Who am I? What am I? Where am I? Where am I headed to? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea. A cynic, an idealist, a person with ideas, but NATO. Am I? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Dear Editor

i sent the following to ST. not sure whether they'll print it in the forums.

I refer to Mr Koh Jie Kai’s letter, “Be more tolerant of youths’ differing views” (ST, June 13). I am heartened whenever I read such letters. It demonstrates that there are still young people in Singapore who care enough to speak up. I agree that “a young country that is made up of immigrants of disparate origins… cannot rely on mere dollars and cents to keep its best and brightest.” I believe that in order to convince our most talented to stay and contribute, we have to win their hearts.

I also believe that what we build, we love. So my suggestion is that the government should engage the youths directly in building our nation. But this process of engagement has to be a two-way street.

Youths should not just continue clamouring and waiting for the government to engage us. We should not just wait for the government to be more tolerant views. Instead, It should be about us youths going out to engage the government, about us youths going out to be engaged in the community, it should be about us youths being so passionate about a cause that we are willing to give our lives to it, come hail or high water.

It goes beyond just having a point of view, it is about taking action, stepping out of our own comfort zones and getting our hands dirty working for what we believe in. If we do not agree with the current ideals of Singapore, then, rather than sit around in kopitiams complaining and planning migration, should we not take it upon ourselves to create new ideals, regardless of whether the government allows it or not?

Having said that, we should be aware that while we might be more energetic, have more passion and have novel points of view, there are a lot of things that we do not know. We should thus be humble enough to take advice and to learn.

And one lesson that is worth learning is to take ‘no’ for an answer and not be disillusioned. I was involved in the MCYS Youth Workgroups that Mr Koh mentioned in his letter. I discovered that the government has to tend to many differing demands from the people. Some of these demands are mutually exclusive. It is impossible for the government to accede to every single request, to take in every single view. As such, it is not surprising that the government did not accept every single recommendation that we put up.

However, that is not to say that we get disillusioned the moment the government rejects our views. Rather, we should re-think what we want to do, fit it within the constraints, the context of Singapore and continue to work to make our ideals reality. Because if we really do believe in our ideals, that achieving these ideals are for the greater good of our Singapore and our fellow Singaporeans, then perhaps we should not let anything, not our education, not our careers, not even our government stand in our way of making our ideals reality.

7 Comments:

Blogger Beach-yi said...

If you want to do it then go do it yah, stop thinking and looking out for the government, they know their constraints very well but they also have the power to constrain while you, or the group that you claim to represent do not.

5:51 PM

 
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

And what happens when your actions (based on your beliefs) contradict and are in direct conflict with the core idealogy of the Powers-That-Be?

Are you prepared to pay the full price in Singapore?

6:41 PM

 
Blogger Rambling Alcoholic said...

Eh, they wont print it lah. Too long. Haha. But valid points.

9:04 PM

 
Blogger rench00 said...

beach-yi:
i just mentioned that i am involved in a workgroup. i did not, and do not, claim to represent any group. all views herein are personal views, perhaps shared by others, but by no means a represenation of anyone else's views but my own.

also, i am not looking out for the government. but it's about being matured enough to take "no" for an answer and understand why "no", rather than be so arrogant to think that it is only our way.

knightofpentacles:
yes i am.

rambling alcoholic:
we'll see. it's worth a shot anyways.

12:21 AM

 
Blogger garota said...

i guess a necessary conundrum that arises is - drawing the distinction between being 'mature enough to understand why no', and never truly challenging the most fundamental boundaries that are the very OB markers, oops i mean, reins we need to break through in order achieve a free-er order.

i pose this question in earnest, as an issue i personally continue to struggle with.

11:10 PM

 
Blogger rench00 said...

Garota:
I do not have a straightforward answer for that. As much as it sounds like a cop-out, it really depends on the situation. And it takes much wisdom to be able to distinguish the difference. I believe that it is most important that regardless of any disagreements, we must agree that the greater good of the people and nation must come first and that we are willing to do what it takes to achieve that greater good.

A friend asked me whether I was left or right leaning. I am neither. I am a communitarian.

11:45 PM

 
Blogger sa said...

okok, it's out!!! printed the first somemore! heh...

10:29 PM

 

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