Dear Dr. Lam (PAP MP)
I, Mike Yeo, stand before you at my wits end.
I used to be a Regional Marketing / Sales and Training Manager for a pharmaceutical company and it was effectively a Regional Director’s position. I was earning about $15,000/month then.
I spent almost 10 years in the industry and company, since January 2005 and was made redundant in March 2013.
I immediately made many changes of lifestyle and even went into a repayment mode with several banks and financial institutions and even got the car finance company to take the car back in and to change the shortfall of the loan into a personal loan.
After being unemployed for almost a year, I managed to join an Indian start up as its Business Development Manager and helped it to connect with the doctors I had contacts with and so on.
But after 6 months. the management said that I was too expensive and got rid of me again/ In my previous company, I was earning at least 15,000 per month, in the Indian company, I was only getting $5,000.
So I was willing to downgrade and even start much lower so that I could try and get back a life. I used most of the $5,000 ($4,000 after CPF) to repay my debts and also to feed my family, but once made redundant again, I had no more income and could not make any repayments and or any other significant financial contribution.
So I immediately got a Real Estate Agent license from CEA and also a taxi vocational license to enable me to bring in some income. However sir, I am now working almost 15 hours a day every day just to be able to feed my family and also to repay some of the more priority debts likes power and gas and marketing and so on.
I do not even have money to put my 5 year old child to school and or to pay for any medications.
I can bring in $200-$250 a day, depending on the day and time I spend on the roads, but on average I am bringing in closer to $220. This is because of not being experienced enough to know where to catch passengers and or being able to drive fast enough to make more trips.
I am sure that as I spend more time on the roads, I will improve my earnings. But my cost is $120 for rental and $50 for fuel and not including food and ERP and so on. So I am only confidently bringing home $50 a day. This is a far cry from my previous pay and an even further cry from my last proper job.
So I am in great financial distress and am also facing great pressure from the various banks and institutions to repay my debt.
I am most happy and willing to do so, but I am not earning enough and I am also unable to respond to them in a timely manner as I am on the road in the morning at 5 am and am driving till 7-8pm each day.
And I am not taking any significant breaks. So I am not able to answer phone calls, sometimes even from my own family like when my daughter was having high fever.
I have discussed with my family and am now in the midst of selling my HDB flat. At least the proceeds will be able to be used to repay my debt of almost $100k and then I am able to breath again. I am also very tempted to self declare bankruptcy, but to do this, I have to pay $1,800. If I had that much money, I would have used it to pay some of my bills and debts. Also becoming a bankrupt is also not a viable option as I have a CEA license and this will be null and voided if I am declared a bankrupt.
As a property agent, if I can sell my home and also a few more, earning enough in commissions to pay off a $100,000 debt is a simple matter.
Being a cab driver, even if I were to earn $100 pure profit a day, it will go no where far in paying down any debts.
So sir, I need your help 1) to see if you can speak to CEA to give me an exemption so that even if I am declared or if I self declare myself a bankrupt, I am able to still work as a property agent so that I can at least bring my life back into line, 2) Help me to find a way to rent a HDB rental flat once I sell my 5 room HDB so that we can have a place to stay and I can then rebuild my life, 3) please introduce to me anyone who can help provide financial assistance to a low income family so that they can send their child to school and also to be able to find the funds for self declaration.
As I am driving almost throughout the day (a simple investigation of my car logs or even Comfort Delgro electronic tracking of my taxi) I am almost unable to speak on the phone at most times and also after each shift,
I am sure that you can understand the pure exhaustion I feel. So if you can help, or if your personnel can help, please lets start a line of communications through this email and please help me if you can sir.
I thank you in advance for your kind consideration and any assistance you can provide me and my humble family henceforth.