Monday, April 12, 2010

VICIOUS ONLINE COMMENTS: Don't hide behind anonymity

Raymond's letter to the New Paper:
My letter on the above matter is published today, Monday 12 April 2010 in the New Paper on page 17. Do check it out.

Reading some of the comments posted in online discussions, I get a feel of how people react to some of the letters in the press.

While some comments are sensible and useful for the Government to review and fine-tune polices, there are also readers who use technology for all the wrong reasons – to humilate, demoralise and demean others.

My intention in raising the plight of the mentally ill and their caregivers over the last five years in the media was to seek understanding and support from the Government and society as a whole.

I have also made some suggestions to improve our mental health care and I am encouraged that some progress has been made.

Just as we promote continous learning, we must also promote continous improvements in all our service sectors. Only then, can we reinvent ourselves to meet the many challenges coming our way.

I wrote a letter to the press recently highlighting the struggles I face as a caregiver to my wife who suffers from schizophrenia and four other illneses. In that letter, I mentioned that she has to take 42 drugs a day to manage her five chronic illnesses. This was to highlight the ardous journey I travel in loving and caring for my wife.

One of the comments posted in cyberscape to that letter was downright vicious.

As usual, this person chose to remain anonymous. This is what he said I should do to my wife: “Taking 42 tablets daily? Even a doctor will get confused. Better euthanise her.”

Hate mail has seen some celebrities commit suicide and we must never allow such behaviour to continue here or it will tear apart the fabric of our society.

If anyone chooses to make such insensitive attacks on vunerable people they must be willing to put down their real name.

And for those who do not feel the suffering of our least privileged, I ask them to take heed of what the Dalai Lama once said: “Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.


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