I am in full agreement with reader Quek Hong Choon that there must be sensitivity and transparency when the government implements its policies (“To build trust, explain rationales behind policies”; The Straits Times, Thursday 22 Jan).
Added to that, the government must ensure that all our citizens are treated fairly and there are no double standards when policies are implemented – especially in healthcare services. And healthcare cost is a deep-set worry with all our citizens.
Take for instance the recent announcement that Singaporeans or permanent residents who refuse to pay Medishield Life premiums could end up behind bars (“Refuse to pay Medishield Life premiums? You could be jailed”; Wednesday).
This heavy handed approach will cause unnecessary stress on our older citizens – many of whom cannot find jobs, are homeless, have stress related issues and have mounting family problems.
With the Medishield Life Policy that will take effect at the end of this year, citizens will be subjected to vigorous means testing. Yet, with the pioneer generation package, no means testing is required, and it is an open secret that many of the PAP Members of Parliament from the old guard to the present ones are part of the pioneers that will reap benefits from this medical benefits scheme. So why the double standards?
Polices must be implemented so that it bonds all our citizens together as one people, one nation, one Singapore. If it is the other way around, it will cause divisions in society and that is not good for nation building. It is wrong to favour one group over the other, and it is certainly no way to celebrate 50 years of independence.