Sunday, April 22, 2018

Opinion piece to The Singapore Government: Show empathy, exercise care and understanding to SMRT’s COO Al vin Kwek

Alcohol doesn't console, it doesn't fill up anyone's psychological gaps, all it replaces is the lack of God.  It doesn't comfort man.  On the contrary, it encourages him in his folly, it transports him to the supreme regions where he is master of his own destiny.”

I am saddened to read the report, “SMRT Trains COO Alvin Kek held at Woodlands checkpoint for drink driving”, April 22, 2018, The Sunday Times.


Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult challenges to deal with. For grief comes and go, comes and go.  Some people never get over the loss of loved ones.  Even though I have lost my beloved wife one for 4 years now, I do, on occasions, still grabble with deep sadness and severe emotional pain. But I seek comfort through the power of prayer and the love from the Good Shepherd (Jesus).


It was reported in the press report that Kwek had recently lost his beloved father.  My deepest sympathy to him – and his family.


There is a British idiom which says, “The devil is in the bottle.” Basically, what it is conveying is that we should never allow alcohol abuse to take control of our lives because it can destroy us.


Sadly, those who are struggling to cope with stress – both at work and in personal matters may take to the bottle to ‘drown their sorrows.’ I have seen through the media reports – on television and the newspapers how COO Kwek has the unenviable task of trying to improve the running of our MRT trains, and that is by no means an easy task. Let’s exercise patience and understanding in SMRT’s on-going efforts to improve the rail system.


In trying to balance work stress, family commitments and alcohol consumption as a means of escapism, the SMRT management and the Transport Minister need to be mindful that prolonged grief and work-stress can so easily lead to depression. It is prudent to address this issue.


Jerry Kennard, a Health Professional correctly cautions that the history of depression and alcohol is both long and well documented – and that reasons for hitting the bottle range from a simple desire to lift mood to that of reaching a state of oblivion.


While the police have a duty to stop drink-driving, I also urge them and the authorities to exercise empathy, understanding and care in helping Alvin Kwek to better manage his present plight, and to provide him with the much-needed counselling and whatever support he needs to enable him to ‘come out of the woods’.






1 comment:

rayhope said...

“HR departments in all companies, government agencies included, need to get to know their staff better, so that in cases of severe emotional pain either through a loss of a loved one or life-threatening sickness, they can be proactive and step in to help before more serious issues kick in.”

Raymond Anthony Fernando