'Fall-and-fling' tissue seller spotted in town

'Fall-and-fling' tissue seller spotted in town
QUESTIONABLE: Once the pedestrian lights turn green, this man will hobble slightly off the pavement before allegedly pretending to trip and fall, causing the tissue packets to spill from his plastic bag.

An elderly tissue seller has been spotted at the junctions of the Bugis and Raffles City areas, purportedly feigning falls by the roadside in order to gain the sympathy of passers-by.

According to eyewitnesses, the man frequents the areas around noon, when the lunchtime crowd is at its peak.

Once the pedestrian lights turn green, he will hobble slightly off the pavement before allegedly pretending to trip and fall, causing the tissue packets to spill from his plastic bag.

Kind-hearted passers-by would then scramble to retrieve the tissue packets scattered across the road, with some purchasing a few from him out of pity.

My Paper reader May Tay sent in a photo of this man, who looks to be in his 60s, whom she met yesterday at the junction of North Bridge Road and Bras Basah Road.

The 32-year-old manager works in a building nearby and has seen him employing what she calls the "fall-and-fling" tactic many times in the last two years.

"I don't know whether to feel sad or annoyed, because he might really be desperate for the money, but neither do I like his tactics," she said.

Ms Tay added that not only are such acts dangerous for the man himself, but they also put others at risk.

My Paper understands that he can also be found hawking tissue packets outside the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple in Waterloo Street, and the pavement along St Andrew's Cathedral.

A man working in a hotel near North Bridge Road said that the tissue seller was a frequent fixture in the area when My Paper spoke to him yesterday.

"In fact, my colleague just saw him at about 1pm," said the man, who declined to be named.

Trishaw rider Kwong Ah Seng, who has been plying his trade in the vicinity for more than a decade, confirmed the tissue seller's modus operandi as described by Ms Tay.

"He appeared about five years ago, and always does that at the road junctions," said Mr Kwong, who questioned the authenticity of his actions.

limxz@sph.com.sg


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