Public Others Government Business Arts Community
Entertainment Lifestyle Services People Travel Internet Stuff

 

¡¡

     Letters to the Editor

Editor's Page

This section is devoted to current issues on Singapore. We welcome letters to the Editor. Comments expressed in this section by writers are the writers' own views and do not reflect the views of Getforme - Singapore on the Web. We reserve the right to edit all letters for grammar, clarity and content. We also reserve the right to reject any letters without assigning any reason whatsoever. If you do not wish your name to be posted, please provide a pseudonym. Your e-mail address will appear next to your letter.

Please address all letters to editor@getforme.com

Previous letters: 2002   2001   2000

2003

Dear Editor / Readers,

I understand that Singapore Culture/ current younger generation is leaning towards more on Western. Ok it is everybody's privilage to live as they wish. But is it not good to pick up and follow only good and better life style of Westeners, rather than Kissing and Hugging in Public Transport and Public Places.

Today the youngsters do not feel ashamed to do so in Public. The poor Parents only can feel the pinch when their Kinder-garten and Primary Going Children asking Questions pointing at these Hugging and Kissing Scenes. Hai Youngsters There are many ways to share the Love and affection with your Partner rather than these obscene things in Public.

Tomorrow, you are going to be parents to feel the Pinch, by that time it would be too late to change the culture. I believe the Singapore Government would look in to this to take measure for Cleaner country by all Means.

Thank you very much for the Oppertunity to express the feelings of the Responsible Parents

Jimmy (Pseudonym)

11 Aug 2003

¡¡

¡¡

The Gay Issue - are we being a responsible society?

I have read some of the reactions to our Governments desire to open up our society to the contributions of the gay community.  

I question if we as a society have really examined the issue and it's possible impact to our society carefully. Has the Government been careful and responsible with this issue, or is it driven more by the economic advantages of having the gay community contribute to our development? Are they being as stringent with this issue as they have been with things such as the import of medicine and its impact on our health or the import of animal and plant species which might effect the ecology here?  

My contention is that there are too many unanswered questions with respect to the impact of this decision on our society and culture. Questions which have not been answered satisfactorily in other societies let alone Asian societies which place a high value on the family unit. Recent polls have shown that most people do not favor their children expressing gay behavior. What if this decision does not affect their children but their children's children, are we being responsible to them by making this decision on their behalf without answering key questions?  

Here are just a few unanswered questions: What proportion of people choose the gay lifestyle because of natural tendencies and what proportion choose to become gay because of learned behavior? If leading people in society model this life-style how does it impact the psyche of the younger generation and to what extent does being gay become attractive to them? What proportion of gay members have actually experimented with that life-style because of having a 'fallout' with the opposite sex and therefore chose to be gay? Will we at some point say that the proportion of society which is gay has become critical and so decide that this practice should be contained because of the danger that it will dislodge the 'norm' of family life in Singapore and cause a generic change in cultural values? Does introducing this life-style and giving it credence go against the need for us to encourage more couples to marry and have more children? What is the social impact on our society if the institution of marriage has to be redefined and the definition of a family unit redrawn? How will our welfare workers cope and counsel problems that will arise with such alternative life-styles and the reactions or adjustments of members of society to such a life-style?  

The government has been very meticulous and responsible in so many issues, in fact even adamant on some and yet it has relaxed on this issue without attempting to give satisfactory answers to some of  the above questions.  

I personally feel there can be no conclusive explanations on the above since each society will, to a great degree, respond and adjust differently to this change. I can attest to this from my experience in having lived and worked in at least two tribal cultures, as a linguist and literacy consultant for most of the last 18 years. About ten years ago I had the dubious task of being one of the first to explain to one of these tribal groups, in their own language, about homosexual activities. I brought this up to them as one of one of the contributing factors to the spread of AIDS. I then realized that I was introducing an unknown notion to them as they went into a kind of shock since such activities were not known among them as a community. I will not go into how I know this for sure since secret homosexual practices could have been practiced among them, it is not my aim to explain the cultural structure and nature of these people in this letter to convince anyone on this point. This is only to attest to the fact that there are still too many unanswered questions and many of them cannot be answered since each society will react differently. So are we being responsible enough with this issue when there seems to be no constructive attempt made to try and answer some of these questions for our society? Should economic development always be the premise to make exceptions on issues such as this, while we are adamant about other issues that pose less a danger to the basic fundamentals of our society? Who has the say and who will draw the line to say this is too much risk for us at this time? How will these risks be researched and calculated? How much has already been done? Is there a process in place to do this?  

I personally feel even when all is said and done there will still be a good number of unknowns but at least we would have been responsible in determining the known risks and thereby taken steps to prepare our society to 'adjust' / 'tolerate'/ 'survive' such a change to our moral and religious culture...more so for us in Singapore, who have been known to be a wise and cautious society. We are also proudly maintaining a multi-religious and multi-cultural society with the vast majority of us being uniquely Asian and hopefully remaining distinctively so, despite the impact of popular media.

Daniel Jesudason

(Home address given)

27 Jul 2003

¡¡

¡® ALTERNATIVE¡¯ OR UNNATURAL LIFESTYLE?

To begin with, we should get our terminology correct. Homosexuality (sex between two or more males) and lesbianism (sex between two or more females) should not be called ¡°Gay¡± or ¡°Gayness¡±. The meaning of the word ¡°gay¡¯ should remain as ¡°light-hearted and cheerful, happy and full of fun¡±, and the meanings of the words ¡®homosexuality¡¯ and  ¡®lesbianism¡¯ should also remain as they are. Unfortunately, human beings are very creative as far as language is concerned, and an UNNATURAL lifestyle is now called an ¡®ALTERNATIVE¡¯ lifestyle. Liberties are taken with language, so the opposite of ¡®straight¡¯, instead of ¡®crooked¡¯, has become ¡®gay¡¯, and the opposite of ¡®gay¡¯, instead of ¡®sad¡¯, becomes ¡®straight¡¯. There is an excuse for everything and a way out for every wrong. ( Sodomy is still a criminal offence in Singapore: ref. Penal Code 377/377A).

Homosexuals and lesbians should be allowed to make a living, and to be employed like anyone else. They should have the right to live as they want, and to do as they like, AS LONG AS their actions do not affect the lives of other people who do not subscribe to their UNNATURAL lifestyle. Having said this, I would like to bring up some examples to show why it is difficult for homosexuals and lesbians NOT to affect the lives of other people by their actions. For instance, when two men decide to live together as ¡®husband and wife¡¯ or ¡®husband and husband¡¯, and they decide to adopt a child (let¡¯s say a boy) to live together as a family, where would this lead to? The two men, in order to fulfil their sexual desires, may resort to engaging in a criminal offence called sodomy, (which the Oxford Dictionary defines as ¡®copulation-like act between male persons or between a person and an animal¡¯). Some will say, ¡® that¡¯s perfectly all right, because they are two consenting adults¡¯. Now, what happens when one, or the both of them, decide to sodomize the boy they have adopted? Is sodomy a crime when it involves adults? If an adult male can sodomize another adult male, can either of them sodomize the male child? Would you give your son out for adoption, knowing this could happen to him? Who is going to protect the child? The Government?

Catholics all over the world are now reeling from the effects of homosexuality in the church. Boys in Catholic orphanages, as well as choir-boys in Catholic churches, are now coming out to accuse their guardians and priests of sodomizing them, and millions of dollars are being paid out as compensation to those who have been sexually abused, in order to silence them. The root cause of this problem obviously is the imposition of celibacy on the priesthood, which is an UNNATURAL dogma. Now even Protestant churches are allowing homosexuals and lesbians to serve as pastors, to lead their flock. Where would they lead their flock? The problem faced by Catholic churches will spread to the Protestant churches as well, and  there are going to be lawsuits in the Protestant churches any day now. What happens when one of these two men described above gets infected with AIDS, and he suddenly decides that he wants to become bisexual, and has sex with an unsuspecting woman, who then gets infected. What happens when this woman has sex with an unsuspecting man, and infects him, too. Is this all right?

Alfred Tan

(Home address given)

23 July 2003

¡¡

¡¡

Dear Sir,

I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to the kind and thoughtful people of Singapore who helped my husband and myself today in the carpark of the Great World City Shopping Centre. My husband slid on some water in the carpark, dislocated his knee and was on the ground in agony. To my surprise, there were numerous people who stopped to see if they could help in anyway. No-one seemed to give a second thought to SARS, all they wanted to do was help someone in need.

I would especially like to thank the gentleman who called an ambulance and also the other gentleman who rang the ambulance to see if they were on the way. All of these "strangers" went out of their way to help and the genuine concern for us was very touching. The Security men at Great World were very helpful and ensured that my husband was looked after whilst we waited.

So, thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness in our time of need. In case you are wondering, my husband did dislocate his knee and after three attempts his patella is back in place and although his knee is swollen and very sore, he is going to be fine. 

V. Martin

2 May 2003

¡¡

¡¡

The Subject of Punishment by Caning

Dear Sir,

  I'd like to discuss the subject of caning punishment. I recently read article 080702 regarding the 3 boys who received this punishment at at Montfort Secondary School.
  First, let me state that I am an American, living in the U.S. and I understand punishments differ from Country to Country. But, the harsher and more brutal the punishment, the more that psychological scarring of the victim can occur in later life. The way He/She is treated early on in their childhood, is what can be expected later on in life with the way that they will treat others. I first realized your punishment methods from a young American boy, named Micheal Faye. From reading the newspapers, it seems he was very mischievous while he lived in Singapore and created graffiti on cars and causing damage to them. I agree that this is a crime that should be punished. But the method, we would possibly have disagreement with. I would not expect this person to be beaten and scared for life, both mentally and physically. I believe that Life is precious (and not cheap).

  Human beings have a brain that is used for understanding and comprehension. True, some people do not learn the first or second time and sometimes have to be shown the proper path to follow. In the U.S., incarceration (prison) is sometimes required in order to allow time for the person to understand that what they have done is wrong.
  But violence creates violence in society. Parading those three young boys on stage (before the public) and caning them (did they even have pants on or was this done nude?) creates a subconscience sadism in society that says for every infraction, there is a penalty.

  Have you not seen an increase in Violence (with regards to punishments of Caning?) I've studied some information on the Internet with regards to how much your Laws have changed in recent years. More caning is now done for even smaller infractions (e.g. chewing gum, spitting, etc.) Your society has long touted a much lower crime rate because of your stronger punishments, but I submit to you that the violence from Singapore society has not left, but merely been re-channeled into Government.

  When all matter of penalties are put upon a people whereupon they can no longer speak out and voice their thoughts and opinions, it becomes a dictatorial society. In simplest terms, when we try too hard for the good (in life), it can literally change to bad, even though our intentions, at the beginning, were good.

  In closing, I'm glad that in my Country, corporal punishment is no longer used. Schools as well as parents no longer threaten children with violence of beatings. Time-Outs are given as well as suspensions and expulsions. Someone once said: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  I would not expect a beating nor will I ever give one, as crushing one's spirit is worse than death, itself.

  God Bless the Singaporean people and may you someday learn a kinder and gentler method of correction.


Gordon Kennedy
U.S.A.

30 Mar 2003

 

¡¡

¡¡

I have made an observation and would like to make a
suggestion to our education. Our kids are still using
the symbol X for multiplication and the symbol (not
printable from keyboard) for division. When they grow
up and move on to study computer programming and the
use of most softwares, they need to relearn the
symbols * for multiplication and / for divide.

I suggest that we make the change from kindergarten to
using the computer symbols for these mathematical
operations. This will help our people learn faster, as
the need to learn them will always be there for every
student. Of course, to do so will entail major revamps
of all textbooks and assessment books, but the long
term benefit will far outweigh the effort put in now.

Allan Tan

30 Mar 2003

Previous letters: 2002   2001   2000

This section commenced on 8 Aug 2000.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail us at editor@getforme.com .

¡¡

¡¡

 

 

¡¡

¡¡