Haze crisis a chance to build nation's resilience

It is disappointing that several social media users have come out to lambast the governmental response to the current haze crisis.

It reflects an age-old over-reliance on the state to effectively deal with any challenge, regardless of scale.

Instead, the crisis should be an ideal opportunity to strengthen civic ownership.

There have been commendable examples of Singaporeans stepping forward to offer free car rides or masks.

These are small steps towards developing a culture in which such actions are the norm, not the exception.

Regional and international challenges of the day are complex and multi-faceted.

Governments operating independently without an equal involvement of civic society or the private sector are likely to fall short.

As Singaporeans, we must take ownership of our society and constantly ask ourselves how we can mitigate this crisis for the people around us.

It is our hope that there will be an SG100 worth celebrating.

It is possible, so long as we have the courage and unity to step forward during difficult times.

Let this haze crisis not blur our vision of what is at stake.

It is a chance to build our resilience and to empower ourselves through greater civic ownership.

Tan Yang Long

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2015, with the headline 'Haze crisis a chance to build nation's resilience'. Print Edition | Subscribe