Thursday, May 10, 2007

ministerial salaries

After reading the articles, I agree strongly that Singapore needs to keep grooming new talent to take over the running of Singapore. Without natural resources, we lose out to many other countries. The only way we can survive at this age of globalisation is to maximise our own human resource- manpower. Indeed, with manpower, a country can do equally well if not better than other countries which have natural resources. In this aspect, Singapore has definitely proven it to be true.

In my opinion, the ministerial pay hike has more pros than cons. Firstly, we need ministers of top quality to run the government to ensure that Singapore is in safe hands. In this modernised era, people can emigrate and leave Singapore easily.If we do not have incentives to attract top talent, Singapore may easily lose the ministers who are always forward-looking and highly efficient . Top talent are in high demand by other countires. Hence, in order to make these talent to stay ministerial pay hike is inevitable. Singaporeans most probably object to it as the ministers' pay still come from the taxpayers. Despite the fact that Singaporeans have to pay even more for their salaries, Singaporeans should understand that in order for Singapore to progress even further, salaries must increase to make top talent stay in Singapore. Moreover, an increase of $20 million for the ministers' pay is nothing as compared to what it brings- a $4 trillion economy. We should always look at the long-term benefits instead of the short-term ones. Initially, one may feel that it is unnecessary to pay more for the ministers' salaries but later on, everyone will enjoy the fruits of success together as one country once a booming economy is driven by good governance.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Cyber bullies- tactics worthy of guerilla warfare

The Sunday Times, May 6 2007
Title of article: Armed, online and dangerous

Today, there are more and more cyber bullies in the society. They are mainly teenagers and make use of their blog to bully someone whom they loathe. This is a worrying trend as there are many undesirable impacts on the cyber-bullying victim and it reflects the character of today’s teenagers,

In my opinion, the main reason why teenagers resort to bulling online rather than the traditional way is that they will not be responsible for their actions and thus will not receive any form of punishment. Teenagers can be anonymous online and thus, it will not be easy to punish the cyber bullies. As such, they become bolder and find it easier to vent their frustration or criticizing their victims online.

Moreover, these cyber bullies have a sense of satisfaction when they bully someone. Though they feel remorseful after that, ironically, bullying also made them feel ‘positive and powerful’, with reference to the article. Perhaps, such feelings prompted them to start bullying online.

A study has shown that cyber-bullying victims feel more overwhelmed and helpless as compared to being bullied face-to-face. It makes them feel demoralized and often stripped them out of their self-esteem. Many teenagers do not care how others will react to what they have written online. Some even feel that it is not wrong to bully someone online. As a result, they will post anything that they want to say online even though other people have access to their blog. Any criticism or remark that is kept in their hearts will be shown online. Using their digital tools, cyber platform has ever since been an easy means of exacting revenge. This not only applies to teenagers but adults as well, when there was once three adults sent to jail for posting racial-discriminating remarks online.

Technology advancement is a double-edged sword. It has brought countless benefits to people around the world and yet, will affect people negatively. One should always be conscious to what they have written online and be sensitive to other people’s feelings.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Impact of the Mass Media on society

In my opinion, mass media is a source of entertainment through which entertainment is being conveyed. It's a very powerful tool as it is able to control the public's access of information. As a result, it must not be abused in any way as it may spark a controversy or even strife.

The positive impacts of mass media is that the government is able to use it to communicate with the masses effectively. For example, in times of emergency, radios are the only source of information the public can get immediate information of any updates regarding the crisis.

The negative impacts are the ones that should be given attention promptly. One of them is the information the mass media provides are often misleading, much of the information may be exagerating. Hence, the public will have inaccurate information of the issue. Also, the mass media, in some way or another, tends to encourage violence especially among the youths. Statistics show that 92% of the Americans feel that television contributes to violence. In my opinion, this is prevalent in Singapore. Take note of the drama serials in the television daily. You will notice that most of them will include a certain level of violence and this may results in teenagers or even young children to turn violent. Furthermore, the mass media can act as a very effective propaganda tool as how the mass media conveys the information across the public will affect the views of the public. People are exceptionally prone to being influenced by whatever that is shown on television or published in the newspaper.

As such, the governments must impose laws as well as regulate them to ensure that the mass media is not influencing the public negatively. Although a free press is favourable, restrictions must still be present. For example, Singapore introduced sensorship, such as rating certain movies as 'parental guidance', 'NC16', 'R21' etc to restrict people of inappropriate age to have access to certain information that is deemed unsuitable for them.

The mass media is so powerful that it is able to manipulate our minds. We are being affected unknowingly. Hence, the government must continue to enforce laws to ensure that the mass media will not protray things that will have negative impacts on the public.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

US massacre at Virginia Tech

The recent massacre of 32 people carried out by a South Korean student left the world in shock for the horrifying mass murder and sorrow for the thirty-two innocent people who died in that fateful morning. It raises many issues of Today's society. What actually led a teenager to carry out a mass murder? Should the gun laws in United States be reviewed once again? In my opinion, these issues must be addressed promptly so as to avoid such a horrendous murder in future.

It is shocking to know that the murderer was actually a student. What had driven him to such a state that he kills and committed suicide eventually? One obvious reason is that he could not cope with all the problems in his life - examination stress, family problems. All these led him to a state of depression and finally, ending his life. His conscience and morality had been questioned. How could he kill thirty-two people at one go without his conscience pricking on him especially when the thiry-two people were his schoolmates and even his lecturers?

Moreover, the decision to broadcast the video of Cho killing people sparked controversy. On one hand, people who were not there at the scene would want to know how their fellow friends were being harmed as well as to know what kind of person the murderer was. On the other, the public or mainly, the children should not be exposed to such a video that consist of disturbing images and acts of violence. The public who were not used to seeing these kind of bloodshed should not see it. Images as well as the video should not be broadcasted for the sake of the public's interest.

I feel very sorry for the victims. They have lost their lives just because of a student's ruined life. They must have worked really hard, persevere and at last, make it into their dream courses in Virginia Tech. All of them, having their own dreams and promising futures, were inoocently killed before they could enjoy the fruits of their hard work. It was certainly a regret to the society to lose some of the lecturers who had once taught so many students and had an impact on these students' lives one way or another.

On the other hand, many of us would not have blamed the student, Cho Seung-Hui. It was his living environment that drove him to the state he last was. It reflected the violence in the society that students face in Today's society. Personally, i do not blame anyone, but sincerely hope that such massacres like Columbine 8 years ago and Virginia Tech recently will never happen in future.

It is certainly a heart-breaking event that will leave a trail in our hearts for the rest of our lives. That event that took thirty-two lives in a brutal and sad way in that fateful morning.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hi. I'm Pamela Oh of 25'07. After spending about two months in AJ, I have adapted to the life here and had enjoyed myself greatly. It's sad to split with all my previous classmates and they were the ones who made me feel comfortable staying in AJ. I'll never forget the joy and laughter that we once shared as a class. Nevertheless, I certainly look forward to knowing my new classmates tomorrow!