Saturday, February 27, 2010

Raymond's letter to the New paper: We don't often see people showing care & compassion for mentally ill

My letter on the above matter was published the New Paper today, Saturday 27th Feb 2010.

I refer to the report, “ I don't blame mum, I blame myself” (The New Paper, 25 Feb).

I am glad that Justice Kan Ting Chui has shown compassion in sentencing Madam Goh Hai Eng to only 5 years jail.

I have every confidence that with daily medication in prison, Goh will recover and can be reunited with her family under happier circumstances after she has served her term in jail. Perhaps with good behaviour, she can be released earlier.

Goh's lawyers, Mr Subas Anandan and Mr Sundil Sudheesan who provided legal services to her for free are truly generous.

We don't often see citizens showing care and concern for the mentally ill.

Like Goh, many psychiatric patients and their caregivers are plagued with financial woes. It is crucial for the Government to raise funds for this group of citizens on a national level.

The yellow ribbon project has been highly succesful because there is very strong political support at ministerial level.

I urge the Government to understand the hardship that sufferers of mental illness and their families continue to face in their daily lives.

Do not neglect us for we are also human beings who, like anyone else, need love, understanding and support.

Certaintly, with better support from the Government, more such tragedies can be avoided.

Family members for their part must ensure that their stricken ones do not miss out on their medical appointments and medications.

People with mental illness just need one person to love them and with medication, they will recover- period. My wife who has schizophrenia is a case in point.

With the Mental Capcity Act going into operation on 1st Mar, I encourage patients and their caregivers to have a look at the Lasting Power Of Attorney (LAP) as it helps to give better protection for anyone who becomes mentally incapacitated.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A beautiful & unforgettable dining experience, courtesy of Rose Boon & her charismatic group

“Friends are like street lights along the road, they don't make the distance any shorter but they light up the path and make the walk worthwhile!”

On Tuesday 23rd February 2010, Rose Boon, her sister, Frances and friends Gwen & Jan treated my wife, Doris & I to a sumptuous Lunar New Year Dinner at the Singapore Island Country Club. Rose and her team are members of the charismatic group from the Church of St Ignatius. Rose has always been very supportive to both Doris and I and these thoughtful gestures certainly have helped in my wife's recovery from schizophrenia. Indeed the love and kindness that she has displayed for several years will live in our hearts forever.

This is a strange cpoincidence: Some 30 years ago, during my public relations stint in broadcasting, I was one of the three staff who hosted a lunch for a former VVIP at this prestigious club. And now 30 years later, I sat there tucking in on the delicious dishes, and beautiful memories came streaming back. I never dreamt that I would one day come back to this place and enjoy the lovely ambience and GREAT food, with GREAT fellowship. I was actually a rose among the thorns or should I say a torn among the pretty roses.

Doris loves cooked lobsters, but because we cannot afford this dish, we have opted not to buy it. But through the kindness of the Lord who is the “Listener to every conversation”, Doris was able to enjoy lobsters that were flown in from Boston. This was made possible by Rose and company. The fellowship that night was simply fantastic and when we reached home at 8.45pm Doris slept like a baby – contented, happy, pleased to know that wonderful Catholics sent by the Lord made her Lunar New Year in 2010 so very special. My wife felt so loved and even though her family members do not see the need to spend a few minutes to visit or talk to her, God sent His lovely children in the form of these kind-hearted charismatic members to more than make up for the love that is clearly lacking in my wife's family.

Praise the Lord for you have shown us the Light at the end of the Dark Tunnel!


Raymond Anthony Fernando

Sunday, February 21, 2010

myLovematters Magazine

myLovematters Magazine

Dear friends,

myLovematters is a magazine in full colour that focuses on healthy relationship, people doing charity work and how LOVE plays a key role in helping all of us to stay committed to our loved ones. My journey in caring for my wife, Doris is highlighted in a 3-page article in the concept issue that just came out in mid-February 2010. It is a lovely magazine and a must-read for all of us who want to build healthy relationships. If any of you are interested to get a copy do contact me(I'm the part-time Freelance Subscription Manager). My email adress is;
The cost of one year's subscription (4 issues per year) is $22 (postage included) . Get a glimpse of this magazine at this website:

Raymond Anthony Fernando

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CNA's TV Talking Point on Sunday 21st Feb 2010- The Mental Capacity Act

This Sunday, 21st Feb 2010 at 10.10pm, ChannelNewsAsia will broadcast the popular TV talk show, “Talking Point”. The topic for this Sunday will be about the Mental Capacity Act, which comes into operation on 1st March 2010.

Debra Soon, the host of this programme will have a panel discussion with 3 guests who include:

(A) Lawyer Ms Kuah Boon Theng

(B) Ex: Director of Rainbow Centre, Ms June Tham

(c ) Caregiver Raymond Anthony Fernando

This will be my 6th TV appearance discussing mental illness on National TV. I was told that this programme can also be viewed on the internet and in countries where CNA's programmes are beamed.

Do look out for this programme as it is very insightful!


Raymond Anthony Fernando

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love conquers all

Having witnessed how my parent's marriage broke down due to my father's womanising ways, I made a vow to myself 35 years ago: The woman I marry, whoever she is, I will love forever. And I would love and care for her in sickness and in health, for better or for worse.

Little did I realise that the day I met my wife, Doris Lau Siew Lang, I would have to fulfill that promise to the letter. Indeed this was the woman that would change my life – dramatically.

Unlike the many girls that I dated, Doris was very down-to-earth. We met as pen pals.

I found her to be sincere and caring. This was the main reason why I accepted her as my wife. As our relationship grew, Doris revealed to me her closely guarded secret: She was stricken with schizophrenia at the tender age of 17. Many people find it hard to believe that I married Doris despite knowing that she has one of the most distressing mental disorders.

But strange as it may sound, in caring for Doris for more than three decades, I have grown to love her more and more each day. I have seen this illness ravage more than half her life and the journey, though very difficult, can be rewarding when I see her enjoy life to the fullest. With my undying love for Doris, she has recovered from her illness and is today, the author of 5 books.

As I celebrate my 60th birthday this Valentine's Day, Doris and I will reflect on the beautiful memories we shared together for 35 years as husband and wife. Certainly, Love conquers all.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

75th Elvis Presley's Anniversary Celebrations

The 75th Elvis Presley's Anniversary Celebrations was organised by the First Singapore Elvis Presley Fan Club at Hotel Royal on Sat 6th Feb 2010. Guest artist, Harvey Mcfadden, Elvis impersonator from the USA performed at this event.

Junk Cruise

Our church (Church of the Holy Spirit) organised a junk cruise for us in July 2009.

Little Eunice

Here we have little Eunice, our neighbour's child at our home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And Baby Makes Three

A poem specially dedicated to soon -to be- Parents, Lawrence & Grace

Dear Lawrence & Grace,

Hey, will the gender matter?
Amid all the guessing and the chatter
That is taking place on FACEBOOK
And everywhere you look!

Will it be a girl?
Or will it be a boy?
What's important is that the child comes out healthy,
Chubby, cheerful and strong
And is a real bundle of joy!

Now, here's where I play the guessing game
But I'm not doing so to gain fortune and fame
If it is a girl, like Grace, it will be pretty
Perhaps grow up to be chatty and kind of witty
If it's a boy, handsome and slick
Like Lawrence, when choosing a partner
The child will soon develop his dad's special technique

Like an evening breeze and stars at night
The child will bring sheer delight
To both your families
Love will never cease
But, Grace & Lawrence, there must be more
That will add to the joy of Singapore
So, to the lovey-dovey couple
I say, “You should try for a double!!!”
Congrats, Lawrence & Grace
Your child in our hearts is guaranteed a place!


Raymond Anthony Fernando

“You By My Side” -A poem specially dedicated to Tze Yong & Andrea on your marriage -– Sunday 15th November 2009

Dear Tze Yong & Andrea,

A chance meeting,
A warm greeting
Destined to meet two years later at VivoCity
Tze Yong was mesmerized by Andrea,
A lady he found so sincere, so pretty!
Andrea, Tze Yong, I know hapiness will surely come your way
With the rings that you exchange on your special day
Today, your hearts will be merged as one
Grow your love each day,
Make it second to none
Practise patience and perseverance in your relationship
It has worked for me, and it's a very useful tip
Above all, choose to cherish your unconditional love
For when you have that unconditional love,
You will give
When you give
You will score
And when you score,
GOD will love you both even more
Andrea, Tze Yong, Doris and I congratulate you both on your marriage
You are made for each other
Perhaps, like a horse and a carriage

Raymond Anthony Fernando


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Build undeground walkway to enable safe travel; Raymond's letter to the New Paper

My letter to the New Paper on the above subject has been published in the New Paper today, Thursday, 4 Feb 2010, page 20.

I have been following the reports regarding the dangerous stretch along Upper Thomson Road which have claimed the lives of two innocent elderly citizens.

Due to arthritis and weak knees, many of our elderly people have great difficulty walking.

Hence, one third elderly parishioners of the Church of Holy Spirit, including my wife finds it exhausting climbing the overhead bridge.

My wife who has arthritis cannot use the traffic light at the junction of Upper Thomson Road because she walks very slowly with the aid of a quad stick.

My wife often has to skip Sunday masses because of these poor traffic conditions.

Even hailing a taxi outside the church after mass is dangerous as speeding cars can knock you down easily. It almost happened to me two months ago.

Our seniors deserve better support.

I am therefore disturbed that the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) response was that this dangerous stretch at Upper Thomson Road is not a “hot spot” for accidents.

How many tragedies must take place before the LTA acts?

An underground walkway that stretches outside the Post Office right up to Thomson Plaza will enable our elderly citizens who worship at the church to travel safetly.

At Thomson Plaza, many of our seniors can buy their groceries at the supermarket, have a meal and even do some shopping.

The taxi stand located there is also convenient for our elderly folks.

Hence, there is economic value tagged with this suggestion.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shows put spotlight on helping needy- Raymond's letter to the press


My letter to the New Paper is published today, 3 Feb 2010, Page 19.

I refer to the report, “ Why pick on us? We are helping people” (The New Paper, 29 Jan).

We need the media to highlight the plight of the needy so that the Government will review its policies and give better support to citizens who feel uncared for, and they include our seniors, the mentally ill and the disabled.

I feel that shows like Life transformers and RenovAID did an excellent job in rasing awareness of the plight of the needy.

Hosts Michelle Chia, Christopher Lee, Quan Yifeng and the production team should not be discouraged by the unfair criticism levelled at them.

It takes courage to clean up homes that are invested with pests and dirty toilets.

It is always easy to criticise than to appreciate.

I was deeply touched that volunteers offered to renovate and refurnish the homes of the needy so that they could have a better quality of life.

Our country will be a far better place to live in with people like these who are able to feel the suffering of citizens who are in less than fortunate circumstances.

Rather than manipulate viewers' emotions, I believe the shows have been successful in striking a cord with audiences.