Monday, July 30, 2007 . 10:53 PMEmbracing the Otherhood?
In Singapore, we are generally classified into a total of 3 sections. We have the Chinese, Malays and Indians. But there is also this growing minority, which we all label as others. When in actual fact, "others" refer to mainly the foreigners, the mainland Chinese, Bangaldeshis, Caucasians etc. In the past, we used to be indifferent in their presence, rarely do you see a Caucasian in the subway. But now, they are growing so rapidly that we simply cannot ignore their standing in Singapore.
While part of the government's plan to make up for an ageing and decreasing population would be to attract foreign talent to plant their roots here (and have been largely successful). This has also raised another question- With so many foreigners, coming in, will the locals ever have the chance to rise up and compete with the foreign talent. In the workforce, the foreigners always take the top, Singaporeans being at their beck and call. Say, the President of the Youth Challenge Society is a Korean. In schools, the scholars are dominating, regardless of international or ASEAN, rarely do you get to see our locals at the top. While saying nicely that we are making use of their talent, the locals are indeed hostile to the fact that they are no longer in-charge, we are now "colonised" by people who aren't natives.
Another problem would be their increasing numbers. Our present population stands at about 4.5 million, yet, the native population is only about 3.7 million. In other words, the "others" number about 0.8 million, far higher that the 0.2 million 10 years ago. Locals fear that their growth would mean that soon, the "others" may grow to a formidable proportion, even displacing their superior standing in society.
In my opinion, while such a thought may seem to be unfounded or even childish, it is still something which we, together with the government must address. Indeed we must ensure that the others assimilate with the main population as quickly as possible, it is a barrier which we must remove between us and the foreigners- basically, the main aim would be to make them stay, and induce loyalty, at least in their next generation. That would then, be the way which we are to accept them into our society
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 . 9:11 PM
Found this pretty interesting, though the song was good. Well, watch
Friday, July 20, 2007 . 11:00 PMPopulation Woes
Population is a pretty controversial issue, many argue that our world is becoming overpopulated, there are just too many people, and too little resources and jobs- more importantly- food. But, think about it, if we were to pack the entire population of the world, that is 6 billion people, we would only fill up the entire North America continient. But in this case, we would be focusing more on the issue of how population changes affects us.
The trend nowadays, would be to have lesser children, or even none- that is, in the urban world. Now, why is that so? We could relate it to 3 main factors, that is the rising standards of living leading to a costly upbringing of even one kid, the indulgence of the fine and finally, the a knowledge boom in the general urban population.
Firstly, with an overall advancement and improvement of economies worldwide, the costs and standards of living have risen. A survey conducted on education costs for Singaporean students have revealed that it takes SGD $200,000 to send support a child all the way to a university(local). For a overseas university, it can cost up to SGD $600,000. And an average man with a pay of SGD $2.000 a month earns only 1.2million dollars in his whole life- that is how costly it is to support a kid nowadays, the financial burden is simply enormous.
Secondly, with the rising amount of money which we earn, we have learnt how to indulge and enjoy in life, As a result, in oder to maintain a high and fashionable lifestyle, many would prefer not to have kids, contributing to the decreasing population
Finally, there's the all important knowledge boom. People are now educated, they recognize the importance and fufilment in having a job- being able to be independent by having a steady pay, able to have a carefree life. Yet, the hindrance of a baby is now seen as an obstacle to success in their working lifestyle, so why not just buy a dog for company?
Next, we look at how this impacts the society. Human populations are the basis of economies. Without large enough a population, we cannot effectively run an economy- a problem which Japan is facing right now. With so many childless families, they face a rapidly decreasing population and this is so severe that even a influx of immigrants cannot cover the loss, taking a toll on the economy itself.
Socially, the loss of population is also disturbing. With lesser people, the number of local talent is reduced as well, we have lesser capable people to lead the country to greater heights, regardless of in politics or in terms of leaders of MNCs. This become something like a brain drain, in a long run, population decrease simply weakens the basis of society.
Ultimately, population loss is a serious problem that needs to be looked at, at least bringing the country to have a steady population maintenance daily. In fact, if the people are willing, population should not have decreased, these woes can be erased if society is willing to have more interaction and children for the greater good
Sunday, July 15, 2007 . 7:21 PMA President's Dilemma
This story does not refer to any story in particular, basically, I'm just going to talk about President Bush and all that hammering about him. If we take a look at the intriguing life of Bush as President of the US, we should be sympathetic with his plight.
The United States is indeed recognized as a superpower of the world, not just in the aspect of military or economically, but in all areas, even in the social aspect, aspiring people globally to live the American Dream. Yet this very privilege is also it's biggest problem and burden. America, as the world's leading nation, has to take up numerous roles to help resolve and deal with events worldwide. And all this voices down to one man, one ordinary man who has to do an extraordinary man's job- President George W. Bush.
And this is not an easy job, in this changing world, Bush is fighting on many fronts. Everyday, when he wakes up, he is bogged down by so many issues. Early in the morning, he has to rush to meetings, think about how to resolve the various conflicts and problems both over the sea and at home.
He has to worry about the Iraqi problem, how to deal with the insurgents in Iraq, hoping, hoping a madman's hop that hey, someday, he can finally resolve the sectarian violence and pacify the civillian population, and that one day, finally, the Iraqi government is able to hold it's own
Then there's the threat of rogue states- Rogue states going nuclear. Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad building nuclear missiles, advocating the destruction of Israel. North Korea, blackmailing the international community with a nuclear bomb, firing missles over Japan's airspace. Again, Bush has to intervene.
Then, one of Bush's generals would come in with another demoralizing report on the resurgence of Taliban in Pakistan and Afganistan, where they need to commit more troops, and lives, to supressing the violence, trying to keep Musharaff in power.
There's also the conflicts of Israel- Palestine- Lebanon. The rise of Russia, with tensions heating up. Along with the fact that they have to accomodate to China, the rise of a great communist power. The list is endless...
Disegarding politics, the problem of environment is also bugging him, with the G-8 led by Merkel, always pressuring him into spearheading the world's worsening environment.
Back at home, approval ratings of Bush are at an all-time low. Many are keen on getting him out of office. The media is bashing him daily over his mistakes, he can't have a good night sleep, with so many issues, important and critical issues bogging him down.
Yet, has anyone thought about this- no man is infallable. Is anyone able to do the job? Can anyone do it better? People still are in awe in Ronald Reagan's success in resolving the Cold War, and blame Bush for his failure to deal with Iraq, in Afganistan, in Palestine etc. But has anyone thought- times have changed. We are no longer talking about the highly organized and efficient enemy of the Soviet Union. We are referring to the single cell operatives of Osama bin Laden blowing themselves up. It's like trying to search and destroy rats in a football field, with a little stick. And no one realises the sorry plight of Bush, his dilemma.
Bush is all alone. No one supports him. He is fighting a one-man war. A madman hoping that against all odds, he can succeed- yet such a mad hope exists...
Such is the dilemma of a President. President George W. Bush
Wednesday, July 11, 2007 . 9:54 PM
Well, was just doodling round the Net and came across this, well this make sense doesn't it. If we put our hearts to it, the effects of global warming can be resolved. Every little thing goes a long way, so yeah, LIVE EARTH!!!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007 . 8:56 PMThe Radical New Face of Terrorism
Terrorism has evolved- largely. The past, old terrorism used to be largely made of small groups of militants, higly loyal to their leaders in a "fight for Islam" But, to make things clear, what they are doing are actually distorting Islam, trying to use it as a false front, and "smoke" ordinary people(Muslims) into fighting their so-called jihad, and the worst part is- they are succeeding in their part to spread jihad.
With reference to the following issue
I would be discussing about the changing faces and tactics of Terrorism
Now, as we read more and more articles about terrorism, do note that, nowadays, the terrorists have now stopped making outright attacks, they have diversified into many other areas, not just purely fighting, they have dwelved deeply into propoganda, finance and effective fighting techniques as well as recruiting more munjaheeden for jihad
The article is testimonial to their new organisation, militants camped in the Red Mosque are mainly students and young educated people. People who can think, and are yet still so fiercely and blindly loyal to Osama, who is hiding somewhere. And what is even more alarming are the demostrations held by 20 000 armed tribesmen in protests of the army assaults, it has demostrated how effective in which their propoganda is, able to garner the support of so many people, especially the influential tribesmen and chiefs, showing how much they are able to convince people to join their radical front.
Furthermore, this can be seen in the recently foiled bomb plot in Britain, where literally all the alleged plotters were doctors and physicians. And we are talking about highly intellectual people being used as single celled- operatives being use to conduct attacks on the different nations. To think that, highly educated people are attempting to blow up their fellow countrymen,that is how powerful the terrorist influence is in being able to slowly, but steadily wage war on governments throughout their world, to advance their goal of a entirely "Islamic" world
So how can we deal with such a new threat, the fact that they're now powerful. As we can all recognise, the terrorists are trying to break nations by making civillians in their governments, as seen in Pakistan and USA, regardless of Democrat or Republican. Terrorists are just like rats, they hide, and they sneak up on you, yet we cannot ignore them, for if so, like plague, they will slowly feed upon us and manifest. Hence, the only way would be to stay united
As quoted from Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series
" Evil cannot be totally eradicated, we can only keep it at bay. And to do so, we have to stand together, keep fighting, keep fighting to stop it from spreading. The going is tough, but we must continue, relentless, for it will not stop till it emerges victorious. And we MUST fight it."
And this IS what we all must do, keep fighting, to the very end