Wednesday, October 17, 2007

National Education...

This is a compulsory module that everyone must take to pass, and for most people, a meaningless lecture where time would be spent sleeping or other better activities. As such, it totally defeats the purpose of National Education, which is, in my opinion, to instil a sense of loyalty to the country, in this case, Singapore. But before I start flaming that, I should consider at least attempting to crap about the topics given, afterall its compulsory to give a presentation for the topics, never mind the color of the questions...


Topic Statement: We must preserve racial and religious harmony

1. List out the major races and religions in Singapore?

According to my brain, the major races consists of the Chinese, most of them having emigrated in the colonial days after Sir Stanford Raffles arrived, a minute population of native Chinese "Peranakans" having settled in the region from the Ming Dynasty, and a new influx of "new foreigners" that came mostly from China in search of better prospects.

The Malays, a name that covers most of the indegenous natives that lived in the Malay Archipelago for at least 4500 years ago after moving out from Southern China. (Source: Yawning Bread)

The Indians, coming mostly from India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). From my understanding Hindus form the largest group in this segment of the population. There seems to be also a sizable community of Punjabs. Singapore also has a large population of Indian and Bangladesh foreign workers working in our construction industry.

The Eurasians. (Offically) These are people who have mixed ancestory, usually a European father and a South Asian mother. Most of these people were borned in the boom of the Colonial Age.

2. What are the distribution of the above by percentage?

Drawing these figures out of my head (From ex social studies memories, I was neither studious, nor do I have a photographic memory, so), I would say the Chinese has about 70%, Malay 20%, Indians 10% and Eurasians <1%.>

Deviating slightly from political correctness though, I would like to hightlight an article from Littlespeck, about population growth in Singapore. At the current rate, the original population consisting of 1800s emigrants and local indegenous population will be reduced and will consist of no more than 50% of the total population within our lifetimes. I wouldn't suggest any ideas on this though, as going by the logic recently given out for justifying bus fare hike: Minister gets pay rise -> Therefore quality of minister improves -> Minister can serve the people better.

3. Why is it so important to have racial and religious harmony?

The politically right statement would be so that Singapore wouldn't have to face the riots and confusion that happened in the 1950s and 1960s. As Mr Brown had mentioned in his podcast, "remember the Hock Lee Bus Riots."

Detractors would say that this is only from the Government and Economic point of view and there are many ways to organise a protest without causing trouble.

Okay I digressed. Racial and religious harmony is important, (Actually I would rather say a harmonious society is important), as only a harmonious society is able to accomodate all kinds of people in the confined cities of today. Differenciating between race and is but a primitive idea bought onto us by the Europeans, to amplify their superior status as masters.

4. How can we preserve racial and religious harmony?

1. Tolerance
2. Acceptance
3. Embracement

5. Suggest ways which could ensure a better understanding of the religious practices of different ethnic groups.

This question seems to be somewhat biased, in that it groups race and religion together. They should be seperated in my opinion, so as not to segregate out the extreme minority. This should be just rephrased to "Suggest ways to ensure a better understanding of the practices of different religions."

Well, one could start by inviting well known figures in each of the religion's to come together in a non-formal meeting and explain their religion's ideas and expressions. Or organising events for the public to attend. The events must be ambiguious and not have an agenda for conversion as it will only put off the public.

6. What is your own opinion of Singapore multi-racial society?

As mentioned by various blogs and online journals, multi-racialism and multi-culturalism is a trend and way of life not unique to Singapore. Switzerland had 3 major races (German, French and Italy) living in harmony for hundreds of years, even the Chinese is composed of the majority Han chinese and various other minority races. United States is a prime example of multi racial/ cultural country in recent years as the dream land of many people in poorer countries.

Singapore's society is only unique when we choose to believe it.

-end of giri rant--this will probably not make it out of this blog-

on a side note: 寂しいの感じ、今わがってます...

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