Town Council doubles needy family’s debt for failing to pay conservancy fees


A needy family in Singapore was thrown into more debt by their Town Council after they couldn’t pay Service and Conservancy Charges for about two years, from August 2015 to April 2017.

Activist Gilbert Goh shared the family’s plight on his Facebook page and shared a photo of an arrears letter the family received which shows that they owe $718.75 in conservancy charges.

Shockingly, the Town Council charged the family a penalty fee of $249 and legal fees of $721.05 – increasing their total fees to $1688.80.


The Town Council warned that the family would have to make payment “within 10 days from the date of notice” or to contact the office.

If they fail to do so, legal action would be initrates against the family.

Goh says that the family has been struggling with under-employment and is trying its best to cope with the high cost of living in Singapore.

He quipped, referencing PM Lee’s National Day Rally speech on the government’s plans to increase cashless transactions in the country:

“There is simply no more cash (for many of us) to go cashless any more.”


  1. This is our caring Singapore government agency, the Town Council. Residents already jialat, they make them more jialat. Instead of sending in a social service agency to look into their predicaments, they take them to court.

  2. The good way is to know the rules and type of assistance that be obtained from the govt. Try to wrestle help from the MP. Have to do these steps even if someone can render temporary relief.

  3. If the Town Council had thought out of the box, take like 20 cents more from the community that can spare and help alleviate their plight.
    As Town Council, you’re entrusted to manage, assist the community you’re responsible for, NOT hinder.

  4. All they need to do is slash the multimillion dollar salary by half and the burden will be a lot lighter … after all they do not carry any responsibilities ….

  5. Legal action means the lessee will be thrown into jail if he or she is unable to pay. This is the kind of heartless PAP Government that idiotic 70% help to keep in power. Deeply disappointed with this present lot of MPs and not even one offers to help to pay. SOB and DOB.

  6. Singapore G is away very good in helping FT , but when Singaporeans citizens family have problems , no here to see them around for help, only see other party members come to support the poor family

  7. Try crowd funding first, if cannot help just do something stupid to get yourself jail. Then you will get free food, shelter and hopefully all the fines and payments will be resolve this way.

    Blame yourself for all these 70%, as for 30% who ended up like this we can only hope to die asap to end our miseries.

  8. Hello Mr. Veerasamy. You don’t collect money from the poor your town council will explode is it? How do you expect these people to pay you when you slap them with further fines?

  9. Hearing all that’s said here , there is. no need to be surprised ……..the system has make it that way since of yonder years , i.e. If anyone is in arrear of any payment that is due to the government , and if it is over a long period of time in deferment, those organ that is responsible to collect the debt does not care or see it their responsibility to find out the behind story ! As far as they are concerned , the onus fall on the one in debt to seek help from whatever source available to them!
    Something is just not right with this gov. , in every hardship case it appears they would only handle it from the legal angle and there is no room for any compassionate considerations !
    This gov set the rule , you peasant live by the rule and it shall be not any otherwise ! This is white termite country !
    Those that handle the reported case just does not have it in them to act on their own , it is always play safe and not take initiative to right a wrong even though they jolly well knows something is not right , lest they be found wanting by their superior !!!
    Is this phenomenon not a manifestation of a draconian rule base governance???
    70/30 Singaporean , think ! are we not at one time or another guilty of that trait of the play safe mentality (kiasu , kiasi, kiapap ) to mentions, sad though but that’s the reality !!!

    Phew ! The family have no money to pay their due and yet slapped with penalty higher than the due in arrear ?? Just cannot figure it out , i.e. the logic behind it…….. oops ! To think of it, perhaps it is logical after all ! urh ? White termite’s law in the making !!!

  10. Whilst in a taxi yesterday, driver told me that his neighbor asked the MPs for help. But there were no feedback after a few months. I suggested social service center as a channel. After the chitchat, I begin to wonder if there are quite a handful of cases in every constituency, has that ‘lost hope lost cause’ situation described in the article. What happen to the Heart of the government, civil service, town council etc ?

  11. The reporting is done way poorly. Does not covers why they are being charged or what is the history of communication between Town Council. There no way to know the root cause. The damn you one sider

  12. This cow Council stuff… a real pain in a ass…… r they a separate entity or still part of govt revenue? When start to owe them…….they will start issuing lawyer letters……Haiz…..

  13. I do not really know the whole story behind. What happen to the family. Basically if you work and do not gamble, drugs or misuse your money. Why can’t afford to pay? I’m sure after so much of money accumulated, town council will investigate. Something must be wrong with the family. Unemployment? If not choosy, there are so many job out there.

    • What you say seems logical, BUT. But life is not so simple. Of course, things have gone wrong for the family – they clueless? When you are in a job and have been for a long time, you don’t know what it is nowadays. But they have to get employed and how to get it. Many young people are also not employed. It is a sad situation all round. Sorry, all these nonsense I am talking. The Main Point is we have 100 million $$$ cabinet and a party in power for more than half a century, and THIS is what life is for the ground 50% of true blue Singkies.

    • That’s why I mentioned by the accumulated sum. Town council should had investigated. If found that they really need help, they’ll definitely help. I’ve experience it myself before. Didn’t ask for help and voluntary they came.

    • Sow Meng Wong you mentioned many young ppl unemployed. But there are really so many jobs out there. I have once lost my job. Rather than sitting at home waiting for my ideal job, I went to do part time waiter and delivery.

    • Andrew, since you are not sure why jump into conclusion? Maybe they tried but can’t manage to get a job. Everyone have their ups & down. All I’m saying have a bit of compassion.

    • Andrew Chan. You are a lucky one. Different life different luck. In HK, there was a TV program that set capable people to live in the place of a target person. Meaning to live like them in their situation with all their limitations in life. One woman went straight to depression after one day. She said it was a bottomless pit. People around us, we can see some cannot get out of that shithole without alot of help. We need wisdom. Nowadays, too many people wants free money from crowdfunding.

    • Sow Meng Wong I’m not saying that this family don’t deserve help. But, we can’t just help blindly. FYI, I’m not as unfortunate as this family. But I’m not that good life too. No silver spoon. At times I don’t even have money for my kids school fee. Every month end also have to be very careful on spending. The main point is we need to help those needy. But really have to be very cautious on many ppl take for granted and shake leg waiting for help. Money have to be spend worthwhile

    • Shawn Lim I’m not jumping into conclusion. I’m very curious why can’t get a job in Singapore? If you’re saying ideal job. I agreed. But just a job, why can’t?

    • Andrew Chan I was involved with an industrial accident, lay off for almost 2 years. my wife is the only person working($1000/month) three children still schooling, very very tied during this periods(1997 to 2000). have some outstanding with town council, they send me letters for reminding me with charges every letter. i went see my mp but still they bring me to small claim court where i was still on wheelchair. they charge me for court fees n late payment fees till almost 1.5k. U very lucky caused they come to help you. Pls this does not happen to all others. Just for your info.

    • Andrew Chan I was involved with an industrial accident, lay off for almost 2 years. my wife is the only person working($1000/month) three children still schooling, very very tied during this periods(1997 to 2000). have some outstanding with town council, they send me letters for reminding me with charges every letter. i went see my mp but still they bring me to small claim court where i was still on wheelchair. they charge me for court fees n late payment fees till almost 1.5k. U very lucky caused they come to help you. Pls this does not happen to all others. Just for your info.

    • I don’t know the exact problem this family is facing, but there are plenty of ways a family can not be economically viable: 1) chronic illness, physical or mental 2) death in family, especially the breadwinner 3) loss of job and chronic unemployment (new job can not fulfill existing debt load) 4) family breakup
      Each category can easily send a person/family into destitution. Laws are made to give order in a stable and predictable environment. Our lives/economy is anything but stable or predictable. Inflexible laws in certain situations could easily turn into coercion. Don’t be quick to judge, most of us are just a few months from personal bankruptcy if the unfortunate happens.

  14. Not only town councils all government bodies are like that, They arrest loan sharks, but they behave like ah longs. Cannot owe them money, they will charge you “ah longs” interest as penalty, send debt collectors to harass you and send you threatening lawyer letters. They can even ask DBS or POSB to freeze your bank account, I am not joking. What inclusive society, all bullshit!

  15. No crowdfunding. Find out how to get to the govt support which PAP always claim they have. I want to know about what it takes to obtain the subsidies and help so we can let more people get the help they need. Taxes were paid for a purpose, Singapore for Singaporeans.

  16. They are as good if not better than those legal or illegal ah long only they don’t send hooligans to your flat to demand payment or put banners at your void decks advertising your “crimes”

    • Exactly ! That’s the reason the callous evil white termite gang created ” mean testing” for every request for help to them!!! The results ended up only those near to death situation get a little finger extended to them but the majority hardship case get nothing ……and naturally find its way back to the public, seeking help !!!

  17. Sad. A soft approach of saying to the underachievers…

    ” if you can’t afford Singapore, don’t expect your leaders to help you. You get out now! Find yourself another place to live in!
    Err… can you afford to buy sugar?”

  18. Why are families in this dire straits? What is the root cause? It is not about asking poor to leave Spore or donation. This is just diverting attention from the root cause of poor citizens’ sufferings. Don’t be distracted by red herrings they throw up to make you lose focus on why families reach this pathetic stage.

  19. The Family should reach out to the Social welfare dept or the MP in their Constituency for help…I appeal to those too Rich People to Pay for them instead of donating to The Casinos…

  20. Yes this is Singapore same goes to our banks. They take away their umbrellas when is raining and put more pressure to make you make stressful instead of helping you. Singapore is a very cold blooded country now.







  22. Guys to be fair,TC won’t know if u ar in need of help or you ar those that got money but don want to pay..this is a common problem..if u have a issue with paying for up with the mp,or approach the social worker..there is a lot of ways to get help!!and instead of posting this in Facebook without masking out their face..

  23. Actually frankly speaking…
    1. TC is not under government for god sake!
    2. TC runs by private company that maintain the town by getting conservancy charges n other fees like using their amenities etc. If every one dun pay. U will blame TC for not doing their job and blame Its is under gov n blame governement again?
    3. TC not as heartless as what u all think… it will waive off the legal n penalty charges easily. What they need is for them to answer to TC and TC will try to help them via suitable program available to rhe extens of helping them link up with CDC to get them a job if they cant pay due to jobless.
    4. Some ppl just dun want pay n rather spend on beers n cig etc.

    PS: im not a pappies (those who know me will know not) nor im working in TC now. Im used to be from TC under Marine parade 10 years ago n they are all nice ppl attending to complains such as neighbour dispute (its should be under police case mind u, not TC) they did alot which ppl think its their job n yet they get all the shit when ppl anyhow write… hello. They dun get 6mths bonus etc… they are like any other company that give 1 to 2 mths (the 1 mth is the aws, not a 1 + 1 pls!)

    So ppls. When u all wanna anyhow write… pls get the facts right…

  24. TC will allowed you to pay a minimum agreed monthly and unless you are too choosy to get a job, no one can be jobless for 2 years. If you owe the amount from the bank, you will be charged with interest and financial charges plus legal fees too. I been thru that I know.

  25. in fact most countries also government most money hungry lor . same as getting installment for phone , if dumb and open for others meant u gg die lor be it helping others or what, pay for so long etc after that want terminate also need pay extra termination fee plus the balance and late payment fee and whatever they add , so its f up if not ask lawyer sue u , anyways sucks when ur poor

  26. the busted tc don’t care, only know how to send letters. lawyer send letter, $110, v easy money. don’t know lawyer gave any kopi money to these busteds. most of them are grassloot lackeys.

    and wp don’t want to send lawyer letter, white demons say they are lousy in collecting arrears.

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