S'poreans rallying together amid haze crisis

As the PSI hit the unhealthy and hazardous range ("Haze forces closure of schools across S'pore"; Sept 25), I witnessed a few incidents that demonstrated the spirit of Singaporeans coming together as one nation.

Before SBS Transit started to distribute masks to its bus drivers, many of them were already braving the haze without masks to serve the public without complaint.

They were the first people to breathe in the haze as the bus doors opened at every stop.

However, I was impressed when I saw commuters with extra masks handing these to the drivers.

I could see the gratitude of the bus drivers who smiled and thanked the passengers.

Along public walkways, strangers advised the elderly in wheelchairs and on foot to wear masks and to stay home.

The scene was repeated at hawker centres and wet markets.

Like in June 2013 when the PSI hit 401 ("Govt moves to address concerns over haze"; June 22, 2013), it was good to see Singaporeans rallying together.

Employers can do their part, too.

Although the Ministry of Manpower did not implement a national shutdown of workplaces, bosses should allow their elderly outdoor workers, such as cleaners, landscapers, security guards and pest controllers, to work indoors or grant them days off with pay.

On my way to the gym, I saw one of my neighbours volunteer to take care of another neighbour's child to avoid the need for alternative childcare arrangements when schools closed last Friday.

We should not wait for a crisis or disaster to arrive to extend our help to others.

We should do it continually, with a sense of pride and level of trust among fellow Singaporeans.

Francis Cheng