A netizen, who is believed to be a National University of Singapore (NUS) student, has said that he was left heartbroken after witnessing his elderly father being insulted as “dirty” simply because he works as a cleaner.
Recounting the incident to anonymous confessions platform, the NUSwhispers Facebook page, the student indicated that the incident occurred on Friday (25 Oct). Revealing that his father is close to 70 years old and is still not retired, the student shared that his father went to NUS to visit him since the student’s course has a heavy workload and he was not able to go home to spend time with his father for the past three weeks.
The elderly father, who works two jobs – as a cleaner at a country club during the day and as a cleaner at a community centre at night – had a rare half day off and decided to visit his child and requested to have a tour of the NUS hall where the student lives.
After giving him a tour, the student took his father for a meal at the Kopitiam food court at Kent Ridge MRT station. He shared: “I know my father doesn’t have money so I offered to pay for his dinner. Guess what? The silly man ordered the cheapest thing he could find – fishball noodles.”
Before the pair could enjoy their meal together, an unpleasant incident shattered the student’s heart. While his father was waiting for his food, he noticed a small plastic plate filled with chilli sauce and moved it to his tray thinking that it was extra sauce he could have.
Suddenly, a well-dressed lady – who had been in line before the student’s father before walking away momentarily – appeared and “very sarcastically” said that someone had taken her chilli sauce while she apparently glanced up and down at the student’s father.
The student shared that his father immediately apologised but the lady was unsatisfied and made a rude remark. The student said:
“He immediately apologised and explained to her that we were not aware and that she could have her chilli back but she replied “你动过的我才不要。肮脏死”, which loosely translates into “I don’t want what you’ve touched. You’re dirty to death”.
“This was when I realised that my father was still in his uniform.”
The student wanted to retaliate but his father held him back and said that he is used to being treated in such a way. Revealing that the incident and the way his father handled the incident made him cry uncontrollably, the student shared:
“He said that he’s used to it and it suddenly hit me that this is what he does all on a day to day basis. He apologises and lets people walk over him. He is invisible. I always knew my dad worked hard and is always at the mercy of others but seeing it with my own two eyes was an entirely different experience.
“I couldn’t even hold back my emotions and start tearing uncontrollably while we were eating. I had to lie that I was tearing because I got chilli in my eye but the truth is I was heartbroken by how my dad has to swallow his pride all the time.
“I can’t wait for the day when I can tell him to stop working and stop apologising for everything. All my dad ever did was love and dote on me but everyone else has just been so awful to him. Dear rich people, what did we ever do wrong to you?”
Netizens responding to the student’s account said that the story broke their hearts as well. Urging the student to take good care of his father, netizens said that their thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family and wished that his family would have a bright future ahead:
Read the student’s account in full here:
Today, I felt my heart properly break for the first time. The course I’m studying has quite a heavy workload so I…