Category: Op-Ed

Is Appreciation Enough?

By Phang Yeu Yeou (19A01A) and Loh Lin (19A01D)

Wait. Before you continue scrolling, we know. We know that race as a topic has already been discussed to death, in conversations and lectures and forums alike. Nonetheless, the shoulds and shouldn’ts of tackling such discourse continue to confound us, even as we turn away from it, thinking: What more is there to discuss that hasn’t already been said?

After all, 54 years on from the racial riots that left an indelible footprint in our history — in bloodshed and in policy — racism in Singapore seems by and large a thing of the past. Indeed, today people of all races coexist peaceably in classrooms, offices, and shared public spaces. Long-term governmental policies and a consistent multicultural narrative have gone a long way towards easing the hostilities and divisiveness that once defined race relations. Yet, when we reduce acts of racism to just these overt indicators, we risk turning a blind eye to the more implicit tensions that continue to underscore our interactions.

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Of Checked Shirts and Courage: A Croatian Swan Song

By Lynn Hong (18A13A)

At the 67th minute, five Croatian defenders look on, helpless, as Mbappe drives the ball past them into the net, 25 yards from goal. Three goals up, France is going to win. But you cannot tell Luka Modric and his team that. At 4-1 it looks impossible to everyone but them. They are relentless, pummeling the French goal, demanding, roaring to be let in. Barely two minutes later Mandzukic makes a defiant run, racing Lloris down till they are toe to toe in front of the goal. He nicks a loose touch off Lloris, and puts it past him. As if to say, it’s not over yet.

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On the Second-hand

By Abigail Ang (18S06B)

Donating second hand items is a common experience for many Singaporeans – those who live in HDB flats will have inevitably found the yellow recycling bag on their doorstep from some charity organisation, requesting donations of old clothes, books, toys, and the like. Fewer people are familiar, though, with where these donated items end up. And while it may feel like we are doing good for the environment by recycling these items, the truth of the matter is that our habits of buying-new and donating-old do not do much to reduce waste in the long run.

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Self-help: Comforting Chicken Soup or Cold Celery Soup?

By Zacchaeus Chok (18S03O)

Whenever I go to the bookstore, my go-to section is the self-help section. In particular, I often seek out advice from personal management and pop psychology books, a subgenre that incorporates simplified psychological concepts. This is not because I am in constant existential dread or that I am a hapless victim mired in a socio-emotional muddle. Rather, I find a peculiar comfort in flipping through the array of self-help books.

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Why Rafflesians Serve: Motivations for VIA Activities

By Angus Yip (18A01A)

Several weeks ago, during my walk to the parade square for morning assembly, I saw many people stop to look at a poster near the Innovation Centre. No, not a poster – a piece of paper, rather, with a few words printed on it. Intrigued to see what this poster was about, I stepped closer and saw its contents: it touted a tantalising promise of “free VIA hours”. Underneath it was a sign-up link for a flag day event.

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