Staying united as Singaporeans

I made a comment on the viral post about making a police report on SMRT Feedback‘s post on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The writer claimed that Muslims in Singapore had been questioned if they can be impartial if they don the tudung as a healthcare worker. I don’t think such as claim has ever been made, so we should not invent it out of thin air.

However, my comment was misread in the way that readers thought I am the one raising the concern.

While I am disturbed by the number of people who don’t read the original post then making a quick judgment of the situation, my sharing in this article will not be about this.

In this post, I hope to highlight some of the trends that I have been seeing over the years and I hope that we can all help to shape our culture towards one that is inclusive, reasonable and kind. As a public servant, I do not comment about my personal stand on the policies made by the government. We are not allowed to and for good reasons why. However, I wish to highlight a few things.

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”

The internet has allowed us to know more than what we traditionally are able to. And hence these days, people who have did a 15 minute reading of an issue often thinks that he is well educated on the topic. But this is not the case. Many topics are complicated and whatever that is on the internet, even those which are posted by established media sources may not be entirely true. It is important that we are aware of this and know that while many things are on the internet, many things are not. Else, we would not have to send doctors for 5 years of education. They can be self taught at home.

While I say something like this, it also made me reflect upon the times which I made a fool out of myself in front of people who have studied a topic for many years, not knowing that they actually wrote papers on it already. While it is not wrong to question, sometimes, the way we do it is important.

Singapore is vulnerable.

We have been told time and time again that we are vulnerable. And it has been repeated so many times that it sounded like my parents nagging at me. But just how vulnerable we are? Take this particular example. Although what is happening to Israel and Palestine is so far away, I have seen on my social media page many post taking sides for the past few days. And if we are not careful, it can result in tension and conflicts in our society. Thankfully, many Singaporeans are sensible to not let things escalate. But we should not take our harmony and progress for granted.

That’s all I want to say and I really hope to see a healthier internet culture moving forward. We are after all a highly educated population.

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