Give couple a second chance

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 in court for harassment and the use of criminal force 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 to our young people?

Ms Tay and Mr Chow have been punished by the courts. 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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2017, with the headline 'Give couple a second chance'. Print Edition | Subscribe