No (life’s) musings this Friday (primarily because it is the summer), but I’ve been writing on The Breakfast Network (here). So here are six of my favourite pieces.
1. More Youth and Hopefully, More Maturity
My first proper attempt at reporting at Hong Lim Park, for the #FreeMyInternet protest.
“The young speakers did connect with their audience quite competently, but whether the message of maturity was communicated effectively, coherently, I am not too sure. There was nothing remarkably different from what the young ones would have already known, and no real call to action. A pity? Perhaps. But at the very least more are now off their keyboards and on the streets (at Hong Lim Park, that is).” (here)
2. Praise – Not Politicise – Cannes Prize
Criticising the false allegations that were going around about the funding of “Ilo Ilo”.
“More worryingly, several online news networks published and propagated these allegations hastily. Hopping on such bandwagons seems to be a common phenomenon nowadays. Sure, corrections and retractions were made, but one has to wonder whether the websites should be held to a higher standard. Take for instance the false information about an injured soldier from a military grenade exercise and the recent child-grab incident. They were unwarranted, for these falsehoods deeply unsettled parents.” (here)
3. Talking NS Without Fear of Favour
Casting a more critical glance on the Committee to Strengthen National Service.
“If the Committee heads down this path, then it has to move to reduce the potential fear and apprehension that some might feel when it comes to voicing perspectives, particularly on a public platform. Will servicemen be cautioned or lectured by their superiors on what they should or should not say? Will they be allowed to speak up about transgressions? There is a website for visitors to pen their viewpoints, but what happens if the website is inundated by complaints or unit-specific incidents?” (here)
4. National Conversation is Just ONE Conversation Going On
What will happen after the National Conversation? How should we keep discourse going?
“Prior to the institution of the OSC, socio-political conversations had flourished on the Internet. While there might be a perceived proliferation of aggressive or vitriolic remarks, conveniently dismissing these “echo chambers” as the “vocal minority” is going to do the OSC no favour. The key is not to see the OSC as the only platform for issues to be debates or talked about. Rather, we still have to think about how the national conversation can complement – not dominate or replace – present endeavours or channels.” (here)
5. Social Enterprise? Eh so… What is That?
Most companies do not know about social enterprises, but should we then do more?
“A missed opportunity for ST – unfortunately – to educate more about the work done by the social enterprises in Singapore. Most would agree that it might be practical for this emerging group of entrepreneurs to raise the profiles of their own products and services.” (here)
6. Looking at Social Enterprises through Rose-Tinted Spectacles
I think we give too much credit to young people venturing into “social enterprises”.
“Open dialogue is crucial. Besides over-playing these feel-good stories, there is an urgent need for us to hear from the social enterprises that have failed in Singapore, so that we can gain from the knowledge of failure. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Yet, these stories could be what we need to raise cognisance of how and why social enterprises are unsuccessful, and craft relevant strategies to address the articulated difficulties. We can still hold up shining examples of these companies here, but unless we are prepared to hear the hard truths, we will be consigned to these dismal figures for a long time.” (here)