Saturday, September 21, 2019

Schizophrenia: Raymond A Fernando’s shared his story on National TV 7 years ago

Dear Friends  
There has been lot of stigma surrounding mental illnesses and mental patients in Singapore. Spurred on by the love for his schizophrenic wife Doris, Raymond Fernando decided to become an advocate for the mentally ill. This is apart from having to care for Doris around the clock and providing financially for the both of them. Catch the final episode of Everyday Heroes as we chart this undying love.
It’s 5 years now since Doris has died, but I still miss her terribly. 
But she is safe NOW, in the arms of the Lord, free from prejudice, free from discrimination.
Doris has authored 8 books before she died, through my undying love for her. I have re-printed her very 1st book, a cookbook entitled “COOK WITH LOVE” which retails at $20. I thank God for bringing people to support our works, it helps me with my many needs NOW.
I am trying to cope with my own medical needs including osteoarthritis
Rally around me as I arrive at the last journey in my difficult life.
God Bless!
Raymond Anthony Fernando

TV Show:  Everyday Heroes - EP9

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Opinion piece:  Show empathy, compassion and kindness to maids


I fully endorse the kindness, understanding that employers display to their hired helpers (Treat maids with respect, compassion, Sep 11, 2019)

Many of these helpers who come from poorer countries leave their families back home to earn better wages here in Singapore. It is a big sacrifice which all employers must appreciate.

When we are sensitive to the needs of maids and treat them well, as the writer has done, they will in turn look after the employer and all members of the household.

Most of our maids are up at the crack of dawn and work till as late at 10pm almost every day.   Find time to chat with the maid so that cordial relationships develop, bearing in mind that as friends, we tend to be more giving.

We need to create a people-centric culture to fully understand that working together helps to achieve a common goal. No harm in lending a hand to the maid when it comes to doing household chores.  Children who observe such kindness will grow up to be more caring citizens.

I have seen maids carrying the school bags of their employers’ children and showering them with love and kindness.  Ultimately, such virtues will translate into lifelong relationships and help to make this a far better world.

While eating my lunch at the market today, Wednesday 18th September 2019, I saw a Filipino maid taking her lunch which was paid for by her employer. I was in 2 minds. Happy that she has meals, but saddened that she leaves her home to earn better wages in Singapore. It's terrible to be without food.

Given that I have diabetes my hunger pangs are many. And if I don't take food I will collapse.

Let’s rally around them and bring happiness to these foreign domestic helpers who are also human beings.








Friday, September 6, 2019

Opinion piece: Consumers must be prudent when purchasing groceries, but don’t write off ABC stores

The Straits Times ran an article on the ABC store at Potong Pasir which they felt had been misleading consumers “Sales that never end could soon come to an end”, September, 2, 2019).


Following that report, regular forum writer, Jeffrey Law Lee Beng also then took issue with the store in his letter, which in a nutshell said that action must be taken against the store, “Clamp down on shop owners who falsify original prices of sale items, September 4, 2019).


First of all, let us understand that the ABC stores is regarded by many consumers who include maids, the elderly and lower income groups as a poor man’s grocery store. The goods purchased help stretch the dollar.


There are hundreds of foreigners, including Filipino maids and Indian nationals who patronise the stores island-wide. In Lucky Plaza alone, at least 3 of its branches offer items which are value for money.  These foreigners leave their families behind to come to Singapore to earn better wages and depend on these stores to buy affordable groceries.   Let us not deprive them of providing decent meals for their families as many of them live in poor countries.


The Filipino maids often buy 2 to 3 bags of such groceries and send it by courier to their families back home as such items help them to keep costs down. Additionally, these groceries are a luxury back home.  


In striving to build a gracious and more caring society, let us make every effort to show kindness, empathy and compassion to the poor and the needy.


For example, a medium size bottle of shampoo cost only $1, while a bar of Dove soap cost just 50 cents. For $10, consumers can purchase lots of biscuits and even chocolates which the bigger supermarkets like NTUC FairPrice or Sheng Song cannot offer. 


Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world and everyone has to be prudent in their spending.


I also purchase such groceries from the ABC or Value add stores as I am no longer holding a fulltime job.


What is important is for consumers to check the expiry dates when buying products – and on the part of the stores, they can give bigger discounts for items which expiry dates fall within a month.  Then if the consumer decides to buy them, they should use them before the expiry dates.


Raymond Anthony Fernando

Thursday, September 5, 2019

On-going enriching marriage commitment programmes needed to combat greying divorce: An open public suggestion to Desmond Lee, Minister for Family & Social Development & the Cabinet

3rd September 2019


It is a worrying trend that seniors are ending their marriage after being together for decades (Divorces among seniors in Singapore going up, Sept, 2)

It is a sad reality that grey divorce appears to be a new demographic trend, and this has accelerated in the 21st century. 

Getting married is easy, but staying married is another matter entirely.  Even more challenging is staying committed to each other throughout the rest of their lives.

The divorce experience is emotionally and financially traumatic and includes a long list of psychological side effects that so often leads to burnout.  Where there are adult children involved, the break up will wreak havoc as, out of no choice, children will have to put their personal lives on hold to handle difficult situations at home.

To help bring down grey divorce, it would be useful to have programmes that helps couples value the marriage vows which they took when they signed on the dotted line,

One way is to have the marriage encounter programme for married seniors carried out every 5 years. These 10 to 12 sessions have proven effective in getting married couples to value the bonds of marriage. 

Testimonies from couples who have stayed resilient throughout their marriage journey could be invited to share their joyful experiences to motivate and inspire all attending.

Given that seniors may find it a challenge to pay for the programmes, it will help a great deal if such sessions can be fully sponsored or given subsidies by the organisers.


Raymond Anthony Fernando