Are birthday parties in schools too extravagant? Should they be toned down to tackle inequality?
Most of the time, the whole set-up probably costs less than $300, something most families will be able to afford. It is just whether the parent is willing to make the effort to plan and make it happen.
Why must money be involved? Can't it be something handmade from the heart or a meaningful activity like giving to the less fortunate?
Buying presents for the class is unnecessary and is a financial burden for some families. The amount may not be much to some, but to others, it may mean having to forgo something more important.
A simple singing of the birthday song should suffice. If a parent wants to give presents, do so out of goodwill and do not expect the same in return.
Why do residents prefer to recycle through karung guni men rather than national schemes? Would a tie-up between them be useful?
Karung guni men come to you to collect and even pay you. With recycling bins, you have to carry and dispose the things yourself and not get any money.
Yes, if they and NEA can come together and work together, recycling can be successful.
Lai Yin Lee
People prefer to help the poor rag and bone men to earn a decent living. Also, these men take the items away for you, saving you the trouble of having to carry it down to the ground floor.
Will reserving spots in 'elite' schools for kids from lower-income families tackle inequality?
Affirmative action helps only a subset of our intended beneficiaries. What is needed is across the board levelling measures.
There are already 40 spots reserved for non-affiliation for phase 2B and 2C. Most of it is left to chance... As for secondary schools, it is based on grades or Direct School Admission... so there is no way for students who don't perform to get a spot in these elite schools.
In the US, where affirmative action is common, students of the "right" skin-colour are admitted to elite schools, even when they don't meet the requirements... When such lowered standards become known, then all students from lower-income families come under a cloud of suspicion because no one knows if they got in on merit.
Is Singapore too much of a high-pressure and high-expectation environment? How can leaders and professionals balance their responsibilities and their health?
A true leader will automatically balance his leadership against the environment. If a leader fails to handle the pressure of leading than he is not a worthy leader.
Leaders of other powerful and influential countries have bigger responsibilities. The stress that they experience and the expectations demanded of them are far greater. Yet they take their roles and responsibilities in their stride. Stress is inevitable.
Au Kah Kay
Politics is not just about a need to sprint at the appropriate time. It's also about being able to run a marathon to achieve sustainable success... Perhaps it's time for the Prime Minister to review and improve the system to look after his colleagues' health and protect them from unhealthy stresses.
There may be a need to look into grooming more political leaders that will be able to share the increasing workload of running the government, economy, and society.