Excerpts from readers' letters

CHECK IF S'POREANS WILL INTERVENE

Like many others in Singapore, I was outraged to read about the suffering and torture of Annie Ee by the couple resulting in her death (Why didn't anyone come to Annie Ee's aid?; Dec 3).

The poor girl was beaten and abused for more than six months yet no one did anything to help.

Dr Marissa Lee Medjeral-Mills, executive director of Disabled People's Association is reported to have said that "culturally, we are not comfortable with being seen to pry into the lives of others and making judgment".

This reflects a society that is self-centred, inconsiderate and uncaring and does not speak well for a nation that takes pride in its progress and development.

The Prime Minister has suggested that people should report those who commit acts like littering to the police.

Perhaps a survey should be carried out asking people if they would intervene if they witnessed their neighbour beating their children or abusing an animal, passengers who shout in the trains or buses, parents who allow their children to run in shopping centres, and people who use skate boards and scooters in shopping centres.

Roland Scharenguivel


FOLLOW UP ON BIKE COMPLAINTS

The OneService mobile app was launched in January 2015 as part of the Government's efforts to provide a channel for reporting municipal issues within Singapore.

HSA PRECAUTIONS COMMENDABLE

When the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) was set up in 2001, its vision was to become a leading innovative authority on national health and safety.

Recent evidence suggests that HSA has fulfilled this promise.

When the dengue vaccine was approved last year, Singapore was the only country in the world to have a precautionary statement that persons with no prior dengue exposure may either benefit less from vaccination or could even be harmed, so a blood test should be considered to determine prior exposure.

To the best of my knowledge, approvals in all other countries do not carry such precautionary statements on persons with no prior dengue exposure. There is also no mention of any blood test.

Recent data released by the manufacturer also proves that HSA is absolutely spot on in its risk assessment.

The new data showed that Singapore's precautionary statement was accurate.

Another example was back in 2007, an anti-obesity drug was approved in Europe and became very popular. But this drug was never approved for use in Singapore.

It was subsequently withdrawn due to side effects relating to depression and suicide.

These examples demonstrate the consistent regulatory and scientific brilliance of our HSA team.

Li Ze Zong

Some of these issues include littering and pests. A month ago, the indiscriminate parking of shared bicycles was included. But the operators of shared bicycles are, for some reason, given more leeway than other parties. For instance, if one gives some feedback on littering, a relevant government agency will follow up on it. One can even track the status of the case and the case is only closed when feedback is given to the informant that appropriate action has been taken.

However, in this case, neither government agencies nor shared bike companies take responsibility for letting the informant know about the status of the case.

Instead, the informant receives this terse response: "Please note that feedback received under 'Shared Bicycles - Indiscriminate Parking' will not appear in the Track Cases page."

Why are bike sharing companies spared this accountability?

Koh Swee Keow


REGULATORY BODY FOR MEDICAL FEES

The Health Ministry's initiatives to have comparision of medical rates could be a good move.

But with Singapore wanting to be a medical hub, are such initiatives needed? If the Health Ministry is really serious about the high medical costs, there is no point having doctors in their committee as they would protect their own interest. Be objective and set up a regulating body, like for other professions.

It will be sad if people from Singapore start flocking to neighbouring countries for their medical treatment.

David Soh Poh Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2017, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Print Edition | Subscribe