Saturday, February 24, 2018

Opinion: To make Singapore a far better place, actively promote constructive opinions and suggestions: An open proposal to the Singapore Government

I am in total agreement with the salient points raised by Dillon Lim in his letter to The Straits Times Forum Page (Singaporeans mustn't be afraid to voice opinions; February 21, 2018).

Singapore, just like many other countries in the world faces huge challenges in an uncertain world, and it is impossible for any government (Our country included) to resolve every problem. 

The ordinary man in the street who mingles in the community can see things much more clearly, and with the right attitude and mindset will be in a good position to churn useful suggestions and ideas that can so easily help the government to make Singapore the best home to live in.

While there will always be people who criticise everything and anything, there are also citizens who have a burning desire to improve the lives of all Singaporeans, especially the less well off. 

When constructive ideas are used by the government of the day, our nation can take on the toughest challenges.  Clearly, the recent budget announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has taken into account useful feedback from ordinary Singaporeans, and it is heartening to note that some of these opinions have come through from several forum letter writers – with the unflagging support of the Straits Times.  We must build on that and promote active citizenry. To stifle creativity will be doing a great disservice to Singapore.

So, let’s rally around the government and all Singaporeans to build a far better Singapore and not be discouraged by people who do not believe in active citizenry, bearing in mind what the late Martin Luther King once said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Taking the cue from King who has always inspired and motivated me, I drew up a proposal which I carefully analyzed and provided concreate solutions to stamp out misused of funds obtained from anyone in future.  A case in point was the funds that was obtained improperly by some leaders of the City Harvest Church who were eventually convicted.    Here’s my proposal:

Implement civil forfeiture laws to seize back money and assets obtained through criminal breach of trust (CBT): A public suggestion to the Law Ministry and the Singapore Government

My proposal was sent to Mr Shanmugam, our Law Minister on 6th February 2018.  I am glad that my views/suggestions to the Minister for Law submitted on 6th February 2018 was well received following a reply I got from a Jeremy Yeo Shenglong from the Ministry of Law on 15th February 2018.  Yeo mentioned that the government is reviewing the law and will take my feedback into consideration.


Raymond Anthony Fernando

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