>I MOVED to Mumbai on a work assignment in June last year with my wife and three children. I promptly registered with the Singapore Consulate so we could be contacted in case there was a need.
To celebrate National Day last year, we were invited to a dinner where we met numerous other Singaporean families and the camaraderie we shared made it a special celebration.
A number of months later, when a minister came by, the consulate organised a dinner and we spoke with him in an informal setting, where he asked us what the Singapore Government could do for us as overseas citizens.
Events like these build up a strong sense of patriotism, kinship and pride.
Unfortunately, when disaster struck on Nov 26, I felt forgotten. I heard stories of how the South Korean Consulate called every Korean in Mumbai to find out if they were all right and then called them all back again, once they had completed the first round of calls, to update them that everyone was all right.
I did not hear from our consulate at all - no call, no e-mail, no SMS, nothing. I subsequently met up with three other Singaporeans working in Mumbai and also registered with our consulate. Surprisingly, two of them did receive a call while the third, like me, did not.
If the consulate had tried to contact all the Singaporeans registered, how did it miss two of us? If it did not try to reach all registered Singaporeans, we need to know why.
Julian Gerard Nair
This forum letter was first published in The Straits Times on Dec 12, 2008.
For more The Straits Times stories, click here.