Excerpts from readers' letters

WE ARE A NATION, NOT A BUSINESS

People, the media and political leaders should stop referring to Singapore as Singapore Inc.

Singapore is a nation, not a corporation. The day this term was adopted was the beginning of the loss of the soul of this beautiful nation. Do not turn the relationship between the "elected and electorate" into one of "bosses and workers". The elected are our trustees, not our bosses.

Goh Eng Chai


HARDWARE V HEARTWARE

All too often, I have noticed emergency vehicles on the roads with lights on and sirens blaring, but motorists either do not give way or are unable to do so as they are blocked by other motorists.

In Melbourne, where I lived for more than half a decade, I always observed the opposite, even in rush-hour traffic.

Motorists in the right lane will filter left, while cars in the left lane give way, clearing the right lane for emergency vehicles to pass. This sort of traffic etiquette is still lacking here. In times of heightened security tensions, besides the state-of-the-art military hardware that we already have, our heartware - including observing traffic etiquette for emergency vehicles - also matters.

Woon Wee Min


QUESTIONS ON DONATIONS

The Commissioner of Charities Annual Report 2017 shows a predominance and preference for generous donations towards charities in the education and religious sectors ($2.9b donated to charities in Singapore in 2016; Nov 14). However, we do not know much of the charities that receive little or nothing. This raises important questions, including why the charities that serve the elderly, the low-income, the arts and even animals, do not benefit from donations.

Corinne Fong


GREEN MESSAGE HITS HOME

If the impact of climate change were to be put in the local context, it would potentially be a stronger call to action (Step into post-climate change Singapore with ST's new virtual reality project; Nov 1).

Initiatives like The Straits Times' virtual reality project, Singapore 2100: Climate changed, are effective in making climate change more relatable for Singaporeans, and are more impactful too.

Bernard Chua Kian Liang


LITTERING THE REAL ISSUE

Mr Merrick Ho Yong Jin called for government action on the issue of single-use plastics, citing its impact on marine life (Issue of marine pollution getting more urgent; Nov 10).

While there is a need to protect marine life, we should not overemphasise the harm caused by single-use plastics. I am sure the rubbish that lines our coast comprises many other forms of debris, like styrofoam boxes and canned drinks, among others.

Littering is clearly the problem. Even if we successfully ban single-use plastics, the problem of littering will still exist.

Victor Tan Thiam Siew

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2018, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Print Edition | Subscribe