Sunday, 7 November 2010

In response to an article by a2ed “In sum, singapore, the chinese, and the opposition. A personal journey.”

I recall a decade ago when Ed started talking about social political issues that came across as too radical to me as I could not understand his perspectives and thus thought he was too harsh in his comments. Back then I thought he had over-reacted (now I know that’s passion). I like all the other chinese, just turned a deaf ear and ‘switched off’ from the conversations, and all the other so-called chinese ‘friends’ also reacted the same way toward him. Without our realisation, we were forcing him to come down to our level, talked only the mundane issue or discussed politics at very superficial level. Otherwise he will be ‘guilty of’ being long-winded. I didnt realise this until i came to the UK a few years ago and observe that most of the Brits I have spoken to, approach conversation/topic the same way as he does. They can have dialogues on any topic with some depth in their analysis and very engaging in conversations. I can have conversation with them and not get any childish/immature responses. Really a stark difference in reaction between the Brits and the Chinese. With this exposure and on trips back to Asia, interacting with the chinese makes me realise how difficult and stifling it has been for Ed living among the chinese.

My association with him has made me become more self-aware. I have developed further by how he treats me.He is a true friend, as he never fails to give critique when it’s due. True friend does not only say the good things, s/he also needs to critique in order for you to improve and grow and likewise do the same toward him/her. I have also observed over the years that among his/our friends, the Indians and Filipinos are more receptive to new ideas as opposed to the chinese. During conversations, i noticed that when he started to analyse and discuss significant issues, the chinese will shrug off his ideas and comments with responses like ‘it’s like that, lah’, ‘they are they, we are we, go live in the UK’,’ why you so long-winded’,..etc. While with the Indians and Filipinos, they may disagree with his ideas at first but when he goes more in-depth and analyse further, I can see they start to engage further and ask questions, not necessary agreeing all the time but definitely more open to ideas and willing to think further.

Ed is very spot-on in his observation -  “...the initial phase of a relationship with a chinese is very crucial. If one does not push for adaption or integration on their part, they become adept at ignoring those aspects of your persona that is different from them. Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 times, to push for adaptation would see them distancing from you from the outset. So it was a catch 22 situation.” I have been through the cycle with him and truly would have moved away from him had it not been for his persistence and perseverance. I would have remain a lesser person. 

On hindsight, when I ignored his perspectives, it truly wasn’t done willfully or purposely, it was reflexive to turn a deaf ear or get space out when the topic is not within my interests or requires further thoughts. I grew up with my mother always telling me ‘don’t ask questions’, ‘ just do as you are told’, ‘just follow the orders of the elders’,..(all the wrong values that all parents should not impart to their children). My perspectives and views have started to change since I got to know him.

Thank you, Ed for being a true mate :)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Are you angry at social injustice and inequity? in singapore?

When I saw this post on TOC (the workshops for “Rights and Responsibilities” organised by Maruah), my first thought was the only rights and responsibilities we have seen in singapore are the “rights” of the government telling the people what they can and cannot do, and the “responsibilities” of the people to take care/fend for themselves when they grow old, despite the amount of taxes they have paid and the amount of revenues/profits that they help singapore to generate.

“All of us have something we care about – be it poverty, environment, health issues, financial protection or education”. The concerns listed are just different category of issues. Have the wrong doings done to the minorities in the past decades been highlighted and rectified? How little has been said by this group about the inequality treatment of the minority races that perpetuated and still perpetuates in singapore. They have not been making progress in the past decade to address the issues/consequences brought about by the chinese-centric policy of singapore. It is not what Maruah say, also what they fail to say.

Is philanthropy still important?

In response to an article by a2ed “...At the end of the day, viewing philanthropy as 'philanthropy' helps people move on from questioning after the justification for the existence of the filthy rich by way of getting us to thank them for giving back part of the loot. It's a movement from, 'Isn't his taking for himself the fruits of everyone's labour wrong'? to, 'thank you for giving us a portion of the fruits of another's labour. What a great bloke you are'.

The rich people amass their wealth from the labour of those who work under them and from the consumers. In order for people like BG to become so rich, there is a wider issue about wealth distribution. If wealth were more equally distributed, do we still require philanthropy? If we need philanthropists, then society has failed in its duties!

Philanthropy is important to the world. People have grown accustomed to/accepted the disproportionate wealth distribution (if not the gap would not have existed till today). With the limited resources, we do need the rich people to give back (if not a portion of) what they have taken from the people.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Thoughts on an article - "Don't Get Burnt" by illegal cigarettes

'As part of a campaign to drive home the anti-illegal cigarette message, Singapore Customs has launched a new round of 25 roadshows, five times more than last year.' source - CNA

Why do we need such campaign?
Are there safer options to traditional cigarettes?

This anti-illegal cigs campaign could be deemed as an act to safeguard the government’s profits. Why are cigs so costly in singapore and one reason given was to deter more people from smoking cigs. If that is truly effective, the cost of cigs will not be increased time and again. It is precisely the high cost of cigs that is driving the smokers to look for cheaper sources. Should the people now ask the government to look at and address the true problem?

I am not a smoker and certainly do not promote smoking but I do ask are there other safer options than smoking traditional cigarettes. Are e-cigarettes safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes? I do understand that traditional cigarettes have about 4000+ chemicals and carcinogens as opposed to e-cigs that do not have them. Sure, e-cigs is not as safe as not smoking altogether but we need to consider if they are safer than traditional cigs. Here’s an article by Ed on the Compilation of net critique of e-cig ban.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

A new start

Thanks to Ed, I found this template with Blogger in Draft that I like so much. Blogger in Draft is a special version of blogger where new features are being tried out before they are released. It doesn't require you to have any technical knowledge,just select new template and make your own template with your favourite colours. It's as easy as that to start blogging.

Looking forward to improve and do more with my site.

Stay tuned!