Category: Op-Ed

Let’s Talk (About Depression)

By Wong Zi Yang (19A01D)

Cover illustration by Alvin Lim Jun Han (19S06B)

I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that we have quite a few students suffering from depression in Singapore. In fact, it’s one of the more common mental illnesses seen in Singaporean youth. What comes as a bit of a surprise to me is how little people actually care about the situation; and by “‘care” I mean take tangible action against it. We may hear the odd rumour here and there: “he’s been missing school a lot lately”, or “someone has been hospitalised”. If an incident does happen, people keep quiet out of confidentiality and respect for those involved. But at the same time, doing so means that there is little to no impetus for uninvolved students, already busy enough as is with the academic rigour of school, to care much about it. The problem is not addressed at its root, and we just don’t talk about it – and so I set out to look deeper into students’ responses to depression in Raffles: Do people care enough about it? What then can we do about it?

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It’s the Simple Things We Forget

By Mr. Christopher Selvaraj from the KS Department
Cover photo by Differantly, a Paris/Berlin-based artist duo

These can be challenging times to think through the state of race relations in Singapore. Growing sensitivities to micro-aggressions and unconscious biases, racial privilege and cultural appropriation, reductive representations and linguistic assault, among other things, have made for a brew of simmering discontent that periodically spills out into our collective consciousness. These are complicated times – and it can seem simpler to sit and watch the waters swell.

So it was with great interest that I read Is Appreciation Enough?” by Phang Yeu Yeou and Loh Lin, and On Racism and Chinese Privilege” by Soh Ying Qi, a couplet of two recent thoughtful commentaries that set out to carefully consider racial harmony and race relations in Singapore. Both pieces reflect authors keen and willing to lay out the depth, complexity, and nuance of race relations. Both pieces reflect authors grappling with an important question: Are we doing enough to weave solidarity and community from the threads of diversity in which we find ourselves entangled? In both pieces, the answer to this question is “no”.

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What’s in a Home?

By Sarah Chen (19S03C)

Without fail, every 9th of August brings with it a sudden burst of patriotism in Singaporeans, me included. It’s both heartwarming and odd — something that can only be witnessed on this one day. As suddenly as this pride arrives, it leaves, and I am left questioning how genuine all this patriotism really is.

A while back, I watched a film called Ladybird. The protagonist of the film in question was a girl in high school, on the cusp of young adulthood, dreaming of leaving her hometown for greater places. As she spent the majority of the film cursing every single aspect of her hometown, I saw in her not just myself, but many other Singaporean teenagers.

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Proceed at Your Own Discretion: To Say or Not to Say

By Asfar Alim (18S03J)

To say or not to say? That is the question. Do I risk contributing my idea for a project, even though it could get shot down immediately? Should I tell my good friend that their questionable decisions (such as playing Dota for 8 hours straight) may not be a good idea? Or perhaps, there’s the fear of asking a question on a sensitive topic. These are just a few examples of the situations that we may have encountered where we would have to decide whether we should be honest and share our thoughts or keep quiet. In these scenarios, we meet different types of people who apply different approaches.

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On Racism and Chinese Privilege

By Soh Ying Qi (18A01C)

It’s safe to say that this is not a safe topic.

(The preceding sentence, ironically, may be the only one in this article that’s truly uncontroversial.)

It’s nebulous and complicated and resistant to simplification. It’s hard to discuss sensitively, and even harder to discuss meaningfully. Basically: the odds were stacked against it from the beginning.

So this article won’t change the world. It might not even change your mind. But at the very least, it’ll probably change the way you view “race”, for better or for worse.

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