Journal (Day 3 and 4)

From the dialogue with Ms Tan Ching Yee, I learnt that it is very hard to maintain balance. Ms Tan listed the example of the total fertility rate (TFR) in Singapore that aptly illustrates this point. In the past after the second World War, there was the case of baby boom in Singapore and to curb the exponential growth of the TFR in Singapore, the government introduced the “Stop at Two” campaign that encouraged the people of Singapore to stop having children after only two children. This was to prevent overcrowding. However, over the years, as Singapore’s economy improved and more people got married late and had children late, the TFR dropped drastically and the government had to react to the situation and started having campaigns to promote having more babies to improve our TFR which has dropped by too much. She also mentioned that China should start changing their one-child policy, which may give them the problem of an ageing society in the future. From this I have come to learn that we always have to be aware of changes in our environments and adapt promptly so as to prevent problems in the future (have fore sight).

I have also learnt that we should not always be satisfied with the status quo. If we do not look into the future and keep thinking of ways to improve, we will actually have deteriorating skills. For example, people who move from public to private practice in medicine have fewer opportunities to participate in stints to learn new skills as they are now not part of any organisation. Also, the range of illnesses of the patients that private doctors see is not as varied as those that public doctors see, thus they many not be as experienced in diagnosing peculiar and different and special cases and their skill and knowledge may hence be negatively affected.

At the EDB and GIC, I started to realise that the Singapore that we enjoy actually could not have been possible without the hard work of many people. When we had the tour about one of the EDB floors, our guide kept on emphasising the key milestones of Singapore’s economy and from this I could feel a sense of pride for their achievements and for the country. I had always taken the milestones of Singapore’s economy for granted and have never thought about people who work behind the scenes towards making all of this possible.

From the visit to LTA and PUB, I was pleasantly surprised by the interactive tours. They were innovative and entertaining, both of which qualities that most ideas from Singaporeans lack. This helped boost my sense of national pride 🙂

From LTA, I found out that a lot of hard work and complications are involved in maintaining the public transport system in Singapore and in any country, In recent years the LTA and SMRT has drawn much flank from the public for problems such as numerous MRT breakdowns. After their talk I have come to understand the problems that the transport industry faces and understand why they function in the way that they function. Singaporeans are actually very blessed and lucky people! I have also learnt that Singaporeans are rather fickle. We complain a lot when prices have to be increased, even though it is way below market level.
I also learnt that we should be patient and persist in our goals. For example, we had to wait for 15 years planning and getting funds before finally being able to start building our first MRT.

From NEWater, I learnt that we have to always be open minded in order to be able to solve problems, such as the water shortage problem in Singapore.

Thank you!

Claire
Nanyang Girls’ High School
Singapore

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