The BBC reports on a market gardener in Singapore who had been living in the forest near Sungei Tengah for 30 years.
The story of Oh Go Seng went viral after a charity worker filmed Mr Oh being stopped by officials and found to be trading without a licence, on Christmas Day.
They confiscated the leafy vegetables and chillies he grows – and was selling – after the pandemic caused him to lose his job selling flowers.
Loneliness was never a problem, he says. He kept himself busy tending his garden, although that was made easy by the good growing conditions.
Despite his living conditions, he persisted in helping his family financially by sending them between S$500 and S$600 a month throughout the Covid lockdowns.
In February this year – on the first day of the Lunar New Year – with the assistance of his local MP’s team, Mr Oh was given a new home to live in.
He still misses the freedom of life in the forest, though he says he prefers living in a flat.
“I lived there for so many years, so yes naturally I do miss it,” he said in Hokkien, a Chinese language.
“Even now I return to the forest every single day. I wake up at 3 AM, get dressed and head out to check on my vegetables, all before my workday begins.”
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