A Malaysian Has Been Living At A Shopping Mall In Singapore For 4 Years
Most people would like to live in the comfort of their homes but not Chen Jinfu. He prefers staying at a shopping mall.
The 35-year-old Malaysian has reportedly been living at Singapore's Jurong Point shopping mall for nearly four years.
A report by Singaporean Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao yesterday, 16 January, reveals that he has been using water, electricity and Wi-Fi at the shopping centre for free.
He apparently finds that the environment at Jurong Point to be pleasing, as there is free air-conditioning, and there are many facilities such as a 24-hour supermarket while he would "borrow" the mall's power outlets to charge his phone.
Here's the thing with Chen - he is not a homeless man, as many would have thought. In fact, he has been renting a room with his own money.
It was reported that Chen, who hails from Ipoh, Perak, works at an electronics factory. He has been renting a shared room in Boon Lay, a neighbourhood located in the town of Jurong West, for SGD250 (about RM780) a month.
As strange as it sounds, Chen hardly lives in the room as he reportedly finds the room too hot and stuffy and pointed out that he could not get along with the other tenants. He claimed that he would only go back once or twice in a week to shower and most of the time would be spent at work.
Despite having no "fixed site" for him to rest for the night at the shopping mall, Chen usually ends up sleeping outside the mall, at the stairs or some walkways, which to him is still a better option compared to staying in a shared room.
Why fork out money every month to rent a room if he's not going to stay there?
According to media reports, Chen said that it was necessary to rent a place although he preferred staying at Jurong Point because he needed a residential address for his employment pass.
It was said that Chen has been working in Singapore for the last 10 years and he currently earns around SGD1000 (about RM3125) every month for his work at the electronics factory.
How did he "get away" for doing this for the last few years without getting caught?
Apparently, those who frequent the shopping mall often would realise that Chen is a familiar face.
The Malaysian claimed that he has never run into problems thus far. According to a spokesman for Jurong Point, he was allowed to stay as long as he wants but he should not interfere with any activities that are held in the mall.
"If Chen Jinfu uses our facilities in an appropriate fashion without posing any nuisance or threat to the mall's security, we warmly welcome him like any other shopper," she was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.
She added that the mall's management is "heartened" that patrons enjoy using the complimentary Wi-Fi that was being offered since 2015.
It is learnt that Chen travels to Johor to buy daily necessities
The eldest son in the family does this nearly every weekend in order to maximise his savings.
He only goes back to Ipoh once a year to visit his retired parents during Chinese New Year since it is "not cheap to travel there". It is noted that he has been sending money back to his parents from time to time.
"The cost of living in Singapore is very high, so there's only enough money to rent such a bedroom," said Chen, referring to the "hot and stuffy" bedroom he has been renting.
Do you think it is difficult to maintain the kind of lifestyle Chen Jinfu has? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.