'He'll swear at you if you don't give him money': Elderly man in Marsiling hawker centre accused of harassing diners

'He'll swear at you if you don't give him money': Elderly man in Marsiling hawker centre accused of harassing diners
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

This elderly man hasn't just been looking a gift horse in the mouth - he's been hitting and cursing at it, too.

An elderly uncle has allegedly been asking diners for money in a hawker centre at Block 20, Marsiling Lane, Shin Min Daily News reported on Thursday (Jan 25).

But when diners refuse to hand over the cash, the uncle would purportedly swear at them, argue and even hit them with trays.

Speaking with Shin Min, a 65-year-old diner surnamed Xu said that the elderly uncle frequents the hawker centre quite often and will sit next to diners, usually asking for $2 to buy food.

"Last year, he also asked me for money," Xu said. "I refused him and called him out for not being independent.

"He immediately became upset and scolded me for not giving him money. I quarrelled with him afterwards."

Shin Min also visited the hawker centre to speak with hawker staff - and some of the vendors interviewed shared that they recognise the uncle and that he would often get into arguments with others.

A diner surnamed Tang, 66, told the Chinese publication: "He'll swear at you if you don't give him money. We have all been scolded by him at least once before."

Tang also recalled how the uncle and a diner got into an altercation which resulted in them flinging trays at each other after a heated argument.

Other diners also told Shin Min that they now keep their distance from the uncle.

Annoying, but no laws broken: FMAS representative

A representative for the Federation of Merchants' Associations, Singapore in Marsiling told Shin Min that they can't resolve this issue.

According to the representative, although the uncle would harass customers, he doesn't affect the vendors' businesses.

"Although he is annoying, he hasn't broken any laws, so we have to turn a blind eye to it," the representative said.

Police have been called down to the hawker centre before, but no action was taken, Shin Min reported.

According to the Penal Code, those who commit an affray shall be jailed for up to a year, or fined up to $5,000, or both.

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