Forum: Excerpts from readers' letters

Sembawang Hills Food Centre on March 14, 2020.
Sembawang Hills Food Centre on March 14, 2020.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


I applaud the National Environment Agency's campaign to get people to throw food waste into bins before returning their food trays.

However, when I visited Sembawang Hills Food Centre over a couple of days, I was disappointed that I could not find any bin next to the tray-return station. There seems to be gaps in the execution of this otherwise very useful campaign.

Chang Nam Yuen


One of my friends who works as a cleaner in a primary school said that she has been getting only a half-hour break every day the past two months.

While she understood how important her work was, she found it really physically taxing. She said that most of her colleagues were above 50 years old and were really exhausted after a day's work. Some of them have had to see a doctor for body aches and take medical leave. This, in turn, increased the workload for the rest as the school could not hire more cleaners in such short notice.

I wonder if this is the same challenge for other front-line cleaners in other sectors. Can we as a society provide more support for them?

Hong Siew Lan


Those under stay-home notices are not allowed visitors nor are they permitted to leave their home.

The rubbish chutes in HDB flats these days are all outside the unit. Would stepping out to throw the rubbish constitute breaking of the stay-home notice or is this allowed?

Would appreciate some clarity.

Lee Oi Keng


Should the Singapore Armed Forces stop all in-camp training or mobilisation exercises?

The latter involves at least 3,000 people gathered in a very confined area.

I understand that national security is also a priority, but perhaps suitable alternative arrangements could be made, such as training in smaller groups.

I also wonder about the ventilation of the bunks. Perhaps NSmen should be allowed to go home to ensure that they do not sleep in big groups in confined areas, or at least have fewer people in each bunk to prevent crowding.

Lim Shengyang


Schools have started conducting one day of home-based learning a week. I am sure there are families who may not have the luxury of access to external enrichment classes. They may not even have personal computers or an Internet connection. I urge local Internet service providers to provide free data for all students during the days they have home-based e-learning so that they will not be stressed about congregating around public areas to access free Wi-Fi.

In the same vein, schools must ensure that all students have access to a computer.

Colin Ong Tau Shien


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore have indeed taken a hit with the sudden fall in business. Many are doing their best to transform their business models to stay afloat. However any "new" business typically requires a push with a first customer in order to start and keep the cycle going. This is where government purchasing departments can play their part.

A good example is the awarding of bulk purchase orders for masks to Singapore companies instead of foreign business partners.

The Government can also look into rewarding those SMEs which are compassionate and resilient enough to retain all their staff through this storm.

Eva Wong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2020, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Print Edition | Subscribe