#trending: 102-year-old woman working at provision shop in Beauty World Centre goes viral on TikTok

#trending: 102-year-old woman working at provision shop in Beauty World Centre goes viral on TikTok

SINGAPORE —  A 102-year-old women selling snacks, toiletries, toys, socks and other peripheral items at Beauty World Centre has gone viral on TikTok, after someone filmed her at a shop and asked the public to support her business.

It turned out that making money was not top of her mind because she kept giving away extra items or even refusing payment.

The shop, Lean Seng Lee Trading, is helmed by Madam Sie Choo Yong. Her age was confirmed by her family members who spoke to TODAY.

The family also owns Lean Seng Lee Goldsmith, which is located just one floor above the provision shop at the shopping centre in Upper Bukit Timah. 

TikTok user “dinahnahnah” said in the video posted on Wednesday (June 12) that Mdm Sie gave her more lollipops even though she paid S$2 for two. She also seemingly charged a lower price for several items bought later by the TikTok user’s husband.

They could not understand what she said and when they recalculated and gave her S$20, telling her to keep the change, she refused and kept shoving more snacks in their bag.

A passerby who helped to bridge the communication for Mdm Sie then told of the woman’s grand age and encouraged the couple to patronise her shop more often. 

The video has been viewed more than 97,500 times and had 10,400 likes as of Thursday evening. 

As TODAY found out on visiting the provision shop, it belongs to Mdm Sie’s youngest son and she is just helping to manage to store because staying at home is “boring”, her son said.

Due to her age, her voice is no longer clear and her speech not so coherent, but she energetically gestured with her hands her age when asked. 

She has seven children and 27 grandchildren. 

The provision shop was initially located at the old Beauty World — a market and shopping venue in the 1960s — and moved to its current location in 1984. It is just one of the businesses that her family runs. 

Mdm Sie’s youngest son, who did not want to be identified, said that he chose to keep the store open for his mother so that she could do simple tasks and would not be alone and bored at home. 

He has no plans to hand over or sell the store for now.

Mdm Sie hopes to keep running the store until she is no longer physically able to do so. 

Her second oldest son Lean Kee Suh, 66, who works at a Cold Storage supermarket in Bukit Batok, said in Mandarin that Mdm Sie moved from China in her 30s. 

He also said that she used to work long hours as a farmer in China. “She worked from day to night, lifting bags that were up to 60kg.”

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