An elderly man who was recently accused of racking up over $300 in unpaid bills after dining without paying at multiple food outlets in Sun Plaza at Sembawang has spoken out with his side of his story.
The Chinese daily had reported that the senior would allegedly come up with several reasons to avoid paying the bills and even stole away from the restaurants when staff were not paying attention.
Employees at multiple eateries the publication spoke to added that the man has eaten at their outlets without paying. One restaurant employee even reported that the elderly man sat in the restaurant for 30 minutes and refused to leave until the restaurant boss had no choice but to offer him free food, under the condition that he leave the premises.
The senior in question, 61-year-old Mr Cai Qingfeng, has now denied dining for free and told reporters that he did not intentionally try to dine without having to pay: “I did not intentionally refuse to pay after finishing my meal. Sometimes when I tried to make payment, the transaction would be unsuccessful. So I told the restaurants to put me on credit and that I would pay them when I had money.“
Mr Cai also thanked the restaurants who allowed him to eat on credit and told reporters that a kind woman had generously given him $5 to buy a bun for breakfast the day before.
Reporters, however, noticed that the bank card Mr Cai was using was not a credit card.
When asked whether he knows how much he owes to the restaurants he dined in, Mr Cai said that he he did not owe a lot and said that it’s not as though he did not have any money to pay because he had tens of thousands in his bank account.
Insisting that his bank card was working, Mr Cai shared that the reason why he is not able to use the card might be because of an issue on the bank’s side.
When asked whether he is having financial difficulties and whether he needs aid, Mr Cai revealed that he had worked as a heavy vehicle driver for a decade until a fatal accident at Woodlands Industrial Park last year, in which a cyclist was killed, caused him to lose his job, his driving license to be suspended, and landed him in jail for 49 days.
Mr Cai lamented: “I lost my job of over ten years just like that. Now I can only depend on monthly payouts from my Central Provident Fund (CPF) to survive.”