This letter was published on Saturday 3 October 2009, Page 27
I refer to the report, “More legal woes for Ris?” (The New Paper, 30 Sept).
I am deeply saddened over the manner in which beauty queen Ris Low has been heavily criticised.
Although she has made mistakes in her life, Ris performed well during the run-up to the finals of the Miss Singapore World pageant.
For someone struggling with a bipolar condition or depression, Ris has, in my opinion, performed exceptionally well. She was determined to succeed and she was well behaved.
More importantly, Ris wanted to turn her life around. But she was condenmed so much that she was pressured to give up the crown.
What I find disturbing is this whole episode is that we seem to be breeding a society where people find it so hard to forgive.
The Government has been appealing to the public to give ex-prisoners a second chance in life. Yet, Ris Low was not given a chance when her conviction for a credit card fraud came to light.
Every one of us makes mistakes in life. Rather than put her down we should help Ris rebuild her life bearing in mind what Oprah Winfrey once said: “Lots of people want to ride with you in the Limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the Limo breaks down.”
For a start, I urge companies to sponsor Ris for diction and public speaking courses, so that she will be well positioned to make a sterling comeback.
I have struggled with depression for several years and my wife is recovering from schizophrenia.
But through the wonderful support of many kind-hearted people who walk alongside us, we have charted new directions in life and found our means of living through writing.
Someday, Ris, write your own novel and speak of your own struggles in life.
Equipped with good public speaking skills, you too will be able to chart new directions in life. Who knows, your book might just become a bestseller.
You may have lost the Miss Singapore crown, but you will always be a winner in my eyes.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO