Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Letter to The New Paper: UPROAR OVER ANTON CASEY”S FACEBOOK COMMENTS: Give him a second chance

My letter to The New Paper on the above matter is published today, Wednesday 29thJanuary 2013.

Many people, including our politicians, Singaporeans and expats were understandably upset over Mr Anton Casey’s insulting remarks about our public transport users being “poor people” in the report, “You’re not superior because you’re got money” (The New Paper, Jan 24)

Initially, I was very upset by his insensitive comments. 

But I fervently believe that since Mr Casey has realised his grave mistake and is willing to make amends by offering to do community work, can we not find it in our hearts to forgive him and give him a second chance?

If prisoners are given a second chance, then I am sure we can accord the same kind gesture to Mr Casey.  

He has lost his job and friends, and he and his family will no doubt become isolated and lonely due to a wrong turn.

Only when we are in that same predicament do we realise what it feels like to be isolated.

A good way for the former wealth manager to make amends for his mistakes is to volunteer his services to marginalised citizens who need love, understanding and support. 

Once Mr Casey has proven his sincerity with the concept of charity, I have every confidence that he can rebuild his life.  


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Raymond Anthony Fernando's letter to The New Paper: Doctors should have helped woman

My letter on the above matter was published in The New Paper today, Tuesday 21st January 2014.

I have mixed feelings reading the report, “Why didn’t doctors come out to help?” (The New Paper, yesterday).

While I am heartened by the public spiritedness of 25-year-old customer service officer Janice Choy, who took pains to look for doctors to help the elderly woman who was lying on the road, I am troubled by the lack of support on the part of the two clinics. 

Public spiritedness does not always occur, but if we want to see such virtues spread widely, then those who are in a position to render assistance, as with the case of the doctors, must act decisively.  

At a time when our hospitals are facing a severe bed crunch with limited resources, it would have been far better if the doctors helped the elderly woman.  

Then, only if there was a need to call an ambulance, the clinic could have summoned one.  


P.S: Doctors must understand that they are trained to save lives. Even if the doctors are busy seeing patients at their respective clinics, I am sure those waiting to see him would not mind waiting a little longer during an emergency.  Recently, the Prime Minister made an appeal for all our citizens to look out for one another. This lack of support for the eldery woman on the part of the clincs concerned is not in line with what the PM wants us to do.

Let us take lessons from the magnimous Janice Choy who should not allow this incident to deter her from wanting to reach out to those who need care and support – because you are making a difference, Janice .  


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Raymond 's letter to the press: Expand support for the needy and elderly

My letter to The Straits Times on the above matter was published on Tuesday 14th January 2014.

It is commendable that the authorities have taken a keen interest in helping needy people in Punggol East, through a community voucher programme that will help more than 400 households (“More shops accept vouchers from needy”; Dec 30).

Another report (“5 more estates get grant for features to help the elderly”; Dec 28) said five more estates have been awarded the $50,000 City for All Ages grant to enhance their elderly-friendly features.  Kembangan-Chai Chee now plans to work with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) to help the elderly keep depression at bay.

Needy Singaporeans and elderly folk with mental issues are not confined to just a few districts in Singapore.  It is imperative that the Government reach out to everyone who needs help.

It would be helpful for more constituencies to collaborate with IMH. There is also an urgent need to intensify public education on mental illnesses, and make it an ongoing process.

It is only proper that needy Singaporeans and the elderly in every constituency benefit from government-driven help schemes.  Such programmes should not be restricted to a select few.

Raymond Anthony Fernando


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Raymond Anthony Fernando's letter to the press: Adopt two-way appraisal system

My letter on the above subject was published in The Straits Times on Saturday 4th January 2014.

One way to ensure good human resource practices is to introduce upward appraisals for staff performance (“Ranking employees against one another unhealthy” by Mr Tan Kin Lian; Thursday).

Upward appraisals are performance appraisals of managers and bosses which are usually written by the subordinate staff.

In organisations that use upward appraisals, the subordinates complete a questionnaire on how well their superiors manage them. This usually takes place after the superiors have had the opportunity to finish preparing and discussing the subordinates’ performance appraisals.

These upward appraisals will encourage supervisors to facilitate two-way performance communication with their staff.

With this scheme, the organisation will be able to identify areas of growth for their employees – either in their current positions or in preparation for more challening roles in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

The civil service could lead the way in implementing such a system.

Raymond Anthony Fernando