70 year-old Singaporean, Mr Lim Kee Khoon, who was left homeless after being released from prison has finally received approval to move into a rental flat with his brother. Mr Lim’s plight went viral earlier this year after an ex-opposition party member shared his story on social media.
In March this year, former People’s Voice party member Brad Bowyer revealed that Mr Lim sleeps at Henderson Hawker Centre and alleged that that public agencies did not offer help to the senior citizen.
Mr Bowyer said that Mr Lim is uncomfortable living with strangers due to a past experience when he was forced to share a rental flat with a partially-disabled senior citizen and ended up unwillingly becoming the housemate’s caregiver. At 63, Mr Lim committed a crime and was sentenced to jail. He was recently released from prison at the age of 70 but had nowhere to go and nowhere to stay, according to Mr Bowyer.
The political activist added that Mr Lim wishes to live with his brother but cannot do so as his brother sold his flat eight years ago. Citing an unspecified “HDB rule,” Mr Bowyer said that the siblings must wait 10 years before they are eligible to rent a flat together.
The Housing Development Board (HDB) later disputed Mr Bowyer’s claim that public agencies did not offer help to Mr Lim.
HDB, which is a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development, said that its officers and the MSF Singapore’s Social Service Office (SSO) at Kreta Ayer have been in touch with Mr Lim since January this year and that MP Joan Pereira made appeals to HDB regarding his rental application well before Bowyer’s Facebook post.
Revealing that HDB has offered a rental flat for Mr Lim and his brother and that Mr Lim has been placed in a shelter as he waits to shift into the rental flat, HDB asserted: “It is untrue that they were denied a rental flat because they had to wait a 10-year period from the sale of the flat. There is no such policy in place.”
HDB gave Mr Lim approval to stay with his brother in a rental flat, last week. Mr Bowyer, who has kept in touch with Mr Lim, reported that the flat has been newly renovated and that social services are assisting the brothers to find furniture and receive income.
Mr Lim is reportedly helping at the market while his brother started work as a cleaner, this week.-/TISG