Great article about culture in Singapore becoming commoditized and ranked. It’s all a numbers game, when it should be about the process
To truly encapsulate a cultured existence is to embrace the arts as a process and not a product. Here, we can take a critical look at the Singapore Writers Festival. Why not rebrand it the Singapore Writing Festival? By a simple turn of a phrase, we can immediately tune our idea of “culture” to a matter of experience rather than commodity.
Frankly the abuse of maids in Singapore is horrifying. How a so-called developed nation can allow the continuation of such a travesty is mind boggling.
"Around 50 per cent of employers report that they want or need to control their maid’s social life. According to one report, over two-thirds of maids are not really away from work on their days off; their employers know where their maid is and what she is doing, information that is often gained via interrogation or surveillance. In the lives of many of Singapore’s maids, their employers’ control over their lives is all-pervasive."
Interesting points made by former top civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow:
"My own hospital stay has really opened my eyes. Other than the radiologist, who was a Singaporean, all the hospital technicians were Chinese, Filipinos or Indians. If we send all of them back, the hospitals may have to close down.
I think a lot of these pseudo-economists and pseudo-politicians say Singaporeans should be employed first, but are Singaporeans fit or willing to do some of these job?”
This is exactly the kind of laws that a legislative body should be passing.
"Germany’s employment ministry has banned its managers from calling or emailing staff out of hours except in emergencies, under new guidelines intended to prevent employees from burning out."
Instead of figuring out ways to improve the economy by meddling with the numbers, simply make the lives of your citizens better. You will notice a marked improvement in your economy.
I have also noticed the tendency of the workforce in Singapore and India to focus largely on “quantity”. That is, I pulled three all nighters = I did a lot of work. Usually this is highly inefficient work. I don’t want to generalize to the rest of Asia as I have not worked anywhere else, but I’ve heard this can be the case.
This could also be a symptom of working in a corporate environment, where quantity is usually associated with quality. A quote from a previously shared article on interning at Merril Lynch:
"During our internship, all-nighters were a rite of passage. We discussed them in the Merrill Lynch canteen as we ate our free dinners each night. Outwardly, we expressed our loathing, but in reality, we were proud. You weren’t deemed a “proper” banker until you’d worked through the night."
This exchange student was molested at a bar in Clarke Quay by a white man, and instead of leaving, she stood her ground and told him to stop touching her. She was in a crowded place, yet not a single person stepped in to help. One person even filmed it (presumably with his phone).
The worst part of it was the reaction (or lack thereof) of the bystanders at Clarke Quay. Read some of them here.