Ex-NOC Ryan Tan returns S$1,000 donated by follower after netizens point out his 'lavish lifestyle'

The follower is donating the money to charities instead.

Zi Shan Kow | July 01, 2022, 04:54 PM

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After claiming he was "officially broke", former co-founder of Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) Ryan Tan received S$1,000 from Khoo Keat Hwee, the founder of Mentai-Ya Japanese Cuisine.

Khoo said on Jun. 30 that Tan has returned the money.

What happened

Khoo posted a TikTok video on Jun. 25 about sending Tan S$1,000 after coming across Tan's Instagram stories about being "officially broke".

In the comments section of Khoo's video, users were quick to point out that Tan is still living a "lavish lifestyle".

Khoo replied to these comments, saying that Tan could still be going through a hard time.

On Jun. 24, the same day he shared about being "officially broke", Tan thanked Khoo for the S$1,000 and another individual who had sent him S$30.

Instagram story from Jun. 24. Image from Ryan Tan/Instagram via Hardwarezone

Instagram story from Jun. 24. Image from Ryan Tan/Instagram via Hardwarezone

On Jun. 26, Tan clarified that by "broke", what he meant was he has "lost 90 per cent of what [he] used to have".

He elaborated that he has no fixed income and clients sometimes do not pay him on time.

"If the situation persist then I'll be in a tight spot," he explained, but said he was "still managing".

Instagram story from Jun. 26. Image from Ryan Tan/Instagram via Hardwarezone

On Jun. 30, Tan posted an Instagram story and wrote: "Tell the world I'm poor but u guys still think I'm swimming in money".

Instagram story from Jun. 30. Image by Mothership.

Khoo says Tan declined the S$1,000

Khoo told AsiaOne on Jun. 30 that Tan has refused to accept the S$1,000.

According to Khoo, this was apparently because Tan had been affected by the comments on Khoo's TikTok video on Jun. 25.

Khoo added that he did not want the refund and did not donate money for publicity's sake.

"I told Ryan that I still root for him and wish to see him rise again," Khoo shared.

Khoo did not know much about Tan

In a follow-up TikTok video on Jun. 30, Khoo said he misunderstood what Tan meant when he called himself "broke".

He explained he didn't know much about Tan or influencers in general, and only realised later that Tan was doing "way better than" him.

Khoo said he was not aware that Tan lives in a private property and owns a fully-paid-for Range Rover that he himself would not be able to afford.

"The joke's on me," Khoo quipped.

@kayakakI still root for him & wish him the best. Sure he will come back greater than ever. 👍 jiayou all and ill donate 3 more 1k then ✌️♬ The Joke Is On You (It's an all night party that we're getting into) - iCarly - Hiko

Khoo donates another S$3,000 to charities

Khoo said that he had reached out to help Tan as his Instagram story hit close to home.

Khoo had found himself in debt in 2018, owing up to S$120,000 after the failure of his F&B business venture.

In his TikTok video on Jun. 30, he said he almost went bankrupt and his bank account was empty.

"Yes, that is BROKE," he added.

He had paid off his debts by working as a private-hire driver for 12 to 16 hours every day, he stated in a Shin Min Daily News interview.

"I just enjoy helping and honestly wanted to help someone that went through a big fall," Khoo wrote.

In the caption of his video, Khoo wrote that he would be donating another S$3,000 to other beneficiaries.

He told AsiaOne he has already donated S$1,000 each to the Singapore Association for Mental Health and social activist Gilbert Goh.

He also plans to donate to migrant worker charity organisation ItsRainingRaincoats and Voices for Animals.

Top images by @ryanxgo/Instagram and @kayakak/TikTok.