A campaign for common sense?

Two articles in the Today newspaper today caught my attention. During a recent parliament session, one of the MPs was asked if the government could step up surveillance for “killer litter” in public housing estates. The MP’s reply was (something to the effect) “we simply do not have the ground resources to do that and the best way to address this problem is to have a broad public education program that raises awareness.”

Raise awareness of what? Which part of “do not throw out of the window things that could hurt or kill people” do people not understand??? We need a campaign to educate people that?! Perhaps the government would so kindly make it easy for its people – develop a checklist of what to throw out of the window and what not, with specific guidelines on shape and size. That should help cos Singaporeans have no clue. Right.

Some things a campaign might help like Courtesy Campign, Speak Mandarin campaigns – so successful they have been running for the past decade (or has it been longer?) Other things, some common sense is all we need. Thinking on our feet, do what makes sense and don’t do what does not. Well, I can imagine that would be hard if we can’t think for ourselves and need the government to tell us what to do.

The other article was about frequent thefts at the Salvation Army donation collection centres. What a shame – most Singaporeans and other residents in Singapore give generously but the experience is tainted by a few black sheep living amongst us. Common sense would tell us these donations are for the less fortunate, by way of direct donation or perhaps coverted into cash for the needy through sales. Yet there are people who take advantage of the loose security at the donation bins…

Our Minister Mentor L(ee) K(uan) Y(ew) once made the bold statement that he does not expect to see a gracious Singapore in his lifetime. Some people blame it on the government – poor leadership some have said; the government has failed to lead by example.

Aiyoh. Can we simply be the best we can be without waiting for the government to give the order?? If each and everyone of us makes it a point to be gracious, the society as a whole will head that way. Small acts of kindness. We are all capable of smiling, holding doors or lifts for others, thanking those who hold the doors or lifts for us, giving way on the roads, walking to the back of the bus and centre of trains during peak periods, etc. It’s really not so difficult. No need campaign, no need government to give the greenlight. Basic human decency.

Don’t make it a habit to wait for the government, don’t wait for another campaign and don’t blame it on the fast tempo of life in Singapore. Take responsibility for your own actions and just do it la!

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