Writer Of The Week

Student Ashley Tan writes on issues such as social, political and educational affairs. She believes the best kind of discourse is often derived from differing worlds of thought and credos.
Student Ashley Tan writes on issues such as social, political and educational affairs. She believes the best kind of discourse is often derived from differing worlds of thought and credos.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ASHLEY TAN YU YI

Who: Ashley Tan Yu Yi, 16, a student.

My family: Both of my parents have been entrepreneurs and early-years education professionals since 1996. They run their own pre-schools (infant-care and childcare centres), and my mother is also an adjunct lecturer who specialises in literacy and play programmes in early childhood development.

My home: A high-rise apartment nestled in the heart of Singapore's western region.

My passions: When I am not indulging in good non-fiction books or scrolling through my newsfeed to keep abreast of the latest socio-political reports, I am usually either playing my violin with my ensemble group or engaging in other school activities.

I am also an epicurean (thanks to my dad) and fashion-lover (mum's influence), though I am no cognoscente.

I started writing to the Forum page...: Last year, as a platform to air my thoughts and views on issues that profoundly concern me. What I write about: Issues concerning social, political, cultural and educational affairs, be it local or global.

Why I write: To invigorate thought-provoking debate. The best kind of discourse is more often than not derived from differing worlds of thought and credos, which help to enlighten us all, as long as we remain intellectually flexible and receptive to new ideas.

Sometimes, we may even find ourselves concurring with fresh perspectives, or these opinions may also help to debunk popular misconceptions that we may have.

I read the Forum page because...: I want to know the views of other news readers, even if their philosophies conflict with mine. How else would we be able to prevent insularity and broaden our horizons?

My wish for Singapore: That it can ensure sustained development as a global city-state while preserving our unique heritage and culture. Establishing a global-local nexus is no easy feat, but one that is essential for us to continue thriving as a multiracial society.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2016, with the headline 'Writer Of The Week'. Print Edition | Subscribe