Handouts for the poor top $100m mark

Handouts for the poor top $100m mark

The money came from the Community Care (ComCare) Endowment Fund, set up by the Government in 2005 to help needy families get back on their feet. Overall, 33,266 families and individuals were helped last year, up from 19,072 five years ago.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

He works more than 20 hours a day

Mr Hamdan Bin Ahmad, 45, holds down two full-time jobs and barely gets 3 hours of sleep a day.

He has to, in order to support his family of eight as he has six children, aged between 5 and 13 years old.

He told RazorTV: "One job is not enough for me as my family is very big and my wife is not working."

He said his daily routine includes a day job as a pest controller that starts from 8.30am and ends at 5.30pm. After work, he goes home to take a nap and have his dinner. In between, he will catch a half an hour nap, after which he is out of the house again to report for his night job as a security officer.  

As a security officer, Mr Hamdan would start at 8pm and perform patrol duties until midnight. Then, he will have a 3-hour break before resuming work until the next morning at 8am. After knocking off, he starts his day job again, working a total of about 20 hours a day. 

Mr Hamdan reveals that he has to take on two jobs because he takes home about $1,200, after CPF deduction, from his first job. That, alone, is not enough to feed his family. An average meal out for his family would cost about $50, he said. 

His wife, Mdm Titiek Lilah, 40, who is currently a housewife said that the last time she worked was in 2005. "It is very tiring for me to work night shift...When I reach home, I do not have enough sleep and my children are hungry."

She recalled that once, she fell into such deep sleep that her children could not wake her up and they resorted to eating raw hotdogs when they were hungry, and were sent to the hospital in the end. After that incident, the couple felt it was best that she remained at home to take care of the kids. 

Mdm Lilah said money is "tight" and sometimes, they would have to pawn their handphones for a couple of weeks in order to get some extra money for their children's transport and pocket moeny for school. 

Mr Hamdan says that he does not qualify for the Workfare Income Supplement because his combined salary from the two jobs is higher than the $1,900 Workfare income ceiling.

"I'm the only one working two jobs so it is not fair for me because I can't get Workfare. So I hope the government will change the rule so I can get Workfare."

Watch the full interview on RazorTV below.

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