Indian talk up Indian isit?/ Social activist talks sense

In Uncategorized on 14/03/2016 at 1:56 pm

Former NMP and founding member of AWARE Dr Kanwaljit Soin talks to 938LIVE’s Bharati Jagdish about biases and meritocracy in Singapore 

On the idea of a non- Chinese PM she said

“For example, we talk of being a meritocratic society, but why has nobody said that Minister Tharman (Shanmugaratnam) can be the next Prime Minister. Why does the Government say the population is not ready for an Indian Prime Minister?

What do you mean by “we’re not ready for it?” We’re a meritocratic society, interracial, inter-religious, inter-cultural. So if you look at ability alone, why is Minister Tharman not considered? He’s Prime Ministerial material. Why is there a fear that the population will not accept an Indian as a Prime Minister? What gives people the right to assume?”

Bit like ownself check ownself isn’t it? Why liddat?

Seriously read if you want an insight into how a rational (OK most of the time) social activist thinks.

She makes good points on the folowing issues

On population policy

…”Not enough collaboration was done before those steps were taken. When were we ever told that we are going to increase our population of foreigners by this amount? Who becomes a citizen? How do we know? We need to know why some people become citizens earlier than others. We need to have an input. We can say, “Nobody can be citizen unless they’ve lived in Singapore for 10 years.”

This is our country. Surely we have a right to give our input. We need to know the rules of the game better, so we can play the game better. Without the rules, we don’t know. When the referee blows the whistle, we are completely astounded.”

On being critical of the status quo

…”but why can’t you be ambitious for your own country. We keep on comparing ourselves to countries that are not so successful and say we are better than that. Then why don’t we compare ourselves to countries that, in some ways, have an edge over us, and try to aspire to that?”

On an Upper House

…”If we have two houses of Parliament, because their terms will be staggered, their terms of office, even if there is an election outcome that is completely unexpected, you have an upper house which is there, so there will be some continuity. It’s a much more evolving system, and also, it represents the interest of diverse groups much better.”

She explains “social activism’ or as she calls it “advocacy”:

“And advocacy, because you feel that something is not fair in society, then you have to advocate for change. You first have to get information. You must have a little bit of outrage…so, to my mind, you must have the information and knowledge, a bit of outrage, and then you go ahead and take some action. And part of that action is advocacy, talking to the powers that be. They’re all part of the advocacy plan.”


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