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Don't compromise our roots just to be 'globally correct'

Ms Denise Chong raised a possible reason for the lack of a collective national identity among Singaporeans (Mock me, but I'll keep having fun with 'ba sha' Mandarin; Feb 25).

Perhaps the reason that Singaporeans lack a substantial national identity is our Government's obsession with global norms - first with English and now with Mandarin; there seems to be an inclination towards what is "globally correct".

However, we should not assume dominant trends to be absolutely correct. Contrarily, this preference for global norms over our distinctly Singaporean practices fosters a disdain for possibly integral parts of our national identity.

While I recognise the importance of teaching globally accepted trends, let us not compromise our roots and deride what is unique to our nation.

I believe both can coexist in our education system. Our students are among the world's brightest and deserve a lot more trust that they are able to juggle both concepts.

Edward Ong Yu Xiang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 04, 2018, with the headline 'Don't compromise our roots just to be 'globally correct''. Print Edition | Subscribe