A 12 year old Singaporean boy has taken the role of the head of family after his step-father went missing and his mother become seriously sick. The unnamed boy and his poverty was featured in Chinese newspaper Shin Ming Daily News and The New Paper.
Known as “Abang” (big brother in Malay), the 12 year old cooks for his four younger siblings, takes care of the housework, feeds his 2 year old little brother everyday while having to attend lessons at a neighbourhood primary school. Every three days in a week, he will work until 3am in the morning and often fall asleep in school.
Abang’s natural father divorced with his mother, Nora, when he was five because of family violence. Nora then remarried to his step-father. However, his step-father went missing after owing a S$40,000 credit card debt. Nora, 35, a former LTA customer service officer, is currently seriously sick with diabetes and shoulders injuries, and doctors from Tan Tock Seng Hospital certified her unfit for employment until the end of 2015.
The family live in a two-room rental flat in Woodlands and is currently surviving on S$1,270 of aid from two charity organisations, namely the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore and the Ministry of Social and Family Development. Nora also sells food packets to supplement the income aid.