Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
Ministry of Communications and Information
Older But Wiser 1st interfaith panel
10 Oct 2019 in Singapore
Forum I"A Smooth Departure" 3pm &
Forum II "Grief -Separation 7 pm
General Secretary of
Singapore Kindness Movement;
Prison Fellowship Singapore
Moderator for Forum I
Rev. Dr William Wan
Venerable Kanugolle Rathanasara
Founder and Spiritual Advisor of the Dhammakami Buddhist Society (DKBS); Spiritual Patron to Singapore Buddhist Fellowship
Venerable Rathanasara was born in the village of Kanugolle in South Eastern Sri Lanka. He was ordained as a novice monk in 1984 at the age of twelve, and he received his higher ordination (Upasampada) in 1998 at the Malwatu Maha Viharaya in Kandy, Sri Lanka. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Special) degree in Mass Communication and a Master of Arts degree in Buddhist Studies from the University of Kelaniya.
He was the Resident Monk of the Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple in Singapore from 2001 to 2017 and presently serves full time as the Spiritual Advisor of Dhammakami Buddhist Society which he founded in 2007.
Venerable K. Rathanasara is a well-respected Dhamma teacher, author of many Dhamma books and also serves as Spiritual Patron in many Buddhist organisations.
Ustazah (Arabic Language)
Balqis Maricar developed an early interest in Arabic Language and Islamic studies for her studies at Madrasah Al Saggoff. Balqis graduated from Medina International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic and Islamic Studies in 2010 and also holds a Graduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology in 2017. She was a teacher ( Ustazah ) for more than 15 years’ experiences in Arabic teaching Madrasah students and at Arabic Language Centre.
Currently, Balqis is a counsellor at Club HEAL, a VWO that supports people with mental health challenges lead fulfilling lives. Throughout her 5-years’ experience, she has worked with many adult and elderly persons with mental health issues, facilitating them in their recovery journey. Balqis also
provides support to caregivers as well, through psychoeducation and support groups.
Moreover, she often conducts trainings and talks to the general public to increase awareness regarding mental health and caregiving. Area of interest: Balqis gives her support and contribute to the people with mental illness in their recovery, by giving them a renewed sense of purpose, spirituality and reintegration.
Life quotes: “EVERY SOUL will taste death” Quran 3 : 185
Rev Tan Mui Kiang
Bethel Presbyterian church
I am Mui Kiang, married, and my husband and I have a wonderful daughter of 25 years old. I have been a pastor for 7 years after 30 years in the business world.
It was in weakness and trials that I experienced the power and the reality of God and His love. Now I am an associate pastor in a Presbyterian church, looking after young people and the social concern ministries of the church.
I have a passion for journeying with people whether in facing their ultimate departure or their current challenges in living. I have found both scriptures and counselling to be of service to them.
Sr. Geraldine Tan Fdcc
St. Joseph’s Home,
Catholic Welfare Services
Sister Geraldine Tan currently heads the overall Senior Management portfolio for St Joseph’s Home, newly located in an increasingly bustling Jurong West, the second largest township in Singapore. She is a trained registered nurse by profession with a major in Nursing, ancillary programs in Palliative Care and Clinical Pastoral Care, including Oncology Nursing.
In her role of Executive Director of one of the largest locally established integrated long-term care facilities, which also offers hospice care, therapy services, dusk to dawn services for dementia sundown syndrome and an infant and childcare centre, Sister Geraldine’s focus has never wavered from palliative care. Essentially, her dedication is to help progressively ill patients improve their quality of life. “The emphasis is living well before death, regardless of the prognosis of the medical condition.” Her interests are in encouraging quality of life in advanced illness, care models and pathways, and advocating education in palliative care training. Since 1982, she has been a member of the Canossian Daughters of Charity.
President of Ramakrishna Mission Singapore
Swami Samachittananda joined Ramakrishna Order of Monks in 1982 in India. He was posted at Ramakrishna Mission Singapore as its vice President in 2001 to 2016. In 2016 he was posted as vice President of the order's centre at Buenos Aires in Argentina. In 2018 he was again called back to Singapore and was made President of the centre. Swami Samachittananda gives regular talks on various religious and spiritual topics in Singapore and other South East Asian countries. Swami Samachittananda is also a council member of Inter Religious Organization (IRO) of Singapore . Ramakrishna Mission is one of the founding members of IRO Singapore.
Ramakrishna Mission Singapore runs the following activities: Ramakrishna Mission Boys' Home, Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Kindergarten, psychological services in form of counselling, workshops and therapeutic work with children and adults. Mission maintains an universal temple dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna. Yoga classes are run 3 times a week. Mission also runs a small library with about 8000 books mainly related to Culture, art and spirituality. Mission also runs Homeopathy clinic twice in a week where consultation and medication are given free.
Master Dong Nong Zheng
Chinese Customs & Folk Beliefs Interpreter/ Chinese Writer
Dong Nongzheng, born in Fuzhou, China, is currently consultant to 中 天 文 化 ZhongTian Cultural society and runs an agency 一 轩 命 理 he has founded . Mr Dong is also an accomplished writer and poet, with numerous awards in poetry since 1977. During his formative years, he met his Master who was in search of a suitable disciple. He has then accomplished understanding towards the deeper appreciation of human fortune and astrology. He has columns with many main stream papers and big magazines on Chinese Astrology and Geomancy and is regularly invited by media to give yearly predictions. His books on knowledges about oriental astrology and human fortunes are widely popular.
Forum I: A Smooth Departure
An interfaith panel comprising of the four main religions of Singapore by the Ordained persons and religious teachers from different practice lineages of their faiths. Speakers will share on the less understood philosophies and diverse end-of-life rituals & religious practices for the dying. And how can religious faith groups and medical professionals in hospitals learn and practice greater sensitivity and understanding at our most vulnerable state. Most importantly, how can one strengthen our mental resilience for a smooth departure.
Forum I Speakers
Ms Chee Wai Yee
Senior Director, Grief Matters, Montfort Care;
Program Director Singapore Hospice Council
Moderator for Forum II
Forum II Speakers
General Secretary of
Singapore Kindness Movement;
Prison Fellowship Singapore
Rev. Dr William Wan
Dr William Wan is the General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement. He is the winner of the Active Ager Award 2011 and an Ambassador of Active Ageing. Recognized for his community work, he is the winner of the President's Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award among several others. A much sought-after speaker and writer of "matters of the heart", he has authored 10 books and his current best-selling book is "Through the Valley: The Art of Living and Leaving Well" which is available at the symposium.
Scholar in Chinese Language & Literature (JNU, Fudan, Stanford);
Past President of Indian Women's Association Singapore
Sukanya Pushkarna has a background in Chinese language and literature from India. She was a recipient of a scholarship from China and studied at Fudan University in Shanghai between 1986 and 1988. She is a docent at the Asian Civilisations Museum and the Indian Heritage Centre. She also actively volunteers with the Indian Women's Association, Singapore and is its former president. Under her leadership, IWA received a special award for integration from the National Integration Council in 2017. She volunteers actively with local nonprofit organisations like TWC2 and Beyond Social Services and is a member of the Chinese language chapter of Soroptimist International in Singapore. Sukanya moved to Singapore 9 years ago after spending 23 years in the Silicon Valley and is thoroughly enjoying it."
Special Guest Speaker
Wai Yee currently serves as the Senior Director of Montfort Care to pilot Grief Matters – a community movement focusing on promoting advance care conversations, grief literacy and death education, in addition to supporting bereaved families and people living with a life-limiting condition. Her role as Program Director with the Singapore Hospice Council continues to focus on improving psychosocial care standards including grief and bereavement care. She co-led the production of the first two local publications – ‘Caring for Yourself and Others After a Death’ and ‘When A Death Occurs: A Guide to Practical Matters’ to improve grief literacy in Singapore. She was instrumental in organising the inaugural grief and bereavement conference – Our Collective Voices, in Singapore.
Dr. Ng Wai Chong
Chief, Clinical Affairs of Tsao Foundation
Dramatist (Malay Theatre)
recipient of the highest Malay Literary Award in 2013 - "The Anugerah Tun Sri Lanang" by Malay Language Council.
Almahdi Al-Haj Ibrahim (Nadiputra)
Almahdi Al-Haj Ibrahim, more popularly known as Nadiputra, is one of Singapore Malay theatre’s most important pioneers. For over five decades, he has made great impact on the Singapore Malay-language literary, theatre and entertainment scene with more than 300 works for radio, stage and television that explore moral, religious and social issues in Singapore. The playwright, actor, director, producer, television scriptwriter, voice-over artist and poet received the Malay Literature Prize in 1993. In 1986, Nadiputra received the Cultural Medallion for his contributions to theatre in Singapore. He is also recipient of the highest Malay Literary Award in 2013 - "The Anugerah Tun Sri Lanang" by Malay Language Council.
Deputy Head and Senior Consultant Department of Palliative Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Dr. NEo Han yee
Dr Neo is currently the Deputy Head and Senior Consultant with the Department of Palliative Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He completed his specialisation in Geriatrics Medicine and Palliative Medicine in 2012 and 2014 respectively. In 2015, he was awarded a HMDP to further his interest in Clinical Ethics. He is currently the deputy co-chairperson of TTSH’s Clinical Ethics Committee. Additionally, he holds the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
Forum II: Grief - Separation
Forum II Topic “Grief - Separation” 10 Oct 2019 @ NKF HQ @ 7pm -9:30pm
A panel comprising of lay practitioners of various faiths from different walks of life. This sharing shall focus on mitigating the grief or loss experienced by the living. This forum shall look at the living rather than the departed. Separation is an universal experience, but we can offer contemplative practices or self-kindness, or simple acknowledgement to this unsolvable suffering. Grief resulting in depression, confusion or shock, perhaps can be mitigated.
Dr Ng Wai Chong is Chief, Clinical Affairs of Tsao Foundation, a non-profit organization that develops and operates innovative community aged-care services, capacity building programmes and advocacy platforms related to aging and the sustainable care of vulnerable seniors. (see )
Dr Ng has been a practicing community aged-care family physician since the late nineties, mostly as a home-care physician working within a multidisciplinary team. His areas of interests include primary health care for the frail, elder abuse, dementia care, end-of-life care and the development of sustainable community aged care system. Dr Ng also oversees some of the Foundation’s research agenda related to longevity and wellbeing, population health, long term care, primary care for the frail, dementia care, frailty and self-care.