Warning letters issued to unlicensed tissue sellers near Bedok Interchange

Recent social media posts and news reports had highlighted the increasing number of tissue sellers near Bedok Bus Interchange. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Warning letters have been issued to unlicensed tissue sellers near the Bedok Bus Interchange after authorities were alerted.

East Coast GRC MP Tan Kiat How said in a Facebook post on Friday that residents told him that they have seen some of these sellers arriving and leaving together in a van.

This comes after recent social media posts and news reports about the increasing number of tissue sellers near the interchange.

A netizen had posted on Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu – or Little Red Book – about more people selling tissue packets and “begging” near one of the Bedok MRT station exits, which led to a heated discussion online about tissue sellers there.

Local media outlet 8world interviewed tissue sellers in that area on Monday, including a man who had a leg amputated and who said he had lost his coffee shop stall, a young man with an intellectual disability and an elderly woman with a hunched back.

8world reported that none of the sellers it interviewed had applied for assistance from relevant agencies.

In his post, Mr Tan said: “Some (residents) were concerned whether there was sufficient assistance for the tissue sellers, especially those who were elderly or persons with disabilities.

“Others were concerned that the licensed tissue sellers would be disadvantaged by the appearance of the unlicensed ones who seem to be part of an organised group.”

He then reassured residents that grassroots volunteers and community partners such as Thye Hua Kwan Family Service Centre @ Bedok North have been engaging licensed tissue sellers near the interchange, many of whom are residents in the area and have been operating at the interchange for some time.

“On our part, we will continue to support them as best as we can and based on their preferences,” he added.

“I would like to thank the many generous and kind-hearted Singaporeans who have been supporting these tissue sellers. But do support the licensed ones.”

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.