Elderly Man Sells Tissues At Bugis MRT Station & Breaks Netizens’ Hearts

Last Tuesday (7 Apr), Singapore went into full-on ‘Circuit Breaker’ mode, meaning all non-essential services are to temporarily stop operations. Citizens are also encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.

But not everyone has the luxury to work from the comfort of their home, like this uncle who was spotted selling tissue paper at Bugis MRT station on Monday (13 Apr).


The heartbreaking sight went viral on social media, with netizens worried for his safety amidst tighter measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Elderly man ‘reports’ for work at Bugis MRT station

A netizen, Mr Jonathan Lim, took to Instagram to share this moving image with fellow Singaporeans.


In what seems like an empty MRT station, an uncle sits in his wheelchair with tissue packets in his hand.

Singaporeans who frequent Bugis may recognise him as the uncle who regularly stations himself at the corner of the MRT exit towards Bugis Junction on a typical week.

Now that ‘Circuit Breaker’ measures are in place, there are however fewer commuters at MRT stations.

Despite lower footfall, MS News understands that the senior citizen persistently ‘reports’ for work with his usual yellow sign, making sure to don a face mask while he tries to make a living.

Senior citizen still needs to earn a living

During this critical period, elderly Singaporeans who are most at risk for Covid-19 health complications should be staying at home to protect themselves.

However, this case has floated a scenario where some senior citizens have missed government messages or simply cannot afford to stop working for a month.

MS News has reached out to the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the National Council Of Social Services, to see what authorities can do to help vulnerable individuals during this ‘Circuit Breaker’ period.

We will be updating the story once they’ve responded.

Staying home is a privilege we must not take for granted

As Covid-19 takes a turn for the worse in Singapore, there are citizens who are “falling through the cracks”, in the words of Mr Lim.

Be it the senior citizen doing her own grocery runs or the taxi driver still making rounds around empty streets, many among us may be struggling to adapt to current circumstances.

Therefore, let’s do our part by practicing safe distancing and refrain from going out to meet our friends. Our efforts will certainly help us get back on track in weeks to come so that the Circuit Breaker will be lifted soon.

Featured image adapted from Instagram & Google Maps.