Centre: Volunteer can return after jail term

Centre: Volunteer can return after jail term

SINGAPORE - The volunteer from a senior activity centre who cheated an elderly man of his life savings will be allowed to go back and help out at the centre after he serves his jail term.

"We will welcome him back because if he wishes to turn over a new leaf, we should give him the opportunity to," said Mr Raja Mohan, chief programme officer of Sunlove Abode for Intellectually Infirmed, which runs the centre.

Gay Chin Yin's lawyers had said on Friday that he intends to continue volunteering at the centre after serving his sentence.

Said Mr Mohan: "We believe the other elderly people will forgive him and not shun him, but we will counsel him, keep an eye on him and be more careful in assigning him duties."

The elderly at the centre have also been reminded by staff to be vigilant about their belongings and not ask strangers for favours.

Mr Mohan said Gay was not a registered volunteer with the centre, but he helped out at its bigger events occasionally.

He also helped clean Mr Sai Bee Cheng's flat on an ad hoc basis.

"He is just one of the residents in the neighbourhood who drop by to have coffee, mingle and help one another," said Mr Mohan.

"We can't stop them from coming as the space is kept open for a kampung spirit to develop," he added.

He said the centre does not screen its volunteers for criminal records or medical history because it gets 200 to 300 volunteers a year, from students to working professionals.

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