Forum: Call out issues which can affect citizens

What a treat it was to read former Straits Times editor Leslie Fong's "What lies beneath the unhappiness over Covid resurgence in S'pore?" (May 20).

It is not every day that I get to read a piece by someone with his gravitas (a former editor) and who is much more cognisant of the emotions and arguments on the ground.

From where I am - in Oxfordshire, Britain - I hail his courage to say that calling out issues that have a real and unfortunate impact on citizens is not "xenophobia" or "racism".

The British Conservative Party was surprised that post-Brexit, it managed to do as well as it did at the recent local and regional elections.

Brexit itself, as one argument goes, was precipitated by the powers-that-be refusing to engage in any debate on unlimited immigration.

For many years, any attempt to discuss immigration even in the most reasoned and level-headed manner was shut down as "racism".

The media was complicit in this.

With nowhere to voice their grievances, the people turned to the ballot box that led to Brexit.

Mr Fong's last sentence is poignant: "All said, better a Singapore in which citizens have thumos in their soul, as Plato prescribed, than a nation of sullen sheep."

We all know the consequences of sheep being (mis)led. Slaughter.

Lee Siew Peng

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