Time for women to rise to new heights
The unhappiness expressed over Madam Halimah Yacob’s walkover win in the reserved presidential election is understandable (No let-up in online criticism of uncontested election; Sept 14).
However, now that she has been inaugurated, let us give our first female President the space to concentrate on the heavy responsibilities she has to shoulder.
Madam Halimah must be commended for her bravery in accepting the arduous challenges of the office of the President. She won her spurs by meeting the eligibility criteria.
In the Government, she has broken the glass ceiling and is leading the way. She is a role model and an inspiration, especially to our women.
This is a momentous new chapter in our history. Never before have we had a woman as the unifying force of our multiracial and multi-religious society, and to champion our cause here and abroad.
It makes little Singapore the equal of territories and countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany and Britain.
Is this the prelude to the rise of woman power in Singapore? The talent undoubtedly exists.
Two Cabinet ministers, several ministers of state and numerous MPs are women. There are also women helming multibillion-dollar corporations in the private sector.
The talent pool will surely widen over time.
The big question is whether those capable and eligible are willing to answer the call of duty to do great deeds for the people and country.
I hope the day will come when thinking about having a female prime minister is not building castles in the air.
Until then, I wish President Halimah success in fulfilling her role for the public good, under her slogan of “Do Good, Do Together”. I have doubts about how meaningful it is to introduce products with a specific “Suitable for diabetics” label because there is the risk of over-consumption (Too many products are ‘healthier choice’, by Mr Jonathan Wong Wai Kheong; Sept 15).
The sugar tax approach is passive and ineffective since sugar is not the sole reason for obesity and diabetes.
Healthy lifestyle, moderate sugar intake and regular exercise help.
Healthier Choice labels simply mean the products contain lower levels of “negative” nutrients and more “positive” nutrients. Caveat emptor still applies when you purchase the drink.
It is better to spark a social behavioural change to abstain from or reduce consumption of sugary drinks. It is sad that the National Science Experiment Big Data Challenge will not continue next year (Nanyang Girls’ High the big winner in data challenge; Sept 14).
Its merits go beyond kindling an interest in our students in science or merely collating and analysing data.
The data collected could form part of the upcoming Singapore Student Learning Space (New online platform will let students learn at own pace; Aug 17).
Many more generations of students could access the data in a safe environment, make hypotheses and draw inferences.
They can then make better sense of the dynamic environment we live in and the social patterns we encounter. It also offers them an
Perhaps the best alternative is plain water.
Professor Chia Kee Seng, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, projected that 34 per cent of people aged 24 to 35 could become diabetic by the time they reach 65 (Rising obesity among young set to worsen diabetes rate in Singapore; Feb 22, 2016).
The grim picture reflects the necessity of changing eating habits in our stressful lifestyle to wean people off the desire for sweet drinks.
Government intervention is necessary if we want to prevent the number of diabetics from rising.
Plain water is the best drink to quench thirst.
Drinking two litres daily will help flush our system.
Once we get used to the flavour opportunity to work on real issues faced during data collection.
By tying up with existing coding competitions, such as the National Primary Games Creation Competition, and working alongside mentors from higher educational institutions, students would appreciate the value of team work and of approaching these big data issues with a holistic view.
The scope of the project could also be broadened.
Organisations could be encouraged to provide data to the sandbox.
For instance, SMRT and SBS Transit could give data on traffic patterns, and Meteorological Service Singapore could contribute its weather of plain water, soft drinks and sweet beverages would become the second choice.
Healthy eating habits are an effective remedy against obesity and diabetes.
This requires parallel adjustments to the social environment to gain momentum for plain water drinking.
Hawker centres, foodcourts and restaurants need to cooperate to provide bottled water at low cost.
The Government should mandate that sufficient drinking fountains be installed at shopping malls, bus terminals and MRT stations.
Collective efforts and government support are necessary to rein in obesity and diabetes and develop the right social attitude to imbibe this healthy culture. observation and climatological records.
Corporate sponsors could be invited to provide project funding or apprenticeships for projects of commercial interest. Such industrial collaboration could attract graduating students to the organisations later on.
Tapping the creativity of our students, these big data project ideas should contribute significantly to our knowledge repository and further cement Singapore’s global reputation in urban planning and technology.
By engaging students beyond their cohorts and exposing them to realistic big data projects early, Singapore will be building essential talent pipelines in our quest to build a smarter nation. It is very worrying to see school children getting violent and behaving like gangsters.
Where were the teachers when the fight broke out at St Hilda’s Secondary School (Man in viral fight video not a teacher: School; Sept 15)?
The man in the video was reported to be an intern, without the training or authority to manage the students.
But instead of looking on, he should have immediately alerted the teachers and principal to the incident.
I hope schools will take serious actions against students who commit such violent acts.
The message must be sent across to students that schools will not condone any type of bullying or violence.
I urge parents to discipline their children and to teach them that any form of violence is unacceptable.
If students can behave in such a violent manner, how will they behave when they are adults?