It is the usual scene at the busy Causeway Point Shopping Centre. Scores of shoppers and diners gather after school or work and Charles Wright, 20, was just another RP student who decided to meet his friends for dinner after school.
While dining at fast food restaurant Texas Chicken, something caught the 20-year-old Business Information Systems student’s eye. He noticed a man, quite shabbily dressed, walking in and looking around. The man soon went to empty tables and began to eat meals leftover by other diners. At one point, he even picked up food that was on the floor.
The sight of that upset Charles, a Singaporean permanent resident (PR) and immediately, he decided that he needed proper food and went ahead to buy him a meal, costing $8.20
“I grew up in the Philippines, so I know what poverty is like. Seeing him having to pick food off the floor was more than enough for me to have to buy him a proper meal. I’m not saying you should help everyone you can, but if you find yourself in the same situation and if you can provide some sort of help, it’s the right thing to do,” said Charles whose dad is a director and mum a manager.
While Charles was helping the man get a meal, a fellow diner was paying close attention to what was going on. Facebook user Aisha Lim came over to talk to Charles. “She came to my table and asked me what school I went to and said she was very touched by the gesture. I thanked her and didn’t think much about it. But the next morning, my friends were telling me I was all over social media!”
He had countless messages and even his lecturers at SOI started getting questions from the media about him. How did the instant fame affect him?
“To be honest I feel that I’m over credited for something that was really a small action! I think anyone in my shoes would have done the same,’’ said Charles, looking genuinely puzzled by the reaction he got.
But his Singaporean classmate who was with him doesn’t quite agree.
“Not many people would actually step up to help the man so for him to be able to actually do something was quite brave of him,’’ said Tye Kang Jie, 18, a year 2 Business Information Systems student.