Excerpts from readers' letters

MORE ABOUT MOUNT SOPHIA'S PAST

The report (Room for history on Mount Sophia; April 30) was of more than casual interest to me, as two of my sisters started their primary education at the CEZMS (Church of England Zenana Missionary) School, which was at the upper end of Sophia Road.

That would have been in the late 1920s or early 1930s, when our family was residing nearby.

Surprisingly, there was not even a passing mention of the school in the report.

I remember the acronym CEZMS being hilariously expanded to "Crocodile Elephant Zebra Monkey School".

Going by available records, the change in name to St Margaret's School happened in only 1949.

Despite name changes over the years, St Margaret's has the distinction of being Singapore's oldest girls' school.

Mount Emily Swimming Pool, which was Singapore's first public pool, and also in the Mount Sophia area, was also not mentioned in the report.

Narayana Narayana


RELOOK APPROACH TO FAST MARCHES

I refer to the report (Medical panel to review SAF strategy for heat injuries; May 4).

In modern-day warfare, there is no longer any relevance for fast marches. For one, you can transport soldiers much faster in helicopters or armoured vehicles. Second, with the deployment of satellites and surveillance drones these days, you cannot expect to sneak up on your enemy with fast marches anymore.

If you ask any serviceman, I am sure he would rather run 25km in his physical training attire rather than do an 8km fast march in battle order. With our weather conditions, there will always be a chance of heat injuries when one trains in battle order.

Hence the way I see it, we can do two things. Either conduct fast marches at night, or train soldiers to run longer or faster or both, but in loose clothing. This is consistent with the 2.4km tests that are conducted in gyms rather than outdoors for national servicemen.

Matthew Chua


BOOST FOR S'PORE IF TALKS HELD HERE

A few months ago, many Singaporeans would not have been proud to be associated with anything North Korean, especially after the country's leader Kim Jong Un warned of a nuclear launch button on his table.

But now that his image has improved considerably after the inter-Korea talks, I think Singaporeans are more amenable to welcoming him too.

I think some are even excited that the planned meeting between United States President Donald Trump and Mr Kim might be held here. That would bolster our reputation as a centre for mediation. The China-Taiwan talks had been held here too, and this will add another feather to our cap if it materialises.

If the summit is held here, and itproves a success, this North Korean connection will be something we can be proud of.

Phillip Tan Fong Lip


REGULATING MANAGEMENT AGENTS

In view of the Ministry of National Development and the Urban Redevelopment Authority calling for feedback on short-term rentals, perhaps it is also a good time for the authorities to consider regulating managing agents and management corporations of strata-titled developments.

This could be done by setting up an independent body to oversee them, similar to the one in the real estate industry.

In view of the growing number of developments and the influx of foreigners, these entities need to be trained and updated regularly on changes in regulations and, at the same time, be supervised. An independent body to oversee them will be able to do these and ensure that they comply with the rules.

Over the past years, we have been hearing reports of varying standards being practised. These should be stopped as it shows how disorganised an urbanised country like Singapore is.

David Soh Poh Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2018, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Print Edition | Subscribe