14th January 2014
CSSA Beneficiary Drives Mercedes
After a woman who claims Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) who is suspected to have parked her car outside of the parking spaces and found her car being surrounded by rubbish bin the next morning, intense debates were stirred. A middle age woman who is a CSSA beneficiary drove a car of which she claimed to be borrowed from a friend to Tuen Mun. She, who drives under the probationary license, parked the vehicle outside the rubbish collection space. When she went to pick her her car the next morning, she found her car being surrounded by 16 large rubbish bins and claimed that there are at least 20 dents and scratches. She then called the police. The police has filed the case as vandalism. The female driver said, “this is outrageous! I cannot accept this! They shouldn’t have surrounded my car with 16 bins!”
Ms Chen (age 37) passed her driving test last year. However, when she renewed her license last year, her probational license was extended to April this year because of a speeding offense. She drives a E320 Mercedes Benz, which is first registered in 1998 which cost USD90,000 then. The car is currently registered under Liu (full name not disclosed). The car was parked outside the rubbish collection point of Wu Yuet House, Wu King Estate in Tuen Mun. Around 3am on 13th January, Chen drove to the site to visit her friend and parked the car there. When she went to pick up the car this morning at 7:15, her car was surrounded by 16 bins that are 1.5m x 2m in size. Her car was stuck.
When she inspected her car, she was shocked to find at least 20 dents and scratches on it – there was even rubbish stuck on a door and wing mirror. Besides 13 “scratches”, the car’s bumper is also damaged. Commenting on the situation, Chen said “This is outrageous! I cannot accept this! This would not have happened in China, no one would do this kind of thing in places that are less developed (than China). If I parked illegally, they could have tolled my car away, but shouldn’t have barricaded my car with 16 bins!” She also added, “I have no idea who I offended (to get this).” She said that the car had gone through the annual exam earlier this month, and there was only one minor dent on one of the doors. “I don’t know what to do!” she said. She argued with the management office about the parking fee and only drove off around early evening.
Housing Authority said that the car was parked right at the entrance of the rubbish collection point, where rubbish trucks park. It was during the rubbish collection hours, and the workers there always leave the bins at the same spot. When the management office received the complain, it planned to remove the bins and other objects, but since Ms Chen demand a compensation, the office had to call the police and leave the bins to remain at the same places. Only after the initial investigation was completed, the bins and other objects were removed from the scene. A spokesperson from the office said that they have the right to issue a warning to the driver or even wheel-clamped the vehicle.
Chen claims to be a single mother and lives with an eight years old daughter. She lives on CSSA and Disability Allowance as both herself and her daughter are “seriously ill” – she has trouble walking and her daughter visits the doctors frequently for her conditions. She claims to have no choice but to borrow a car from her friend for which she pays US$130 a month.
Chen also claimed her husband committed suicide in 2002, and she suffers from depression. She later on gave birth to her daughter, who is now eight years old, with her ex-boyfriend. Her daughter, according to Chen, suffers from ADHD and dyslexia, and requires frequent visits to specialists.
She claimed that she suffered from cardiac dysrhythmia and went for acupuncture, which causes the weakness of her lower body. Coupling with the suspected cyst on her ischial bone, she cannot walk for long distance. This is why, according to Chen, that she borrows her friend’s car.
The Social Welfare Department said that all CSSA applicants have to go through income and asset reviews before their applications can be granted. However, given that the car Chen drivers is registered under another person’s name, the Department cannot challenge her for purchasing luxurious item.
14th January 2014
Surrounded by 16 Bins – Mercedes Driver Calls Police
Ms Chen claimed that she purchased the Mercedes four days ago with a few thousand USD. She said that she’s not sure how much it would cost to fix the damages.
Chen claimed that she had parked in the same estate before once. She parked at a lorry monthly parking space last time, but this time she doesn’t want to occupy other cars’ spaces so parked her vehicle at where is was found barricaded by rubbish bins. She drove off at 2:50am yesterday morning (13/Jan) from her home in Wong Tai Sin to Wu King Estate, and parked her vehicle outside the rubbish collection point. She found 16 large bins with Housing Authority’s logo were barricading her car. She demanded the security to call for the police when she found out about the damages. “It was not my fault, and I had no choice but to call the police”.
A number of newspapers have reported on this case, the Editors at The Real Hong Kong News picked parts of two articles in the hope to show the full picture – other articles not selected are almost identical to the two below
*The Editor decided to translate her surname as “Chen”, the Mandarin Chinese spelling (Hong Kong spelling is “Chan”), because of the statement she made about it would not have happened in China – it occurs to the Editor that Ms Chen’s instant comment could indicate that she’s a Chinese immigrant.