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Archive for the ‘Eddie Choo’ Category

So here I am at Seletar

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 15, 2008

By Eddie Choo

So here I am, at Seletar, to witness the transformation taking place here in this relatively not-developed part of Singapore.

The reason I use the term ‘not-developed’ is because it is not that Seletar is undeveloped, it is that there are already plans in place; and as I look opposite this large field of open space, HDB flats have already sprung up, with many more on the way.

The actual reason that I’ve come to Seletar is because of a temple that was supposedly headed by some relative of mine. The temple has been here for something like thirty years, and soon, it will relocate to a plot of land just across the road. But more than that, I think that this little spot of Seletar tells a story of the continual process of change that is happening in Singapore.

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Posted in Eddie Choo, TOC's Writers | 2 Comments »

The thoughts of an NSman to a friend

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 12, 2007

By Eddie Choo

There is the dreary boredom that saps the life out of us, the hours merely standing and waiting for things to happen, where the only thing that keeps us sane is that far-off hope that everything is going to be over soon – that being a lie we have to convince ourselves of in order to keep going.

All that I’ve experienced can’t be put neatly into words, words simply fail to describe the fullness of our NS experience. These are the endless days in bunk, training under the hot sun, full of perspiration – there are the endless nights digging holes in the ground, filling up sandbags, walking with our gear, under the moonlight, the stars, or the clouds. There is still so much to write about. So many words to say that can’t be spoken.

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Posted in Eddie Choo | 8 Comments »

A brief encounter with a Chinese woman

Posted by theonlinecitizen on October 25, 2007

By Eddie Choo

This evening I had quite a conversation with an elderly day nurse. She’s from China and she was asking me for directions. I don’t know her name, never asked for it, for convenience lets just call her Xiaomin.

I first noticed her at the bus stop just outside a posh condo near the Singapore River. She seemed a little bit anxious, fidgety, looking at the bus number.

The bus I was waiting for had just left, so I knew it was going to be a long wait for the next one (IRIS said 17 minutes). She approached me, and in her heavily accented English, asked me whether the bus stopped at any MRT stations. I said yes, pointed to the bus guide and showed her Aljunied station. She then sat down, still anxious.

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Posted in Community, Eddie Choo | 4 Comments »

Singapore’s many weaknesses

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 15, 2007

By Eddie Choo

Our global orientation and openness is our great strength but our greatest weaknesses as well. Despite the administration’s many attempts in minimising the weaknesses, it is inevitable that Singapore will still suffer from any global slowdown in the economy.

We are connected to the global economy, and because we are export-oriented, our economic growth is subject to global demand, in particular, the US and those more developed nations. However, if massive environmental changes occur, the more developed nations will also be subject to great damage, slowing or even reversing economic growth as countries recover. This will result in Singapore suffering from slowdowns, as global demand lessens.

What Singapore has done is to diversify its prospects of economic growth by tapping the growth of emerging markets, notably China, India, and the Middle East. Other emerging markets, though less emphasized, include Vietnam and Latin America. However, if climate change is really global, then it means that even these countries will be subjected to severe economic costs, and may even be worse off as they do not have the capabilities to alleviate damages.

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Posted in Current Affairs, Eddie Choo | 1 Comment »

Global City – Reviving the Singapore Spirit

Posted by theonlinecitizen on February 24, 2007

By Eddie Choo

The Integrated Resorts in Marina Bay and Sentosa, 7% GST, Baby Bonus, parades, charades, CPF adjustments, so on…

The list isn’t exhaustive, and it grows with every year, as the government implements new measures ‘to adjust to the challenges of globalisation’ – or so we’re told.

All of these sound like a desperate attempt by the government to ensure that Singapore survives in the future. Of course, it’s all nice and everything, but as much as the Singapore government has its hands full coming up with all these things, gobbling up PSC scholars for the benefit of 4 million Singaporeans, it’s still not enough. In some sense, it can never be enough. Because the future will change ceaselessly, so the policy-makers will always have to keep up in a never-ending race to stay in the ‘same place’.

Now, will they come up with a meta-strategy of sorts to make their job and our job easier?

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Posted in Citizen Speak, Eddie Choo | 3 Comments »

Climate change – the other terrorism facing Singapore

Posted by theonlinecitizen on February 14, 2007

By Eddie Choo

What are the chances of an act of terrorism – 9-11 style, occurring? And what are the chances of major climate change occurring? How does America prepare for the former, and how does America prepare for the latter?

The study of America is typical of the response of many other nations. Today, many nations still appropriate a certain percentage of their GDP to defence against ‘potential aggressors’ – ranging from conventional warfare to terrorist attacks, or even as a measure of paranoia against revolutionary coups and other forms of domestic strife. Governments all around the world rate defence as a high priority as a measure of their commitment for their ‘existence and sovereignty’.

All of this makes sense, given that human nature and its aggressive aspect is still very much with us, and the tendencies for megalomania and ‘war on a whim’ are still very much possible. The lessons of previous wars are still with us, and the armed forces that governments keep is a reminder of that legacy, and it is also a legacy of the violent nature inherent in all of us.

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Posted in Current Affairs, Eddie Choo | 10 Comments »

Radicality – The Singaporean Youth?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on December 14, 2006

 

radicality-resized.jpgBy Eddie Choo

Monday, 11 December, 2006

Numbers may be an indication of Singapore’s economic growth, but numbers will not be able to tell us the social development of our society.

The future of every society lies with its youth. It is the youth who will rise and take the reins of leadership, and lead society to the inevitable future. As such, societies worldwide recognise the importance of youth in their society, and go to great extent, to nurture the development of youths. Singapore society is no exception.

The emphasis placed on education has created results, such as those seen in worldwide surveys, where our children are ranked high, if not the first, in mathematics and science – the subjects where performance can be quantified.

However, as Fareed Zakaria has mentioned before, few of our young people end up becoming world-beaters around the world. Answers have been proposed to this paradox, and all of us have our individual answers, but still the questions remains, why don’t we have geniuses?

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Posted in Current Affairs, Eddie Choo | 1 Comment »