Toa Payoh man, 52, accused of 'fainting' regularly for money says he is jobless & hungry

Have you seen this man?

Fiona Tan | May 25, 2023, 02:13 PM

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A man in Toa Payoh, who suffers regular fainting spells, has been called out on social media.

However, the man, who is jobless, told reporters that he genuinely passes out from hunger.

Man apparently faints to get money

A TikTok user (@user5811077002286) is calling the man's apparent bluff and uploaded a video of him onto the social media platform.

In the video, the man, dressed in a dark blue plaid top, dark grey pants, and olive green sneakers, could be seen lying on the ground, curled up in a fetal position.

The person holding the camera and shooting the video approached the man, who moved his left foot slightly.

A voice could be heard saying, "Uncle, uncle, mai geh liao (Hokkien for stop pretending)".

The TikTok user claimed that the man regularly pretends to faint and once he receives money, he would take it and go.

@user5811077002286This guy at Toa Payoh always act to fainted on floor, that a fake. Along u all give money to him, he take & go. No sickness at all.♬ original sound - Maoshi

Has been feigning for two years

Chinese media Shin Min Daily News went to Block 178 Toa Payoh Central, the location where the man was frequently spotted, to look for the man.

However, he was nowhere to be found.

According to shop attendants in the vicinity who spoke with Shin Min, the man has been putting up an act weekly for the past two or so years.

Described to be in his sixties, the man does this to attract the attention of passers-by, gaining their sympathy before asking them for a meal (chicken rice in particular), a drink (typically Coca-Cola), or for some money.

Tried to stop him as well as warn helpful passersby

Those in the vicinity also said that he seemed to have a "playbook", fainting multiple times a day to get a meal and also some money from passers-by attending to him.

Seemingly familiar with his antics by now, they told Shin Min they have tried to advise the man to stop pretending to faint.

One individual even discouraged passers-by from acceding to his requests.

However, their advice fell on deaf ears and the man apparently gave the individual who stepped in a tongue lashing.

Helpless and unsure of what else to do, they eventually left the man to his own devices.

Passersby have called the police and SCDF

Fortunately, the staff at a nearby clinic had a slightly different outlook and were able to make light of the situation.

Apparently, passers-by will seek help from the nearby clinic to get the man medical attention.

According to them, it is a monthly occurrence, which puts them in a tight spot as while they are aware of the man's antics, they cannot deny the public's requests for assistance as they are medical professionals.

They are not the only ones who have been called to help the man.

Passers-by have also requested assistance from the police, as well as the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), numerous times.

Man is 52 years old and jobless

Shin Min headed down to Toa Payoh Central on a separate day, after receiving a tipoff that the man had appeared once again.

The Chinese media outlet was also told by an owner at a nearby shop that the man had fainted at the location the day before and that the SCDF was called to the scene.

As per what the individuals told them, Shin Min sighted the man at his usual spot, next to a trash can.

However, he was not lying on the ground this time round, but seated on a bench next to the bin and had a plastic bag with some biscuits and bread.

The 52-year-old Chen Bing Shun (transliteration) refuted the claims about him pretending to faint for money and told Shin Min that he was fainting from sheer hunger as he had no money to eat.

He said he fell down and hit his head about a month ago. His injuries were so severe that he had to undergo a surgery, and as a result, lost his job as a cleaner.

Government assistance unable to cover daily expenditure

Chen, who is living in Toa Payoh with his older brother, who is also jobless, said he is living off of government-issued financial assistance and supporting both of them.

However, the funds are not enough to get by.

Left with no job and no money, Chen goes to Toa Payoh Central every evening to rummage through the bins or discarded cardboard boxes to look for food.

When asked if he has ever begged passers-by, he remained quiet but appeared despondent and frustrated, Shin Min reported.

Mixed responses to fainting man

The TikTok video has garnered nearly 180,000 views on TikTok as of the time of writing.

Others, who have reportedly encountered the fainting man, chimed in too.

One said he saw the man around two weeks ago and learnt from those in the area that the man was supposedly acting after he called the ambulance.

Another said that the man has gained infamy, adding that everyone at Toa Payoh Central is clued-in on his antics.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

Some, who appeared to be tickled by the situation, commended the man for his supposed acting skills.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

Other individuals felt sorry for the man and suggested that he might have genuine problems, even if it was a sham and he was only pretending to faint.

An individual added that people should not be affected as the man is not forcing anyone to help him.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

While the responses were mixed, there was one thing that most individuals agreed on, and that is that the man needs help.

Image screenshot from TikTok.

Image screenshot from TikTok.


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Top image from @user5811077002286/TikTok and Google Maps