Charlotte Ashton replies

IN AN e-mailed reply to The Straits Times, journalist Charlotte Ashton wrote that she left Singapore last week to return to Britain for a couple of months to have her baby.

Ms Ashton, who had been living in Singapore since last year and was working as a freelance writer, sparked debate with her BBC Viewpoint piece headlined "Does Singapore deserve its miserable tag?"

In it, she described how she and her husband were happy here until an incident on an MRT train during her 10th week of pregnancy. She became overcome with nausea and had to crouch for 15 minutes during her commute as no one offered her a seat. She felt that Singaporeans had "let me down".

"In terms of my report for the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent programme, it comes from a personal perspective based on my experience of Singapore and various conversations I've had with Singaporeans and expats living in Singapore.

"Pieces of this kind inevitably stir debate and I've had as many messages of support as I have criticism. Whether my conclusions are shared by others, I welcome the fact that Singaporeans are so keen to take part in a lively debate about this subject."

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