Forum: Loutish behaviour - blame it on pursuit of material well-being

An office crowd in Singapore's central business district.
An office crowd in Singapore's central business district.PHOTO: ST FILE

It may have been more fruitful for Professor Tommy Koh to look at why people behave badly (An insult to Third World nations, Oct 8; Singaporeans can be more civic-minded, considerate, says Prof Koh, Oct 2).

Is it due to the frenetic pace of life in this tiny and expensive city?

If so, it would have been more constructive to engage in conversations that encourage slowing down the pace of life here so that people have time to reflect on their pursuit of well-being.

A preoccupation with the pursuit of material well-being leaves people with little time to cultivate relationships besides the few that matter in one's immediate family.

While we would expect the Government to take the lead in shifting the focus, we must accept that people have elected it primarily for the pursuit of material well-being.

So it is not merely a personal choice but a political one that every concerned citizen must make to change the tempo of life in this "little red dot" if we desire a more civic-minded outcome for Singaporeans.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2019, with the headline 'Loutish behaviour - blame it on pursuit of material well-being'. Print Edition | Subscribe