How far do magazines or television programs aimed at young people in Singapore have a positive effect?

YES: Magazines and television programs for Singaporean youths are generally well written, thereby promoting the well-being and development of Singaporean youths.

  1. Magazines and television programs for Singaporean youths provide articles and advice valuable to their social and emotional maturation.

  2. Magazines and television programs with appropriate education content are often published and released to youths in educational institutions, providing a valuable resource for their intellectual development.

  3. Magazines and television programs that target youth audiences have advertisements that promote products that are both appropriate to the needs of youths and affordable to their limited spending power.

NO: Magazines and television programs for Singaporean youths are generally poorly written, thereby undermining the well-being and development of Singaporean youths.

  1. Magazines and television programs for Singaporean youths provide articles and advice that is superficial rather than useful to their social and emotional maturation.

  2. Magazines and television programs that ostensibly reach out to youths in schools may be of low production quality, thereby undermining their value as educational tools for youths.

  3. Magazines and television programs that target youth audiences have advertisements that engage in deceptive marketing and promote products that are neither wholesome nor affordable to youths, causing them to develop materialistic outlooks and spendthrift behavior.

‘Too much attention is given to criminals, not enough to their victims.’ Is this true?

YES: Societal developments today have mistakenly privileged the well-being of criminals over their victims, leading to injustice.

  1. In some liberal countries, legislative systems provide excessive chances for convicted criminals to appeal against their sentences, inevitably lengthening the time lapse between crimes and justice, thereby preventing victim closure.

  2. The opinions of academics and other experts in some countries may predispose the courts or public to excuse criminal behavior by attributing it to social and background factors outside the criminal’s control, conveniently ignoring that we should all be responsible for our individual choices and actions.  

  3. The mass media may choose to overly focus upon or glamorize criminals and marginalize victims in news reports or film adaptations, negatively influencing society to excuse criminals and forget victims.  

NO: Societal developments today balance the well-being of criminals with that of victims, thereby promoting justice.

  1. The recognition for due justice and appropriate victim closure has propelled legislative systems in many countries to expedite trial and sentencing procedures, thereby preventing abuse and opportunistic appeals by convicted criminals.

  2. In the age of social media, the opinions of masses and the public are increasingly focused on the hardships and trauma faced by victims of crime, influencing judges and courts to find their decisions more efficiently and in favor of victims.

  3. The mass media reports responsibly on the harms and injustice that criminals cause to their victims, thereby providing a valuable public service by informing and educating the public on the true details and consequences of crime.

Consider the view that the study of mathematics is intellectually satisfying, but of little practical use

YES: Studying mathematics provides in-depth views into the complexities of the discipline and is intellectually satisfying but ultimately less useful to most individuals and societal well-being.

  1. In many acclaimed educational systems worldwide, the foundational levels of mathematics contain many topics that may engage youths’ intellectual curiosity but prove less useful if they specialize in other fields upon graduation from high school.

  2. Studied on its own at the undergraduate level, mathematics may appear to be a highly abstract and specialized discipline for enthusiasts but appears less relevant to the concerns of acquiring a professional qualification.

  3. At its more advanced levels of study,  mathematics become extremely complex and specialists may devote a major portion of post-graduate work or experience on the identification and solution of highly abstract mathematical problems that are totally removed from everyday life.

NO: Studying mathematics is both intellectually satisfying and provide practical means for both individuals and society to enrich our lives and overall well-being.

  1. It is the process rather than mere data one acquires that is useful in the study of complex mathematical topics at the high school level, as these topics help develop the critical thinking and visualizing skills in students that are so vital to holistic development.

  2. At the undergraduate level, mathematics is integrated as a component both vital and applicable to a wide variety of seemingly unrelated disciplines, including economics, psychology and social work.

  3. The more advanced levels of mathematical study aim to identify and contribute practical solutions to major challenges faced by humanity, such as complex formulations to calculate the rate of melting polar ice-caps, which may be vital to international deliberations on climate change. 

‘Instead of speeding up the pace of life, we should be slowing it down.’ What do you think?

YES: Speeding up the pace of life brings many disadvantages and problems for modern society, making the advantages of slowing down a comparatively attractive one.

  1. In many of our economic activities and work-lives, excessively speeding up the pace of life has resulted in disastrous financial and health consequences, making the act of slowing down practical for individuals, institutions and entire societies.

  2. In many intellectual and educational endeavors, slowing down helps engage the deep learning centres and processes of the human brain, facilitating the acquisition of complex knowledge which is increasingly vital to modern life.

  3. From a moral and ethical standpoint, slowing down provides opportunities for many to reflect on our personal choices, relationships and decisions in life, which is invaluable in a modern world that compels us to make many decisions hastily and move on to the next stage without due consideration or insight.

  4. As a modern consumer driven society, slowing down the pace of our material acquisitions may yield important and practical benefits, as we collectively engage in the act of reducing, reusing and recycling, thereby investing in our collective environmental well-being.

NO: Modernity thrives on speed and slowing down the pace of life is a regressive rather than progressive act, and would be a disadvantage in many aspects of our lives.

  1. The dangers of speeding up excessively are undeniable but the economic benefits of speeding up moderately are more than comparable and should be encouraged, as they increase the many factors – pace of production, transaction volumes and acceleration of learning cycles – that are integral to economic growth and prosperity. 

  2. We live in a modern age saturated with data and information, making the act of slowing down and processing information a less viable one compared to developing skills that speed up our capabilities to process complex knowledge.

  3. Despite our romantic notions concerning the purported benefits of slowing down, the pace of scientific research, technological development and its integration into our lives should be speeded up, as doing so provides us with more avenues and innovations to solve the major societal challenges of our time.

‘The tourist does not see the country the inhabitants know.’ How far is this true of Singapore?

YES: The tourism sector in Singapore remains largely commercialized and superficial, leaving many tourists with a surface rather than authentic perspective of the country as seen by Singaporeans.  

  1. The tourism sector in Singapore is highly commercialized and supported by various industries, such as hotels, food, beverage and retail, which largely direct tourists and their activities to the urban center rather than the authentic parts of Singaporean life, such as HDB estates.

  2. Government agencies and statutory boards fund programs and facilities that present the more sanitized and glamorized aspects of Singaporean history and culture to tourists, inevitably censoring information and knowledge of societal issues that may either be contentious or controversial.  

  3. As a small and strategically located country in South-east Asia, Singapore is often a transit point into the region’s tourist attractions, such as Malaysia’s nature reserves, rather than an end-destination for many tourists, whose stay in Singapore will necessarily be shorter and cursory.

NO: The tourism sector provides visitors with many opportunities to interact with and understand life as seen by Singaporeans.

  1. More tour operators in Singapore now recognize that tourists desire to experience aspects of authentic Singaporean life and incorporate compatible programs, such as trips to hawker centres in HDB estates, into their itinerary.

  2. Various government programs, such as short home-stay and exchange programs for foreign students, integrate visitors more thoroughly into everyday Singaporean life, providing them with a more authentic experience encompassing both palatable and contentious societal issues.

  3. More tourists today, such as backpackers, recognize the varied cultural and historical depths and experiences available in Singapore and choose to stay longer, thereby undergoing a thorough appreciation of the country that more closely resembles the experiences of Singaporeans.

Examine the claim that the world is too dependent on oil

YES: Many aspects of human interactions today depend on the adequate sourcing, supply and distribution of oil, to the point that minor disruptions at any stage paralyze or greatly reduce our capacity to function effectively.

  1. Most of our energy supply comes from the use of oil to generate electricity and even the most minor disruption in oil supply causes harmful changes in the price of oil, energy markets and global finance.

  2. The environmental hazards associated with accidents involving oil, such as tanker spillages, are often underestimated and ignored by the international community as everyone falsely assumes that such accidents only happen to other countries and can be easily contained to their immediate locality.

  3. Despite its imminent depletion in the next 50 years, many countries continue to utilize oil as their main energy resource rather than invest in the research and development of cleaner and more efficient energies.

  4. The majority of our economic and industrial activities remain powered by oil-generated electricity, and emphasis on sustaining economic growth at all costs pressurizes many countries to continue their dependence on oil.

NO: A range of societal developments and actions by stakeholders have reduced our dependence on oil, with potential benefits to our long-term well-being.

  1. Disruptions in the supply of oil and their accompanying shocks to the global economy are factored in by many oil producing countries, which have committed to binding international trade agreements that raise production of oil to adequate levels in such cases.   

  2. The international community recognizes environmental hazards associated with the production, transport and storage of oil, taking adequate measures through international safety codes, emergency response procedures and collaboration with oil companies to minimize the negative impacts of such accidents.

  3. Governments in more countries today have undertaken significant levels of research and development into alternative energies, as they are pressurized by their increasingly informed citizens and civic society leaders.

  4. Increasingly, the drivers of our major economic and industrial activities such as multinational corporations (MNCs) and entrepreneurs have recognized the limitations of oil-dependent businesses and initiated programs to move operations away from such models, replacing them with sustainable alternatives.

‘Hosting major sporting events creates more problems than benefits.’ Do you agree?

YES: Hosting major sporting events is a huge planning and implementation challenge in itself, followed generally by harmful and unintended consequences both for the host and humanity.

  1. The financial resources expanded into hosting major sporting events often drain the national budget, leading to constraints on other forms of essential public spending. In some cases, poor planning and policies may lead to overspending and accompanying costs to societal welfare.

  2. Public expectations of athletes in hosting countries to do well and win medals becomes extremely high, and the focus on nationalistic pride replaces healthy competition.

  3. The large numbers of visitors, alongside consumption of energy, goods and services undertaken during major sporting events can cause irreparable levels of environmental damage and degradation to both the local and regional environments.

  4. Governments of hosting countries may carry out unethical or highly controversial actions to clean up their public image prior to major sports events, such as forcibly evicting squatters or homeless people from competition venues and urban centers.

NO: Hosting major sporting events provides a range of benefits for both the host and humanity, justifying the costs involved in its planning and implementation.

  1. Although the financial resources expanded into hosting major sporting events are significant, the expenditure is matched by accompanying revenue streams and economic benefits, such as tourist dollars and a rise of employment numbers in the construction industry.

  2. Athletes of hosting countries recognize the honor given by the international community to their countries, and take extra efforts to live the values of true sportsmanship such as integrity, respect for one’s fellow competitors and humility in both victory and defeat.

  3. Hosting countries can work with the governments of participating countries to develop measures that alleviate the inevitable environmental damage arising from major sporting events, such as creating carbon offset programs for participating athletes and spectators flying in.

  4. Major sporting events provide good opportunities for the governments of hosting countries to carry out actions that genuinely project a heightened and improved level of culture and civility, such as the release of political prisoners or the commissioning of commemorative public artworks.

‘Medical science has been so successful that people now expect too much of it.’ Discuss

YES: Medical science has advanced rapidly and raised our positive expectations of it to an unsustainable point.

  1. Advances in medical science have provided cures to many diseases and good health is now taken for granted by many individuals, who mistakenly believe that undergoing medication or medical procedures can replace healthy living. 

  2. Various aspects of medical science in aesthetic and elective surgery have progressed to unprecedented levels, encouraging many individuals to utilize such procedures excessively in search of physical perfection, displacing traditional wellness and values centered upon natural beauty and positive self-image.

  3. Some highly publicized and profiled incidents of advanced medical intervention, such as the separation of conjoined twins or complete facial reconstruction, are mistakenly assumed by the public to be the norm rather than exception in medical science.

NO: Medical science may have advanced rapidly but society remains grounded and realistic about its possibilities and limitations.

  1. Many medical institutions and associations have educated the public sufficiently, such that many advanced medical procedures are duly regarded as life-saving interventions rather than substitutes for healthy living.

  2. The public maintains a fair degree of skepticism and wariness towards the more dubious developments in aesthetic surgery and understands their risks, undertaking them only in exceptional rather than whimsical circumstances.

  3. Many advances in medical science, such as cleft-lip surgery, are now routinely utilized in both economically developed and deprived conditions by medical professionals, vastly improving patients’ lives and becoming the healthcare norm that all societies can reasonably aspire towards.

Do the arts, such as music and literature, really play a significant part in Singaporean society?

YES: The arts play a highly significant role in nurturing and enriching Singaporean society.

  1. The arts are vital in educating Singaporean youths holistically and an increasing number of educational institutions and programs have allocated significant resources towards promoting the arts in students.

  2. Commercialization of the arts has contributed significantly to the employment of Singaporeans and the growth of many local businesses in related industries such as events management, exhibition curators and advertising agencies.

  3. In recent years, greater government funding and involvement in nurturing the arts has seen the growth and development of many talented local practitioners, who have contributed significantly to developing an arts culture informed by authentic Singaporean values, themes and voices.

NO: The arts are peripheral to Singaporean society and may be underappreciated despite their potential value.

  1. The arts may be increasingly recognized by educators and their institutions as integral to holistic development but many Singaporean youths themselves are less enthusiastic and prefer to specialize in traditional science or business-related courses that are perceived as more commercially viable.

  2. Many local businesses have grown due to the commercialization of the arts in Singapore but these businesses focus mainly on the presentation and promotion of art events rather than creation of art, thereby furthering only the economic rather than aesthetic profile of the arts.

  3. Despite positive support by the authorities, the mass media has been too successful in enthralling the masses with foreign artists and their work, significantly undermining attempts to develop an authentic Singaporean artistic identity. 

To what extent should the State involve itself in the world of business?

YES: The State should be involved to a large degree in business as doing so ensures a variety of effective business and societal outcomes.

  1. Some vital aspects of governance, such as managing and growing the national reserves through sovereign wealth funds, should in most cases be undertaken by the state which has the long-term national interest rather than short-term commercial profits in mind.

  2. The state should retain an extensive and influential regulatory role when it privatizes important public goods or services, such as transport, communications and healthcare, to ensure that social well-being and safety is not unduly marginalized by private operators focused solely on profits.     

  3. Economic factors related to pricing, supply and speculation pressures necessitate timely government intervention in some sectors, such as basic food commodities, housing and banking, to prevent financial elites or businessmen from exploiting members of the public or profiteering at the public expense.

  4. The state needs to actively supportsocial enterprises, such as farmers cooperatives or factories which hire the handicapped, as such businesses assist the economically disempowered and are vital to building cohesive and civic societies. 

NO: The State should not be involved in most areas of business as doing so dilutes its effectiveness as a state and also undermines desirable business and societal outcomes.

  1. The state should never be involved in business in countries with poor accountability and public transparency practices, as corrupt officials will likely abuse the public trust and pocket national funds or resources for themselves, leading to financial ruin for the nation.

  2. Once privatization takes place, governments should maintain a minimal regulatory role as doing otherwise would interfere with the efficient daily operations of the related sectors, especially if officials do not possess the necessary expertise to contribute meaningfully to efficient operations.

  3. State interventions into the free market may be driven by populist pressures, leading to highly complex, unpredictable and harmful economic consequences, such as the collapse of prices followed by unemployment in some business sectors or government subsidies in agriculture which breed farmers’ reliance on the government.     

  4. State involvement in social enterprises should be largely discouraged as supporting them would undermine their operators’ efficiency and pass their business problems to the state, unnecessarily burdening state resources.  

‘There is no such thing as luck. People determine their own lives.’ Do you agree?

YES: Success in life and many areas of human endeavor arise from our choices and decisions rather than luck or other fortuitous circumstances.

  1. Many individuals succeed in their professional careers through a combination of personal fortitude, insight and mastery of related skills despite initial disadvantages or severe handicaps.

  2. Positive political developments and outcomes are influenced to a large degree by effective governance, and it is morally duplicitous for incompetent officials or leaders to blame bad luck for policy failures.

  3. Success in personal relationships arise when individuals take the necessary effort to nurture them and it is irresponsible for us to blame failed relationships on highly subjective and luck-related factors such as lack of chemistry or affinity.

NO: Success in life and some areas of human endeavor may arise from our choices and decisions but the presence of fortuitous circumstances or events can provide a significant edge.

  1. In some professions like sports and music, success is attributable to a combination of skills and talent, which is arguably a matter of luck and the attributes one is born with.

  2. Despite their best efforts, honest and competent government officials may face factors outside their control, such as unpredictable and bad weather or fluctuations in global trade which derail well-planned economic policies.

  3. Modern science has proven that many successful personal relationships in marriage or romantic attachments are built upon various complex biological and chemical processes, such as compatible pheromone reactions between couples, which then renders it a matter of natural selection and luck rather than deliberate and successful human action.

Is effective farming possible without science?

YES: Effective farming is possible in some ways without the extensive use of science.

  1. Effective farming is possible without the use of modern science and technology if it is limited in scale and provides only basic levels of subsistence to a small community, such as villagers in primitive indigenous tribes.

NO: Effective farming is dependent on the use of science from its most basic to its most advanced applications.

  1. Most modern methods of farming rely on the extensive use of science and technological innovations such as genetic modification and sowing of seeds by robots to maximize yields and meet global levels of demand for food.

  2. Many aspects of modern farming incorporate generations of scientific knowledge on animal and plant biology, such as the selective breeding of prize animals.

  3. In countries where landscapes or geographical features are hostile to farming, effective farming is only possible when intensive human labor is combined with scientifically proven methods of altering the natural landscape, such as multi-level hill terraces in the Philippines.  

To what extent do the newspapers and magazines you read deal with what is trivial, rather than what is important?

YES: Many societal conditions encourage the disproportionate publication of newspapers and magazines that deal with trivial rather than important matters.

  1. Lifestyle newspapers and magazines provide a wealth of largely trivial information for readers, as they are mostly meant for leisure and light reading.

  2. In order to remain commercially viable in the internet age, many serious newspapers shed increasing amounts of column space for more digestible and trivial news or glossy advertising space featuring the latest consumer products.

  3. Some niche magazines deal with trivial matters, such as celebrity gossip and it is expected that their material would pander to such tastes as there is a ready market for them.

NO: Many societal conditions encourage the continued publication of newspapers and magazines that deal with important matters rather than trivial ones.

  1. Popular misconceptions aside, lifestyle newspapers and magazines provide readers with important insights into central aspects of human interactions and behavior, such as relationship articles or those featuring societal trends.

  2. Serious newspapers recognize the challenge posed to commercial viability in the internet age and have responded pro-actively to the trend by developingcomprehensive online editions that continue to provide important news.

  3. Many niche magazines such as Time and The Economist serve a more serious client base, featuring important and relevant material about societal issues.

‘Women will never enjoy the same rights as men.’ Do you agree?

YES: Many conditions in different countries, cultures and regions continue to undermine the rights of women, making gender equality an impossible outcome in the foreseeable future.

  1. Patriarchal traditions and social systems in various countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are unlikely to dilute in the near future, making universal gender equality impossible.

  2. Economic globalization has intensified the exploitation and victimization of women by criminal organizations, in diverse illicit activities such as forced prostitution and drug couriering, and the continued demand for such activities makes the protection of women’s rights a difficult proposition. 

  3. Deep rooted cultural stereotypes perpetuated by the popular media continue to endorse unfair treatment of women as sexual objects or commodities, making gender equality impossible in countries where such attitudes persist.

NO: Many conditions in different countries, cultures and regions have improved the rights of women significantly, thereby making gender equality a distinct possibility in the foreseeable future.

  1. Despite the persistence of patriarchal traditions in various countries, political transformations in them have created more favorable conditions for women’s rights, providing greater hope for gender equality in the future.

  2. Greater international attention has been made to pursue equal rights and protection for women, and increasing collaboration between these bodies, such as Interpol and local police forces, have significantly improved women’s well-being and chances for gender equality.

  3. More media entities and products today feature positive gender images of women, such as empowered celebrity activists or political leaders, thereby facilitating the conditions for gender equality.

Do myths and legends still have a role to play in Singapore?

YES: Myths and legends provide a broad range of benefits to Singapore and remain relevant to our lives. 

  1. Myths and legends form a rich tapestry of background stories and themes to inform our literary traditions and cultural products, such as ghost stories by local authors and film directors.

  2. In many households, myths and legends are incorporated into religious rituals, further grounding Singaporeans in our rich religious traditions.

  3. Myths and legends regarding Singapore’s pre-colonial historical past, such as those written in the Sejarah Melayu, or Malay Annals, provide a further layer of interpretation into the country’s pre-colonial past and affirms our historical ties to South-east Asia. 

  4. Myths and legends from different ethnic groups remain central to many traditional practices, and Singaporeans’ familiarity with them help foster bonds across ethnicities. 

 

 

NO: Myths and legends may be entertaining but are largely marginal to the proper functioning or improvement of life in Singapore today.

  1. Many of our literary efforts drawn from myths and legends, such as pontianak ghost stories, suffer from countless iterations and repetition by untalented or mediocre writers, significantly diluting their authenticity.

  2. As the older generations pass on, religious rituals become informed by more modern interpretations, making myths and legends less central to them.

  3. Since the chronicling of Singapore’s pre-colonial past is rooted in unreliable myths and legends rather than historically documented events, it is unwise and risky to base our historical identity on them.

  4. The myths and legends from different ethnic traditions are increasingly replaced by social rituals, such as community dinners and events during festive occasions, which are arguably more effective in fostering bonds across ethnicities.

‘Entrepreneurship is just another name for personal greed.’ How far do you agree?

YES: Entrepreneurship is merely a means for capitalism and the profit motive to thrive in the modern world.

  1. Most entrepreneurs are driven by the desire to acquire wealth and profit at all costs and the popular ethos of this group centers on doing so as quickly as one can.

  2. The widely publicized stories of young and financially successful entrepreneurs draws many youths to entrepreneurship, who fantasize about how much they will earn from their business ventures, many of which are financially dubious or commercially unviable.

  3. Successful entrepreneurs often develop and head corporations that exert a high degree of global economic influence, inevitably catalyzing a cycle of exploitation and marginalization of the economically disempowered.

NO: Entrepreneurship is the embodiment of many positive values associated with modernity which go beyond greed and the acquisition of material wealth.

  1. Many entrepreneurs are driven by the desire to bring their business ideas and innovations to fruition as a matter of personal pride rather than greed, often taking great personal and financial risks in the process of doing so.

  2. Many youths are inspired by successful entrepreneurs and their business ideas often build upon existing models or address gaps in them, reflecting a class of creative and intellectually engaged rather than selfish individuals obsessed with wealth alone. 

  3. Successful entrepreneurs recognize the hardships faced by the economically disempowered as many of them have come from similar backgrounds, and their great commercial success provides them with the resources and influence needed to engage in acts of philanthropy to improve the welfare of this group. 

To what extent do young people in your society take an interest in politics?

YES: Various societal developments and institutional causes catalyze and sustain Singaporean youths’ deep interest in politics.

  1. Educational institutions provide various opportunities, such as political forums and volunteering opportunities at meet-the-people sessions to engage Singaporean youths, making an increasing number of them interested in political developments and processes both locally and globally.

  2. More civic organizations requiring interaction with government policies have been formed in recent years, attracting many Singaporean youths and young adults to take up advocacy work championing diverse causes such as foreign workers’ rights, greater freedom of speech and government regulatory practices.

  3. Rapid economic transformations have generated many concerns amongst youths about the state of their economic well-being in the future, leading to greater youth interest and scrutiny of   related government policies.

  4. The proliferation of new and social media provide valuable platforms for many Singaporean youths to nurture a profound interest in monitoring and contributing to political discussions online, creating a more politically aware generation.

NO: Various societal conditions and institutional causes discourage Singaporean youths from taking a deep interest in politics.

  1. Opportunities to be involved with political activities may be present in many schools but Singaporean youths’ main concern remains on academic performance, making political engagement a disposable rather than core activity for many.

  2. The intensity and effort involved in advocacy work is significant and at some point, most Singaporean youths forgo it in favor of more immediate and personally relevant goals such as developing a career or starting a family.

  3. Although economic transformations have generated many concerns amongst youths, many remain confident in the strength and resilience of government policies and choose to keep only a cursory rather than profound interest in understanding the latest government policies.

  4. The proliferation of new and social media provides many refreshing entertainment and networking options for Singaporean youths, and many have their hands full exploring these options rather than engaging in online political discussions or forums.

‘The world would be a better place if everyone spoke the same language.’ Discuss

YES: The world will gain in many ways if everyone spoke the same language.

  1. A universal language would help grow the global economy as previously inaccessible markets with different dominant languagesare now easier to enter for both workers and corporations.

  2. Connectedness between individuals may significantly increase and deepen as the easing of language barriers allow communication between individuals with common interests but different nationalities.

  3. A truly international civic society can conceivably be formed as activists with common causes rally more easily across national borders and present comprehensive programs to address collective social, political and environmental challenges.

  4. Many desirable practices and products in arts and culture can now be shared seamlessly across societies, promoting a truly global society united by common trends, fads and terms of reference.

NO: The world will lose in many ways if everyone spoke the same language.

  1. Some industries and sectors that thrive on linguistic diversity, such as foreign language instruction, may suffer a sharp decline in demand for their products and services.

  2. Within national borders, more effort will have to be made by both individuals and societies to either stem the inevitable loss or erosion of native languages over time or promote their continued relevance, as monolinguistically inclined individuals marginalize them.

  3. The reverse of civic society organizations is found in subversive ones, such as terrorist groups and crime syndicates, which find it easier to collaborate on their activities with a common language and terms of reference, potentially raising the scope and damage caused by international terrorism and trans-border crime.

  4. The beauty of many art and cultural products or practices, such as music, rests in their unique language traditions and their translation into a common language will inevitably dilute their original appeal or render them ineffective in pleasing our aesthetic sensibilities.

How far is your country prepared for future crises?

YES: Singapore is prepared to a large extent for future crises due to judicious policies and a broad range of favorable societal conditions.

  1. Singapore’s government has put in place various measures emphasizing the continued sharpening of our economic and industrial competitiveness to adequately address future economic crises.

  2. The looming aging population crisis and its associated problems have been identified to a fair degree and improvements to infrastructure and public programs have been put in place to address it in a more prepared and effective manner.

  3. The educational system and civic society organizations have collectively generated a high degree of rootedness and social capital in youths, making Singapore more prepared to keep its talent in the global future where talent outflow features as a prominent and recurrent crisis for many countries.

NO: Singapore is largely unprepared for future crises due to poor policies and exposure to a broad range of unfavorable societal conditions.

  1. Singapore’s dependence on global economic developments makes it perpetually vulnerable to shifts in global trade which no economic policy can fully address, leaving many Singaporean workers exposed and unprepared for the problems such crises bring.

  2. Measures to address the aging population crisis focus on providing for the well-being of elderly citizens in the future but have been largely unsuccessful in addressing the root cause of a declining birth rate.

  3. The high degree of rootedness and social capital possessed by the young is nullified by presently escalating factors, such as rising cost of living, which make Singapore’s exposure to the future talent outflow crisis a disproportionately high one.

Should crimes that were committed many years ago simply be forgotten?

YES: Crimes committed many years ago should simply be forgotten as pursuing resolution for them is no longer viable or advantageous to concerned parties.

  1. The perpetrators of crimes committed long ago may already have passed on from life and the best closure for victims and society is to forget them rather than expend resources pointlessly in pursuing the case.

  2. If the criminals in a case have already served an adequate sentence for their crimes, the act of forgetting their past actions should be made, as it provides perpetrators, victims and society with adequate closure.

  3. Some crimes may have been left unresolved for a long period of history, and forgetting them is a practical move since the societal conditions between the time of the crime and our present day are so drastically different that it becomes impractical to try the case.In such cases, the descendants or successors of the criminal may exercise discretion in providing suitably contrite apologies or an admission of guilt to close the matter, such as the Catholic Church’s admission of guilt in 1992 over its wrongful sentencing of Galileo Gallilei, which originally took place in 1633.

NO: Crimes committed many years ago should not be forgotten and pursuing resolution for them remains important to concerned parties and justice.

  1. The heinous nature of some crimes, such as crimes against humanity, that were committed long ago should not be forgotten as doing so will unfairly absolve not just the criminals but the society which condoned them.

  2. Criminals who have escaped due justice, such as fleeing across borders, must never be forgotten or forgiven by society as we have a moral and legal duty to bring the crime to trial and provide justice for all victims concerned.

  3. Some crimes may have been committed in historical times but continue to cause harm today, making it imperative for involved parties to seek legal resolution as failure to do so imposes grave problems, such as the continued controversy over looted Chinese artwork from the Boxer Rebellion which remains and continues to be exhibited in France.