Voices Of Youth: Civilised debate should be emulated

I read with interest the exchanges on Professor Tommy Koh's Facebook post (Tommy Koh's post on ST report sparks online debate; Oct 28).

I was pleasantly surprised by how polite the exchanges in the comments of his post were.

Although there were points of contention between Prof Koh and others who commented, the exchanges were even-handed and civilised. This is definitely the kind of public debate Singaporeans appreciate.

More often than not, I have observed online exchanges, especially bipartisan disagreements, degrading to name-calling and insults. These were disappointing, as I believe in respectful discourse and that we should agree to disagree.

Ideas ought to be debated, and Singaporeans should not take things personally.

Therefore, even though the online exchanges on Prof Koh's post were eventful, I'm glad the entire affair was generally pleasant. Such civilised debates are worth emulating as only then can we continue discussing issues that matter.

Sean Lim Wei Xin, 23

University year 3 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2018, with the headline 'Voices Of Youth'. Print Edition | Subscribe