Excerpts from readers' letters


Very little, or no, communication is required between private-hire drivers and their customers. Even if communication is needed, there are translation apps that can be utilised.

Hence, rather than have drivers take a test in English - which requires them to understand written English - they can instead be trained on how to employ technology to bridge the language gap (Many private-hire car drivers yet to pass licensing test as deadline looms; June 23).

Teaching them basic conversational English would also suffice.

Rodney Neo


When I was younger, I used to stand by the road and watch the tanks, soldiers and participants in the National Day Parade marching past on the way to the Padang.

I wonder if my children will be able to have such an experience, since we have not been able to get tickets from the balloting system.

Perhaps the NDP organisers could set aside a small portion of tickets for purchase, with the proceeds donated to charities.

I would be willing to pay for my young children to have a chance to watch the NDP live.

Ong Ka Hoe


Hundreds of thousands of goodie bags are given out at the National Day Parade and rehearsals. But are all the items in the bag needed? Do they generate waste instead?

The NDP is a time to celebrate our national values. Why feed a culture of freebies? Why not cultivate proactive and socially engaged citizens who bring what they need rather than take what they do not need?

Grassroots leaders could also play a part by asking people to bring their own bags if they want to collect goodies at community functions.

It is time to take the 3Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle - to the next level.

Koh Chern Peng (Madam)


It is disappointing to read about the failure of decorative panels at HDB blocks (Fixing issue of falling facades in HDB blocks; July 2).

The important task now is finding out how to prevent and reduce the damage and danger these falling panels can cause.

Perhaps the panels can be tethered by cable to a permanent fixture so that if they fail, they will not fall immediately, but can hang on long enough to give the HDB's maintenance team time to step in before they hit the ground.

Sim Kain Mun


I work in a healthcare company. Recently, a hospital sent us a letter from the Ministry of Health which recommended that vendors be vaccinated against a number of diseases to continue to perform work at the hospital.

Although the MOH only "recommended" this, the hospital interpreted it as "mandatory".

Is it fair for the hospital to demand this of vendors? Is it in violation of the Personal Data Protection Act when they demand that I furnish my immunisation records?

One of the required vaccinations is against influenza. Many people like me suffer from side effects when taking flu jabs and have to take MC the next day for fever and sore muscles. Can we be forced to take the flu jab every year?

Lee Ju Guang


Enforcement is getting weak on irresponsible and errant smokers, drivers, pet owners, and e-scooter riders. People urinate inside lifts and stairwells, and litter is building up. At hawker centres, diners leave their plates around. Public toilets, even those in shopping malls, stink.


A friend is severely hearing impaired and is scheduled for a cochlear implant.

Communication with the staff at Singapore General Hospital, including those of the ear, nose and throat department, was frustrating, as voice communication was used despite repeated requests for text messaging.

Perhaps some staff do not want to use their personal mobile phones for text communication.

Can all healthcare services, including polyclinics and nursing homes provide official mobile phones to the staff for text communication with the hearing impaired?

Tan Chek Wee (Dr)

The Government has also expanded the ban on smoking in public places, and many coffee shops comply by allocating areas as smoking zones.

However, many times, these smoking areas are right next to the non-smoking tables, causing patrons to have to inhale the second-hand smoke.

I hope the authorities can consider having coffee shop owners place a full-height plastic, acrylic or glass divider to separate the smoking and non-smoking zones, as well as install an exhaust fan to suck smoke out before it wafts to the non-smoking area.

Eddy See Siew Leng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2018, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Subscribe