SINGAPORE: In a heart-warming testament to community solidarity, Mr Ravi Philemon, the Secretary-General of Red Dot United (RDU), took swift action on 4 July to advocate for an elderly resident grappling with harrowing living conditions at Block 155 Yung Loh Road in Taman Jurong.
The elderly woman, believed to be in her late 70s or early 80s, had been struggling with deteriorating mental well-being following her husband’s long-term illness and subsequent hospitalization.
Her plight was further exacerbated by compulsive hoarding, resulting in a hazardous living environment.
RDU explained in their Facebook post that she often returned home after midnight from her late-night cleaning job at nearby coffee shops, only to find her entrance blocked by accumulated rubbish.
Despite concerned residents making consistent reports to the town council about this distressing situation, no actions had been implemented to alleviate the elderly woman’s hardship.
Mr Philemon highlighted that this situation not only posed a serious fire hazard but also denied the elderly woman the basic dignity she deserved.
“It is crucial that immediate steps are taken to ensure her well-being, safety, and access to the necessary care and assistance,” RDU stated in their FB post.
Prompt volunteer and Town Council action receives appreciation from RDU
RDU secretary-general urged Mr. Tharman to address this urgent issue during his remaining time as an MP in the ward, ensuring the elderly woman can lead a dignified life and receive the support she rightfully deserves.
Responding almost immediately, a volunteer from Mr Tharman’s Taman Jurong Meet-the-People-Session (MPS) informed RDU that they were familiar with the resident’s needs and had visited her on multiple occasions, seeking to help address the issue of hoarding.
The volunteer promised to continue engaging with her to resolve the issues.
Additionally, RDU received an email from the Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JRTC), which assigned the case to a town council Property Officer.
While acknowledging the complexity of the matter, the JRTC officer promised to investigate and engage relevant parties, pledging to provide updates on the progress.
In recognition of these swift responses, RDU extended its gratitude to Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam and the JRTC, commending their dedication to addressing the issue and their unwavering commitment to public service.
Recent updates on elderly woman’s living condition
In a recent update, RDU revisited the residents at 155 Yung Loh Road and observed that the accumulated rubbish blocking the entrance had been cleared, and the corridor appeared neat and tidy.
Although details of the assistance provided to the elderly resident remain unclear, neighbours reported seeing Residents’ Committee and JRTC officers engaging with her.
“The elderly resident’s neighbors said that although they do not know what kind of help was provided to the elderly resident (or if any was provided at all), they have seen Residents’ Committee and the JRTC officers engaging the older woman,” RDU shared.
RDU added that “this situation underlines the importance of opposition parties like RDU in our democracy.”
“Our engagement with the residents in #JurongGRC allowed us to highlight this issue, prompting swift action. Accountability and checks and balances in government are essential to ensure that the concerns of citizens, especially the vulnerable, are addressed promptly,” they said.
RDU remains focused on the welfare of the senior resident in need and believes that collaborative efforts between the government and opposition can enhance the quality of life for all citizens.
This positive outcome serves as a reminder of the power of working together for the greater good, making neighbourhoods safer, cleaner, and more compassionate for every resident.