Mindef was no victim – part 1

Back in late 2014, when I was informed that the Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC) had sent us a letter of demand about an article we had published on The Online Citizen (TOC), my first thoughts were, “Oh crap.”

And when I later read the letter itself, I was flabbergasted.

The AGC had threatened to use the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) against us if we did not comply with its demands.

I remember the first word which came to my mind after reading that letter.

“Sneaky”.

I was in disbelief – disbelief that this government would be so sneaky as to use a law, which was meant to protect the truly vulnerable, for itself, a government which is all-powerful, and which has unlimited resources.

Sneaky indeed.

And more than that, it was distasteful. It was pathetic. It was horrible. Continue reading “Mindef was no victim – part 1”

Post-op follow-ups – how much do they cost?

bill2

It has been more than two months since I had my quadruple coronary heart bypass surgery at the National Heart Centre (Singapore). Earlier, I wrote about the costs of the operation itself which cost a total of S$25,000, before government subsidies and insurance. (Please see here.)

In this article, I will talk about the post-op follow-up consultation and rehabilitation costs, so as to give readers – and those who may be undergoing or contemplating similar procedures  an idea of what to expect in terms of financial commitment.

Deciding to go through a heart bypass operation is a major decision, often a necessary one, as in my case. Three of my main arteries were significantly blocked, which resulted in chest pains, shortness of breath and a general deterioration of my health the year before the surgery. Continue reading “Post-op follow-ups – how much do they cost?”

Healing

Blood diffusion on left thigh after CABG op. It has cleared up entirely now.
Blood diffusion on left thigh after CABG op. It has cleared up entirely now.

It has been slightly more than 3 weeks since I had my surgery on 22 September 2016. Things are going well, and I am recovering better than I had expected.

I still have a little chest discomfort when I exert myself, such as when I reach for something, or when I try to carry something. So, I have to be careful when I do so.

I can’t carry a 2kg watermelon, for example. It would be too much of an exertion. My chest also hurts when I sneeze. I particularly hate sneezing now cos it feels like your heart is being squeeze rather tightly whenever I do.

But other than this, I am fine. Continue reading “Healing”

Is Medishield Life a rip-off?

mslSince my last article in which I wrote about the bills for my two medical procedures – an angiography (including a percutaneous coronary intervention) and a coronary heart bypass surgery (CABG) – some have criticised the Medishield Life scheme for not paying out enough in situations such as mine.

Just to recap, the bills are as follows. I am including the PCI as a separate item:

First bill:

Angiography: $3,393.00

PCI: S$4,379.85

Misc (medication, ward charges, etc): $2,954.24

Medishield Life payout: $720

 

Second bill:

CABG (including 6 day ICU/ward charges): $4,903.63

Medishield Life payout: $4,529.15

 

GRAND TOTAL: $15,630.72

I won’t go into the details of the numbers and how they are derived as I have already explained it in my previous article. (Please click here.) Continue reading “Is Medishield Life a rip-off?”

“They will come at 6am to prepare you.”

“They will come at 6am to prepare you,” the night nurse told me. Mine would be among the first surgeries of the day.

Dinner the night before
Dinner the night before

It was a sense of relief to hear that because it meant I would finally be going through with the surgery, and that there is very little more I need to do. But later, that relief also turned to anxiety and fear, feelings which I knew I would have as the day drew nearer, although at the same time I had also been looking forward to the event.

And the next morning, just like clockwork, the nurses came into my ward and told me, “Mr Loh, we will have to prepare you.”

I looked at the clock and it was 6am.

I hadn’t slept much the night before. I kept running the whole operation through my mind, just to calm myself. I had had some last-minute nervous thoughts. Continue reading ““They will come at 6am to prepare you.””

Murali’s unnecessary spending

TODAY, 8 September 2016
TODAY, 8 September 2016

The PAP candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election has promised a S$1.9m estate upgrading plan which will be implemented if he is elected as its Member of Parliament.

Before we readily applaud this, let us go back about 7 months – to September 2015, in the heat of the general election.

The former incumbent MP of the ward, David Ong – who has since resigned his position after some personal indiscretions – had promised a 5-year plan for Bukit Batok.

The plans would cost S$24 million.

According to news reports of his rally speech then, Mr Ong announced that this would include remaking the market in the estate and its surrounding areas, improving the shops in the ward, constructing a new hawker centre, as well as a new eldercare centre and two new early childhood education centres. Continue reading “Murali’s unnecessary spending”

The HDB and the URA should clarify or rebut what Murali claims

Straits Times, 25 April 2016
Straits Times, 25 April 2016

On 25 April, the news reported an exhibition by the Jurong-Clementi Town Council held in Bukit Batok, the single-member constituency which will see a by-election come 7 May.

The exhibition presented infrastructural upgrading plans under the Housing and Development Board (HDB)’s Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP) for the SMC.

The People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate for the upcoming by-election, Murali Pillai, told reporters that the upgrading plans were “a plan by the PAP Jurong-Clementi Town Council.”

Accordingly, says Murali, he and his town council “will have the mandate to carry on only if we are returned at the by-election.”

“If we don’t have the mandate, then we won’t have the ability to carry on because we will not form the town council,” he explained. “That’s the rule.”

Singaporeans are familiar with the argument, rolled out by the PAP during elections, of how they must be elected first in order for such estate improvement plans to be carried out. Continue reading “The HDB and the URA should clarify or rebut what Murali claims”