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Should more be done to protect national servicemen from being injured during training exercises? What are some areas where safety can be enhanced?

If the country cannot protect a single man while training, what makes it think it can protect an entire nation during war? We need to keep an eye out for each other at all times.

Ooy Yoan

There is no perfect system; no military in the world is without training casualties. The best we can hope for is a robust system that keeps the zero casualty record as long as possible.

Said Bin Hafiz

The commander and the trainers are very hard-headed. They always feel they are right and the soldiers only follow commands. Mindef must warn the commanders and let them know that the soldiers' safety is of utmost importance.

Jimmy Ng

All the safety specifications and standard operating procedures (SOP) are already in place. It is adherence to SOP that needs to be enforced and strengthened. Theory without practice is just wishful thinking for one, and a nightmare for another.

Theo De Roza

The way trainers and superiors treat the trainees, in particular recruits, is just as important. Hence, stop being hostile to your subordinates. Even verbal abuse is considered bullying. I urge more whistle-blowers to come forward and report any bullying.

May Ong

Do Singapore parents show too little support for the arts? How can children's interest in the arts be nurtured?

There is a mismatch in terms of mindset and reality. There is only room for a tiny few who can make it in the arts and use it to put food on the table. Unless one is willing to take the risk and bear the consequences, it's best to stick with academics.

Ng Chee Wan

Because the PSLE subjects are English, mother tongue, maths and science. The day we add sports and art to the core subjects is the day parents will change their mindset.

HuiChing Hia

It is not only parents but also Singaporeans in general who do not care about music and the arts because these disciplines require the luxury of leisure, which, in Singapore, belongs to only the upper classes.

Benjamin Chew

Parents are concerned about whether their children will be able to get a job. It is human nature to be more concerned about bread and butter issues.

Thomas Yeo

The cost of teaching music to children is very expensive. If fees can be lowered then it would be affordable for parents to send their children to learn music.

Gopi Gopal Pathi

The benefits of arts are long term. Nowadays, everyone's rushing and wants to see instant results.

Wee Pei Gee


Are young volunteers overly motivated by rewards or school requirements? How can their interest in volunteering be sustained once they graduate?

Interest has to be developed. And in order to develop an interest in volunteerism, it has to start somewhere. Of course, some may do it for selfish gain, but others may develop it into an interest.

It doesn't matter whether people do it just for rewards or from their hearts; at least something good comes out of those volunteering.

Mark Leong

Clearly, there are two groups, one does it for rewards and to score points for their school ratings; the other group does it because they have the passion for it, perhaps with parental encouragement.

The latter volunteers will continue doing so after graduation but not the former group whose self-interest comes first.

Harry Chia

When acts of kindness are not a part of our daily lives, we need to institutionalise it and build and sustain a system that rewards it, to build a compassionate society.

Weicong Sng

Volunteer work cannot be forced upon anyone; it lies in the mind and heart.

A true volunteer does not look at monetary rewards or other motives or incentives for self-gain. It is a passion that gives without expecting anything in return.

Peter Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2018, with the headline 'OnFacebook'. Print Edition | Subscribe