The hoarder’s anguish and inability to discard things


You might ask yourself, why read an article like this for General Paper? It’s not on one of the so-called “hot topics” like globalisation, ageing population, cloning and so on. But the world is limitless and so is GP. For all you know, the next comprehension paper could be on the subject of mental health. And wouldn’t the local information on the Hoarding Taskforce (with the IMH, HDB and so on) in Singapore be useful?

As I’ve said many times before, GP is not a ‘studying’ subject. It’s a reading, thinking, talking (discussion), writing subject. So read, think, talk, write. Widely. And enjoy the journey.


Chong Siow Ann

The Straits Times
PUBLISHED OCT 28, 2017, 5:00 AM SGT

Hoarding is a condition that is difficult to treat, and the authorities often have no right to intervene, even if angry neighbours complain, since a man’s home is his castle.

Many Americans would know about the Collyer brothers whose fatally intertwined lives have been a cautionary tale for children who don’t clean up their rooms and adults who let themselves slide into an undisciplined and unbridled accumulation of possessions.

Homer and Langley Collyer were the scions of a distinguished family (their father was a respected if eccentric gynaecologist who canoed to work from Harlem to Bellevue Hospital). The two brothers lived in a four-storey brownstone in Manhattan, in the first half of the 20th century. Homer had a law degree from Columbia University and Langley studied engineering. Both worked for a while, and quite inexplicably stopped working one day and withdrew into their mansion. The massive house fell into disrepair: broken windows were not replaced, the front stoop with its balustrades collapsed, and rubbish piled high in the basement entrance. Rumours of money stashed in the decaying mansion led to numerous break-ins.

Read more here.


Website owner Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as a GP and English tutor in 2016. He continues to blog on issues of concern to GP.

To view tutors recommended by him, click here.

General Paper sample essays here.

English or GP tutors keen to be listed on this website (consistently ranked top 10-15 on Google) as a Recommended Tutor, please email stevenooi18 @ (remove the spaces). Tutors in other subjects interested in having links to their website are also welcome to contact him.

About gptuitionsg

A dedicated English and GP tutor with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore, Steven Ooi retired from the profession after a 14-year career during which he was one of the most sought-after private tutors in Singapore. He is the recipient of the Minerva Prize from NUS, which is awarded to the top English Language honours student of each cohort. This website, which has consistently ranked among the top 10 on Google and has received over 530,000 hits, has now been converted into a GP resource site cum listing of recommended tutors. If you are a GP or English tutor who wishes to be listed here, please email Steven Ooi at stevenooi18 @ (remove the spaces). Interested parties will be assessed and interviewed by him, and qualifications will be checked. These procedures are necessary to uphold quality standards. DISCLAIMER: While every reasonable effort has been made to assess the competence and verify the qualifications of recommended tutors here, no guarantees are made and you engage them at your own risk. By using this website, you agree that you will not hold the webmaster Steven Ooi responsible for any consequences — direct or otherwise — that occur in relation with your use of this website.
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