this blog entry that I am going to put up today is solely my own personal views and opinions, and it does not represent the views or opinions of the organisations that I work for. Hence, viewer’s discretion is strongly advised.
Last Thursday, I alighted at Boon Lay MRT Station and headed to Cheers to buy some food for breakfast. After which, I went to look for the loading bay which I was supposed to board the bus to SAFTI MI. While searching, a male subject bumped into me on my right side and because it was very crowded due to the strong unrelenting rain, I did not suspect anything amiss. Just as I was about to board the bus, I realised that my entire wallet was gone. Inside my wallet were only $8 cash, so whoever stole it haven’t got any luck. However, what really was more important to me was the personal documents that were inside my wallet! Inside, I had debit cards, credit card, driving license, my EZ-Link card, my ID card and etc.
To be honest, I don’t really care about the $8 that’s inside my wallet. What was more important to me was the personal documents. The first time I checked, to replace the entire contents of my wallet, it would cost about $200 or more. So far, I replaced all my debit and credit cards FREE OF CHARGE as the replacement fees was waived off for me by the banks. The reason given by the banks for waiving off the charges was that I did not MISPLACE nor LOST my cards but rather, my cards were STOLEN and that I WAS A VICTIM OF CRIME! (In fact, I lodged a Police Report last Thursday and the whole session took me half an hour)
So, now I have to replace my military personal ID, my driving license, and my EZ-Link card, and all these remaining replacements will cost me a total of $183! When I made an enquiry and asked if the replacement fees could be waived off as my documents were stolen and not MISPLACED, I was told that I still had to pay a replacement fee for all of them EVEN IF I WAS A VICTIM OF CRIME! I really wonder, why could the banks waive off the replacement fees for me and not the government institutions? It’s not as if I wanted to become a VICTIM! I didn’t have any choice as to whether I want my wallet to be stolen right? Unsatisfied with the answer given by the authorities, I called up ICA to check what the stand for civilians who lost their NRIC was. Surprisingly, the answer given to me by the telephone operator was that civilian whom is a victim of a crime committed can get their stolen NRIC replaced with the fees waived off, on a case-by-case basis (upon presenting the police report).
So, the question is this, why is it that civilians can get their NRIC replacement fees waived off, on a case-by-case basis (upon presenting the police report), but not military personnel? For your information, to replace a NRIC, it would cost $100 whereas to replace a 11B, it would cost $50. Can’t the relevant authorities review my case on a case-by-case basis and not shut me off just like that? Not just the 11B, I have to pay for the replacement of my driving license and EZ-Link card too. Why is it that government institutions are not consistent in their various policies regarding this issue? Don’t TP/SAF/ICA are fall under the umbrella of the government? Shouldn’t their policies be the same?
My monthly allowance as a Corporal is only $510 and replacing the above-mentioned documents will cost me $183! That is 35.88% of my allowance! What about my other daily necessities like transportation and meals? Seriously, it’s not that I’m fussy about making payment for the replacements, but rather, I really hope I can be treated fairly and have my situation reviewed case-by-case. Supposing someone got robbed of their valuables, are they still subjected to paying all these replacement fees? If they still are subjected to paying all these replacement fees, I seriously wonder, do the government really care and empathize with those whom are in need? Are they really so inflexible in their policies that they cannot accommodate a plea for help from someone in need? Do they really deliver what they would promise, to listen to the people and understand their circumstances? After this ordeal, I highly doubt so. Hence, I followed what all my fellow military buddies advised me; I suck thumb, bo bian, just pay and get the important stuffs replaced.
Conclusion? I will always remember this tough ordeal that I gone through and I will definitely remember it in my heart. This was what I was subjected to and so shall I measure the same treatment to “you” in 4 years time. I will not trust “you” and “your” words so easily the next time.
“From A Poor Citizen cum Fellow Servant”