Writer Of The Week

Mr Loi started writing to the Forum page late last year and focuses mostly on socio-economic issues.
Mr Loi started writing to the Forum page late last year and focuses mostly on socio-economic issues.PHOTO: COURTESY OF LIONEL LOI ZHI RUI

Who: Lionel Loi Zhi Rui, 20, currently a full-time national serviceman.

My family: I am single. My family includes my parents, my younger brother, 18, and younger sister, 12. My home: A five-room flat in Toa Payoh. My passions: I enjoy watching Korean and Hong Kong dramas and reading books and magazines about business and politics.

During weekends, I enjoy cafe-hopping with my cousins or braving the queues in new places with great food. I started writing to the Forum page...: Late last year, when I was encouraged to continue to practise writing beyond the classroom.

It was a pleasant surprise to see my letters published, as it gave me a sense of recognition that my letters were adding value to the overall discussion. This eventually led me to become a regular Forum contributor.

What I write about: Mostly about socio-economic issues. I also offer my views about certain business developments.

Topics that carry some controversy, such as the recent legalisation of online betting, interest me too.

These topics challenge me to build my case through logic and evidence, but to do so in a fair and respectful way.

Why I write: As a millennial, I believe young people should play a more important role in the discussions shaping our society.

I do so in part to challenge stereotypes about young people being ignorant and uncaring about important issues.

It is important to participate in such discussions, as the outcomes of many of the important decisions made will affect our generation. But often, the decision-making process misses out on our input because we are under-represented in these discussions.

Through such engagement, I also get to practise my writing, which is an enjoyable pursuit. This experience is also helpful in developing critical thinking skills. I read the Forum page because...: It offers many differing opinions from people from different backgrounds.

It also encourages the reader to judge for himself through reading the various arguments. This ensures that the newspaper does not just inform, but also serves as an interactive platform.

My wish for Singapore: I hope Singapore will continue to prosper as a land of opportunity and that everyone here, especially young people, will have a fair shot at pursuing their version of the Singapore dream, regardless of where they come from.

To do so, we must make sure that our society does all that it can to help those who fall through the cracks.

I also hope we strengthen our national identity and unity in the face of globalisation by embracing the values of tolerance and diversity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2016, with the headline 'Writer Of The Week'. Print Edition | Subscribe