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


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