On Facebook

Will having a rating system for travel agencies help to improve service? What elements should be included in such a system?

All travel agency staff should be made to go through tests before being licensed. Do surprise checks on travel agencies. Maybe the Singapore Tourism Board will have to do a review of how it can play an active role in this.

Maybe have a security bond arrangement for each travel agency based on the size of the company.

Mohamad Syahid Bin Arif

It is difficult to do anything when overseas... When we return from our trips, we usually write to the company to complain but nothing will be done.

Can the authorities provide a feedback unit for the complainants to give feedback if there is no response or follow-up action by the agency? Ratings can be given to the agency as reference for travellers when they are making holiday bookings.

Gerald Wong

It is often better to travel free and easy and make your own arrangements...

If taking a guided tour is unavoidable, work with a reputable and established tour operator, with years of experience in the industry.

Customer reviews posted on Trip Advisor are very helpful. Read the fine print in the terms and conditions when you sign up for a tour.

Finally, don't forget to take up travel insurance.

Au Kah Kay


Is there enough religious appreciation in Singapore? What can be done to get people to see value in one another's religion?

We really need to go back to the foundational creed, principles, and methodology of the particular religions. We need to study in closer detail the original scriptures (in their original language, if possible)... We need to remind people to emulate the good behaviour of the respective prophets, gurus, founders, apostles and so on...

Only with knowledge and correct understanding of each other's faiths can religious appreciation deepen.

Fahmi Zizou Anash

Respect others' beliefs and do not try to convert people aggressively.

Trevi Ng

Ask ourselves: Have we learnt to tolerate different religions here? If the honest answer is "no, not yet", then we should aim for tolerance first. After we make tolerance a bedrock of our national values, we can then move on to appreciation.

Loh Wai Poon

As long as religions accept that there are many pathways to God and respect each one's path, there is no problem.

Lim Ka Liang


Are efforts by schools to teach good habits like cleaning up and tray return thwarted by parents or grandparents? What can be done to prevent this?

Spare the rod and spoil the child makes a lot of sense. Overprotecting your child does not show that you love them; you are actually spoiling them... There is nothing wrong to instill in them simple social good habits like the cleaning of their own desk or classroom and the returning of trays after eating.

Peter Tan

People now have the "entitlement" mentality that goes: "We are paying so why must we do so?" They don't look at it as cultivating good habits and being humble. This mindset gets passed on to their children and hence, we have the issue at hand.

Shalini Shroff

We should promote it as being progressive behaviour... We had, for decades, been improving ourselves - being courteous, and not spitting, urinating in public places, jay walking and so on. This is just the next level of development... Even if something has not been done from a young age, it is never too late to try.

Calvin Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2016, with the headline 'On Facebook'. Print Edition | Subscribe