Toh Chin Boon a true civil servant

Success may have eluded him in other ways, but this Good Samaritan’s enduring deeds deserve more than a thumbs up.

IN these cynical times, my first meeting with Toh Chin Boon was almost quaint: I showed up unannounced at the nonagenarian’s home (I could only get hold of his address, not his phone number), and as he didn’t have his hearing aid on, he couldn’t understand what I was saying.

So, he simply ushered me into his living room, sat me down in front of a tableful of Chinese New Year goodies, and then put on his hearing aid to enquire who I was. I mean, who welcomes strangers into their homes anymore?

Yet, it seems to come naturally to Toh, who has spent more than half his life helping people he has not even met face to face. He may not be a renowned philanthropist or a world-famous humanitarian, but in his own way, the retired civil servant, who will turn 90 this April, has brought respite to many a person who needed it.

One of those so-called strangers, Kalaichelvan Subramaniam, 50, was moved enough by Toh’s benevolence to write in to The Star and highlight his efforts.

And what exactly does the senior citizen do? Simply put, he helps widowed spouses of civil servants with their pension applications. Sounds simple enough, yet the astonishing part is the lengths to which he goes to do so.

*Full story in The Star today