The new Caregiver Support Action plan, which seeks so strengthen government support for senior caregiving (ST, Feb. 21), sidesteps two important, related, and fundamental challenges to caregiving in Singapore: First, the persistent over-reliance on individual caregivers – either family members or foreign domestic workers – whose experiences are also not necessarily well-understood, to care for loved ones:, and second, the urgent need to strengthen communities and institutions for caregiving, emphasising not only the self-reliance of individual- or family-based systems but also the further professionalisation of the sector and improvements for productivity gains. Continue reading
A short review of Kenneth Paul Tan’s “Singapore: Identity, Brand, Power”.
The perspective that it is necessarily deleterious if Singaporeans raise questions about or challenges to National Service (NS) policy – for instance, “if people start to question now whether NS is necessary, if operationally ready NSmen should shoulder certain responsibilities, and whether the tempo and intensity of military training should be reduced” (ST, Feb. 5) – not only seems short-sighted and further disregards the absence of substantive engagement with servicemen and the general public, but also underestimates the value of rigorous discourse over the need for NS and the principles of defence and deterrence which justify the need for conscription in Singapore. It appears somewhat paradoxical, yet instead of being anchored by unquestioned or unchallenged assumptions of its importance, the institution of NS is perhaps best strengthened when it is constantly questioned and challenged by Singaporeans. Continue reading