My letter was published in The New Paper today, Wed 5 Jan 2010, page 20.
I refer to the report, “Oh no, is that our son?”and “ Oh no, it's him” (The New Paper, Jan 2, and 4).
The worry that Mr Chye Chee Meng and his wife must have gone through, first in searching for their missing teenage autistic son and then finding out it was he who had drowned in Woodlands Town Garden, must have been overwhelming.
The police had first told them that the body did not appear to be their son, but later told them the drowning victim was their missing son after all. Perhaps, if investigations had been more thorough, the mistaken identity would not have added to the parent's anxiety.
That aside, people with intellectual disabilities need better protection so that their caregivers are not placed in too much anxiety should their loved ones go missing.
Perhaps the authorities could consider implementing an electronic tracking system in the form of a pendant for this vulnerable group, who could also include the lonely elderly.
Participation in this scheme should be voluntary.
However, the pendant could be attractively designed and affordable so that more people would wear it.
The pendant should have the details of the wearer in a microchip, similar to the Development Disability Registry (DDR) Identity Card for people with disabilities.
This device would enable the police to track any missing persons in this category in double quick time, cutting down on manpower hours and resources.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
Let us be inspired by what Oprah Winfrey once said: “Do one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.”