Elderly cardboard collector in Chong Pang refuses ang bao packet, tells good samaritan to give it to the needy

A man by the name of Kilmar Wong on Facebook has been going around the streets looking for elderly folks in need to give them some handouts — typically basic necessities and food products, as well as an Ang Bao packet of money so they can get by for a while.

On Monday however, he was struck by the selflessness of an elderly woman who’s usually seen around the Chong Pang residential neighborhood, collecting cardboard and other recyclable items that can be exchanged for some money, meager as the amount may be. Pictures taken showed a frail old lady pushing around her trolley cart as she scavenged for items.

According to Wong, she gladly received the goodie bag he gave her but refused the cash packet.

“She told me to keep the money and give it to the less fortunate people,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Wong and other netizens also highlighted that the lady gets help from the community — residents in the neighborhood have been helping her out by contributing cardboard boxes and lightening the physical load as well.

The plight of the elderly community struggling to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world has been well-documented, and according to the official government stance, some of them are not willing receive financial assistance — choosing instead to find the means to support themselves independently. Of course, politicians can get a wee bit out-of-touch sometimes. Back in 2015, then-Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin caught quite a bit of flak when he mentioned that some elderly cardboard pickers treat the activity “as a form of exercise”.

This article, Elderly cardboard collector in Chong Pang refuses ang bao packet, tells good samaritan to give it to the needy, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!