Sometimes, we have to swim against tide of globalisation to preserve society

Globalisation is here to stay, and editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang has highlighted some of its benefits and ills ("Keeping identity and values intact amid globalisation"; Nov 6).

What caught my attention was his reference to the importance of identity and values, and how this can be influenced and modified by globalisation.

Singapore's quest to be a smart nation and to be well connected to the world through the Internet and media can bring much benefit to the efficient running of the country.

However, it also exposes the nation to certain practices and influences which are not so helpful in keeping intact the values and principles which are important to us and our children.

What is fashionable and highly sought after in other societies may not be applicable in our context, and may even be detrimental to the well-being of our society.

What is acceptable and even applauded in politics, governance and social media in other contexts may be contrary to the principles of respect and care for all, regardless of race, language or religion, which are so significant to our multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious society.

It will not augur well for our citizens to pursue policies which are self-centred, as this can lead to the desire for what essentially benefits "self" rather than what is helpful for the survival and benefit of the nation as a whole.

Keeping our identity and values amid globalisation is a tall order; but it may be necessary if we seek to reap the benefits of globalisation without succumbing to its ills and negative influences.

It calls for discernment for all, especially those in authority, parents, teachers and policymakers.

It requires much vigilance and courage to disagree when there is a need to make a stand for the good of all.

There may be a need to swim against the tide, but it may all be worthwhile to preserve the values and fabric of society and to ensure a better and wholesome future for generations to come.

Quek Koh Choon (Dr)