A 72-year-old elderly poor was cheated over 14 years by his friends into donating about S$200,000 to Lee Kuan Yew. In 1999, elderly victim Tan Soy Kiang was told to withdraw S$53,161.64 from his CPF retirement fund to pay Lee Kuan Yew through his friend, 67-year-old Tan Hwee Ngo.
Then in 2000, the elderly victim who earn about S$2,000 a month working two jobs – a cleaner from 7.30am to 11am at a coffee shop along Kim Keat Avenue and as a petrol station pump assistant from 4pm to 10.30pm – was told to donate S$500 to Lee Kuan Yew every month through another friend Boo Sok Hiang, then at age 69. Boo Sok Hiang died in 2016. The payments only stopped in 2013 when the victim’s niece found that her uncle has been fleeced. Both scammers told the victim that Lee Kuan Yew needed the money as reason.
The scam was only uncovered by the victim’s niece who returned from Australia in 2013, and lodged a police report after she found out that his uncle has been “donating money to Lee Kuan Yew”. Tan Hwee Ngo, a dishwasher, was charged for 169 counts of cheating in court today (June 1) and is currently out on a S$20,000 bail.
While the cheating is extraordinary, it is however not surprising as the elderly Singaporean generation has demigod-like respect for the Singaporean dictator Lee Kuan Yew.