Friday, May 5, 2017

Raymond’s 4 thought-provoking articles on The Malayan Chronicles

Folks, do find time to read all my articles. For its crisp, moving and provides practical and workable solutions.  Happy reading, folks!
Raymond Anthony Fernando
(1) Magnanimous of MediaCorp’s Radio GOLD 90.5 FM to pay the bills of shoppers

If anyone were to ask me to pick my all-time favourite song, I would most certainly pick Glen Campbell’s smash hit ‘Try a little kindness’. The lyrics bear an important message – the willingness to extend a helping hand to those in need.

And this virtue of showing kindness was so well carried out by the fantastic Deejays of our popular radio station Gold 90.5FM during their recent unique project of Making Someone’s Day. It was so encouraging seeing the DJs helping to pay the grocery bills of complete strangers that brought on big smiles from the shoppers as well as tears of joy from those who were deeply touched by compassion and kindness. I guess in a certain way, Christmas came early for the lucky shoppers who benefitted from the kindness shown by the radio station.

It is always good to emulate programmes that support the community. The station decided to carry out this project after they were inspired by a group of friends from Oklahoma City who started the ‘Fill My Basket’ initiative. By paying it forward, GOLD 90.5FM has clearly demonstrated that MediaCorp can be a great corporate citizen. For even as I watch the TV show RenovAID, I can see that that our national broadcaster has taken much pains and effort to bring happiness to those who live in the shadows of life.

To save on costs, many of our seniors will shop at NTUC FairPrice on Mondays and Tuesdays where discounts are given.

With the growing need for better support for our silvered haired citizens, this initiative on the part of the radio station, I hope, will inspire other organisations and radio stations worldwide to step forward and do their part as responsible corporate citizens.
Perhaps, Gold 90.5FM could ride on this programme and through collaborations with the grassroots leaders, identify isolated and lonely citizens and bring some basic groceries to them twice a year. The joys that is bound to come on their faces could be a motivating factor for the station and the sponsors to consider the proposal.

For at the heart of making Singapore the best home to live in, it will help if successful companies do their part to give a ray of hope to those in need.


(2) Mischief makers must be taken to task and counselled for causing alarm
At a time when terrorism is on the rise and efforts on the part of the government and our security personnel are being made to ensure that our citizens live and work in a safe environment, the alleged mischief caused by the 69-year-old man in placing a baking powder at the Woodleigh MRT station must never be condoned (“Man arrested after using baking flour to mark running trail”; The New Paper, April,19).

With thousands of commuters taking public transport every day, people must be able to travel about with peace of mind. Moreover, the police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) have their hands full in having to attend to emergencies like fighting fires, accidents and saving lives. Such resources are precious and should never be abused.

The law must therefore come down hard on the alleged offender and the two other suspects with a clear message: That putting fear in the public is not a game, and that repeats of such offences might make some people mistakenly believe that it is not for real. Then what happens when there is really a bomb scare? Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf?

Nonetheless, it is heartening to note that our men in blue and the SCDF take every incident seriously and leave nothing to chance.

Following police investigations into the incident, local running group Seletar Hash House Harriers had apologised on Wednesday (Apr 19) for causing alarm and inconvenience in Tuesday’s (Apr 18) security scare at Woodleigh MRT station.

The group said in a press release that three of its members were marking a trail for a run scheduled for Tuesday evening.
In all seriousness, can all this be forgotten over an apology?

(3) Aggressive woman under severe stress, probably not in the correct frame of mind, needs treatment

Like many people, I was disturbed and shocked to see the video and to read the report of the violent woman who abused the staff at the spectacle shop Owndays in Tiong Bahru Plaza “Woman arrested after hitting shop employees at Tiong Bahru Plaza” (April 4).

However, those who have some understanding of psychological issues will feel that the woman in question was not in the correct frame of mind during her outbursts. In my view, she needs treatment as she could be going through severe stress, unable to cope with life’s challenges, and might just be having a mental disorder that has probably gone untreated.

I have much admiration for the staff who were abused physically and verbally as retaliation could only have resulted in more damaging incidents.

Many psychiatrists and other healthcare workers, particularly those working in emergency or acute care settings, have reported direct experiences with aggressive and violent behaviour among those trying to cope with overwhelming stress.

Aggression can take on a number of different forms such as verbal communication through yelling at another individual, or physically by engaging in some type of physical violence. Aggression can be direct behaviors such as hitting, kicking, biting, and pushing, just to name a few.

Ailments that influence aggressive behavior often also have psychological, cognitive, and physical symptoms.

It is a mistake to leave aggression untreated as it can lead to serious complications and permanent physical, legal and psychological ramifications.

Conditions which can lead to aggression include brain tumors and closed head injuries. Some of these disorders may include bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD.

I have read the comments by netizens on social media and it is such a sad state of affairs that such things are taking place.
Professionals can help the woman by getting to the root of her problems and finding out her family background for I have every confidence that with medication, counselling and structural support from grassroots leaders who are being trained in mental health education, she can go on to lead a normal life.


(4) Open up a few polyclinics after office hours and on public holidays to reduce the workload on the ambulance services

It is rather alarming that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) had to attend to 81,686 calls between January and June this year – a 7.4 per cent increase over the same period last year (“Ambulance calls surge with ageing population”; The Straits Times, Thursday 3rd May 2017).

Most certainly it is worrying that 4 percent or 3,453 were non-emergency calls while the rest of the calls were false alarms.

Everyone has to understand that the SCDF have to attend to several emergencies that includes fighting fires, attending to accidents on our busy roads and even rescuing people who are suicidal. With their mission to save and reclaims lives, it is crucial that the services of the SCDF is not misused.

For those who abuse the SCDF officers in one way or the other or make prank calls, they must be taken to task, counselled, and if need be made to do some sort of community work. We must never allow precious lives to be placed in jeopardy on account of abusers.

These days people get unduly worried when they or their loved ones fall ill or have accidents at home which can easily be attended to by GPs in clinics or at emergency units in private or public hospitals.  But many are unwilling to pay for the extra medical fees incurred.

To help reduce the number of SCDF services, it would help if a handful of polyclinics offer medical services after office hours and on public holidays in the different districts/zones to attend to non-emergency cases. Locum doctors can be hired for this purpose, with patients paying an additional $2-$3 for this special service.



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