(Unpublished - August 9, 2009)
I refer to the recent deaths of the two Republicy Polytechnic students at the KTM railway track on Saturday morning.
In the most unfortunate of situations, the train had hit both the youths and killed them.
My condolences go out their families and friends.
Security should be stepped up at the railway track to ensure unauthorised persons do not get themselves onto the tracks.
The deceased should not have been at the track in the first place.
Tabloids and online buzz have already suggested a suicide.
I would like to ask the Singapore police to what extent do they classify cases as unnatural death and suicide.
Aside from this tragic situation, I would like to point out our suicide rates are still rather high, about one everyday every year.
Could these numbers be suppressed due to police classification and declassification of what constitutes suicide, unnatural death or misadventure, etc.?
Can the processes of classification be clarified?
Nevertheless, we should engage, and not hide from suicide and any distress symptoms prior to one.
We as a society cannot be too repressed or shy about mental health issues, be it that of the young or the adult.
Also, we must always readily address the environmental factors contributing to the stress and problems Singaporeans, young and old, face.
Ho Chi Sam