Patronising attitude won't help S'poreans

Professor Kishore Mahbubani's commentary has some noteworthy points (How the Western media gets the Korean crisis wrong; May 13).

However, I can't help but think that his piece is also an unwarranted broadside against Singaporeans.

He seems to imply that Singaporeans are cerebrally-challenged. His tone was condescending and I find his choice of words annoying, at best.

Sentences such as "let me ask my fellow Singaporeans a simple question" and "let me conclude with a simple piece of advice to my fellow Singaporeans" illustrate my point.

Exhortations that are seemingly patronising and belittling are repulsive and insulting, and can result in them not being heeded, no matter how useful the tips are.

Such attitudes could cause us all to recede back into a nanny state, from which we have all started to slowly crawl out.

Singaporeans shouldn't be told what to think.

We have survived a tumultuous past and we have been discerning and smart enough to know our way. We have transitioned from Third World to First World, not because we are stupid.

Difficult questions do not stymie us, so I believe a little respect is in order.

Michael Loh Toon Seng (Dr)

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