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Singaporean activist Gilbert Goh reconnects with a homeless elderly, advocates for support in Orchard Road area

SINGAPORE — Gilbert Goh, a Singaporean activist and founder of Love Aid Singapore, recently met with a 71-year-old homeless at Plaza Singapura.

In an Instagram post on Sunday (25 Jun), he mentioned that he met with the elderly again on Saturday after a two-year absence, as he had relocated from the airport to the Orchard Road area.

He said the volunteers used to support him when he was at the airport, but we lost contact once he moved to the central part of the country.

Mr Goh added that this was their first time supporting the homeless in the shopping belt area, and they encountered about 7-8 homeless individuals in a small area off The Singapore Management University (SMU).

He and other volunteers spent some time talking with a senior homeless man at Plaza Singapura, who appeared more frail and weaker compared to two years ago.

“He told us that he sleeps at the nearby mosque and alternate his stay between two nearby mosque to prevent the talk of favouritism among the homeless community.”

“We transfer him some small cash on and off especially during the Ramadan period and whenever he requested which is rare.”

Mr. Goh and the volunteers also left the uncle with a S$50 angbao, two t-shirts, and some bread before leaving.

“As for the SMU homeless community, we heard of several charity groups operating there and decided not to include it in our area of support due to duplication of resources.”

Mr Goh mentioned that the elderly visit the Chinese and Sikh temples for free food, often staying there for the whole day to consume the three available meals, as his weak legs prevent him from walking long distances.

He believes these individuals stay in the area because they work nearby, making it convenient for them.

“it’s also clean n comfortable…besides the airport, I think SMU is the next best slot for the homeless as there are benches, electrical sockets for HP (handphones) charging n nice toilets nearby”, Mr Goh told TOC.

530 rough sleepers were found in Singapore as of 2022

In April, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) issued a statement, claiming 530 rough sleepers were found in the country as of 2022, a “significant decrease” from the 921 rough sleepers sighted in a previous single-night count in 2019.

The 2022 Street Count of Rough Sleepers report shows the result of MSF’s nationwide “single-night street count” of rough sleepers which was conducted on 11 November 2022.

“This means that for every 100,000 persons in Singapore, about nine are sleeping rough. ”

A key finding from the LKYSPP in 2021 was that occupancy in temporary shelters had increased more than sixfold, from 65 to 420.

An active advocate for the vulnerable on the streets

Mr Goh has been actively advocating for alleviating the hardships faced by elderly displaced Singaporeans and other vulnerable groups by taking to the streets in Singapore.

Mr Goh is also the founder and president of, a counselling service for the unemployed.

In GE2020, Mr Goh was part of the People’s Voice (PV) team of five that contested at Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC. Unfortunately, PV lost the election, securing only 12.18 per cent of the votes. This means that Mr Goh will not be refunded his election deposit.

Celebrity chef and founder of Makansutra, KF Seetoh, praised Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh and activist Gilbert Goh for their dedicated efforts in helping those in need.

In a Facebook post from 2020, Mr Seetoh mentioned that Mr Goh resumed helping displaced and poor individuals in Singapore just one week after losing in the recent General Election.

Mr Seetoh explained Mr Goh’s role as an activist, which involves gathering food and supplies and personally distributing them to those in need.

“He gathers his volunteers with food and supplies, donated by supporters and good hearted humans and identifies the poorer areas and blocks, then hits the road. He goes floor by floor, door by door and hands out the necessaries. Even to folks that sleep on the floor every night,” Mr Seetoh said.

The food enthusiast also mentioned that he personally accompanied Mr. Goh to deliver necessities to households and found it physically exhausting to climb four to five floors in HDB blocks.

“I followed him at times for the run but after 4-5 floors, I punchek liao. He combs blocks upon blocks every week and if there are kids, he digs deeper into the goodie bags, gives and ask no questions other then if they need anything else.

“These acts of compassion and kindness are not the domain of the oppositions or ruling party, it’s only human to do so,” he added.

Mr Goh was also “raising personal funds to pay up his election deposit loan fees” at that time.

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