Forum: Bouquets

A difference in the air in Orchard Road

I applaud as well as appreciate the good work done by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the relevant authorities in the mammoth task of making Orchard Road a no-smoking stretch (Orchard Road smoking ban: Over 4,000 tickets issued last year, Jan 18).

With the ban having come into effect since April 1 last year, I can now almost feel a difference in the air when I stroll down the road.

This has indeed made a huge difference for many people, who now do not have to put up with smokers and second-hand smoke. And it is heartening to know that the 400 smokers among the 1,000 people surveyed by the NEA last July supported the ban. It is a great step forward.

Cynthia Ponnana

Quick response to call for help

I compliment the staff of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Yishun Social Service Office (SSO) after my recent experience with them.

I had chanced on a hunched, elderly lady pushing a trolley and collecting cardboard boxes for a living who appeared to require some social assistance.

I called one of the MSF hotlines (1800-222-0000) to ask if a social worker could visit her to better understand her needs. The next day, the Yishun SSO called me to inform me that they would be sending an officer to visit her.

The staff deserve praise for their quick response and passion to serve those in need.

Lam Yin Yin

DPM Heng shines at IPS conference

Big kudos to the Institute of Policy Studies for putting together Singapore Perspectives 2020, which saw Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, among other distinguished panellists, in a candid exchange with the people.

Mr Heng proved to the audience that he was cool enough for the hot seat.

Facing tough questions ranging from the goods and services tax to inequality, Mr Heng revealed his deep understanding of how numbers work and the plethora of factors that must be considered in policymaking.

Our country is in need of more leaders who can demonstrate to our public stewards that Singapore Together means taking suggestions and criticisms in good stride, expending time to listen to the people and understand their needs - all while staying close to the ground.

Lily Ong

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