Excerpts from readers' letters

THE RIGHT FAMILY LAWYER MATTERS

We, family lawyers, feel frustrated with lawyers out there who call themselves "specialist family lawyers" but have not invested in any skill sets (such as being a mediator or collaborative) and keep advocating litigation with no room for negotiations or ability to arrive at an amicable resolution (Limit role of lawyers in family justice system, by Mr Peter Ong Teck Sin; Jan 20).

Instead of containing the conflict, the matter gets escalated to court and legal fees balloon.

The public needs to become wiser in choosing the right family lawyer who is trained to serve their needs, and legal costs can be contained.

Gloria James (Ms)


LAWYER FEES ON A DOWNWARD TREND

Although lawyers can charge a high hourly rate, they are subject to market competition. This is especially true for family law.

I have spoken with many divorce lawyers over the years and have observed a general downward trend in the fees they charge.

Hence, it is inaccurate to generalise divorce fees as "manifestly excessive" (Limit role of lawyers in family justice system, by Mr Peter Ong Teck Sin; Jan 20).

Yuk Lun Chan


ISOLATION IN A CONNECTED WORLD

Recent discussion on a social divide based on class is only a symptom of a larger menace (Study finds evidence of class divide in Singapore; Dec 29, 2017).

Technology has seemingly brought us closer, but in reality, most of us are living in our own cocoons. Meeting face-to-face has become redundant and leaving the house is only an option. It is common not to know our neighbours.

HOW TO CHECK FUND-RAISING PERMITS

The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) issues fund-raising permits or Collector's Certificates of Authority (CCAs) only to our member social service organisations, while the police does the same for all other organisations that intend to raise funds through collections in public places (How to check charity permits?, by Mr Josh Tang Weijie; Jan 19).

All fund raisers are obliged to carry the CCA with them when they carry out activities in public.

Smartphone users may check its authenticity by scanning the unique QR code on each CCA. This will take them to our online database of fund-raising permits approved by NCSS. The public may also use the Charities Unit's SMS query facility, with an SMS to 79777, or online through www.charities.gov.sg

Quek Boon Kien (Ms)

Director, Finance and Fund Allocation,

National Council of Social Service

We should be more worried about feeling increasingly isolated and withdrawn as individuals in a seemingly well-connected world.

Seah Yam Meng


SET RULES ON SHARED BIKES FIRST

Initially, only three companies were running bicycle rental schemes. But this has increased to six (Bike blues; Jan 22).

It seems the Land Transport Authority is welcoming shared bicycle companies with open arms but without first setting stringent guidelines and rules.

The indiscriminate parking is an eyesore and a serious social problem. Fine-tuning to fix all the problems after implementation is not at all healthy.

Neo Poh Goon


RESERVES BELONG TO EVERYONE

It is futile to argue about who should bear the financial burden (Potential conflicts between young and old flagged at panel; Jan 23).

The country's reserves belong to everyone. The government of the day should be wise enough to budget for all citizens, young and old.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2018, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Print Edition | Subscribe