Socio-Political activist Gilbert Goh posted on social media about a single mother who was arrested and put in police lock-up for having unpaid Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC).
Mr Goh wrote that he was approached by the woman’s brother for help and that he “felt shocked” to learn that the woman who had a 16-year-old son was arrested at her office.
She stayed in the police lock-up for close to 10 hours before being released and had an arrears of S$2,150.
In a Facebook post yesterday (Jan 19), Mr Goh wrote that her S&CC fees were unpaid for 18 months since April 2018.
He added that the single-mother worked as a sales promoter earning a monthly salary of about S$1,000. He added: “each time she couldn’t pay the monthly instalment of $159, the town council will send in a legal reminder which costs about $200 – further aggravating the S & C default”.
“It’s akin to paying a loan shark but this time it’s a legalised one” he said.
Mr Goh also shared that out of her total arrears, 40 per cent or S$937 went to other miscellaneous costs such as a penalty charge of S$310 and legal fees of S$627. He added that the town council was willing to waive the penalty fee of S$310 but not the legal charge.
In speaking with her, Mr Goh asked why she did not rent out a room in her flat to earn extra money. She told him that she was uncomfortable living with strangers under the same household.
He wrote: “The small single-parent family does not receive any maintenance from the ex- husband and the mum is working 12-hour shift for seven days a week trying to keep up with all her bills especially the S & C one which may invite a jail sentence if not properly paid”.
Mr Goh told the woman that she was fortunate she was not immediately jailed and added that prolonged non-payment of S&CC bills can land a person in jail. He also noted that she still has to pay up the default after the prison discharge. “It’s probable that the single mum may have ignored numerous court orders triggering a warrant of arrest as a result”, he wrote.
He also called for people to donate to the woman saying: “Any Good Samaritan can pay directly to the person’s town council account number through AXS online to offset the default”.
TISG has reached out to the mother for further comment. /TISG
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