Monday, October 03, 2005

NewPaper report Former SIA girl - down and out

Such a sad story I read in the New Paper (see below).

But I found many inconsistencies in the New Paper story probably the reporters are not as good as those in the Straits Times:

1. "Jane claimed she hasn't been able to find a job because of her criminal record". This very irregular, our govt has already conducted the "Yellow Ribbon" campaign to help these ex-criminals find jobs, so this problem is consider solved.

2. "Recalling the time when her son started teething, Jane broke down again and said: 'He had fever and a runny nose but I had no money to take him to the doctor.'" This again looks fishy. The govt has already said that medical care is affordable to all Singaporeans. ...but even as a loyal citizen who trust the govt 110%, I wonder how someone can find medical care affordable when he has no money.....I take it that some polyclinics give free treatment to poor Singaporeans.....has to be since our govt does not lie.

3. "Now, desperate to feed her son, she has resorted to begging on the street." According to LKY, there are no beggers on Singaporeans streets. I guess she must be the first one.

4. "She can barely afford to feed her son,". Hard to believe that with a govt that has accumulated $100B in reserves, there are citizens that claim they don't have enough
food. ......


SHE was a high-flier as an SIA stewardess. Hers was a carefree, plush life. Louis Vuitton bags hung from her arms. Visits to casinos were part of her jet-setting lifestyle.

Now, 14 years after she stopped flying, she's come down to earth with a rude thud. She was jailed for robbery and has now resorted to begging on the streets with her 2-year-old son.

Jane's husband, who also spent time in jail for robbery, only managed to find work about two weeks ago as a cleaner at a hawker centre earning $650 a month.

We are not using their real names to protect the child's identity and because Jane does not want her relatives to know she's been begging.

She claimed her life took a downward spiral eight years ago when she suffered a mild stroke.


Jane, 43, said the stroke has affected her speech and nerves. Her speech is slightly slurred.

She also suffers from pain in her legs. She says an acupuncturist told her this was caused by a fall in her younger days, though she has no clear memory of such a thing happening.

Yet that did not seem a hindrance when it came to crime five years ago.

Jane claimed that on the night she was arrested, she was drunk and had no memory of the robbery.

A check showed that in March 2000, Jane and her husband robbed a couple at knife point at East Coast Park.

The New Paper reported in August that same year that they were drunk and high on sleeping pills. They apparently resorted to robbery to get money for more pills.

Jane and her husband were arrested shortly after the robbery. In August 2000, she was sentenced to 30 months in jail, while her husband got 42 months and 12 strokes of the cane.

Since she came out about two years ago, Jane claimed she hasn't been able to find a job because of her criminal record.

She said the pain in her legs makes it difficult to walk, much less work for long hours.

She has no savings from her days as a stewardess because 'when I was young, I didn't think about saving for the future', she said.

'When I saw other people with Louis Vuitton bags, I wanted one too, so I bought one. And I loved to gamble. When I returned from a flight, I would go and play mahjong immediately.

'At that time, I really liked to gamble a lot. I went to casinos and never thought to put aside any money.'

She said she has since sold her branded goods to a second-hand shop in desperation.

Now, desperate to feed her son, she has resorted to begging on the street.

'I have no choice. We have no money, I have to feed my son... He needs milk powder and diapers. For my baby's sake I have to do it,' Jane said, breaking down in tears.

'If my legs can get better, I can find a job. But sometimes, the pain in my legs get so bad, I can't walk or stand. I can't even carry my own son.'

She takes the boy to the nearby MRT station or just downstairs her three-room HDB flat at Woodlands Centre Road to beg for money or ask people to buy him milk and diapers.

When she has enough - about $20 - she stops. When the milk and diapers run out, Jane goes out again.

Recalling the time when her son started teething, Jane broke down again and said: 'He had fever and a runny nose but I had no money to take him to the doctor.'

She recently sought help from the Community Development Council (CDC) and is now receiving $250 a month in welfare assistance for three months. PUB is also giving her a subsidy of $90 a month to help pay off her utility debt of over $400.

Her husband has also asked the CDC to help him find a job. Jane claimed he has tried applying for many jobs, but he's never heard back from any one because of his criminal record.

Jane says she's stuck in a vicious circle. She can barely afford to feed her son, but claimed she is unable to work because of her condition.

And in order to resolve her leg pain, she needs medical treatment which she has no money for.

'I just want my legs to recover so that I can work. I can't keep doing this (begging). It's not good for (my son) also.'


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Tianlong said...

She obviously is spoilt.

And she committed a crime. She must pay for it.

When will it all end if robbers can all go scot-free?

Please do not let your emotions cloud your good sense of judgment.