Should people be encouraged to repair common items instead of buying brand new ones? Would this help to reduce waste?
I was brought up to fix what I can. I have repaired cars, replaced my own plumbing and rewired electricals, as well as dismantled phones and game consoles for repair. YouTube videos are more than sufficient for learning.
The difficulty is finding the proper materials and equipment.
Do-it-yourself is not cheap; you need to invest in proper tools and research. Most people would rather spend their precious time to rest and de-stress.
We don't have a DIY culture in Singapore. Over the years, convenience and efficiency have been our mantra and we do not bother to learn skills, even to carry out basic repairs. It is a laudable initiative to repair, reuse and recycle, but the real impact won't be felt for decades.
Self-repair saves money. The problem is that there are very few places which offer short courses on plumbing and electrical repair.
A writer suggests making family-friendly practices a factor of assessment when companies bid for contracts. Do you agree? How can employers be encouraged to adopt pro-family policies?
Be careful what you wish for. The more welfare you ask for in the name of being family-friendly, the less competitive we will be. Multinational companies can easily pack up and relocate to neighbouring countries where labour is cheaper and the workforce less demanding.
Au Kah Kay
There will be trade-offs. How to balance pro-family initiatives with profitability? If profits go down due to increased costs for pro-family initiatives, bonuses and increments are affected.
To a mum like me, pro-family means being flexible with working hours when there's a childcare issue, and not being obsessed with overtime.
There is no need for half a year's worth of leave if, for the other half of the year, there is difficulty leaving the office on time to pick up the children.
Locally-run companies still have too much of the towkay mentality and will never evolve to that level of social consciousness.
The expectation of European-style welfare is misaligned with the reality of our local business norms.
But it is slowly evolving and may happen when the older generation of business owners dies off.
Bosses, especially the older ones, need to accept that work-life balance is an employee welfare factor. Happy employees mean productivity.
Will being pragmatic put Singaporean youngsters at a disadvantage in the long run? How can schools help students learn skills necessary for the future?
I have heard of students doing volunteer work or helping the poor because "it will look good on their resume". Schools can only do so much. It starts from parents. Parents expect their children to score, that's why they become pragmatic. Mindsets have to change so that we can have a gracious society.
Maybe they could be more interested in civil liberties and science to embrace the 21st century.
Thorsten Oliver Marquardt