We’re still 10 days to the end of September and someone’s bank account is looking very malnourished. So who else is broke? According to one of the key findings from a Ministry of Manpower-commissioned study, young Singaporeans entering the workforce today [will have] (sic) accumulated enough savings in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) when they retire to see them through their golden years. I’m not sure if that reassures you, but it certainly doesn’t make me feel any better.
Meanwhile, we have a highly distracting hot topic on our hands – scrapping PSLE. Some call it the slaughtering of a sacred cow. Personally, I don’t see anything sacred about PSLE. You can use your result slip to wipe your backside and nobody will riot on the streets because you’ve insulted the institution. To be fair, there is really nothing wrong with PSLE. Like NS, I survived in spite of all the “obstacles”. All the stress and associated with PSLE has more to do with how it has been implemented and how kiasu kids, kan cheong parents, teachers and school principals have dealt with it all these years. Changing the mindsets of the kan cheong and kiasu may be the best way to do away with the need to do away with PSLE. So what if there’s no PSLE? It’s just like not having the Olympics. Competition will not go away as long as there are hyperactive people always spoiling for a fight.
It’s not that scrapping PSLE is unthinkable, but like I said, it’s highly distracting. Like a flame bait, the proposal creates great controversy and stirs the opinionated into action. When debate goes viral, the whole nation will be talking and arguing. People may forget what else they want to bring up for “National Conversation”. This is the sort of distraction we should guard against. But as usual, the biggest distraction yet may come from Xiaxue. I’ve heard that she’s pregnant.
Enough about scrapping PSLE and slaughtering “sacred cows”. And certainly, I don’t want to be kaypoh about Xiaxue’s pregnancy or her disingenuous attitude towards birth control (“withdrawal method” is trending on google.sg!). But we all need to be very careful when dealing with things that are truly sacred.
At the height of George Bush’s “War on Terror”, all forms of pre-emptive measures were deemed acceptable. That included arresting anyone who might just look like a terror suspect or even smell like one and launching air strikes on suspicious targets, many of which turned out to be innocent civilians. The world seemed rather forgiving towards America when she was mourning her loss in the 911 attacks. Today, you won’t even need Afghans or Iraqis to throw soes at George Bush when he says “with us or against us”. But make no mistake, George Bush is a religious man. He got his inspiration for that famous “compelling” sentence from the Bible itself. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30). Was anyone convinced by his declaration of religious neutrality?
10 years after his “war on terror”, hatred and extremism are still very much alive. The world is now struggling to contain this wave of violence in reaction to offensive films and publications. Pre-emptive action has taken on a new meaning. We are now blocking access to these films to prevent social unrest.
SINGAPORE – A YouTube video clip of a film that has sparked violent protests in many parts of the world, including several countries in the region, can no longer be accessed from Singapore.
Although the video still appears in the search results on YouTube, clicking on the link brings users to a page with the message: “This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request.”
On its Help page, YouTube explains that it “occasionally receives requests from requests from governments around the world to remove content from our site, and as a result, YouTube may block specific content in order to comply with local laws in certain countries.”
In a statement yesterday, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had said that in view of security concerns arising from the film Innocence of Muslims, the MHA “has taken the pre-emptive measure” of asking the Media Development Authority (MDA) to ask Google to block online access to the film to “prevent similar violent incidents from taking place here”.
The full article can be found here. The moral of the story? You can’t cut water with a sword. All these years of fighting terror and the all the lives lost have been in vain. If only the angry, emotional and arrogant people had known better back then.
© Chan Joon Yee
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