Monday, July 15, 2013

Row between WP & PAP: Raymond Writes to the press: Letter to The New Paper: Many issues need more attention

My letter on the above matter is published in The New Paper today, page 19, Monday 15th July 2013.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishan have called on the Workers’ Party (WP) Chief Low Low Thia Khiang to clear any doubts on his fellow MPs’ integrity. 

I fully agree with PM Lee’s call that those who are elected to Parliament must display integrity and honesty so that they can gain the trust of their constituents.

But I hope this row between the ruling party and the WP does not lead to politics of hate or deter people from entering politics.   The opposition and the ruling party must work hand in hand to improve the lives of our citizens, many of whom are struggling to survive in our stressful environment.  

There are many bread and butter issues which need more attention. We have road rage and accidents taking place every now and then, the cost of living and medical expenses are skyrocketing, and suicides have gone up by 30 per cent.

I have had dealings with several MPs - both from the opposition and the Peoples Action Party.  And while some of them have been helpful, other clearly lack empathy and come across as arrogant.

MPs must stay in touch with the citizens who elected them or they will lose support. And ministers mus go beyond emphaty And help to bring support measures to those who are struggling to cope.


Cover letter to PM Lee & his Ministers/MPs.
Dear PM Lee , Ministers and MPs,
Do check out this letter, but now allow me to share something that needs the Govt’s attention and I hope that steps will be taken to provide caregivers the support that we so badly needed.  This, in fact was promised by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat when I attended the Singapore Conversation where he invited me to share my experience as a caregiver to my wife.  I have yet to see caregiver support being given to us when we are prepared to walk the long & arduous journey- despite facing huge setbacks in our lonely & isolated lives.
After my wife’s knee surgery in June this year, an unfortunate incident took place in the Rehab Hospital at The Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital. While transferring my wife from the bed to a shower chair one night at around 12.30pm, the nurse dropped my wife and as a result of which, my wife suffered a relapse of her mental illness- schizophrenia. She was frightened!  I had to rush down to the hospital at 1.30am in the morning. It has been a nightmare for me for the past 6 weeks as I  grieve all alone. It is only my wife’s psychiatrist at IMH who is helping my wife to stabilize.
Despite the fact that I alerted the Govt. to be mindful of my wife’s fragile mind, this thing happened. Add insult to injury , hardly anyone stepped forward to help .  This matter was brought to the attention of many Govt. agencies including the NCSS, SAMH and a few others, Ministers and MPs, but hardly anyone cared.  How can you call this a gracious, inclusive and caring society?
Minister Balakrishnan is one office holder who shows a lot of empathy and care. I wrote to several ministers , but he was the only minister who wrote to me and gave me encouragement.  I respect him for that. But ministers , MPs and civil servants  must go beyond empathy and help to bring support measures to those who are struggling to cope.
My MP, Mr Seng Han Thong has tried his level best to help, appealing to my CDC, SAMH and a few other agencies. So too NMP Lawrence Lien who does empathize with us.  Besides the Family Services Centre, the CDC and SAMH have still not given us the support we so badly need.  Then what is the purpose of these organizations functioning.
Raymond Anthony Fernando


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rayhope said...

Here's my email contact:

Raymond Anthony Fernando