Raymond Anthony Fernando’s letter to The Straits Times: Give couple a second chance
My letter to The Straits Times on the above matter is published today,Tuesday 15th August 2017.
I was struck by the emotions Ms Tay Puay Leng displayed when she spoke of the incident which landed her and Mr Chow Chuin Yee with a fine for the use of criminal force and harassment on 76-year-old Mr Ng Ai Hua at a hawker centre (Public backlash ‘making us live like fugitives’; Aug 13).
I sense that Ms Tay is sincere in wanting to apologise to Mr Ng. It was reported that she is a caregiver to her 89-year-old grandmother, who suffers from dementia.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be very stressful.
It has been reported that some people, probably riled up by the incident, have
tried to pick quarrels with the couple or even intimidate them.
Taking matters into our own hands will only cause more ugly behaviour to surface, resulting in the courts and police having to cope with an increased workload.
What kind of message are we sending our youngsters?
Ms Tay and Mr Chow have already been punished by the court. She was fined $1,200 and he was fined $1,500. There is no need for us to persecute or punish them any further.
Everyone who makes mistakes ought to be given a second chance.
We can become a far better society if we can accept that people make mistakes, offer forgiveness and move on.
Raymond Anthony Fernando
My philosophy in life: Help anyone who is going through struggles & adversities in their life and embrace forgiveness for those who have made a wrong turn, but are willing to turn over a new leaf. These are values which I have learnt through my Catholic teachings and what my mother and my late wife taught me.
Sometimes, even a comforting word for those who are going through painful periods helps, but how many people make the effort to do so. My press letter to The ST seeks to help make Singapore a far better society, and we should all work towards that goal