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Photo from Louis Ng's Facebook page.

MP Louis Ng goes to Bangladesh to speak up for Rohingya refugees

by Vincent Low

Speaking from a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, Singapore MP for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng told media yesterday (22 Jan) that there is "not enough awareness at this point" in Singapore about the plight of Rohingya refugees.

"This is an issue that is happening in our own backyard, yet so few people know about it," he said. "Everyone knows about the Syria refugee crisis but very few people know about the Rohingya crisis."

He also praised Bangladesh for doing an "amazing job" taking in and housing the Rohingya refugees. He asked Singaporeans to donate more to help the Rohingya refugees.

"I wanted to hear directly from them - what made them do a one- or two-week journey to Bangladesh?" he told reporters. "The stories they shared with me today - I don't know how you can ever describe it."

On his Facebook page, he also wrote that the plight of the Rohingya needs to be shared with the world.

"We need to speak up for them," he said.

Restaurant owner takes care of SG homeless

While MP Louis Ng is busy speaking up for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, it was reported recently that a Singaporean restaurant owner, Mr Francis Ng, has been busy buying blankets with his own money to take care of the homeless in Singapore.

This was because a cold spell hit Singapore recently and many of the homeless sleeping on the streets in Singapore at night were shivering from the cold.

The sight of an old man in Chinatown shivering while trying to sleep moved Francis and he decided to take actions buying blankets to help the homeless here.

source ST photo

He has been giving out blankets to those sleeping on the streets in Tiong Bahru, Redhill and Toa Payoh.

"Some of them are regulars here, they know how to move around and sleep only late at night to avoid the police and social workers," he told ST.

One of the homeless is Chua Yong Sia, 61, who has been sleeping on the streets in Chinatown for the last three to four years. He said there are about 10 to 20 people sleeping in the area every day.

"If not for this blanket, I would be very cold," he said, referring to the one given to him by Francis. He was using his bag as a pillow.

Said Francis, "I just hope that by doing this I can make a difference in my own small way."

For people like Francis, he understands that 'Charity actually begins at home'.