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