By Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the articles “Collective yearning for society anchored on values: Lawrence Wong” and “S’pore has to be a values-driven society: Teo Ser Luck” (Channel NewsAsia, Apr 6).
All talk only or walking the talk?
The former article states that “in the ongoing national conversation about the future of Singapore, there is a strong collective yearning for a society that is anchored on values — like the importance of families, graciousness, kindness, inclusiveness, respect for others, and empathy.”
The latter article states that “Singapore has to be a values-driven society.
He was speaking at the inaugural National Youth Conference on corporate social responsibility, held at ITE College East.
Mr Teo said it was the values of working together, understanding and meeting the expectations of different stakeholders that enabled Singapore to have an inclusive society where everyone matters today.
He said ultimately, social responsibility — be it that of an individual or a corporation — must make a positive difference to lives and society.
Mr Teo said the government will continue to support the embedding of social responsibility and best practices for long term sustainability of the environment, business and people.”
As to “the values of working together, understanding and meeting the expectations of different stakeholders that enabled Singapore to have an inclusive society where everyone matters today”, how do we explain and reconcile the terminiation of town council’s software after the last general elections? (“Town councils’ new IT contract has “boundary change” clause?”, Apr 3)
As to “empathy”, how to we explain and justify increasing university fees by as much as 11.2 per cent per annum, for the 27 years from 1986/87 to 2013?
As to “inclusiveness”, how do we explain the disproportionate number of richer students relative to poorer students? (“Poor students no worse off: Really?”, Apr 6)
Respect for others?
As to “respect for others”, how do we explain that we may in a sense, be showing little respect for Singaporeans when statistics look better after they are changed? (“Job placement rate increase (magically) by 2.7 times?”, Apr 4)
As to “social responsibility — be it that of an individual or a corporation — must make a positive difference to lives and society”, why do we allow private operators which are primarily majority-stake – state-owned monopolies to make so much profits from essential basic goods and services? (“Collection of “electricity tariff” issues – 2007 to 2013?”, Apr 1)
Long term sustainability?
As to “will continue to support the embedding of social responsibility and best practices for long term sustainability of the environment, business and people”, how to we explain foreign labour and immigration policies which are causing so much hardship and stress for Singaporeans? (“More educated Singaporeans, but less pay?”, Mar 28)
Importance of families?
As to “the importance of families”, how do we explain that Singapore is only positive in 1 out of the 9 areas in the Social Health report? (“Social Health: Only 1 positive out of 9 – shocking?”, Mar 28)
As to “graciousness”, how do we explain why we continue to discriminate against lower-educated/lower-income families? (“Help for those no longer on HOPE?”, Mar 25)
As to “kindness”, are we not being “unkind” by spending so little on social spending, and accumulating so much Budget surpluses? (“Budget surplus: $3.9b or $36b?”, Mar 24)
As to “Singapore has to be a values-driven society”, isn’t there something very wrong with our societal values, when we keep coming up with so many excuses like “pay must be linked to productivity increase” after so many years – and still pay so many Singaporeans literally “peanuts”? (“Cleaners’ pay: Wait “till kingdom come”?”, Mar 15)