SINGAPORE: The Chinese daily has revealed that an elderly woman has been earning hundreds of dollars a day begging from commuters at an exit of Bedok MRT station, despite allegedly having a maid at home to care for her.

Bedok MRT appears to be a hotspot for tissue sellers. Online chat forums have been rife about how one exit gets crowded with licensed and unlicensed individuals plying tissues to passersby.

Some have said there could sometimes be five or six people – both old and young men and women – setting up “stalls” every morning near the exit to sell tissues. The area gets even more crowded over the weekends when one or two new faces appear to “rob business” from the regulars.

An 8 World reporter descended upon the area yesterday (20 Feb) and stumbled upon an elderly woman allegedly begging passersby to give her some money.

The reporter said that the woman appeared around noon and moved slowly, her waist was bent at 90 degrees. She touched her knees while walking as if her knees were in pain. Whenever someone walked past her, she would ask them for money, and the reporter saw some public members giving her money.

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One such individual, a Vietnamese woman who works in the food and beverage industry, gave the woman $2. When asked why she did so, she told the reporter: “She asked me if I could give her money. I saw that she was a poor old woman and decided to give her money, but I didn’t have much money, otherwise I wanted to give her $50.”

She added, “Regardless of whether grandma told the truth or not, I will still help her, because if what she said is true, I can still help her.”

Some public members, however, informed the reporter that the elderly woman allegedly has a son and a daughter and even hires a maid. Despite this, she appears at the exit every day from 10 am to 7 pm and allegedly earns $200-$300 a day.

When the reporter approached the woman and asked her for more information, she told him, “Can you give me the money? I am in my 80s and live alone.” She reportedly refused to respond when the reporter continued to ask questions.

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