Excerpts from readers' letters

COUNTERING WRONG IDEOLOGY

Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) is doing the right thing by coming out to condemn the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's (ISIS') recent propaganda video of a Singaporean fighter executing a man (Mufti rebuts ISIS video's distortion of religious texts; Sept 30, 2017).

In true Islamic teaching, Muslims are prohibited from harming the innocent, the weak, women and children, and even animals. We are taught to respect our neighbours and to not even hurt their feelings.

What the ISIS video shows is completely absurd and a misrepresentation of true Islamic teachings.

Leaders of the Muslim communities, teachers, and so on should work with the media to take bolder steps and be more proactive in combating rogue elements in our society.

More column space in the newspapers and also air time on radio and TV should be devoted to countering wrong ideology.

School teachers should also relentlessly drill into the minds of their students how to be careful of wrong and skewed Islamic ideology on the Internet.

Syed Abdul Muneef Syed Muhammad


DRIVE HOME CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS

Singapore does not have the four seasons but we do have monsoons. It is quite noticeable that the time of the year when the monsoon season hits Singapore has been changing.

This is a result of the greenhouse effect. Our children should be taught in school about the dangers arising from the greenhouse effect.

Also, as Singapore chairs the Asean grouping this year, it is a good time for the Republic to let our neighbours understand the climate change crisis looming in the horizon.

Robinson Fernandez


RELOOK CHILD SEAT RULE EXEMPTION

The reply by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to the National Private Hire Vehicles Association about not exempting private hire cars from the child seat requirement is absurd.

LTA said: "Private hire cars, which must be pre-booked, allows passengers to indicate if they require booster seats or child restraints at the point of booking. This gives private hire car drivers sufficient advance notice to prepare accordingly."

Anyone who uses Uber or Grab would know that a booking for a private hire vehicle normally happens three to five minutes before the journey - not much more advance notice than that for taxis.

LTA should try Uber and Grab services before making any decisions on the child seat rule.

Soo Yi Liang


LESSONS IN INNOVATION FROM ISRAEL

It is good to hear yet another call for Singapore to innovate (Schools 'can foster innovation in students'; Dec 29, 2017).

Israel has been very successful in this area and its teaching skills for innovation may be instructive.

Although Israeli children lag behind in standardised tests, coming in at the bottom 40 per cent in maths and science in the Pisa assessments, it is No. 3 in innovation, according to the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report 2014.

This does not mean high Pisa scores are irrelevant but it shows that different qualities are required when it comes to excelling in standardised tests and becoming an innovator.

Neither the Israeli education system nor culture is good at the former. Instead, it is highly tolerant of out-of-the-box thinking and accommodating informal educational programmes and approaches.

Israelis also look at failures as more important than successes. So making students search for the answers and not finding them is also to be given credit. And challenging them to the point of failure prepares them better for start-up careers.

Wong Horng Ginn

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2018, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Print Edition | Subscribe