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Everyone experiences tough times. It is a measure of your determination and dedication how you deal with them and how you can come through them.

~ Lakshmi Mittal

In this issue, Police Co-op interviewed one of its members to obtain her story of how Police Co-op had helped her through her difficult times by providing affordable financial solutions. Read on to find out more.

Madam Siti* joined the Singapore Police Force in 1989 and has been our member since 1992. She is presently living with her aged parents, spouse and 6 children.

Only able to afford a Rental Flat

Before her marriage, Madam Siti was financially strapped as her parents were physically unfit to work. Her father had a heart problem while her mother suffered from a slip-disc condition. Madam Siti shared that “We are unable to purchase a flat and we have to rent a flat in order to have a roof to live under. My take-home pay was not sufficient to cover all our living expenses.”

Madam Siti’s Deputy Commander came across her case and referred her to Police Co-op immediately. Upon understanding her situation, a loan application was processed and granted to her with an affordable repayment period to clear her liabilities.

Retrenchment of Spouse

As time elapsed, a misfortune struck. Madam Siti’s mother-in-law suffered a stroke and subsequently fell into a coma. Her condition worsened, and she eventually succumbed to her illness and passed away. While this was happening, her husband was retrenched, leading to a loss of family income. The financial burdens of the family now fell squarely on her shoulders.

Child Diagnosed with Learning Disabilities

Madam Siti was at her wit’s end when she approached Police Co-op for a loan to tide over the tough period. Her series of unfortunate events did not come to an end as her fourth child, Ahmad* was displaying signs of learning disabilities. His pre-school teacher advised her to bring Ahmad for a medical assessment to evaluate his learning ability and development.

As a mother, Madam Siti was worried over Ahmad’s development as a child. Without hesitation, she fixed an appointment for Ahmad to have a medical check-up and psychological assessment at KK Hospital.

The various tests and assessments revealed that Ahmad was a child with special needs. Ahmad was recommended to undergo a Child Development Programme. The Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) below the age of 6 years old was recommended. Ahmad attended the programme with enthusiasm and did not display any behavioural problems.

To pay for the costs of treatment till the age of 6 years for Ahmad, Madam Siti turned to Police Co-op for financial assistance. A psychology assessment was conducted by a psychologist to determine whether Ahmad was ready to enter a mainstream school with his learning disability. Fortunately, he was ready to do so. However, he was no longer eligible for EIPIC. Madam Siti therefore sought private treatment for Ahmad’s development to support his primary education. A private tutor was also engaged to coach Ahmad personally in order to close his learning gap. Ahmad was able to adapt and make improvements progressively. Madam Siti was paying for all these sessions with her credit cards. Her outstanding amount gradually snowballed and she had difficulties in making monthly repayments. Madam Siti approached Police Co-op again for loans to settle her credit card debts and her children’s education, including Ahmad’s.

Having a Lifeline

Madam Siti shared with us that she did not approach the banks because it was not an option for her due to the high interest rates and monthly repayments. She also shared that “Police Co-op definitely had helped me to tide over the difficult times for the past years, coping with huge medical and domestic expenses. I felt relieved as Police Co-op is one of the organisations that ordinary people can turn to whenever we require financial help. It puts me at ease as I can focus better at work and it does not compromise my performance while juggling family and financial issues.”

 


 

* Based on a true story. Names of officer and next-of kin have been changed to protect their identities.

This article was first published in the Police Co-operator newsletter (October 2018 – March 2019). For more information, please visit https://policecoop.org.sg/publications/.

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