A row involving a man who claimed to be a Housing & Development Board (HDB) contractor and a Toa Payoh resident last week has prompted a police investigation after a report was lodged.
“The police urge members of the public to call the police immediately at ‘999’ should they encounter the man again, or submit information online via www.police.gov.sg/iwitness if anyone has information on him. All information will be kept strictly confidential,” said the police in response to media queries on Monday (25 March).
Vernon Low, 72, who had detailed the incident in a Facebook post, told Yahoo News Singapore that the “stocky” man, who appeared to be in his late forties or early fifties, had approached him at his HDB flat at Blk 185 Toa Payoh Central last Friday night.
In his post which has since gone viral with over 1,200 reactions and 7,000 shares, the retiree wrote that the man claimed a team will be coming down to the flat to conduct “patchwork on the old ceiling, as prescribed by the HDB” the next day.
The man, who spoke in English, had asked for a $100 deposit and another $200 to be paid the next day for the repair job, added Low, who lives with his 93-year-old mother.
“When asked who was he representing, he showed his calling card, which was hung around his neck.
I declined his offer, thanking him,” he said. Low told Yahoo News Singapore that he was not able to read the card as the man was constantly waving it.
Low said that the man then approached and spoke to a next-door neighbour, a 76-year-old man, in Mandarin about the repair work. The elder neighbour later asked Low if it was genuine.
“As I felt I owe a duty to my neighbour, I replied that he should be careful and checked with authorities before committing himself,” said Low.
According to Low, the man raised his voice and started “cursing in Hokkien” upon hearing his reply to his neighbour.
“When I raised my voice back, he spat at my face. His action angered me and I took the keys to open the gate to my main door by which time he made his way into the lift to take him down to ground level,” Low wrote.
Confronting the man downstairs, Low said the man then threw a punch at him, causing the former to “land on (his) bottom on the steps of the staircase”.
Low said that he requested the elder neighbour, who had followed him down, to call the police while Low attempted to stop the man from leaving. However, the man had left the scene when the police arrived, he added.
In a separate post on Sunday, Low wrote, “From the postings/re-postings of my encounter, there were numerous replies that the same (man) has been going around HDB neighbours and indeed there were more victims to account for.”
Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to the HDB for comment.
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