Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Raymond 's letter to The New Paper: SEXUAL ORIENTATION GAMES : Switch games for talent show



My letter on the above matter is published today in The New Paper

There has been a fierce debate over the recent sexualised games at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Given that the image of NUS has taken a beating following the negative publicity, it is timely that the student’s union has aplogised for the freshman orientation games that went dreadfully wrong. 

NUS needs to go further to rebuild its image as it is reputed to be a world- class university which attracts students from across the globe. 

Ragging that borders on humiliating females through sexually driven games must cease.  

Already there have been reports of the students who participated in the games being on the receiving end of unkind comments, and this can adversely affect their self- esteem. 

While ragging students is a common practice in universities worldwide, it is vital to recognise that we in Singapore are very much an Asian society with conservative views. 

Therefore, it is crucial to carry out such activities in a decent and acceptable manner, though in a light-hearted way.

I propose that for future orientation games, the organisers at NUS could incorporate creative talent shows and real life situations that are done in a wacky and fun manner.  

America’s Got Talent is a popular TV show that attracts large viewership worldwide.

So why not organise a “NUS Got Talent show” where students can perform either solo, in pairs or as a team. 

It can be done tastefully and there is bound to be laughter and bonding as male and female students display  talents through singing,  sketches  or even circus acts. 

 

RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO

 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Raymond's letter to The Straits Times: Involve suicide survivors and caregivers in help programmes


My letter to The Straits Times on the above subject is published today, Monday 1st August 2016.

I agree with Madam Catherine Soh that the Ministry of Education (MOE) should introduce programmes that will equip students with skills to stay resilient (“Teach students basic counselling, stress-coping skills”; July 29).

The rise in teenage suicides is an unhealthy trend and, left unchecked, will not only cause anxiety in parents and educators, but also increase the workload of mental health care providers, the police and the courts (“Teen suicides ‘highest in 15 years but overall rate falls’”; July 26).

It is important to remember that caregivers – in this case, the teens’ parents – are themselves vulnerable to falling into depression.

Undoubtedly, teens going through life’s journey will have to grapple with relationship issues – be it with their parents or the opposite sex – stress over getting good grades and stay resilient in a fast-paced society such as ours.

Sometimes, teens do not communicate with their parents, either because their parents hardly spend time with them or because they find it hard to relate to them.

The Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) has taken the right step by equipping staff at the SOS Services and Training Centre to help our young people.

Suicide survivors who have overcome adversity and rebuilt their lives, as well as resilient caregivers who have helped their loved ones coping with mental health issues to a full recovery, can be an inspiration to our troubled youngsters and their parents.

To this end, I urge the SOS, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, to invite suicide survivors as well as caregivers to share their experience through talks and workshops.

At the end of the day, people must be able to see recovery and learn that despite challenges we all face, life must be valued at all times.

In addition, the caregiving journey, though arduous, must be treated as a noble task, and never a burden.


Raymond Anthony Fernando


 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Raymond's letter to The Straits Times: No room for abuse in schools


My letter to The Straits Times on the above subject is published today, Friday 22nd July 2016.

It is troubling to read the report of a primary school teacher from Gongshang Primary School who has been accused of mistreating children under her charge (“MOE probes school teacher abuse claims”; last Saturday).


Words used in a degrading manner will not only affect the students’ self-esteem, but can cause other students not on the receiving end of hurtful remarks to resort to such name-calling, causing disunity in the classroom.


Going to school must be an enjoyable learning experience for both students and educators. It must not be a place where students dread to go.


More importantly, teachers must be mindful that the punishment they mete out that seeks to shame and embarrass children may cause long-term psychological damage.


Students are already feeling stressed out by their studies and tuition, and should be receiving encouragement, not disparagement.


Teachers, although under pressure to bring out the best in students, must exercise patience when teaching their students and this is a quality which the Ministry of Education must drive home to them.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

 



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Article to All Singapore Stuff (ASS) : Safe and clean environment vital for a healthy living in HDB flats



Almost 90 percent of our people living in Singapore, and they include foreigners and permanent residents live in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. Living in high rise flats poses challenges as not everyone abide by the rules by the HDB and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).


Unsafe environment

It has been a daunting task for me to get the HDB and the town council to resolve the endless water dripping from my upstairs neighbour. On so many occasions, I had to raise to the HDB office in my estate, the persistent water dripping coming from the upstairs neighbour which not only is so noisy that it disrupts my sleep the whole night, but will also cause the constant water dripping to put my windows and air condition at high risk of being eroded and will sooner or later collapse, endangering the lives of those below my block.

Each time I bring this to the attention of the HDB, the HDB officer will caution the owner, then it will stop, and then after a few months, later the same problem will start all over again.

The HDB will not hesitate to charge residents with killer litter, but when responsible citizens maintain their windows, grills and aircondition in good order, why are we not getting the assistance to resolve this issue – one and for all.

Since 10th June 2016 from 11pm to 8am, the water dripping continued without a thought for the neighbours who need peace and quiet and a safe environment.  Now it is even worse, throughout the day, the endless water dripping continues to disrupt my sleep and there’s a risk that my windows and aircon may collapse due to erosion from the water dripping.

Matter raised to 3 MND ministers and the Prime Minister, but no concrete action taken
I have had interim replies from the town council and HDB officers and the QSM of MND, but the matter remains unsolved.

Deeply troubled that the matter cannot be solved at the MND level, I then had to write to 3MND ministers, 2 DPMs, the BCA and even the Prime Ministers, but my pleas for support and the urgent assistance fell on deaf ears.
Now a report has been sent to President Tony Tan

It has been 2 weeks now and as the matter is still unresolved, I wrote to our Head of State, President Tony Tan this morning.

Will the matter be finally resolved? I have my doubts.

 
Raymond Anthony Fernando

Article to All Singapore Stuff (ASS) : Elderly widowed Singaporean unable to secure cleaning service from the Mayor of Central Singapore CDC ; MSF Minster, and MP for my zone ignores cry for help!


Following the untimely passing of my beloved wife who battled schizophrenia for 44 years, I have tried on countless occasions to secure support; but all my efforts failed. As a result of this l had to struggle for 40 years to care, love and support my wife – as a sole caregiver. It was such a daunting task, that I attempted suicide in 1995.

The pressure of work and family life took a heavy toll on my health and well-being.  It was only my faith in God ( I am a born Roman Catholic)  and the deep love for my wife that helped me to overcome huge adversities in my life.

Having witnessed first-hand the devastation schizophrenia brought to my wife, I vowed to turn my life around by becoming an author  and the very first novel I wrote “Loving a schizophrenic” turned out to become a BESTSELLER. That inspired me to churn out another 29 books, as well as motivated my wife to become an author of 8 successful books.

CDC has volunteers to clean up households, but ignores a cry for help from isolated widower

In the recent issue of the Central Singapore CDC newsletter, Mayor Denise Phua speaks openly of how her volunteers in her district help clean up the homes of the needy.  I then wrote to Mayor Phua pleading for this kind of structural  support as I live all alone, have cataract problems that will requires eye surgery and am vulnerable to falling down due to weaken knees now at the age of 66.

I had ccied my appeal to the MSF Minster Tan Chuan Jin as well as my MP, Dr Koh Poh Koon in the hope that the much-needed support will be given – if not for anything out of compassion and the welfare of a Singaporean who, even after 2 years, is still grieving over his death

My repeated pleas for support has fallen on deaf years, and I remain isolated, uncared for and I once again falling into depression – all over again.

What is the purpose of MPs, Mayors, Ministers and MPs going to the media and saying that they are supporting the needy when in reality, the support that is needed so badly by some citizens are so selfishly not given?

 
Raymond Anthony Fernando

 
Submitted to All Singapore Stuff:  http://www.allsingaporestuff.com/article/widowed-sporean-begs-mayor-denise-phua-help-cries-fall-deaf-ears
 

 

 

 

 

2nd Report: Safe and clean environment vital for a healthy living in HDB flats


 

Almost 90 percent of our people living in Singapore, and they include foreigners and permanent residents live in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. Living in high rise flats poses challenges as not everyone abide by the rules by the HDB and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
 
Unsafe environment

It has been a daunting task for me to get the HDB and the town council to resolve the endless water dripping from my upstairs neighbour. On so many occasions, I had to raise to the HDB office in my estate, the persistent water dripping coming from the upstairs neighbour which not only is so noisy that it disrupts my sleep the whole night, but will also cause the constant water dripping to put my windows and air condition at high risk of being eroded and will sooner or later collapse, endangering the lives of those below my block.
Each time I bring this to the attention of the HDB, the HDB officer will caution the owner, then it will stop, and then after a few months, later the same problem will start all over again.
The HDB will not hesitate to charge residents with killer litter, but when responsible citizens maintain their windows, grills and aircondition in good order, why are we not getting the assistance to resolve this issue – one and for all.
Since 10th June 2016 from 11pm to 8am, the water dripping continued without a thought for the neighbours who need peace and quiet and a safe environment.  Now it is even worse, throughout the day, the endless water dripping continues to disrupt my sleep and there’s a risk that my windows and aircon may collapse due to erosion from the water dripping.

Matter raised to 3 MND ministers and the Prime Minister, but no concrete action taken
I have had interim replies from the town council and HDB officers and the QSM of MND, but the matter remains unsolved.
Deeply troubled that the matter cannot be solved at the MND level, I then had to write to 3MND ministers, 2 DPMs, the BCA and even the Prime Ministers, but my pleas for support and the urgent assistance fell on deaf ears.
Now a report has been sent to President Tony Tan
It has been 2 weeks now and as the matter is still unresolved, I wrote to our Head of State, President Tony Tan this morning.

Will the matter be finally resolved? I have my doubts.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Raymond's Letter to The Straits Times: Don't allow roaches to escape into homes during fogging



My letter to The Straits Times on the above subject was published in print on Tuesday 21st June 2016.

Cockroaches have the habit of searching for food in dirty places such as rubbish bins, chutes, drains and sewers at night ("Roach problem: Prata Wala licence suspended"; last Wednesday).

As they frequent latrines, they can easily spread germs that cause conditions such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid fever and cholera.

Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that we live in a clean environment so that diseases do not spread easily and that our health is not compromised.

Besides carrying out inspections at food stalls and eateries, the National Environment Agency should also see to it that the Housing Board and town councils ensure roaches do not invade homes.

Whenever fogging of the rubbish bins is undertaken in my estate, there is very poor coordination between the workers carrying out the fogging and the cleaners.

Once the fogging is under way, cockroaches crawl out from the chutes, and onto the floors and walls of void decks.

Because the cleaners do not get rid of them immediately, these insects make their way back into homes and even childcare centres. Sometimes, the roaches crawl all over for days.

Cleaners should immediately remove the roaches before they escape into homes. If not, it would defeat the purpose of fogging.

Raymond Anthony Fernando