Sin­ga­pore woman, son re­united af­ter AP’s ‘McRefugee’ story

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

HONG KONG: Af­ter be­ing tricked into sell­ing her Sin­ga­pore home and trav­el­ing to China to in­vest the pro­ceeds, Mary Seow even­tu­ally found her­self home­less in Hong Kong, hav­ing lost touch with her fam­ily. Nearly five years af­ter she was re­ported miss­ing, and af­ter her story was told this month in an As­so­ci­ated Press ar­ti­cle about peo­ple who sleep at 24-hour McDon­ald’s out­lets in Hong Kong, she has been re­united with her son and was on her way back to Sin­ga­pore yes­ter­day.

Seow, 60, said she did not ex­pect to be head­ing back to Sin­ga­pore so soon af­ter the story broke on Nov 12. “Un­til now, I’m still like dream­ing,” she said at Hong Kong’s air­port as she pre­pared to board a flight to Sin­ga­pore with her 28-year-old son, Ed­ward Goh.

Seow’s fam­ily mem­bers had re­ported her miss­ing, but her where­abouts were a mystery un­til she was quoted in the AP story about peo­ple known as “McRefugees.” Un­til then, Seow had been just one of an un­told num­ber of home­less and work­ing poor spend­ing their nights at the fast-food chain’s 120 restau­rants that are open round the clock in Hong Kong.

Her tale caught the at­ten­tion of fam­ily mem­bers, Sin­ga­pore’s gov­ern­ment and con­cerned cit­i­zens. They worked swiftly to re­unite the widow with her son and only child, whom she had raised on her own af­ter her hus­band died of a heart at­tack two decades ago. Seow had a sur­prise re­union on Fri­day with her son, who had flown to Hong Kong to find her and bring her back home. She said her or­deal be­gan when she was swin­dled by peo­ple from China whom she met at a church in Sin­ga­pore. They had per­suaded her to sell her house and go with them to main­land China to in­vest the money in their trans­port busi­ness, but when she ar­rived she re­al­ized it was all a scam. She de­cided to stay in China and try to earn back some of her lost money, in­clud­ing by work­ing as a street sweeper. — AP

HONG KONG: A group of peo­ple sleep at night in a 24-hour McDon­ald’s branch in Hong Kong. A Sin­ga­porean woman who went miss­ing nearly five years ago has been re­united with her son af­ter her plight was re­ported in an As­so­ci­ated Press story about peo­ple who sleep at 24-hour McDon­ald’s out­lets in Hong Kong. —AP

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