A place they can call home

After spending two sleepless nights at a fast-food outlet, an couple who were kicked out of their eldest son's home have finally found a place to live.

Last night, the couple moved into a room in a three-room rental flat in Taman Jurong with their 27-year-old youngest son.

But it had not been easy securing their new place.

Yesterday, The New Paper reported that Mr Foo Thin Tak, 62, and his wife, Madam Tham Swee Kheng, 55, had been kicked out of their eldest son's Woodlands flat on Monday after a heated exchange in which the police were called.

The son alleged that his father had threatened to kill him with a knife during a quarrel.

The couple, in turn, claimed that their son owed them money.

Since leaving their son's flat, the couple had been hanging around the Woodlands area to pass the time.

Madam Tham told TNP yesterday that they spent most of their time sitting at McDonald's outlets at Causeway Point or at the Woodlands Civic Centre.

They would have their meals in the coffee shops and food courts around the area.

Then, at about 11pm, they would make their way to Causeway Point's 24-hour McDonald's, where they would order a drink and sit till the next morning.

She said in Mandarin: "We barely slept. How could we sleep? I sat until I had a headache.

"We couldn't shower either. We cleaned ourselves with just a wet towel at a food court toilet for the disabled."

Madam Tham said she had called her mother-in-law to ask if they could stay with them until their application for a HDB rental flat was approved.

But her mother-in-law, who shares a two-room flat in Aljunied with her two daughters, turned them down.

Said Madam Tham, who has arthritis: "For me, I can bear with not sleeping and the pain in my legs. "But when I see my husband suffering too, it pains me. He's really tired. So is my son."

At their wits' end, Madam Tham turned up with her husband and youngest son, who works as a security guard, at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh early yesterday morning to ask for help.

Uncertain about whether they would be able to find a place soon, she said: "Maybe we will spend the night at HDB Hub if we don't find a place to stay today."

She also contemplated staying on a beach, adding that they would at least be able to wash and hang their clothes out to dry.

After waiting for half a day, they were asked by an HDB officer to go to Taman Jurong to view a HDB flat managed by a private operator.

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