In the early phase of COVID-19, a thief broke into my house to look for money.
Thief: Where’s your money?
Me: That’s a good question. Let’s look for it together.
As we searched the house, Mr Thief started to break down in tears as he realised I wasn’t kidding. It was this time, I received a notification from my Goody Feed app that the gahmen just announced the one-time S$500 cash assistance AKA TRF.
Me: It’s okay Mr Thief… we’re both now S$500 richer… look! We can apply for the TRF!
Mr Thief cried as he continued: Really? I don’t have to resort to petty crimes anymore?
Me: Yes. Let’s persevere through this. I won’t report you to the police. After all, it’s not like you stole anything here. There’s nothing here HAHAHA. Unless you want this expired can of baked beans.
Editor: Hallo? I have just received an email from the gahmen about a kopi session and POFMA regarding one of your writers.
Uhhhhhh. Ok, the above story is entirely made up. And just like this, a certain Goody Feed writer avoided POFMA with a warning. Not reported to the police, Mr Thief applied for the TRF and managed to live by another month without resorting to crime.
Moral of the story: there are people who really need money like Mr Thief exists, and second chances exist.
Why am I saying this?
Potential Fraudulent Claims For TRF Are Being Investigated
For those who don’t know, at the start of April, a guy claimed to have cheated the S$500 and showed it off online, then everybody became warier of fake claims. Especially since, you know, this “cheat” got all the way up to the Ministers.
In mid-April the number of people who returned the money suddenly jumped to slightly more than 500. Some reasons given included “submit wrong info”, “no longer need it”, “told would be retrenched but in the end didn’t cause of Jobs Support Scheme”.
Whether these reasons are true or they simply don’t want to lim kopi with Minister Shanmugan, we can never know.
How about end of April? Minister of State for Social and Family Development, Sam Tan, said on 4 May 2020 in Parliament that 537,080 applications were made for the TRF, while 3,171 people had returned the money as of 30 April.
We’re not sure how tight money for the gahmen is, but we’re assuming that means 3,171 more S$500s can be better spent.
Mr Tan said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is working with the police to investigate fraudulent claims.
But they believe in second chances.
Returning TRF Cheques or Payouts Will Be Mitigating Factor
In Parliament, Ms Cheng Li Hui (Tampines GRC) asked if there would be penalties for applicants who made “wrong declarations”, or those who realised their mistake and refunded.
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“Where individuals returned their cheques or payouts, this will be a mitigating factor in our assessment of fraudulent claims. Individuals should return their cheques or payouts by the end of May 2020,” replied Mr Tan.
He also reminds us that abuse of the fund may constitute an offence of cheating, which is punishable by a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. Those who want to return their cheques or payouts should do so by end-May.
And you can do so here.
Well, yes: you know shit has hit the fan when you put a bucket outside your house to allow thieves to put the stolen money in.
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