Will the growth of the integrated resorts here add to the dangers of gambling?
It's not the growth of IRs but, rather, the accessibility to casinos which will keep gambling at bay. Heavier levies and harsher measures are in place to dissuade and keep local gamblers - both hardcore and recreational - from gambling. However, these measures are more effective in deterring recreational gamblers. My main grouse over the growth of IRs is the type of tourists and foreigners we would attract to our city state.
They cannot keep babysitting people. Even if people don't gamble in Singapore, they could go to Genting or some other cheaper place in the world.
If you go to London, there are many small casinos, but they are mostly empty. The more casinos you have, the less attractive they become. The forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.
Perhaps gambling provides a stimulant to one's mind, like exercise does to one's body.
Life is always a gamble until we die. To many people, it is a way to keep themselves happy. Perhaps gamblers need to focus on something else.
Do you think removing the race component on ICs will help promote a Singapore identity?
I agree one should be proud of where he has come from. But where you come from can be used as a dividing strategy (our colonial masters used the divide and rule policy). Maybe the writer is correct in principle, that distinguishing race should not matter... I do believe, though, it's not the eradication of identities that makes people come closer, but the creation of new identities and shared positive histories.
The race component on our ICs indicates we are different and, yet, one united people. This is already our Singapore identity.
I showed my IC to some Dutch people and they were shocked that it states my race because they saw that as something that should purposefully not matter. I very much agree with this.
The idea is to embrace the differences, not wipe them out to be seemingly put together.