Raymond writes a second letter to the press- this time to The New Paper.
This letter on the above subject is published in The New Paper on Wednesday 22 December 2010.
I refer to the report, “I felt more and more nervous ” (The New Paper, Dec17).
Over the last six months of this year, there have been 105 incidents of people parading around nude in public. There have also been tragedies involving persons with mental illness. This is certainly a disturbing trend!
Equally disturbing was the middle-age woman, reported to be mentally ill, who boarded the SBS Transit bus in the nude on 16 December.
The onlookers who seized the opportunity to snap pictures and videos of the woman should be ashamed of themselves. Let us not forget that the woman could be someone's sister, mother or daughter.
A tough stand needs to be taken against people who find it a joy to humiliate the mentally ill. This is where the Mental Capacity Act should be enforced.
A woman's modesty should be protected at all costs. And I am glad that the bus driver took immediate steps to ensure that she was not taken advantage of. He should be commended.
People with mental illness are often left to fend for themselves because caregiving is a daunting task.
Given the rising number of people who are unable to cope with the stresses of life, there is a dire need to facilitate support and compassion for the mentally ill, who do not have a sense of belonging in a society that is bent on economic excellence.
Before the situation gets out of hand, I suggest that a high-level committee, comprising staff from the Singapore Police Force, mental health providers and related government ministries be formed to resolve problems with these marginalised citizens who need to live in dignity.
Officers from the town councils and grassroots leaders can also be roped in to tackle these problems, which often observed in our housing estates.
As the yuletide season draws to a close, bear in mind that the mentally ill are also God's children and they need love, understanding, and support - just like anyone of us.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
P.S: My Christmas & New Year wish is for the Govt to do more to help these marginalised citizens live in dignity.