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Having a heart for the needy


AS a legal officer, Ms Rachel Gan manages an average of 200 cases at any given time.


Having been a family lawyer since her days in the private sector, she is no stranger to matrimonial cases.


But it was the type of applicants that the Bureau helps – about half of them have primary-level or secondary-level education – that drew her to become a public officer.


One of her most memorable applicants was a woman who was supporting her family of five on a monthly salary of less than $800.


Despite being on the receiving end of her husband’s physical and verbal abuse, she supported him financially without complaint.


Her reason was simple: It is important to be magnanimous. The experience left Ms Gan inspired to be a “better person” herself.


At least once a week, Ms Gan attends court to represent her clients in civil proceedings or administrative hearings.


In her past year at the Bureau, Ms Gan has witnessed how much calmer some of her applicants become after she briefs them on the possible outcomes of their case and what they are required to do.


One of her applicants was able to recover her ability to sleep well only after the Bureau accepted her case, shares Ms Gan, while another applicant hugged her in thanks after a mediation session.


“These things make me feel like this job is worthwhile because we’re giving them so much more than just a legal solution, we’re giving them peace of mind,” adds Ms Gan.


Article credit: Challenge magazine (May 2015) © 2016 Public Service Division, Prime Minister’s Office

Last updated on 17 Mar 2016