P.S: (1) I had written to the Education Minister about the 26 members committee : This was my query, but have yet to receive a reply.
"Dear Mr Heng,
I’ve noticed that there are a large number of people in your National Conversation committee from all walks of life that includes the President of the society for the Physically Disabled, and even a taxi driver. But I have not read of any one representing people with psychiatric conditions & their caregivers. I’d like to know why this is so, given that there are hundreds who are in this group. Is anyone looking into the welfare/interests of the mentally ill & their family members? Can you kindly enlighten me, Mr Heng. Thank you.
Raymond Anthony Fernando"
(2) NMP Eugene Tan in his recent commentary & analysis to MediaCorp’s TODAY newspaper said, & I quote,” Looking at the committee's composition, the accent on youth is also evident. Most members were born post-1965 and the oldest (actress Lim Ru Ping) is a relatively youthful 61 years of age. But the dialogue about our future has to include the past, present and future. Any vision outlined will be path-dependent on the past and present. Furthermore, there will be far more Singaporeans aged 60 and above in 20 years' time than there are today,” unquote.
I agree with Eugene’s observations. Just look at the committee’s composition. Even though suicide is on the rise (last year there were more than 900 people who were arrested for suicide attempts), hundreds suffering from depression and other types of mental illness, with caregivers struggling to cope in caring for their loved ones, I do not see anyone who is representing this marginalized group in the National Conversation Committee. How can we then say, in the Prime Minister’s own words, “No one will be left behind”.