SINGAPORE: A concerned Singaporean took to an online forum on Sunday (April 7) to ask others if there has been a rise in begging inside Singapore malls. The post came after he saw a man asking for money in Northpoint City Mall.

“Has anyone noticed a rise in begging happening inside Singapore’s shopping malls?” he asked. “I was at Northpoint City Mall yesterday and at the B1 basement level, there was someone sitting down on the floor crying out to passersby, asking for money, with his hands outstretched as if to tug at the clothing of the people walking by.”

The post went on to describe the man. “Chinese male, around 50s. I observed him and he appeared to have no physical or visual impairment.”

Responding to the post, some commenters shared similar experiences with people asking for money. “Clementi Mall – 1st floor entrance to the escalator to MRT,” one shared.

“There’s a Chin(see) bald middle-aged guy who is always targeting the old people and asking them for money.”

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“I once observed in a coffee shop, those times when a lady leading a somewhat ‘blind’ uncle selling tissue paper,” shared another. “S$50 in 10 minutes. Earn better than me.”

One pointed out that if a beggar is seen in a mall, security can be called upon to ask them to leave. Still, others cautioned that some people can be posing as beggars.

“Most of these ‘beggars’ are opportunists,” one argued. “I am not saying that all beggars are living a good life scamming money from kind-hearted passersby. Many of them are already receiving help from MSF.

The poorest of the poor, the most unfortunate of the unfortunate here in Singapore do not have to beg for meals. You may feel good giving them a few dollars but what they need is longer-term, sustainable and targeted help.

If you spot them, call the Comcare hotline…”

Another reminded people that there is a proper way to help people in need. “If you really want to help the less fortunate, go through a proper charity,” the comment read. “Giving people money on the street doesn’t fix/help anything.”

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