Update as of Feb 25: HDB approved Ms Koh’s rental application, and she has collected her keys.
On February 12, 2020, a young and single mother of two made a post on her Facebook page in order to share her story of sadness and frustration. Unfortunately for Chanel Koh, she has been struggling to support her young kids, keep her job, and maintain a roof over her and her kids’ heads for quite some time. From the very start of Chanel’s FB post, you can already feel her struggle and disappointment with the Singapore government and their lack of empathy for her case.
Koh goes on to explain that she has not had the most ideal childhood or life for that matter. She saw her father get stabbed to death when she was just 5 years old, lost her mother to jail when she was 12, then found herself forced to live under the reign of an abusive aunt. And unfortunately for Koh, as time went by, her situation did not improve.
She also shared how she wrote to the government, requesting for their assistance in helping her rent a 1-bedroom apartment from HDB after her application the year before was rejected. But again, they informed her that she wasn’t eligible due to her S$1800 income before CPF and because both her mom and brother were incarcerated. Despite her multiple attempts to get assistance, her pleas fell on deaf ears.
By 2016, Koh got married and had two children, but again she suffered at the hands of a man who abused her and was unfaithful. She finally found the courage to leave her husband, but was once again left to the devices of the heartless. She explains that she asked for help from her employer as well, but rather than help her out, they said they could do nothing and that “HDB rules are rules.”
To make matters worse, the day before she decided to put up her post on Facebook, she had been kicked out of her rental and explains that she has “Nowhere to go.” She also shared the hardship of not being able to support three people on such a meagre income, as well as her resentment that since she’s not divorced, she can’t seek out more financial and living assistance from the government. She also said that this is why so many women remain in abusive relationships rather than leave their husbands because they don’t get enough support from a government that “promises so much.”
What seems to be a desperate plan to get anyone to hear her out and sympathise with her situation has brought many issues to the forefront, and all via social media too. Koh’s FB post has been shared by 1.9K, with concerned citizens hoping that someone will answer her pleas. It’s been over a week since Koh went on Facebook and posted her story, and there has been no further update on her situation since. Netizens can only pray that someone has managed to get the attention of someone, anyone, that can help a young single mother out.
‘TISG has reached out to Ms Koh for comment and clarification.’