Saturday, August 28, 2010

Youth Olympics Games (YOG): Teething problems normal - Raymond's letter to the press

This letter was published in The New Paper on Saturday 28 August 2010.

I refer to the report, “Stop whining”(The New Paper, Aug 26).

I applaud the efforts of Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and his organising committee for putting Singapore on the world map through the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

Undoubtedly, sports can help to unite the world.

As with any huge event, teething problems are bound to set in - no matter how meticulously the event is planned.

Some 30 years ago, during my public relations stint in broadcasting, I was part of the organising committee that planned the Asia-Pacific Union Broadcasters conference.

Despite careful planning, there were still some problems that arose from time to time.

I can, therefore, understand some of the lapses that have occurred in organising this major sporting event.

Despite his hectic schedule, Dr Balakrishnan made it a point to be at several venues, mingled with the athletes and volunteers during the games and meal breaks, giving them encouragement and support.

Certainly, the minister has worked tirelessly to make the event a success.

But there is much unhappiness on the ground because many feel that the projected expenses for the YOG - $387 million - is too lavish.

The revelation from the Auditor-General Office's on lapses of fund management at several government agencies has also caused dissatisfaction among Singaporeans.

For instance, some nursing homes did not get the full subsidies they should have received from the Health Ministry.

The feeling is that feedback is not well-heeded and this is, perhaps, why some netizens have resorted to posting their frustrations online.


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