The stories we tell… so far

One of the things we set out to do at http://publichouse.sg was to tell stories of Singaporeans who are doing their bit in making their community – and perhaps their country – better. People who give of their time and effort in lending a hand to those in need, and stories of those who themselves are in need. I am glad and proud that we have done this through the stories that we have told so far.

Here’re some of these, in no particular sequence of importance, for they all are:

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The little Home fighting for its life

Biddy Low

Back in the 1960s, Mr Then’s mother, Madam Lee Ah Mooi, took it upon herself to care for the destitute in her neighbourhood. Most of them were Samsui women and ah mas, labourers and/or celibate women who found themselves alone with nary a cent to their name in their old age. Not content with sending them to relevant authorities for aid, she began housing them in her own home and later rented a house in Jalan Kayu which for 13 years was the place where many spent their last remaining days, sheltered and well-cared for.

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Running for hope

Hermione Poh

Ezzy, who was first diagnosed with synovial chondromatosis of the right hip joint in 1989, shared with us his journey with cancer. His treatment was conservative until June 1995, when he underwent open synovectomy (cutting of the membrane surrounding the joint) and excision of dozens of loose bodies in his hip.

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Infested and bloodstained – but it is his home

Andrew Loh

As he stood there by the doorway, shirtless, I peered over his shoulders into his flat – and was stunned by what I saw. If you did not know better, you would think that the patterns on the walls of his flat were decorative drawings from wallpapers. But they are not.

They are bloodstains – left by bugs which had been swiped.

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The silence of sexual assault survivors

Lisa Li

Imagine you are a survivor of a crime: The more outrageous the crime, the angrier you would be; you would quickly tell your friends and family for support, and report it to the police to seek protection and redress – and this would all be very likely – unless the crime is sexual assault.

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3 young Singaporeans take on the death penalty

Andrew Loh

Already, we are better off because of young people like Kirsten, Priscilla and Damien – and their friends and volunteers. Perhaps more lawyers and politicians should learn from these young folks – to have the courage and conviction to speak out when something is not quite right.

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Charity event to help Burmese refugees

Brenda Tan

600 refugees living in Thailand are prohibited from receiving electricity from the main grid system. The residents previously had to rely on kerosene lamps and candles which posed fire risks in their thatched houses, was an expensive form of lighting and prevented children from completing their studies at night.

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My legs are now so tired and weak

Andrew Loh

“I no longer sell 4-D tickets,” she said, referring to the lottery tickets which she would sell for S$2.50 each, making 50 cents off each ticket. “When I fainted that day, I had 120 tickets with me.”

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“You must have a heart, that’s all.”

Ko Siew Huey

“Every little bit helps. You cannot expect the government to do everything. We have two hands, two feet right? We have to learn how to do things ourselves. That’s where you learn your values.”

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8 years and 2,500 meals a day for the needy

Biddy Low

 The sense of duty and responsibility among this team of volunteers and especially Tony, who is always there at 5am sharp, rain or shine, is deeply held. Certainly no one sets out to commit 8 years and more of their lives to slogging in the wee hours of the morning and to pay out of their own pockets for it. Yet these “willing hearts” and many more like them continue to turn up and do it with a smile, eager to share their experiences with others.

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Singaporeans dying away from home

Andrew Loh

It doesn’t hit home until you’re standing there, eyes fixed on the old man of 87-years old. He is no longer cognisant of his surroundings, I am told. His ability to register familiar faces and places is no longer as keen as before. He can barely recognise his own son who is standing beside me at the side of his bed on the day we paid him a visit.

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