Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who are we actually letting go and why?

Referring to the article titled: ‘Time we learnt to let go?’ in ‘today’, a letter from Kwan Jin Yao, he wrote:

‘The advent of globalisation has brought about heightened communications and enhanced mobility, encouraging Singaporeans to venture into different parts of the world for work and study. It is not a coincidence that many of these individuals are the creme de la creme of the Singaporean population; students and professionals who excel in their respective fields and possess tremendous potential and abilities.

It is disheartening to hear that many of these citizens make the decision to remain abroad instead of returning - after all, Singapore is a place that has done much for them in their formative years. Mr Tan seems to attribute the trend of an increasing number of "absent citizens" to the fading sense of belonging - exacerbated by extended periods overseas - as well as the mantra that the grass is greener on the other side.’

Well, i wonder if the author realise that over the couple of decades, Singapore has turned into a nation which promotes and favours one culture over the rest. There are plenty of evidences which seem too hard to ignore. For instance, the promotion and campaign for speaking one particular language, the nation wide publicity of speaking that particular language is ‘cool’ slogan, hosting mega celebration of one particular culture in central location (eg. marina bay), special education programme which targets additional resources to students to master one particular language/culture so that once these students graduated, they would be able to have better understanding and fostering closer ties with people from the so called ‘mother land’ and the list goes on...

So before the author can start getting emotional against those citizens who have remained abroad, he needs to differentiate those who have despite benefitted from the advantageous position described above and still choose to remain abroad and those who have not. The author got to show good reason/s for the latter to return to the country even though they may be called a citizen. Till the nation starts showing genuine interest in promoting and practicing multiculturalism over what is currently being practiced, the outflow of people from the relatively disadvantaged culture (as described above) will continue. It would be the nation lost as it is the essence of multiculturalism that promotes among the people the ability to notice and appreciate differences and thus making sense of things from a multifaceted perspective which is required in a dynamic environment people are living in now and even more so in the ‘advent of globalisation’.

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