The Eleventh Hour (see below) is a documentary on the environmental crisis. I haven’t watched the film and I’m not going to blog about it, but there’s just something from this trailer that caught my attention when I first saw it, and that I still think of from time to time. It’s the quote from the interviewee at 1:58 in the video:

What a great time to to be born, what a great time to be alive, because this generation gets to completely change this world.

This has stuck with me since I first saw the trailer in 2007, because it was just such a beautiful perspective on all the troubles around us. It does not wallow in self-pity, nor does it try to blame anyone. It does not dwell on all the problems that plague us in this modern world. Instead, it focuses on the positive, on the fact that we are here, and we can do something. Instead of discouraging people, it empowers us. And it applies to so much more than just the environment.

Today I spent the whole day at work researching a miserable topic that showcases the very, very worst of human nature: greed and cold-heartedness and blatant cruelty, poverty and corruption and apathy, fear and exploitation and neglect… the very, VERY worst. Reading through the case studies and statistics just made my heart sink to the pit of my stomach, and I left work feeling tired and disheartened at all this proof of how horrible the world and its people can be. Then I met up with people from TOC (and other volunteers) to help out with the collection for the homeless (as arranged through the Facebook group There are no homeless, just happy campers run by Joshua). And it just changed everything, to see all these people who care and aren’t afraid of showing it. All these people who just want to do their bit, whatever it might be.

As I bid them goodbye after we delivered food, plates/bowls and NTUC vouchers, the thought came back to me again: “What a great time to be alive, to be able to do something to help!”

I am not a very big-sized person; I am 21 but am often told that I look like a kid. I can’t act intimidating even if I try; I just end up looking like a slightly-disorientated pigeon. I shy away from direct confrontation and constantly feel the need to be nice to everyone, including animals, toys and other inanimate objects. I’m not physically strong, or naturally sharp-tongued. All this adds up to one thing: I am pretty damn useless when it comes to bullying or manipulating people into getting things done. I can’t make people do things, or convince them with my sweet tongue to change their minds. I am neither forceful nor cunning. But there is something that is on my side, one thing that allows me to try to make a difference in my own way: I am part of the media industry, as well as the online blogging community. I can make films, I can take photos, I can edit videos. I can write, I can create and maintain a blog. I can spread the word on Facebook, on Twitter, on websites such as TOC. And in this Digital Age, this ability gives me more “power” and capability than I could ever get physically or verbally.

What a great time it is to be alive, and to be part of the media! Since I cannot forcefully make the world change all by myself, all I can do is tell the stories that need to be told, in any way that I can. And to extend that thought even further… what a great time it is to be part of the media, and in Singapore! Sure, there are probably many out there who would rather I wasn’t here, or wish that I would just sit down and shut up, work in something more safe and normal like, I don’t know, banking (no offence to the bankers out there). Sure, there isn’t a lot of freedom of press here in Singapore, and the mainstream media constantly makes me wring my hands in despair. People often shy away from speaking to the media and it can be very hard to get things out there in Singapore. Censorship (or self-censorship) is everywhere. All in all, Singapore is not actually the best place for journalists and filmmakers to be.

But it is precisely because of all this that makes Singapore a great place to be for someone in a media-related role, because media-people are exactly what is needed right now.

It’s a strange contradiction, yes, but true. Right now, all over Singapore – all over the world, in fact – people are searching for alternative views. They are turning to blogs, news sites, YouTube, etc. They are no longer confined to just the mainstream media, they are no longer limited to what their country offers them. They have a veritable smorgasboard of sources, and they are wanting differing opinions and views. The public is now extremely media-literate and they are constantly hungry for more. Which is exactly why media-people are needed in Singapore right now; we might not be able to get our stories published in the mainstream media, we might not always make a lot of money, but we are here to tell the stories that don’t get told, to film or photograph the people no one else sees, to write the words that no one else wants to write. And through our pictures and our words, perhaps we can help things move towards change and improvement. Perhaps in this way we can help people.

So hello, Singapore, it’s nice to meet you. I’m not political, I’m not strong, I’m not clever. But I am alive and I am here. And most importantly of all, I see you.

Kirsten Han

Kirsten also blogs at Kixes.

Trailer video for The Eleventh Hour:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like


汶莱于上月推行新法,同性恋者与通奸者将被施以死刑,引来国际挞伐。相信是为为平息国际怒火,汶莱苏丹哈桑纳.博尔基亚(Haji Hassanal Bolkiah)于星期日(5月5日)宣布暂缓死刑。 汶莱于四月初起实施《伊斯兰教刑法》(Syariah Penal Code Order,又称SPCO),针对同性恋、通奸者或窃盗者,最高刑法处以乱石砸死或断肢等不为人道的刑罚,而部分刑法也适用于儿童,引来国际强烈批评,甚至部分跨国公司取消与汶莱皇室合作;一些旅游公司也暂停推广汶莱旅游。 苏丹哈桑纳在穆斯林斋月开始前夕发表演说,他意识到新刑法存在许多问题与误解,但也为新刑法辩护,称后者在得到理解后会发现新刑法的“优点”。 共和联邦秘书长斯科特兰随即作出回应,指欢迎暂缓执行死刑,但亦促汶莱废止其他严厉的惩罚,例如截肢和鞭打。 苏丹哈桑纳也表示,将保障国家道德与人权利益,将支持《联合国禁止酷刑公约》即包括在世俗刑罚以及伊斯兰教刑法。 国际特赦组织吁停止该刑罚 汶莱是以石油和天然气致富的国家,多年来是以绝对君主宪制实施国家政策,故汶莱立法会立法议员由苏丹任命,没有民选立法机关。…

五个月偷拍469裙底视频! 大学生被判入狱39周

26岁大学生偷拍成性,五个多月来偷拍469个分别来自335名女子的裙底视频,面对包括侮辱女性尊严和拥有猥亵影片等四项控状。 被告Shaun Ho Yan Liang今日(9月23日)被判罪名成立,将入狱39周,即九个月又三周。 当时仍是南洋理工大学心理学系学生的被告,于2018年7月22日晚上,在四美东福坊偷拍一名和男友一起用餐后逛超市的女子。被告当时尾随女子,并用手机偷拍她的臀部,也透过女子宽松衬衫偷拍内衣。 被告的行径引起女子注意,就告知男友并暗中注意被告的行为,在被告企图偷拍时直接揭发他。随后发现被告在短短15分钟内,偷拍了10个裙底视频。 警方在逮捕了被告后,从被告手机中发现459个视频,分别来自另外334名身份不详的女子,并发现被告自2018年2月2日至7月22日期间,几乎每天都进行偷拍,而且地点不限。被告的手提电脑内也被发现106个色情影片和158个违法影片。 被告进行偷拍的地点不限,包括有在天桥、上课地点、学生活动中心、南大的实验室及其他未查清的地点,并透过视频得到快感和满足感。 据案情指出,穿短裤或裙子的漂亮女子是被告的目标,而偷拍部位除了裙底,也包括胸部和私密部位。 为了避免被发现偷拍,被告下载了一个应用程序,让手机在进行偷拍时呈现空白画面,而不是拍摄画面。

政府推降温措施 惟长远房产通膨存隐忧

昨日,新加坡财政部、国家发展部和金融管理局,发布联合文告,调整附加买方印花税(ABSD)以及贷款与价值比率(loan-to value ratio,LTV),尝试为刚从去年下半年重新活络的房地产市场降温。 针对购买第二座房产的买家,附加印花税从原本的7巴仙上调至12巴仙,足足升了5巴仙。购买第二座房产的永久居民也受影响,未来需缴交15巴仙买方印花税。 至于买家的LTV也收紧5巴仙,惟建屋发展局发放的房贷不受影响。第一套房产的LTV定限从现在的80巴仙,减少至75巴仙;借贷期超过30年或借贷至超过65岁,LTV则降至55巴仙。对于购买第二座房产的买家,至少需付25巴仙头期。 根据新的LTV贷款价值比率,对于购买第三座房产后的买家,假设购买100万元的房产,顶所只能获得银行贷款35或15巴仙。至于非个人(如投资公司),其LTV值更被下调至15巴仙。 这不是政府首次推出房产市场降温措施。上一轮是在2013年1月,而从2009年至2013年共推出八轮降温措施。自2013年中至2017年,私宅价格累计下跌11.6巴仙,但是自去年第三季开始回升,大涨9.1%。 过去12个月,房地产交易量也上扬25巴仙,新房产贷款也提升了34巴仙。 金管局乐见房地产市场重新活络,惟担忧价格攀升过快,会追上普通民众的收入增长。 政府突然宣布降温政策, 且在今日即时生效,令房地产商措手不及,也有许多民众漏夜往各个私人住宅销售中心,赶在价格调整前下订单。 降温措施,也是政府一番好意,希望能控制价格,确保老百姓都能买得起房,平心而论,欧美主张自由市场的国家,也未必如此积极控制房价。特别是我国公共组屋系统,一直都为人赞誉。…