Video shows how grassroots volunteer brings the kampong spirit to Hougang estate

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) has produced another touching online video that celebrates unassuming volunteer Low Ngian Woo.

The grassroots volunteer has tried to re-create the "kampong spirit" in Hougang, and been a friend to the elderly at the housing estate for many years.

An earlier video by SMP looking back at the love story of Australian-born Raelene Tan, 75, and her Singaporean husband Tan Soo Ren, 77, went viral last week.


The new eight-minute video posted on the irememberSG Facebook page on Monday has been viewed more than 27,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon. It was shared more than 200 times.

The video starts with Mr Low heading to Hougang Avenue 1 in the morning to start preparing food.

"Today we are making macaroni," he said in the video, in his native Teochew dialect. "We try to change the menu from time to time. Sometimes it's Teochew porridge, sometimes fried bee hoon."

They start at 7am, and serve the food to residents at the Paya Lebar Wellness Centre at around 9am.

The centre, located at the void deck of Blk 112, has become a gathering place for residents.

"They (residents) come in the morning to help arrange the chairs, read newspapers, have coffee and chat with friends," he said. "After their shopping at the market, they would come here to eat."

They charge 50 cents for porridge and three dishes, Mr Low said.

Mr Low moved to Hougang 20 years ago, and joined the Residents' Committee, he said. He noticed there are a large number of elderly, and started befriending them.

He also shared how his father, who was a businessman, inspired him. As the de facto head of the Ah Hood road village they lived in, his father tried his best to help villagers in trouble, he said.

"I could see my father was helping people... as long as I am able, I will help others," he said.

He also related how the villagers would borrow a slab of pork from the butcher and give it to his father on his birthday. They brought eggs and vermicelli, along with the pork for the family.

His father would cut a thin slice and return most of the pork as it was borrowed.

"Back then, people appreciated the human touch," he said. "If you helped them, they would remember it in their hearts."

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