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Singapore — The Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) Kumaran Pillai has appealed to netizens for help, asking them to donate supplies and essential items to a resident in Kebun Baru left with only S$180 in savings.

Mr Jackson, a cleaner, whose wife is not able to contribute much, has to look after his three-year-old daughter. Earlier this month, when his daughter had to spend six days in the hospital for diarrhoea and high fever, Mr Jackson had to take leave without pay, leaving him with less than S$200 in his bank account till his next payday.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Apr 20), Mr Pillai, a member of the PSP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) and media spokesperson for the party, shared details of the resident’s plight.

Mr Jackson is a diabetic who lost his job as a cook in 2020 when the canteen stall he was working for closed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He is currently working as a cleaner.  Due to personal issues, Jackson’s wife is not always around to contribute equally. Mr Jackson and his daughter live in a two-room rental flat.

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Kebun Baru’s Meet-The-People-Sessions’ (MPS) team said that, from their conversations with him, they learned that he had applied to operate a school canteen stall, but because he was in his early 40s, he was considered too young. Usually, canteen operations are awarded to older applicants.

“When the PSP team first visited him in early 2021, Jackson was still jobless. Not long after, Jackson informed us that he had obtained a job as a cleaner to tide things over while continuing to look for a job as a cook, a job in which he has 20 years of experience. His dream is still to be able to operate a stall in a canteen, where rent is considerably lower”, a spokesperson for PSP’s Kebun Baru MPS team said.

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When Mr Jackson contacted the team in April, circumstances in his household had changed drastically. Caring for his three-year-old daughter fell to him, and he had to send and pick her up from preschool daily.

He says that he usually wakes up at 5 am to prepare for the day and only has time to eat dinner after putting his daughter to sleep,  past 9 pm.

Wrote Mr Pillai: “Sometimes, a little compassion goes a long way. Covid 19 and a chronic illness has pushed this man to the edge”.

“He has a little girl to look after and trying to hold down a job at the same time, especially when confronted with diabetes can be debilitating,” he added.

“When his daughter was hospitalised in early April due to high fever and severe diarrhoea, he had to take 6 days of unpaid leave. It put a dent in his paycheque. Last week, Jackson reached out to us as he was getting burned out and only had $180 in his bank account to last him till the next payday in 8 days’ time”, the spokesperson for PSP’s Kebun Baru MPS team said.

“Our team prepared a care package that included diapers, baby care products and some food and brought it to Jackson on Sunday, 18th April. We hope that the care pack will ease his cash flow concerns. We will look for ways to help him”, they added.

Calling for supplies and well-wishers, Mr Pillai wrote that the party was doing what they could to help keep the resident’s spirits up.

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