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    Dec 28, 2015

    The man who prefers living on the street

    MR ANG says he has been homeless for more than 10 years.

    On Dec 14, the 72-year-old was spotted near Block 52, Chin Swee Road, at 1.30am.

    He was lying on one of the benches opposite a Sheng Siong supermarket.

    His belongings were squeezed into a plastic bag and he used a black bag as a pillow.

    To refresh himself, he would go to the nearby toilets at a coffee shop across the street at Block 34, Pearl's Hill Road.

    "I have no choice, I was forced into this," he says in Mandarin.

    Mr Ang adds that he used to sleep under the Merdeka bridge near Nicoll Highway and the Singapore Buddhist Lodge for a few years but fought with the people there.

    He then moved to Chin Swee Road because "it feels safer" and has been living there for about a year.

    He claims he sold his late father's home at Lower Delta after a family dispute more than 10 years ago.

    After selling the flat for $150,000, he gave half the sum to his siblings and donated $10,000 to an old folks' home in Redhill.

    With the remaining money, he stayed in hotels for about five years before he ran out of money. He was jobless then.

    In 2011, he was rescued from the streets by some officers and was sent to Bukit Batok Home for the Aged.

    But he says he dislikes living in homes because he felt everyone was against him.

    "I was in and out a lot and finally escaped about a year ago," he says.

    He claims that he used to work as a rice delivery man for more than 10 years and his last job was as a cleaner when he was still living at the Bukit Batok Home for the Aged.

    Mr Ang managed to save about $3,000 to buy his daily meals.

    On days when he feels more energetic, he takes a bus to Changi Beach Park and Chinatown for leisure and food. But he is back at Chin Swee Road at night.

    He has no plans on moving anywhere else and refuses to return to an old folks' home.

    A spokesman for the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) confirmed that Mr Ang was previously a resident of Bukit Batok Home for the Aged. But he did not return after leaving for work on Nov 23, 2013.

    The spokesman said: "Mr Ang was earlier admitted into the home in March 2011 as he was homeless.

    "In addition to leaving in 2013, he had previously left the home twice as he could not get along with some residents.

    "This was despite the changing of his dormitories by the home to address his concerns.

    "With The New Paper on Sunday's information, MSF hopes to re-engage Mr Ang to offer our assistance."