Thursday, November 02, 2006

Some of my posts have links to articles I've came across, which I think are interesting, therefore I choose to use the blog as a channel to share.

Some are directly copied and pasted from various sources like the Straits Times, to draw people’s attention to certain issues, or as a follow up to what I've blogged about before. I always make it a point to state the sources, to avoid misunderstanding of me plagiarizing.

When I have the time, I would surely prefer to post personal comments.

But the problem is that whenever I feel so strongly about something that I want to blog about, like on the train or before I sleep, I lose the motivation when I sit in front of a computer. I would rather finish up my backlogged assignments.

Semester is coming to an end, suggesting that examinations are just around the corner. When I was in army, I used to tell Rach that she should stop complaining about studying for exams, because I would rather be taking exams than to be wasting my time away in the army. I'm not so sure about that now. Perhaps this is reflected on why I complain so much on the status quo that I tend to take things for granted.

'Compared to people living in the third world suffering from poverty, why are Singaporeans still complaining?'

'Compared to people living in Thailand and Taiwan who has to endure political unrest, which has an impact on their economies, why are Singaporeans still complaining?'

I will try to provide the brush for you to paint the answer.

Would you compare yourself to the beggar on the street and say you have a comfortable house, a reasonable income and thus should not seek promotion and higher pay?

Would you compare yourself to people, maybe even your parents, who had lower education attainment and say lets not study too hard and too much?

We should always seek to improve, despite of how well we seem to be doing. That should bring about a direction in life. I am not advocating relentless pursuit of material wealth at the cost of other important aspects of life.

The old joke: Ask two people about the opinion of food, the Ethiopian will answer 'what's food' and the Singaporean will answer 'what's an opinion'.

Our leaders, the old guards not the current batch, has done well to build up the foundation essential of a nation, in that we have a strong economy. No doubt in light of globalization the economy has to keep restructuring and reforming, but the current batch of leaders seem capable of sustaining it. Now, shouldn’t we, and the government, aspire towards a larger goal than just economic prosperity? Yes, it is time to build a civil society.

Our government and civil service should not just be happy with economic goals, there are larger goals for the new public administration to achieve. A well-known scholar advocating democracy came to Singapore few months back. Inevitably, during a forum, somebody asked him if Singapore is a democratic society. The answer is 'No'. But he added that Singapore has the foundation in place, and we can be a democracy without pain, pains that perhaps other countries has to go through to be truly democratic.

We have the means, so why not? Challenges will enable a society to improve. Our political leaders should take up the challenge and create a civil society, how can you be so sure that we are not ready when you haven even tried?

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