A reader sent us a post by Zixu Augustine Lee, who witnessed a poverty stricken old man begging for leftover food from his colleague when they ate at a hawker center. His colleague, a PRC lady, then scoffed that in China, no one would be in that situation and it would be very rare to see elderly people working and begging like in Singapore.

Read his account here.

“Just had lunch in a hawker center with someone from China working here. She couldn’t finish her food and an old man approach her to ask if he can have her leftover food. She told him “no, I’ve eaten this food, you shouldn’t eat leftover food!”. Then she gave him some money to buy food.

After that she pointed out to an old auntie clearing tables, and asked me why are they so many old folks stilling working and doing such jobs. Back home, most retirees don’t work and it’s very rare that they have to end up like this. I don’t know how to answer her and felt very embarrassed.

2 years ago, I went back to my grandparents hometown, JinJiang county, QuanZhou, Fujian. It’s not a first tier city. Common old folks retire like this in the picture. I’ve not seen a single old folk that has to do menial job.”

Zixu Augustine Lee

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