Writer Of The Week

Dr Chong believes a debate is richer and more helpful when more views are taken into account.
Dr Chong believes a debate is richer and more helpful when more views are taken into account.PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHONG JA IAN

Who: Chong Ja Ian, 39, teacher.

My home: I live in the western area of Singapore, but I continue to wish that I lived in the east.

My passions: Reading and watching movies.

I first started writing to the Forum page in...: 1994.

What I write about: I have an interest in social and political issues - not so much politics in the partisan sense, but more about the way that our political system as a whole works and interacts with our society and the world.

Why I write: I write when I feel I can add to the discussion or debate on some issue. It is not humanly possible to have an absolute hold over knowledge or truth on any particular issue. I believe a discussion or debate is richer and more helpful when more views are taken into account, including, and perhaps especially, minority ones.

I read the Forum page because...: It is one way of learning about the different ways that people in Singapore think about issues of the day.

My wish for Singapore: I hope Singapore can further celebrate its pluralism and become better at accommodating different points of view, including those that may generate vigorous debate.

I also think that Singapore can be better at reflecting openly on areas of shortcomings and further improvement. It is through such processes that Singapore can better understand itself and progress further.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2016, with the headline 'Writer Of The Week'. Print Edition | Subscribe