Singaporeans are kind.
I’d quote a few fake examples.
Tan Ah Hock had gone to claim the $500 Temporary Relief Fund because he thought he had a 50% pay cut from his job. He got it, but after the Law and Home Affairs Minister said that people who abused the system would be investigated, he realised he saw the wrong number; he had a 5% pay cut instead of 50%, so as a righteous fellow, he decided to return the $500.
Tan Ah Lian had gone to claim the $500 Temporary Relief Fund because her boss had told her that she would be going on a one-month unpaid leave. She got her boss to WhatsApp that as a proof. But after the Law and Home Affairs Minister said that people who abused the system would be investigated, she realised her boss might be wrong so she asked her boss at work yesterday and suddenly, she was back at work. So, as a righteous citizen, she decided to return the $500.
And lastly, Tan Ah Kow got an 80% pay cut and claimed the $500 Temporary Relief Fund. But after the Law and Home Affairs Minister said that people who abused the system would be investigated, he thought that he should give it to people who need it more because he wants to be the most kind-hearted human being in the world, so he returned it.
It’s indeed good to know that kind-hearted Singaporeans still exist; if there’s a way to return the Solidarity Budget of $600 they received on Tuesday, I’m pretty sure Ah Hock, Ah Lian and Ah Kow would be the first to return the money. Or maybe they’ve already donated them to charity; who knows.
So, what happened?
Over 500 People Offered to Return $500 TRF; Some Claimed They ‘No Longer Need It’
Lest you didn’t know, there’s a one-time $500 temporary relief scheme for Singaporeans who’ve been affected by COVID-19.
This is different from the $600 that you’d most likely be receiving from Ah Gong on Tuesday.
Unlike the funds given to all businesses and individuals, this one-time payment is for Singaporeans whose income have been affected due to COVID-19.
To qualify, you must be a Singaporean above 16 and be able to prove that you’ve lost at least 30% of your income (i.e. pay cut or unpaid leave).
Given that many of us have a loss of income instead (e.g. almost all taxi or PHV drivers), queues to apply for the grant have been spotted in Social Service Offices and Community Centres since application began.
People can also apply online instead.
However, of course, people must be able to prove that their income has been impacted, if not there would definitely be people who abuse the system.
And here’s the thing: the authorities are trying to be flexible here because asking for 100 pages of documents to get a relief fund of $500 isn’t exactly helping.
But it was soon realised that people have abused the system, like this dude here who even posted his antics online:
It got the attention of the authorities; Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said that they would go hard on people who tried to abuse the system—and they’re not going to stay passive about it.
He said, “I’ve told the police: Investigate, and if this is cheating, it carries a heavy jail sentence. I think we have to send that message…If we find that there have been fraudulent applications, you can be sure actions will be brought.”
And today, because many people have called in to ask how to return the money, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) set up a platform for people to return the money.
By the way, the authorities are unlikely to take action against people who have abused the system but have returned the money.
According to the MSF, just today alone, over 500 people have offered to return the money.
I’m pretty sure it’s just an honest mistake by them.
The reasons cited are as follow:
- Submitted wrong info
- No longer need it as income is no longer cut by more than 30%
- Apply without checking if pay would be cut
- Want to give it to people who need it more (I can hear clapping sounds when I finish typing this)
What a load of bull—what a load of kindness.
And if you’re also someone who’s decided to return the $500 you get because you want to help save the world, you can do so here.
For unbanked TRF cheques or cashier’s order, you can do so at the nearest Social Service Office—I’m sure you can return it with your head held high because you’re such a kind fellow.
By the way, if you’d like to know more about scams-
Reader Bao: Wait, scams? Aren’t this article about kind Singaporeans?
Yes, but in case you want to know more about scams, you might want to watch this video:
(Check out our YouTube channel for more informative and entertaining videos!)