Man pushes elderly stranger on trolley every night for months
Last year, he started noticing an elderly man with a hunched back pulling a luggage near his souvenir stall in Sago Street, in Chinatown.
Then on one night early this year, he saw the man sitting by the roadside, clutching his chest and having trouble breathing.
The souvenir seller, who wanted to be known only as Mr Yep, went to check if the man needed help.
"I was worried that something might happen to him, so I went over to speak to him," the 63-year-old told The New Paper on Wednesday.
When the man kept gesturing to the main road without saying a word, Mr Yep realised that he was speech impaired.
It took a while before he found out the man wanted to go to the bus stop about 200m away.
Mr Yep then took out his trolley and placed the man's bag, which he estimated to weigh 10kg, on it. He helped the man sit on the luggage and pushed them to the bus stop.
This act of kindness would turn into a routine from that night.
The next evening, he saw the elderly man waiting outside his stall and understood that he was asking for help again.
Mr Yep duly obliged, and has been doing this almost daily for the past six or seven months - even waiting for the bus to arrive and making sure the man gets a seat before leaving.
Then early last month, it occurred to Mr Yep that it was not feasible for him to keep helping the man.
"What if I fall sick one day and I am not around to help him? It is dangerous to let him walk around in his state," he said.
He decided to contact Shin Min Daily News to see if the Chinese evening newspaper could trace the man's family.
A reporter then met the man, who had a piece of paper with his nephew's phone number.
When Shin Min Daily News contacted the nephew, he said his uncle, 67, was a stubborn man who would insist on leaving the home every day.
FULL OF PLASTIC BAGS
He added that the bag was full of plastic bags and miscellaneous items.
Mr Yep said he has not seen the man since Monday, and hopes he is safe at home.
Another souvenir stallholder at Sago Street, Miss Crystal Ang, said the man was protective of his luggage.
She recalled an occasion when he asked for plastic bags, but when she tried to help him by tying them to the bag handle, he pushed her hand away and shook his head.
"He seems very independent as he travels everywhere alone," she said, adding that this was why she did not offer to help him.
Madam Foo, 56, who owns the souvenir stall next to Mr Yep's, said she tried to carry the man's bag once and realised she would not be able to help him even if she wanted to.
"His luggage is so heavy. It is almost impossible for me to carry," she said.
Madam Foo commended Mr Yep for his kind act, saying: "It is hard to find people who are so selfless. He is really kind."
Singapore Kindness Movement general secretary William Wan said it was heartening to hear such a story.
He said: "I believe that humans are intrinsically kind. We just express it in different ways.
"For Mr Yep, he might have connected with the mute man as they are about the same age. Sometimes, all we need is a human connection to unlock our inner kindness."
Four help man having difficulty crossing road
GOOD DEED: Two women rushing out to help the man who had difficulty crossing the road. PHOTO: STOMP
In another part of Singapore, a different act of kindness took place yesterday afternoon.
Four good Samaritans rushed to help a man who was having difficulty crossing the road at the traffic lights at the junction of Tanjong Katong Road in front of City Plaza at around 1.30pm.
The man, who was seated in an upright position, was using his hands to drag himself across the road.
A motorist filmed the kind deed and submitted the video to citizen journalism website Stomp.
He said: "I was in the car when I suddenly saw this man, whom I believe to be partially disabled, attempting to cross the road.
"In a flash, I saw two shop assistants rushing to the aid of the elderly man.
"Soon after, two more pedestrians came over and helped him cross the road as well."
The Stomper added that motorists waited patiently for the man to cross the road, even though the traffic lights had turned green.