Guard against nation's decline

It was interesting to read the article by Mr Lim Siong Guan and Ms Joanne H. Lim ("Getting to the future with honour"; June 2).

They referred to the analysis by Sir John Bagot Glubb, who noted several stages in the rise and fall of nations - the ages of pioneers, conquests, commerce, affluence, intellect and decadence.

We see our own nation having gone through the various ages. The concern now is: Are we entering the "age of decadence"?

Characteristics of this age include materialism, pessimism, frivolity and the weakening of religion.

Glubb wrote that nations decline not because their people do not have a conscience, but rather because of a weakening sense of duty and an increase in selfishness and the desire for wealth and ease.

When our citizens are characterised by materialism, selfish indulgence and the seeking of pleasure, accompanied by frivolity, the age of decadence has surely set in.

Hence, signs such as systematic strategies to cheat and to seek wealth dishonestly, and an unrepentant spirit when the truth is out, spell danger and should raise red flags for society.

I trust that we will take these red flags seriously and endeavour to correct the situation before the decline becomes too acute for any intervention.

Quek Koh Choon (Dr)