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The Inevitable Increase!

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/netizens-against-transport-fee-hike-105446381.html

The article above talks about increase in public transportation. It is no surprise that most people will object to the increase in pricing of public transport system. Even I feel the pinch whenever I commute to school every day. But it is an inevitable process. The public transport pricing will always keep rising. The best than we can wish for is that public transport pricing would stay stagnant for a longer period before increasing.  The thing in question is does the transportation system improve as we pay higher fares?

As what I have experienced, the public transport system has not changed much since I began using it as a teenager. Buses and trains are always crowded, even more so now, especially during peak hours. Although the government tries to increase frequency of the MRT trains, the number of trains that can be used is limited due to the system that they are using. The frequency of bus services is still irregular and sometimes I have to wait for a while before that particular bus comes again. The numbers of seats that are available on the trains are still limited and most people won’t have a chance to get a seat. But to be fair, I guess that’s the max number of capacity that is available per carriage. Short of increasing the number of carriages available, I guess that’s all the seats that we have.

So why are we having a periodic increase in cost of public transportation than? Well, we can attribute it to the rising cost of everything else. Fuel is increasing, cost of building the transportation infrastructure is also increasing and salaries of the workers also increasing. Therefore I guess it is reasonable to say that we have no choice but to succumb to the increase cost in transportation.

Actually if you sit down and think about it, the cost of everything else is also increasing, from food to clothes to even education. We just gripe about the increase in public transportation because we have to top up our EZ link card ever so often. In other words, we are able to see the money flowing out of pockets thus feeling the pinch.

To conclude this post, I would like to ask you if it is fair for the increase in public transportation and if you have witness any changes in the system, no matter positive or negative.

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10 Comments

Posted by on July 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Televison vs The Internet

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/online-campaigning-allowed-presidential-election-112255837.html

The presidential elections are coming in another month or so and like this article above has iterated, the candidates wills be able to use televised media as well as the internet to convey their campaign messages. The use of televised media and the internet to deliver political messages is nothing new as seen in the recent general elections. However it is a new addition to the presidential election race. Will it be beneficial to the candidates and provide an advantage to their cause? More importantly, will they be able to deliver the messages effectively to the voters? Clearly the use of televised media and the internet will be able to reach many people in a quick manner. Whether it will be effective is yet to be revealed.

Using televised media to broadcast their campaign messages, allows candidates to use both verbal and non-verbal cues to communicate to the voters. Voters will be able to listen to the candidates messages and evaluate if whatever they offer will beneficial to the country. The voters will be able to observe the candidates body language while delivering their messages, such as eye contact and his posture. A gaze that stares straight into the camera and that does not waiver, portrays a sense of confidence and honesty. However, a gaze that wanders and is unfocused will send a negative message to voters and they will place less faith in that particular candidate. In addition, the tone which the candidates use to deliver their message will be heavily scrutinized by the voters as well. If a candidate has an upbeat and jovial tone when he delivers his message, voters will be more inclined to listen to his speech as oppose to a dreary one. However voters might misinterpret his friendliness and deduce that the candidate is not being serious in the presidential race. Therefore it is imperative that candidates choose their tones wisely.

The use of new media such as the internet will also be an option to the presidential candidates to broadcast their messages. This is a relatively cheaper and easier way to spread their message…Or is it? The barriers to entry to use the social networking sites to reach the voters are almost zero, and it is relatively easier to maintain as well. In addition messages could be delivered to their supporters on the move and the voters will be able to receive up to date coverage on the presidential race. They would also be able interact with the public more easily and feedback will almost be instantaneous.  Candidates however should not take for granted how convenient it is deliver their messages and they must remember to choose their words carefully before uploading it onto their Facebook or Twitter sites. They should also be aware that the older generations are not equipped or aware on how to use the new media effectively.

The presidential election this time around is really going to be different from the past, especially with the use of the televised media and the internet. Whether or not it will be effective, is yet to be seen. Since we are so dependent on technology, it is not surprising to see that everything else is changing with the growth of technology. So what is your take on this? During think it will be for the better or worse to use televised media and the internet for the presidential elections?

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Ssssh stop complaining!

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/chan-chun-sing-offer-ideas-instead-attacking-gov-071944841.html

The phrase “action speaks louder than words” couldn’t be more appropriate in this article. The article is centered on how Singaporeans should be more proactive and offer helpful suggestions, instead of attacking the government policies out right. Criticism about anything is easy but the ability to propose something better and put that plan into action is a whole new ball game altogether. We are all guilty of making crass comments about something that we do not like (I know I have). I guess maybe it’s time we take a moment to think about what we can offer to improve certain situations we are displeased with.

The government might have implemented certain policies that might not be agreeable to everyone. Those that do not see how these policies benefit them, than start to criticize the effectiveness of these policies and questions the implementers of these policies. Maybe these people should take a step back and see how these policies might benefit the general public. If they are adamant that the policies are not helpful, they should voice their opinions and offer and alternative suggestion? Granted that policies makers might not take these suggestions too seriously, but at least they will know that the people are offering constructive criticisms.

The attack on the government or opposition policies could have been caused by group think. As a few people in a group criticize certain policies, and expressed their comments, the other people in that particular group might have agreed with that person because they did not want to sow discord within the group and voice their opinion or they do have their own opinion to begin with. Eventually, the people within the group start to think collectively towards the government or opposition. The individual identity is than lost and with it the ability to criticize objectively as an individual, succumbing to the ideals of the group.

 As I believe that communications should be a two Way Street, the policy makes should take constructive criticisms into considerations as well. Feedback should be offered by both the people as well as the government for thinks to work out more cohesively. I think ministers should have more dialogue sessions similar to what has transpired between MG Chan and the 100 youths. They should maybe make it a regular event, with a broader category of people to have wider and balanced view across various groups of Singaporeans.

In conclusion, I think everything boils down to communication and effective delivery. What we and how we say it is very important in getting our ideas across. It will determine whether people judge it as a blatant insult or a constructive comment. Have you ever had made people feel defensive because they have misinterpreted your good intentions because they couldn’t understand your intent?

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Halt who types there!

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/americas/view/1137156/1/.html

In this day and age when almost everything is centered on technology, be it entertainment, shopping or communicating, we must never fail to realize or appreciate that like our physical properties, our digital properties require protection as well. In the article above, it states how the America will use military action against cyber criminals who violate internet security. The measures might seem a tad harsh but it is not surprising that America will retaliate with extreme force especially after recent cyber-attacks. An example would be the Sony PlayStation Network that was hacked into a few months ago, when hackers stole credit card information of about 33 000 people just to prove that their security system is not fortified enough. I believed the hackers were able to put their point across.

On a micro level, whenever a sight would require you to have a password, let’s say for your online email, it would be recommended to provide a lengthy one that has letters from the uppercase and lowercase. It would be good to write it down somewhere in case you forget it. In addition, keep the password extremely private especially for things relating to finance, like passwords for online banking.

 It would also be prudent to switch around a number of passwords, instead of using just one. This would reduce the chances of cyber attacker from accessing all your information if he or she manages to break one of your passwords.

On a macro level, such as a large company or a government organization, a lot more effort would be needed to protect their online information. Besides using the encrypted firewalls, that have layers of protection to deter hackers from well, hacking, there are other methods too.  As stated in the article earlier, an offensive approach might seem like the way to go in deterring hackers from invading your vault of information. It would serve as a good deterrent as cyber-crimes would be dealt with a physical punishment and I’m sure not many hackers would appreciate arm soldiers knocking on their doors.

A more proactive and a less aggressive approach would be to locate and hire hackers for consultations for methods the organization could use to beef up their online security. Or in more serious cases, get the hackers to be employees of the organization. Having hackers would be a great advantage to the company as the hackers would provide information that would be current and update. In addition, it allows the company to have a firsthand account of what cyber criminals are capable of.

To conclude this post I would like say that cyber criminals are just as or not more cunning and vicious as their real life counter parts. The evidences are not easily attainable or traceable to their origin, making it hard for law enforcements to apprehend them without difficulty. What would you do if you were a victim of a cyber-criminal and you find that you chalk up a credit card bill more than you can chew?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Suicidal Tendencies

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/why-spate-recent-teen-suicides-041551371.html

Are suicides making a trendy come back? It does seem so, especially in the article above, which mentions that in the past 3 weeks, there have been 3 suicides cases.  What is more alarming is that all 3 are in their teens. What would cause these teens to end their life so early?

Pressure to do well in school has always been a problem among students, especially if they are struggling to do well. Take for example Krystal, who did not do very well in her A levels and thus wasn’t able to go to a local university.  Our society is so centered on paper qualifications and where a person gets his or her education from, that they forget that the 3 local universities are extremely difficult to get in. Furthermore they view other universities as inferior to that of the local universities. I think people who have this mind set are extremely narrowed minded and are very judgmental.  This gives so much pressure to students, especially A level students that they see themselves as failures when they do not enter a local university. I find this really disturbing and I think people should change their mindset.

In response to the suicides, one should ask, could any of these suicides be prevented?  Are parents not paying enough attention to these kids that they were unable to tell certain subtle signs that their child is unhappy about something? I feel that parents should spend more time with their children and be actively involved in their lives so that whenever the child is behaving strangely, the parent would be sensitive to these changes and address them. Youths on the other hand should find an outlet besides blogging and twitting to express their feelings. It need not have to be a parent but a close friend who is just willing to provide a listening ear. That might be all it takes to save a life.

Schools should also be an avenue for students to turn to whenever they have a problem. Teenagers should be able to approach a teacher that he or she is comfortable with whenever they are feeling upset, especially with their school work. Teachers should also provide counsel to students when they are not doing or have not done well in their school work and provide them an alternative solution to their problems.  Educators should also bear in mind that they should be tactful and cautions when they approach students as they are distraught and emotionally volatile when they are upset.

In conclusion, I feel that the issue of suicide is a problem that should be taken seriously, especially among the youth and it should highlighted to them that it is neither a solution nor a way to escape their problems. What do you think about suicides and how do you think they should be addressed?

 

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Oh my, you have decided already?

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/jilted-ex-boyfriend-puts-abortion-billboard-194142831.html

The article here talks about how a man who was not informed about the abortion of his baby and how he had expressed his grievance by displaying it on a billboard for all to see. There are two main points of contentions here. One would be his willingness to share this to general public and the other would be the communication breakdown that he and his ex-girlfriend had experienced that led to his problem.

I felt that the use of the billboard as a way to express his feeling about this issue is morally wrong.  By using the billboard to advertise his problems, he is bringing shame to his ex-girlfriend by exposing a controversial issue such as abortion. Some people are not open to the idea of premarital sex, let alone abortion and letting the public know about what had transpired between the two of them may make people that are acquainted with uncomfortable such as their family members or their employers. Although she might have kept her abortion a secret to him, airing their dirty laundry in public will not solve anything. On the contrary, it had actually made things worse for him and a small personal issue had escalated into a complicated matter that is being seen by many.

I believe that the center of this problem is the breakdown of communication between the two individuals. Much of the mess could have been avoided if both of them had communicated with each other regularly instead of avoiding each other completely. Although they might have had a fall out with each other, it is their responsibility to settle the issue of the pregnancy together. The lack of effort shown by both parties’ shows that they were not really interested in keeping the baby and I find the use of a billboard to show his distress about the issue rather hypocritical. In addition, if the man had really wanted the baby, he would have find ways and means to contact his ex-girlfriend before she had lost the baby.

In America, everyone is entitled to speak whatever that is on their mind. However, they should be mindful and responsible whenever they exercise this right because it can hurt another person emotional. The article is also an example of how communications is used a weapon to inflict emotional harm on an individual. The intent of billboard was to make his ex-girlfriend feel guilty about her actions and make her feel shameful. The words “If The Mother Had Decided To Not KILL Our Child!” in the billboard could have used to garner support from the public by sympathizing with the man. It could have been also used to portray the man ex-girlfriend as an irresponsible mother, who had robbed him of a chance to become a father.

The freedom of speech is a very useful tool to convey messages and is a right that should not be taken for granted but used in a responsible manner. We must always be mindful of other people’s feelings whenever we want to express ourselves. Communications should be a way to bridge the gap between each instead of way to inflict harm and cause emotional distress. This article is a negative example of how communications should be used. What would you have done if somebody had made a decision without telling you and it had resulted in severe repercussions?

 
8 Comments

Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Trade My Part For Your Pad?

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/chinese-teen-ipad-2-cost-him-kidney-033207341.html

Recently, a high student sold his kidney for RMB20 000 in order to purchase for himself, an iPAD 2 and a laptop. Talk about hardcore! I mean what would compel such a young a person to sell away a functioning body part, in order to purchase a few electronic items? Furthermore, why was it so easy for him to do such a thing? Apparently he had found an advertisement on the internet which promotes selling organs for cash. Looks like the message was effectively placed!

I found this piece of news extremely disturbing as it explains a lot about our current generation. For one, it shows how attached the youths are, not only to technological devices but to material goods in general. Selling one of his kidneys so easily shows how much he treasures material goods over his own body parts. It is as though material goods have become such a part of him that foregoing an organ isn’t such a big deal. Even the idea of working part time to earn money so that one can purchase something he or she wants isn’t very far off from this. The concept behind it is the same; to get money to buy a good.

This is really a big concern to parents as teenagers are placing all their attention on the all the wrong things. For one, their school work will be affected as teenagers would rather work than go to school to earn money. While it’s alright to work part time for pocket money, it is not however, when their grades are affected. Another point would be that the youths are using material goods as a status symbol among their peers. This affects the self-esteem of many kids who are unable to afford branded goods and are shunt by their friends, leading them to commit extreme acts such as the case in point.

Another issue would be how easily the advertisement was able to reach the Chinese boy. This is a positive example of how communication has achieved its role but in a negative way. It was able to speak to its audience (the boy), and brings its message across (buying of organs). It was effective because being an internet advertisement meant that a very wide group of people would be able to see it thus making it accessible. Secondly the cash incentive would be attractive especially to the young who are looking for a quick buck, a get-rich-fast scheme if you will. The delivery was good because it was enticing and it appealed to its audience logic or logos.

Another appalling thing about this news article that, the surgery was being performed in a hospital, and nobody stopped to check on what was going on. This shows a cause for concern as the lack of security makes this easier for things like this to occur over and over again. Furthermore the boy was only 17 years old! Wouldn’t the hospital staff be curious if he was having an operation without a parental consent?  The boy could have been easily left to die after his kidney was removed, allowing the syndicate to leave with the organ and the cash in hand. Due to some strange sense of moral judgment, they allowed him to walk away with the RMB 20 000.

I would like to know what you all think about this issue. Would you sell an organ to get cash to buy something you like? And if not, to what lengths would you go to get something you like?

 
10 Comments

Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Uncategorized