SINGAPORE: A Malaysian woman says she likes living on the streets in Singapore, stating that it’s a personal choice.
“I have a home, but I like it this way. It is my own choice,” she said when met by Bernama here last night.
The national news agency, through a three-hour observation that started at 10pm and was conducted in several parts of Kallang, was checking on claims that Malaysian workers were among the groups of homeless people in Singapore.
Kallang, which is located in the central region of the island, was picked after it was found to be one of five areas with the largest number of homeless people, based on the republic’s first nationwide study on homelessness released in November last year.
Wanting to be known simply as “Chris”, the 48-year-old said she was from Miri, Sarawak and works as a cleaner at Changi International Airport.
Chris was found sitting alone at a hawker centre while watching her favourite show on her mobile phone when Bernama approached her.
Asked why she chose to sleep on the streets, she said: “I like being alone.”
However, she indicated that she would be willing to stay indoors if she had the choice of having a whole room to herself.
Chris was the only Malaysian from about 30 homeless people whom Bernama spoke to last night. She said she had been living on the streets for the past two months.
The republic’s social and family development ministry defines a homeless person as someone “who feels he has no home to go back to, whether he owns a house or is renting a place”.
When contacted by Bernama, Gilbert Goh, a Singapore activist who helps the homeless and underprivileged, said: “I think most (Malaysians) have managed to get their own lodging.”
Goh, who is the founder and president of Transitioning.org, has been actively sharing his efforts to assist the homeless on social media. On a few occasions, he mentioned that Malaysians were among those who were found sleeping rough in Singapore.