'Keeping the kampung spirit alive': Sheng Siong staff tries to quietly slip $200 for family's wake

PHOTO: Facebook / Caleb Low

A death in the family is always tragic and things could get even more distressing if grieving family members get named and shamed on social media for holding wakes that apparently flout safe-distancing rules. 

Fortunately, there's none of that antagonism here. Quite the opposite really, according to a Facebook post by Caleb Low, whose family was unexpectedly graced by the philanthropic efforts of Sheng Siong Supermarket. 

In his post on June 1, Low shared a recent encounter that one of his relatives experienced during the wake for his wife’s grandmother. The relative had noticed that a stranger tried to discreetly slip $200 into the collection box at the wake.

When asked, the stranger was said to have admitted that he was just a Sheng Siong employee carrying out the instructions of the management. 

"Actually, I'm working at Sheng Siong. And our management told us to walk around the estate and look out for wakes during this circuit breaker period. And we would give a small financial contribution. That's why I'm here,” the stranger explained. 

Heartened by the kind deed, the relative requested the man to sign his name on the register nonetheless for recording purposes. To the amusement of the entire family, the man signed off the contribution as "Sheng Siong Supermarket."

“How awesome is this? Thanks Sheng Siong for this very compassionate gesture,” Low wrote, adding that the company untagged themselves from his Facebook post when he tried to do so. Low — who mentioned that he works in marketing and branding — also said that he was impressed that Sheng Siong would rather keep a low profile instead of wanting its good deeds to be recognised. 

Netizens too expressed their admiration for the kind gesture from the local supermarket chain, and some mentioned that Sheng Siong has made some contributions to their family’s wakes too. 

PHOTO: Facebook screengrabs

When queried by AsiaOne, a Sheng Siong spokesperson confirmed that the company has actually been carrying this out for over 30 years. 

"When our staff is aware of funerals near our stores, they will offer condolences to the family," the spokesperson commented. 

"This is Sheng Siong’s way of keeping the 'kampung spirit' alive."

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

ilyas@asiaone.com