Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pest-infested flat in Eunos Crescent plagues neighbours

Went to visit this unit which was published in The Straits Times and Shin Ming Daily News. My team and myself got a shock when the owner Mr Lim (74 years old) opened his door as the smell was indeed unbearable.

We can see dozens of cockroaches crawling around, while dead ones lay motionless on the sticky floor and some even on the walls.

There are stacks of newspapers, clothes, boxes, empty bottles and cans lined the walls. The items filled the two rooms and kitchen to a chest-high level, and there was only a narrow passage left for walking. Mr Lim sleeps on the sofa at the living room, while Mdm Soh (66 years old) sleeps at the utility room next to the toilet. The condition in the kitchen is even worst, as we can see flying cockroaches accompanied by the smell of rotten foods filled the place, and dying insects can be seen everywhere. 

I spoke to Mr Lim and asked why he had refused to throw away those dirty items and he replied to me saying all these items belongs to his wife Mdm Soh. When we ask him where is Mdm Soh, he say they are not on talking term since 20 years ago, even since she suffered from post-natal depression. When asked of the pest infestation, Mr Lim says that all the cockroaches are his "friends" now.

When we left the house, we spoke to two neighbours and they are very concerned about this family, not because of their dirty environment but both the elderly health condition. I can tell that their neighbours actually do care for them, just that their helping hands had been rejected. 

While we were walking back to our car, we saw a women hiding behind the letter box peeping at us. When I ask her whether she is Mrs Lim, she scream at us, saying that why we write all the untruth stuffs about her house in the newspaper. After we tell her we are volunteers from Project Awareness, she quieten down and invited us to sit down to chat. We bought her an ice cream and after taking a few mouthfuls, she kept the remainder inside a maggot filled plastic bags. Ants can also be seen crawling in and out of her shirt but it doesnt seem to bother her too.

During the chatting session, me and my Project Coordinator Jacky Goh, can tell that she is suffering from some kind of mental disorder, as she keep telling us that she attempted suicide a couple of times. We did try our best to encourage her to sell away all her items inside the house to exchange for cash, but she insisted on keeping all the items. 

Mdm Soh share with us that many government agencies approach her recently, and she is very willing to let the Town Council and HDB do the house cleaning for her. But after awhile, she changed her mind suddenly and accused us of trying to trick her to throw away her stuffs at her home.

I'm wondering how Project Awareness can help Mr Lim and Mdm Soh, especially when both of them are living in such a terrible condition environment. My heart sank when I was sitting close to Mdm Soh. Jacky, on the other hand, accompanied Mr Lim inside their house. I feel that the both of them have a serious communication problem, and I really hope we can have a solution for them. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Free Breakfast Program by Project Awareness

Project Awareness (A 计划) organised our first Free Breakfast Program (FBP) for the Elderly and Low-Income families of French Road and King George's Avenue on last Sunday dated 26 April 2015. 

More than 120 elderly and low-income families attended, and 50 volunteers turn up for this event.  Thank you to the volunteers from Project Awareness, students from Singapore Polytechnic and Boon Lay Secondary School.

Elderly were given a choice of 4 different stalls to eat from. The volunteers were there to assist the elderly to buy their food, while some of the volunteers assist the stall owners to sell the food. I sat down and spoke to them and they are all very happy to see us again. Feels so good to see the smiles on their faces. 

Like I explained to my volunteers this event is organised for various reasons, not just to feed people. While feeding those in need is the priority of this event, we also want to take this opportunity to get the elderly (especially those living alone) to get out of their homes and get some sunshine and socialise with people. 

It is especially heartwarming to see young children reaching out to the elderly and how they treat them like their own grandchildren. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team Jacky Goh, Irene Choo, Robin Heng and Tan Lam Siong, my sponsors, volunteers, the stall owners and everyone else for supporting this event and making it a successful one. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Taiwan Trip in April 2015

Hello Taiwan, I'm back for a second time. Here for work again. This trip is quite fulfilling. Met old friends and new friends! Main agenda for this trip is my performance at Jia Yi! Thank you Ah Lin and Ah Zhen for making the arrangements for my successful performance. The people at Jia Yi are so friendly! Thank you all for the support.

The rest of the trip is spent with my family, bringing them around Taipei and Keelung. Met up with Li Feng Xin 李凤新大哥 at Jay Chou's restaurant! So excited to meet him after watching several of his drama and movies. He gave me a few advices on my entertainment career and life. Not to mention the food is good too!

Missed eating the Taipei street food. Also visited Long Shan Temple, made some prayers and donations. Miss out on seeing my Taiwan fanclub this trip due to timing clash!!! So sad. Cant wait for my next trip back to Taipei. Will see you guys then!