An 18-year-old Malaysian boy who reportedly went ‘missing’ in Singapore for 10 days was found on Sunday (6 Jan) by an elderly woman at Haig Road.
The boy told eNanyang on Wednesday (8 Jan) that he was sitting alone in a park, not knowing where he was, when a woman in her seventies approached him and asked him if he was “the missing boy from Malaysia”.
Narrating his experience, the boy recalled the time he walked to a café nearby his friend’s apartment – where he was staying whilst in Singapore looking for work – with S$50 on 26 Dec last year.
However, he said that he could not find his way back to his friend’s apartment.
To make matters worse, he had left his passport, mobile phone, and RM 1,500 in the apartment.
Having walked 12 hours daily, he was still unable to find his way back “at all”, as “every apartment looked the same” to him.
Stressing that he is “a shy person”, he was apprehensive about asking for directions, whether back to his friend’s apartment or the nearest police station, as he did “not really know how Singaporeans are like”.
“I didn’t dare to talk to them or borrow their phones,” he said.
The boy noted that he had also “tried looking for police stations but to no avail”.
Throughout his 10-day ordeal, he said he subsisted on chap fan (mixed rice).
He added that he had to resort to “begging from strangers” on the final couple of days, as he had already spent all of his money “by the eighth day”.
The youth has since returned to Malaysia via bus, and has expressed his reluctance to revisit Singapore as a result of the incident.
Many netizens appear to be baffled by the boy’s explanation as to why he went ‘missing’ for 10 days, given that he was brave enough to travel to the Republic to look for employment on his own, and given his age, which is that of the minimum legal age or a typically “adult” age:
However, many netizens were also sympathetic towards the 18-year-old, pointing out that possible underlying factors such as his tender age, a sheltered upbringing, limited life experience, and even possible mental or neurological issues might have contributed to his predicament:
One netizen in particular questioned the role of the Malaysian youth’s friend in the situation: