Korean Pop: Good or Bad Influence? (Perspective of Government)

With the help of the internet, the Korean wave has since spread over the entire world. Now, people all over the world, including Singaporeans, have fallen deeply into the clutches of the Korean wave.

In the opinion of the Singapore Government, the Korean wave has an overall bad influence on Singapore teenagers as it will hinder the development of Singapore, and thus affecting the lives of them in the future. This is the case because the teenagers will slowly lose their sense of identity as Singaporeans as they adopt the new Korean culture and also because of the large amounts of time spend on Korean Pop.

Numerous Singaporean teenagers have started incorporating Korean Fashion into their daily outfits. From clothes to cosmetic products, the Korean industry is slowly infiltrating the Singaporean markets. In the year of 2013, there are a total of 7 Korean cosmetic Chains in Singapore. One such shop is “Tony Moly”.


The reasons for teenagers to patronise these store are often because they are fans of the celebrity ambassadors of the shops and also because they desire to become as pretty as the Korean stars.  This shows that Korean fashion is rather popular among the teenagers in Singapore due to the Korean wave in Singapore. This way, they will gradually lose their sense of identity and belonging to Singapore and hence breaking the unity of Singaporeans. If Singaporeans are not united, nothing can be accomplished. Therefore the Korean wave has a bad influence on Singapore teenagers as it hinders the development of Singapore.

Many teenagers are also spending a lot of time on Korean Pop.

“I just want to be close to them all the time. I don’t feel like eating, sleeping, or studying,”   This is what a Singaporean Sasaeng Fan said.

She is not  alone. Many teenagers spend their valuable time attending concerts, trawling through the internet for updates on their idols, which could otherwise be used for studying or family-bonding. They will probably continue with their addiction until they reach adulthood. This will affect the quality of their work and hence hinder the development of Singapore.

To sum it up, Korean pop is a bad influence to Singaporean teenagers. Here are a few scenarios for you to ponder about. Imagine a Singapore which is not united; Imagine a Singapore which has fans who spend half their time on their idols. What will happen to Singapore? 

By Tiffany Kok:)

Does a meritocratic educational system breed Elitism? I believe so. (Student perspective)

The meritocratic educational system in Singapore does create a divide between difference classes of people with the rise of Elitism.Image

This quote by Larry Kersten encompasses the meaning of being an elitist; the assurance and satisfaction gained by trampling everyone else in academics, physical health and social life. I, however, am on the receiving end of this elitist society and so are many students of my school. Since we parted ways in Primary school, talking to friends who got into elite schools has not been much engaging. They got rewarded, in the form of their PSLE scores, to go on get the best grades, go on to get the best jobs and go on to secure their rightful place in the community. But we just get discriminated against and deprived of many opportunities to excel as much as those in an elite environment.

The school environment breeds notions of elitism. Surrounded by people of similar mental abilities, getting influenced is common. Students get influenced to compete in their own race in academics to be the best one on top and reap the benefits of that accomplished feat. Such great feelings of competition develop like a rapid fire in such environments. The educational systems in such elite schools place tremendous emphasis on being better than the rest of the students nationwide, be it in academics or athletics. With such a great impact on these students, a condescending perspective of such students ensues. Their motive is to widen the gap between “ordinary” students and themselves.   

At a school reunion, I was taken aback by the change that was reflected in my peers’ attitude. They had a constant urge to find out how we were doing in school – not socially but academically. Many of my friends, who are currently in elite schools, did not even approach any of those classmates who were not in such schools. Instead, they preferred to mingle within their social circle, creating a distinct boundary between us and them. Are we not worthy to talk to?
Growing up that way, these students lose perspective and forget that they belong to a privileged minority unlike others. An educational system that focuses on the commonly known statement, “May the best man win”, has seen its outcome as one that segregates the elite students from the others. What is not realised it that by doing so, we only boost the ego of elite students as being top notch in our community. 

– Nikita Gupta (15) 

The Patient’s View: Stem Cell Research- A field of research in UK?

Have you ever had the feeling of absolute hopelessness? That empty, buzzing feeling in your head when someone tells you that you only have months to live?

Religious activists might argue that embryos have intrinsic value from the moment of birth and thus regard using the embryo to derive stem cells as tantamount to murdering a baby. However, have you ever taken into account the lives that you could potentially save from Stem Cell research? A potential application of stem cells is to form cells and tissues for medical treatments but currently it is donated organs and tissues that are substituted for damaged and dysfunctional ones.

Sadly, the demand for organ transplant is way higher than the supply. Transplant waiting lists are unexhaustive and more than 4,573 U.S. patients died in 2008 alone awaiting a kidney transplant due to a donor shortage. It’s common for transplant recipients to get organs that are an imperfect match. But holding on to such an organ is difficult and exacts a serious toll.

To prevent the immune system from going for an all-out attack on tissue it sees as a threat, patients must follow an arduous drug regimen for the rest of their lives. Without the medications, a transplanted kidney that’s an incomplete match is likely to be rejected, and the patient faces the prospect of dialysis, a repeat transplant or death. The anti-rejection drugs — typically 15 to 20 pills a day — make patients susceptible to infection, diabetes, hypertension and cancers and are so toxic, they often overwhelm transplanted kidneys. They have typically cost as much as $20,000 a year, and remain a far cry from affordable despite the recent availability of generic versions.


And after all that hassle, many patients reject their transplanted organs anyway.

But all these could change in the future with future developments in the field of Stem Cell research. It could potentially change the lives of millions of people that would otherwise never have a chance to get well again. Stem cells can now benefit victims of Parkinson’s Disease, Diabetes, Arthiritis and also those of Cardiovascular Diseases. However now, with further research and testing ,even patients receiving an organ that’s less than a perfect match can be protected against rejection by a second transplant — this time of the organ donor’s imperfectly matched stem cells. More can and should be done to help these people.

Done by: Nicole Lim (21) 306

Singapore Minister of Education: A meritocratic education system breeds elitism – I think not.

Tan Yu Bin (28)

Many have argued that a meritocratic education system breeds elitism. I do not agree.  Elitism is an inherent element in the character of our Singapore culture.  In fact, meritocracy mitigates elitism by cutting across socio-economic backgrounds and providing more platforms to measure success.


First, I think there is a difference between being ‘elitist’ and the concept of ‘elitism’. Elitism is a status of sorts – to recognize that you are good at something, e.g., an elite sportsman. It is defined by some as the pride in or awareness of being one in an elite group. To be ‘elitist’, however, is an attitude, where one is considered superior by others or by themselves, as measured by intellect, talent, power, wealth or position in society. I believe that most of us are upset over the latter but have confused the two, thinking that they are the same thing.


Being elitist is a state of the mind, and it has been prevalent with or without the meritocratic education system as long as there are bases for comparison among people. Someone once said, “It’s unwise to compare – But it’s human nature.” It is in our nature to compare with others – we judge others and use them as bases of comparison in an instinctive and natural fashion. Thus, it is not something the education system can ‘breed’ as it is innate and we do it with or without meritocracy.


Furthermore, given that meritocracy is justified as an elite group of people whose progress is based on ability, effort and talent instead of endowed-by-birth wealth and class privileges, it can be argued that we are in fact, mitigating the effects of the ‘elitist’ by providing equal opportunities to all, regardless of socio-economic backgrounds. Take the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) for example, those who score well would get a chance to further their studies in better secondary schools as it is admission by merit. There is the Direct School Admission (DSA) avenue whereby students who have talents in certain academic subjects or other areas such as music or athletics could enroll into their desired secondary school based on their demonstrated ability. By defining more diverse criteria of success for students, our meritocratic education system lessens the need of students to feel accomplished via associations with performances that were narrowly and strongly linked to intellect or social backgrounds.


Urban Development and its Effects (in relation to the environment)


Gao Shu Xin (12)

While urbanization causes inevitably damages the environment, without urbanization, communities of people are in turned disadvantaged.

Urbanization is defined as is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of rural migration and even suburban concentration into cities. People living in rural areas are migrating to urban areas on a massive scale due to population pressure and the lack of resources in rural areas. They believe that living in urban areas provide them a higher standard of living, well paid jobs, as well as better health care and education. Along with propaganda from the government inviting them to the city in hope to minimize rural areas, they are propelled to migrate into the city and this is when the need for urbanization arises.

Firstly, the basic needs of these migrants must be met. Proper housing and proper jobs would go up in demand as these migrants struggle to survive in the city. These demands can only be met through clearing of land and even nature reserves to set up housing estates, companies and factories. When their motive of migrating to the city can’t be satisfied, they will become the burdens of the society and thus lose their basic human rights. Slums would start forming due to lack of housing and diseases would start to spread, harming both migrants and original city dwellers. Without jobs and a proper income, these migrants would lead miserable lives in the city, perhaps even worse than in the villages.

However, if these migrants are properly tended to, they can be useful contributors to the city and even the nation as a whole. When job opportunities are provided for them, there would be an eventual rise in national income. This would intern lead to a higher consumption expenditure which would lead to a rise in national output, which helps to stabilize inflation.

Since the government promotes rural migration, as it effectively reduces rural areas, promoting modernization, they have to be responsible for the well-being of these people. Only then can the full benefit of urban migration can be seen and physically expanding the urban areas is the fastest, most effective way. Natural sites and habitats would have to sacrifice for the development of the city, in hope to achieve a first world country status.


The UK Prime Minister’s Point of View: Stem cell research- a field of scientific study in the UK?


Scientific development has been the cornerstone of a country’s progress, affecting a nation both socially and economically. Trailing the advent of modernization, it is irrefutable that scientific progress has positive far-reaching repercussions. One subjective topic which is widely debated is the question of stem cell research- whether stem cell research should be encouraged as a field of scientific research in the UK. In view of the promising outcomes and beneficial repercussions both socially and economically, stem cell research should be encouraged as a field of scientific study. 


With the well-being of the citizens of UK in mind, there is high potential in stem cell research offering alternative treatments for patients with terminal illnesses. In the recent decade, medical progress has yet been capable to reach out to patients with seemingly untreatable diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s disease etc. Stem cell research is able to shed light on alternative treatments which might be able to revive these patients. Consequently, a better well-being increases the living standards of the citizens. Every year, more than 50 million patients perish of terminal illnesses. Provided the high mortality rate, it is apparent that a cure is in high demand. Stem cell research has extensive influence over the medical field, with a possibility that it might revolutionize this sector. As such, stem cell research, along with its potential social benefits, should be encouraged. 


Secondly, stem cell research progresses hand-in-hand with economic development. In accordance with the aforementioned point, stem cell research might pave away for alternative treatments. As a result, mortality rate from previously terminal illnesses could be drastically lowered and a healthier workforce will be able to drive the development of the country. This allows for increased work productivity and efficiency which accelerates economic advancement, speeding up a country’s development as a whole. In addition, greater support and fiscal resources allocated for stem cell research leaves room for more public and private sector job opportunities in the field of biomedical sciences and medical industry, attracting a greater pool of talented specialists. When one gear turns, so do the rest. As a resultant effect, UK’s GDP is expected to grow and a greater economic stimulus is predicted. In view of its economic impacts, stem cell research should be encouraged.

 As UK’s prime minister, my words mirror the needs of UK’s citizens. Taking into consideration its boundless positive repercussions, stem cell research should be encouraged. 

The Catholic Church’s view: Stem cell research- a field of scientific research in the UK?

The Catholic Church is against stem cell research being encouraged as a field of scientific research in the  UK as it is gravely immoral and unnecessary. While the Church embraces science as an invaluable service to the integral good of life and dignity of every human being, it can never come at the expense of the weakest amongst us. Science must follow moral guidelines to be “at the service of man”, not vice versa.  

Stem cell research requires the destruction of living cells- a notion that life is just a commodity created for experimentation. Once we cross this line that protects our dignity, there would be no stopping point. The Catholic Church holds the highest regard for life from the beginning of life till death. The only moral stand that affirms our dignity is to oppose the first step down this path. Experimentation on humans does not conform to his/her rights and dignity if it takes place without his/her informed consent or those who legitimately speak for him/her. While some may argue that “any harm done is outweighed by potential benefits”, such as treating diabetes, such benefits are unproven and a false assumption that a good end can justify direct killing has been the source of much evil in our world. On the claims that an embryo is “too small and undeveloped to be considered a ‘human life’ or “too lacking in mental or physical abilities to have full human worth or rights,” modern embryology has proven that the embryo is a living, complete, integrated, self-directing member of the human species who will, if given the proper environment, move itself along a trajectory of development to the next mature stage. All human beings possess an equal moral worth and dignity, regardless of age, condition of vulnerability or dependence, circumstance, or the value of their life as judged by others, therefore human embryos should be granted the same rights.

Ultimately each of us will die, but that does not give anyone the right to kill us. Our society does not permit lethal experiments on terminally ill patients or condemned prisoners on the pretext that they will soon die anyway. Likewise, the fact that an embryonic human is at risk of being abandoned by his or her parents gives nobody a right to directly kill him/her first.

Therefore, based on the criteria of human rights and equality, we oppose to stem cell research being encouraged as a field of scientific research.

ImageDone by: Seah Wen Xin (26)