'He just doesn't want to accept help': This 82-year-old has been living in a makeshift tent in Purvis Street for 10 years

'He just doesn't want to accept help': This 82-year-old has been living in a makeshift tent in Purvis Street for 10 years
(Left) Pang Jee Ting. (Right) A picture of Pang's makeshift tent at Purvis Street.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

An 82-year-old man who was critically injured in an accident along Victoria Street on Friday (June 17) has allegedly been living at Purvis Street's back alley for more than 10 years. 

Pang Jee Ting has apparently been sleeping in a makeshift tent with a black cat as company, reported Shin Min Daily News. 

The police are currently looking for the next-of-kin of Pang who was involved in that accident along Victoria Street towards Kallang Road after Middle Road.

The owner of Chin Chin Eating House surnamed Lin told reporters from the Chinese daily that Pang has been sleeping in a makeshift tent, one that was made of wooden boards and canvas. It also contained pieces of cardboard which was his bed.

Lin added: "Sometimes he would burn paper outside the shop before going to bed, maybe to repel mosquitoes." 

He said that Pang used to live at a rental flat in Toa Payoh but chose to sleep on the streets after falling out with his roommate. 

When he was living on the streets, he rotates between two sets of clothes, said Lin, even describing how Pang would be fully-clothed while showering.

He'll then change out of his wet clothes, hanging them out to dry.

Because of his stubborn nature, Pang refuses to return to the rental unit, said Lin. 

"He has a lot of pride, sometimes there will be social workers who help to take care of him, but he just doesn't want to accept help from others." 

Seeing as both Lin and Pang are Hainanese, the former said he would offer the latter meals from time to time and sometimes, well-meaning passers-by would also offer him food too. 

Lin also shared that Pang used to pick cardboard for a living, but stopped after it was no longer profitable. 

When contacted by AsiaOne, a staff member from art studio Resin Play located near Chin Chin Eating House said that they are aware someone was living in the back alley but have not met Pang in person.

A security guard who spoke to the evening daily added: "In the past few years, I've seen him riding his bicycle around the area, sometimes he picks up cigarette butts from the road and smokes them."

Reporters from Shin Min said they also found a black cat hiding inside the tent.

Lin explained that the cat has been Pang's companion for a few years now. 

"It doesn't know that something has happened [to Pang], it's still waiting for him to come back," Lin remarked. 

Anyone with information of Pang do call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit information online here

ALSO READ: Around 1,130 homeless and rough sleepers applied for safe shelters last year


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