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.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO