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Our Happier Lives (?) Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General, Rantings.
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I have taken a hiatus from writing since my last entry almost a month ago. It seems to be the case whenever I’m in Singapore. I guess I never felt inclined to write about the “normal” things that happen, and most often than not, they are normal. But I did reflect on how Singapore is faring currently. The economy for the last quarter has shown improvement, thanks to the construction and finance industries. The construction industry has not seen such high activity levels since pre-financial crisis days. This has translated to better business sentiments and general sense of optimism amongst Singaporeans. Many have been upgrading their properties, with the rich buying new developments at record psf prices and sending property sale and rental prices north.

Besides focusing on the economic front, the government has also placed much emphasis on the arts, cultural and entertainment scene in an attempt to make Singapore a fun place to live and work in. But I wonder, despite all these good things in their lives now, are the locals actually benefiting from it or the expatriates? Has our society evolved to be more gracious? Personally I do think that we have. Unfortunately, the presence of  much needed foreign workers seemed to have marred this somewhat. I say this because I cringe whenever I see a certain country’s nationals speaking loudly and their uncouth behaviour which early generations of Singaporeans probably exhibited (and some probably still do today). There was a recent article in the forum pages of the Strait’s Times which highlighted an unfortunate incident in a bus. Apparently, a Caucasian woman (she certainly do not qualify to be called a lady) was ranting madly and loudly at the bewildered (or nonchalent?) and seemingly Singaporean passengers about how coarse Singaporeans are, how unhelpful they are etc etc. It seems she was unable to get some help when she asked for it. But surely it did not warrant that appalling response from her. I wondered if she had stopped to think whether the person(s) she spoke to in the bus before a raving mad behaviour were Singaporeans. If they were not, it should not be surprising to get no response from them as most of them so not understand English! Much like any other cosmolitan city, we have a large proportion of people from other countries. Lately, we have a significantly large population of mainland Chinese here, and nowadays they are not discernable from Singaporean Chinese based on dressing (oh yes, there was a time when one could pick a mainland Chinese out from the crowd based on that!). It is only through their speech (often loud) can one tell them apart.

There was also a recent discussion about repealing the gay sex laws in Singapore. I was personally interested in this as I do have gay friends (who probably will live their lives as they deem fit regardless of this law). Unfortunately, after doing a survey, the government felt that it was not the right time to repeal the law which means sex between consenting males (of legal age) is still against the law. This discussion goes to show that it is never easy to differentiate between right and wrong, or, moral and immoral. Who are the best judges for such matters? The general public, grassroot leaders, religious leaders or political leaders? Is the non-gay public so afraid of the hedonistic lifestyle that apprently characterises gay people that they think the rest of the non-gay population and the impressionable young will be swayed to the “dark side” if gay sex is made legal? Personally, I think we have not progressed much despite having done so in other areas like the arts. I feel that it is a basic right of a citizen to live the way they want. I wonder why nobody question the potential mental anguish and harm that can be imposed on such people to live a life that they do not believe in? I wonder how many people have grappled with the mental anguish to be told that one is a sinner (by the Church) if one is gay when one does not choose to be. Surely the mentally weaker ones will fall into depression in time? Is medication an answer then? What are the fundamentals of our society? In any case, I suspect whatever the outcome of such discussions is, live will go on with the government closing an eye to this issue.

Anyway, these are my personal thoughts and not meant to incite whatever nonsense that disagreers may charged me with.

On a happer note, I can finally breath a sigh of relief and stop my job hunting – I’ve found a job!

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