Address urgent concerns on deputyship applications

I thank the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Family Justice Courts (FJC) for their response (Making deputyship applications simpler; April 27).

However, the letter fails to show the steps taken by MSF and FJC to simplify the deputyship application process for parents of children with intellectual disability.

Many of the issues previously raised have also not been addressed.

Will MSF and FJC design a form specifically for the appointment of a deputy for an intellectually-disabled person?

Does Singapore's third Enabling Masterplan include assistance to parents in deputyship applications?

While the current FJC forms for application under the Mental Capacity Act provide templates to help in drafting the required legal documents, the legal terminology in the forms and the complex court procedures involved make it difficult for a layperson to apply to the courts in person, without having to hire a lawyer.

The Assisted Deputyship Application Programme (Adap) initiatives may have substantially reduced cost, effort and time spent for deputyship application, but these benefits apply only to the students involved in the programme.

When will MSF extend the benefits of the Adap to the general public?

Will MSF consider terminating Adap for students of special education schools who are still minors, so that resources can be fully channelled to adult beneficiaries where deputyship appointment is a more pressing concern?

Are the courts considering accepting alternative proof of an intellectually disabled person's lack of mental capacity? I know of a government body that accepts a letter from a special education school confirming the person's attendance there as proof.

As Singapore's nuclear family household sizes become smaller and its citizens become more educated, more and more parents will be looking into deputyship appointments of unrelated caregivers for their intellectually-disabled children.

The relevant government bodies should look urgently into ways to simplify the process.

Betty Ho Peck Woon (Ms)