Hunchbacked man, 64, seen doing GrabFood delivery regularly in Choa Chu Kang on foot

Public torn between wanting to help but not wanting to foist upon him aid he didn't ask for.

Belmont Lay | February 17, 2022, 04:10 AM

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A hunchbacked man dressed in a green GrabFood delivery shirt has been regularly seen making the rounds in Choa Chu Kang delivering food on foot using his thermal food bag placed on a market trolley.

A photo of the man appeared online in early January 2022, which sparked a bit of discussion and soul-searching as many praised him for continuing to work, despite his physical condition.

He was subsequently spotted and photographed again, with the person who saw him this time offering to give him a personal mobility device to use to make his deliveries easier.

Tracked down by Chinese media

After the photo of the hunchbacked man gained traction on social media, Shin Min Daily News tracked him down and found him around Lot One Mall in Choa Chu Kang.

A reporter from the newspaper saw the hunchbacked man, surnamed Wang, at the stairs outside Choa Chu Kang MRT station on Feb. 15.

He was waiting for orders to come in.

Shin Min wrote that "he still chooses to be self-reliant and wait for orders to arrive near the restaurants".

The 64-year-old, who is a GrabFood delivery walker, opted to deliver food on foot or by using public transport as he has no other means of doing so, it was reported.

Shin Min added that Wang said he used to be a cleaner in the Redhill area for 10 years before he started doing food delivery a few months ago.

Wang said he takes an hour to make one delivery, so he does not complete that many orders in a given day as he is not assigned orders frequently.

It is understood that GrabFood walkers are assigned deliveries that have relatively shorter distances, as compared to delivery riders on bicycles.

But such short distance orders from the merchant to customer are typically harder to come by.

Lives in Bukit Panjang

The Shin Min report did not mention that Wang is in need of aid of any kind, which reflects the sentiment of commenters online who came across the photo of a hunchbacked man in green pushing a trolley and working.

While some members of the public have expressed that help should be rendered to Wang to make his life easier, others applauded his attitude of continuing to work, while acknowledging that his circumstances are not known and it can be insulting to offer him help when he might not even want it.

Shin Min's piece did reveal that Wang said he is single and lives in the Bukit Panjang area.

He often takes the LRT to deliver meals.

The Shin Min reporter also noted that Wang appeared taciturn, as he did not want to say how many orders he can complete in a day, but only revealed that he worked as a cleaner before delivering food.

However, Wang did claim that his hunchbacked condition was due to him having to bend over frequently in his previous job.

Spent S$200 to do get started delivering food

What would perhaps come as a shock to readers is Wang's revelation that he had to spend about S$200 to buy a smartphone, and register as a food delivery walker.

It is understood that food delivery personnel are usually required to put down a deposit before they are issued a few sets of uniform, as well as the thermal food delivery bags.

Wang said he had to gradually adapt and learn how to operate the mobile application of the food delivery platform.

His routine, he said, involves going to the MRT station to wait for orders after breakfast, make a delivery, and then return to the station to wait for more orders, before going home at about 5pm.

Did not receive many orders

The Shin Min reporter waited with Wang for an hour and saw him glancing at his phone as if he was concerned that he might have missed an order coming in.

Eventually, he did not receive any order to deliver during the time the reporter was there.

Other food delivery riders helped man

A food delivery rider in the vicinity, whom Shin Min spoke to, said she reached out and taught Wang how to use the app.

The fellow food delivery personnel, a 55-year-old woman, said she sees Wang in Choa Chu Kang doing food delivery three to four times a week.

She initially helped him understand how to use the app, and even helped to transfer his earnings from his food delivery app account to his bank account.

A newspaper seller in the Choa Chu Kang MRT station vicinity said she has seen Wang deliver food in a raincoat when it was pouring.

On one occasion, she said she saw him walking slowly across the pedestrian crossing, and failed to make it all the way across by the time the red man came on.

But vehicles waited for Wang to cross before proceeding.


The sight of the hunchbacked man still performing blue collar work has elicited sympathy online.

But many also cheered Wang on, with quite a few commenters appearing to be at a loss on whether they prefer to intervene to help him financially, or encourage him to continue to be independent and earn his own keep.

Wanting to give money outright or asking people in the community to look out and help him so he can stop working were mooted as solutions, but the worry is that such actions can override his agency as well.

Top photos via Nazri Johari & Prolificskins

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