From a Singaporean overseas

September 18, 2012
Singapore Democrats

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Dear SDP team,

My name is Sudirman and I am a Registered Nurse and Postgraduate student living in Australia.

I would like to commend your hard work and earnestness in wanting to
serve the people of Singapore. I am a believer that the ideals the
ruling party have imposed on Singaporeans have gone way out of hand and
that they need a jolt (where it hurts) from, not themselves, but the
people.

However, it amazes me that opposition parties tend to disappear
when elections are not around and then, as if magically, reappear again
when it is election season. Apart from the odd weekend to go around
selling their editorials, the opposition parties are non-present. From
what my friends in Singapore have been telling me so far, the SDP
have
been diligently doing their rounds in the country as much as they can to
show their ever-presence, despite non-participation of state controlled
media in highlighting these events.

I am writing to you about 3 things that are close to my heart.

Firstly, being a nurse in both Singapore and Australia, has opened up my
eyes that the co-pay system in Singapore for healthcare treatment is
becoming, if not already, a bust. The healthcare system in Singapore, is
painted in such a manner that it is impeccable. Hospitals (private and
public) boasts their many awards and accreditation, and state of the
art machinery. But is that what Singaporeans want?

Yes, to an extent. Hardware is needed to treat the sick efficiently. But it is the
heartware that is lacking in the Singapore public health system. Many a
time have I seen my fellow colleagues (nursing or otherwise) feel so
down on not being able to help a certain patient or relative due to a
financial problem. And these individuals are not exactly top earners nor
are they bottom feeders as well. These are the individuals caught in
the sandwich generation. And there are many more instances in the
health
system that needs rectifying, especially about patients being cared
at
home.

I applaud the SDP’s National
Healthcare plan, which has turned a
deaf ear to not only the ruling party, but the other opposition parties
in parliament. Could my fellow Singaporean colleagues here in Australia
comment on it and send them your way?

Secondly, being Malay in Singapore has always been tough. Up till 10
years ago, I always thought it was getting better for Malays like me. I
am no scholar neither was I brought up in the elite of
Malay society. I
work hard for my grades and in hope that it will, firstly, help
my
family and I carve a better future and secondly, inspire the Malay
community in Singapore.

I agree with Mr Jufrie Mahmood’s post on September 14th
about the 3 groups in the Malay community.
Mendaki has dished out stats
year after year about the rise of the
Malay population. But having lived
and worked in the community, I see ever increasing divorce, social
problems amongst youths and not to mention the non-depleting substance
abuse challenges that Malay society faces. The situation is somewhat
similar to the Australian Aboriginal situation here.

What the society
needs is a shake up. Could the approach of Mendaki (which is controlled
by the ruling party) be misdirected all these years? Or was there an
approach at all. Running tuition
centres is not the solution.

We need to focus
on the strengths of the individuals in the community. The arts,
social/health sciences and creative industries of the community have
not, I believe, been given much of a chance. Every individual, Malay, Chinese, Indian
etc IS unique. It will be rewarding for Mendaki and SDP
to work together and tackle this issue.

Thirdly, as a Singaporean living, working and studying overseas, how can I assist Singaporeans from disassociating themselves from this pseudo-democracy? So far, my only contribution is flying back to Singapore during the elections to make my mark for Singapore democracy.

With regards to these 3 issues, I would like to contribute, albeit via
email for now as I believe it is to “build a democratic society.”

Apologies for the long email.

Regards,

Sudirman