The possible negative effects arising from the setting up of two casinos in Singapore were a discussion point during a Social Justice Day organised by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM).

Thirty-five people, including FMM Sisters and Catholics from 11 parishes, took part in an afternoon of reflection, sharing and inputs on Oct 30 at the FMM House of Prayer and Formation.

Sr Mary Soh spoke about the principles behind Catholic social teaching and helped participants discuss the issue of casinos in Singapore. Many were convinced of the dangers of gambling and its destructive effects on relationships, family life and society. Two participants shared the experiences of the pain their families suffered due to members who gambled.

There was an overall disapproval of the building of the casinos in Singapore and participants said that Christians need to take action before more families are destroyed.

Among the suggestions raised were:
• Organising social awareness seminars regularly in parishes to conscientise people and to reach out to those in need of assistance.
• Catholics should be more assertive and not be afraid to express their views on social issues.
• To avoid going to casinos as a collective action.
• There should be dialogue with government authorities, such as Members of Parliament, on issues people are concerned about.

By Sr Liza Tan, FMM

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