MP Tin Pei Ling offers to help evicted Katong Plaza cobbler
Mr Ng Ah Bah has plied his trade from a pushcart at Katong Plaza's sheltered walkway for more than 11 years.
But the 70-year-old cobbler will no longer be able to use his usual spot from this evening after being evicted.
Ms Tin Pei Ling, Member of Parliament for MacPherson, has offered help to Mr Ng, who is a resident of her ward.
He made headlines earlier this month after Katong Plaza building management gave him an eviction notice following an incident at his stall on the night of Oct 26.
A drunk man was found sleeping behind the pushcart and he turned violent when asked to leave.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Ms Tin said that she met Mr Ng at her Meet-the-People Session on Monday, when he asked for help to find a new place to continue his business.
Ms Tin told The New Paper over the phone: "His main concern was to continue his trade as a cobbler because he was worried about his wife's expenses at the nursing home.
"He was previously able to manage the payments with government subsidies and his income, but now he has no place to work."
Ms Tin said she has contacted the National Environment Agency (NEA) to ask if there is any suitable location for Mr Ng.
She has also arranged for social service agencies to provide assistance for Mr Ng and his wife, Madam Yap Guek Neo, 67, who is in a nursing home after suffering from a second stroke in April last year.
"It was heartbreaking to see a grown man cry... but it is admirable that he still wants to be self-reliant and not rely on handouts," said Ms Tin of her meeting with Mr Ng.
"At the end of the day, he is a man trying to provide and care for his wife."
Building management chairman, Mr Steven Tng, 60, reiterated that the management will not change its decision to evict Mr Ng, but it will help steer his customers back to him.
He said: "Our conscience is clear. We're asking him to leave for the safety of our residential and commercial tenants.
"We are not targeting him, anyone who is renting that space will be asked to leave. This is according to advice from the police."
Mr Tng added that the management will no longer rent out that area. It will also be returning the $600 deposit for the pushcart to Mr Ng today after he closes shop. He has spent the last three days moving his stuff from the cart.
Said Mr Tng: "We'll be putting up a notice at the cobbler's old spot to direct customers to him. If he hasn't found a new location, we'll put up his mobile phone number so that they will know where to find him.
"We can help him in this way."