Case Story 4 - Maintenance Can Come in Many Forms


Mr Tan, aged 89, was referred by SSO to the Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents (CMP) to claim maintenance from his 3 daughters, Jen, May and Lucy. Mr Tan stayed alone in a rented room of a HDB 2-room flat. He reported that his 3 daughters were unable to care for and provide financial assistance to him as they had their own families and commitments. They were either housewives or low wage earners. 

CMP's intervention:

During our conciliation, the Officer discussed Mr Tan's basic needs with his children and sought their reflections on the positive impact that he had left in their lives. The Officer also reminded them that their father was very advanced in age, and sought their support, even if it is minimal.

At the end of the session, Jen agreed to pay the monthly rental fees at $53 while May agreed to increase her on-going contribution by $20 to $50. Lucy agreed to contribute $50 and to buy groceries worth about $50 a month. She had been assisting in house-cleaning once in every 2 weeks.

Their pledges were fairly remarkable considering Jen was a housewife while May and Lucy were low wage earners. Their regular visits were also commendable. They appreciated that despite his advanced age, Mr Tan imposed limited demands on them.

CMP has referred Mr Tan to SSO for follow-up on financial assistance to supplement his daughters' contributions.


With CMP's intervention, Mr Tan's dignity to live out his twilight years was taken care of. His children were caring enough to give him what they could afford.