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$9,800 raised for Vietnamese tourist

A Singaporean's online crowdfunding campaign to help a Vietnamese tourist who was reduced to tears while seeking a refund from Mobile Air in Sim Lim Square, has gone viral.

Since yesterday, a webpage started by Mr Gabriel Kang for the tourist, Mr Pham Van Thoai (above) has received more than S$9,840 from more than 1,000 donors.

Aside from raising more than five times its $1,748 target, the page has received more than 8,000 shares on Facebook at press time.

Mr Kang's initial aim was to raise enough money to ship a 128GB iPhone 6 to Mr Pham, and some local treats to make up for his ruined holiday.

After exceeding his goal, he posted an update stating that the extra money will go towards giving Mr Pham and his girlfriend another holiday in Singapore.

Mr Kang also indicated that he would be "diverting resources" to help an international student who, like Mr Pham, was mistreated at another shop in Sim Lim Square.

Mr Kang describes himself as an "ordinary Singaporean" who felt Mr Pham "was dealt a great injustice".

The 30-year-old factory worker from Vietnam lost $550 - he earns $200 a month - trying to buy an iPhone 6 for his girlfriend from Sim Lim Square retailer Mobile Air.

While Mr Pham has since returned home, Mr Kang has sought the help of the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) to get his contact details.

However, Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday that Mr Pham declined a $550 donation from one of its readers.

While he was grateful for the gesture, Mr Pham said he was wary of the publicity and decided not to accept the offer.

He said: "I just want to put everything behind me as quickly as possible."

- GREGORY LOO