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.