stuck naturally onto Liew Thow Lin’s bare chest and stomach yesterday.

Being a fundraiser requires a certain magnetism, and Liew Thow Lin has it in spades. Literally. A fork, a knife, an iron — they all stick to his chest as if they’ve been glued there. Even a hammer won’t dislodge them.

The 77-year-old grandfather of eight amazed visiting Channel U hosts Vivian Lai and Jeremy Chan of Singapore MediaCorp with his unique "magnetic powers" at the Handicapped Children’s Welfare Home in Jalan Eusoff yesterday .

"I don’t feel anything — neither hot nor cold," said Liew.

He discovered his unusual ability at the age of 60, when he experimented with forks and knives after hearing of a person with similar traits. A decade later, he contacted journalists from a Chinese daily to publicise his ability.

Liew has lifted buckets of bricks and pulled a bus using chains hooked to a metal sheet which he slaps onto his bare chest or stomach. The "attraction factor" works with all materials, including plastic and human flesh, he claims. All he has to do is make sure his skin is completely free of sweat.

For yesterday’s challenge, he lifted 50kg of bricks and pulled a Mercedes Benz car, weighing easily over a tonne, for a distance of about eight metres.

"Liew is a regular visitor and often talks to the people here," said chairman Cheong Kok Leong, adding that there are 76 children and adults at the home now. It costs RM40,000 a month to run the home, including its rent.

Well-wishers can contact Cheong at 05-2436235 or 012-2038569.

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