He was on his usual route to a bus stop near his home on Wednesday morning when he was pinned down and punched.
The attacker wanted to snatch his sling bag, but Mr Leong Kok Cheong, 56, a dish collector at a coffee shop, tried to resist.
As a result, Mr Leong was badly injured, with a swollen left eye, cuts on his knee and forehead, and a broken left arm.
He was also left $60 poorer.
The robbery happened when Mr Leong was on his way to work at about 5.30am near Block 230B, Tampines Street 24.
The robber came up from behind, put a belt around Mr Leong's neck and pulled him backwards.
Mr Leong, who has speech difficulties, was interviewed through his older brother, Mr Vincent Leong, 59, an insurance executive.
Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that the robber was described as about 1.65m tall and small-built.
After Mr Leong fell, the robber pinned him down with one hand and tried to remove Mr Leong's bag with his other hand.
The bag contained a wallet, a tablet and a change of clothes.
Mr Leong refused to let go of his bag, which infuriated the robber.
The blows stopped only when the robber managed to take Mr Leong's wallet from the bag.
The robber then fled the scene.
Although Mr Leong was in great pain, he went back to his home in the same block to ask his older brother for help.
The older brother woke up to frantic knocking and was shocked to see his brother's swollen face.
The older Mr Leong told The New Paper yesterday: "The robber was so aggressive to beat my brother up like this, without even considering the pain that he was causing.
"My brother was so confused by the attack that he did not even say a word while he was beaten," he said.
Mr Leong was taken to Changi Hospital and given two weeks of medical leave. He works eight hours a day and is paid daily, earning about $1,000 a month.
"He has no medical benefits and has no choice but to go without pay for a while," added the older Mr Leong.
As construction for the Downtown Line is ongoing in the vicinity, there is a lot of hoardings around and the area is poorly lit.
The older Mr Leong said his brother has been taking the same route without any trouble, usually in the early morning and late at night.
His brother is coping well after the attack and will not avoid the route in the future.
"But I told him to be more careful," he added.
The police have arrested a 49-year-old man, who is believed to be involved in a case of robbery with hurt.
With the description of the suspect provided by the victim, and images retrieved from police cameras, officers from Bedok Division managed to trace and arrest the suspect at about 4pm the same day, according to a police statement issued yesterday.
The suspect is expected to be charged in court today with robbery with hurt.
If found guilty, he will faceup to 20 years in jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.
The robber was so aggressive to beat my brother up like this, without even considering the pain that he was causing.
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