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Commonwoalth Commonwoallh Stantord Club Empowering
E6aay Es6ay ofSingapore Communlty
Competltion Competition Book Prize E3say Wddng
Charis Chong, Chuang Ying WendyTan, Competition
cG2Dn7 cG 4905 Karyn Yzelman,

Comml3slon On GSK€OB GSK€DB

"What ASEAN ',l/{hat ASEAN
Stl3tainable Esaay Writlng Ecsay Wrlting
Dovolopm€nt Nivia Soetrisno, Competltlon Compotition
Cheng Nien Yuan,
E$ry S€locfons cG 11/08 cG 31/08
Gladia Hotan. TimothyToh,
Loy Sye Yue( cG 48/05 cG 2An7

ilUS Stlrlsnts'

Maft,1 T€h.

How far ls
r€cycling th€ Envircnment
nany countfi€8 EquiF
prcblom of waat6? is to blamg? inceling mou.b or
AndyTay, Michelle Wong,
cG 4Bl05 cG 0r/07 cG 04/07

ln an lncr€Blngly
'Th€ figm io. go.do! glotrli.ed Borld,

Gladia Holan. global cllizon8?

cG 024C8

piisonels of our
past." Comhont.
Luu Thuy Linh,
cG 25107

la history mol€
than the 6tudy of
pre3€nt" (Sahatna
G.ndhl) II3cu8€. Teresa Ng,


thra nscLar srlly

o{ th. nnlodty."
dalnoc'lcy today? yoald.

Ooct modam
bchnology .lw'yr
llnproh fh6
qu.liv of pcopl€'s
Dary' chia,
c6 07m7
Ev.lF Chua, Et,Gtyn Chua.

you agrr. tlrlt you lllla lhrt

t.clnologry h.. iac'imlogy ha! Shordd thr mlrs
lnaaL lha worH m.dh .lv.ys t ll
norad gatou! )nort &ng€ros! th. tnr$?
than avrr?
Josnae Chew.
Chua Zi H!ei,

Do you lgrt Do you rgl!€

tftrt th. roldon io th.t th. .oluuofi to Do yorr .grt€ thri
Povdfy laa not rlttt pov.rty lhr nol wlth .r.dh.trE afgltl concem
powrly h I lo6t tod!y." Dbcus6.
b?[.r dhtrlbudon ffirdhlttbudn ctuta?
dtfl ol tt Anbh Mohanty,
Evelyn Chew,
Elgene Lee, cG 04/!6

of g..at concom b 0l.l! atlll vrlue L biaglndon L f.tdirg "tallult" ahould

today." OkcllGG. in booka tod.y? moll ftnporbnt gloofibr.n tlo* Lr iavar ba laad in
Loy Ste Yu€t Chrd€ne Chen. 0ur fnowbdge? tl'o yor, agttc? aducadon.
CG 25rO7 cG 20D7 .hftly Prllnudits, Vrvicn Sham. Dbcltte.

"R.[glon h
thlng .r ludc lntbvrn ln fla
tl. lni.lL.rlt .xpLlfi.vdythlng;
lhL . trk nllglon ctn.
YOU.grF? Dlrcutr.
Eug€fle L.e, Gledis tlctan,
cG 13m7

"lGowhdg€ h
pow!r". Evalulb ad$|ologNcdly
lh. tv1t ofthi3
M.gd.l6nc Ong,
cG 2w07 Pch Chu Ming,
cG 2AlO7
l! $ | uonosr,romr,rnnm co $

She gazed at the blue shoes lying in the box. How lovely they looked, sunounded by -lhese soft, white lissue
A frown however was etched over her brow. She was puzzled. Why were they sent to her? shoes had
such a story to tell! As she fingered the blue satin with a gloved hand, she recalled their story.

She remembered how it had Eined that day, forcing her to take shefter in the little haberdashery. The
blue shoes had been sifting in the shop window for as long as she could remember. Ever since she was a
little girt, she had seen the shoes at the display window. They had the palest blue saaps, shimmery and
sparkling, with tiny blue flowers at the toe. The heels, a good three inches high, wBte a beautiful darker shade
of blue. The shoes seerned to have a special relationship with her, for they wer€ her cornfort and solace in the
ever changing landscape of a busy and growing town. While the shabby buildings in the town had been
replaced by newer ones, and the people grew more sophisticated with each newfashion trend, the shoes had
always remained the same.

Somehow, Sara never had the time or chance to enter the small shop. That day, hor/ever, in the
shelter of the shop, with the rain beating outside, the shoes seemed to beckon her' Her heart started
pounding loudlyfor reasons she could not unde6tand. They had seemed to be calling out to her, begging her
io find out their secret. At that moment, she took a deep breath and asked, are these shoes for sale?'The
owner of the shop, a petite, silver-haired lady froze, while her duster fell from her hands. She shook her head,
while she quickly hobbled away, mumbling, "Theyre not for sale. Theyre not for sale."

Sara had picked up the feather duster; her curiosity totally arouied now. By then, she determined to
find out the story ot the shoes. As she retumed the old lady's duster, she introduced herself. She recalled how
the old lady gave a litue gasp, while her eyes widened and started to tear. Her expression had started to
softened as well. lt still confused Sara that he. name could have such an effecl on a stanger-

Sara then asked her about the shoes again, and why they had remained unsold and on display all
those years. The old lady hesitated before answering. There was a look of sonow in her eyes, and it was
obvious that the blue shoes reminded her oI a painful time she had gone through. Sara had not wanted to
place the old lady in a spot, and she felt guilty for doing so, so she apologised and tried to change the subjecl
However, to her surprise, the old lady had insisted on telling her the story.

Sara still remembeted how sad the old lady looked as she told her the story behind the shoes. The old
lady talked about her daughter, and how she had gotten engaged to a wealthy and afnuent man. Her
daughter had been really happy, and loved the idea of a new comfortable liie, but had been teribly ashamed
of her mother who was a lowly saleswoman, unable to provide the luxurious and extravagant things the
daughter desired. As her trcdding drew closer and closer, the daughter gradually transformed Fom a simple'
workingdass girl into a modern, sophisticated woman who feft that her mothe. embanassed her' She did not
want io have any association with her uninteresting and impoverished mother who was old-fashioned and had
outdated values.

The old lady had insisted on her daughter wearing a more traditionally designed dress' and that she
followed the'tl.aditional bridal rules'. Her dauqhter scoffed at her mothe/s ideas and had retused to adhere to
such pn'milive c stoms. This had led to a huge argument, which eventually led to a huge falling out between
the old lady and her daughter.

Hor.,/ever, in spite of the falling out, the old lady had still wanted to give her daughter a wedding gift.
Ihe old lady had told Sara how she had spent her all her savings to buy a pair of shoes for her daughter' The
shoes had been her wedding gift to her daughter. They \./ere blue - her daughte/s favourite colour. The old
lady had chosen the shoes iJit was similar to a designer pair her daughter had wanted. She had given her
daughte. the shoes to wear for the wedding, bot her daughter had retused to wear lhem, claiming that they
she had also refus€d to talk to her mothet again'
were cheap and had absolutely 'no class" Mortified'
to the old lady as sh€ continuod on witi her
Tho old lady was heart-broken sara's heart went out
put tne utue in h€r shop window and that as long
storv. The old lady tolO ner Oaugnter tnaiitre-wo'ia "troes bv he''
il1;'J;:;;ffi' tt"io"igt'te' \
alwavs be Elcom€d
and lovEd

Sara remembored watcfiing th€ old lady as she

c{ied Sh€ had comtoned the old lady' and quickly
sara rernembered talkins to th€ old
!",iti".iilsiJ i"ror."o"t tn? iieltoo' *ts getting naried was still something
ladv about hot.v she telt. nnnougn "' ;"J pL;nea hti *taiing to. ryrq{ol' there
o6n "n"
sireni-nriire sara was tatkins, but . she manased to offer h6r, her
ftiriii]iiJ'ii"tiv frr
sadness in ner heart' l;ping that one dav' the old lsdy would be
ilil'",,,t rr"t"it". 5"." fiad left that day
reunited with her daughter agah
she could not help but ruin her flawless make up
As Sara rem€mbefed that day she met the old lady,
*n h"lE#-s:# p,liJ ,p $," u"j"trlr "no!", puotlO i" to rnt'y tt'e old lady had sent her this pair of blue
pounding hoart' she
il;;.';;.;ilAtttlh, norctJ irt" nite at tne bottom of the box with a
tttis t,nJls;e i"tt"o to
"rre her tears flowing down all the way to her
oDened the creased papet """p'
"na read
lirgeous wfiite wpdding gown The note had
"Dealost Sara,
you did not know m.e.lhen' I know tvho you wsrc' I
I am than^iut lor the day you enteil,d ny shop Though
(nutdnl bolieve mv ears wnen you taihli i;u' ;;;"' 6
l n happy vou did t think wu should know that
yiu were ne nrs lervn I have ever tdd that story to
me not to give
After wu had left that day t lhought about what you had said Do you still @membet2 You told
'and that reattv ancourased me t atso
;;";iH;7;;i;;;;ili ;;;:'"J;i;;; a"v" in
*Yk(,'!: did not appcciate
remembet thdt me r"n
totd vou ly:Ildaughter
vou b wedt ror vour weddins ! know vou tt trcasu'e and
;;;:;;;-;;6 Ihoushi td giu"
aiireciate tnese snoes' aid that you will leam to lovo them
***'i;;';; bide
ir.'oaiit*" i'iiiii",
ani t at'av" oeti*e that on hor weddins dav' every
you had
";;';t;t oM,
should have 'somelhing iJi,-i"^"lniw n^i*"a' somelhing blue'' I rcmember how
you, goni-iuii" poai necktace (somothing..otd' weanng an exquisit@
told me thdl you were using"o,"thing
wetbino oown lsomethinq nevl ana bohijnii v[i' ii
ii"ia *it (som;thing bonowed) But you seemod
i:H';,&i;;;;;;:;i;; Br," so r'',"t sh to wu mv deat "smnd daushter'
Yout pationl and lonvsuffedng g@ndmolher'

Ptease tell your mdher I still tove het and am waiting for her'"

She was hope{ul and oplimjstic' and

That dav, Sara walked down the aisle confident and conteried
thorsh li fi;ii;r"rffi#il;v; il i;-lt ;;-|; Jii" urul srro"s had tausht her so much about
ft"ue t"ny to't 6 tell she felt as if they
lire in such a
had changed
short while. and she w"" fr* tn.y "tol,ies had come full ci'cle As she
titfle bit. r" irt..V"" oi n", g;"ndmother, eveMhing
her, even if it was only a"ur" day' and.she
walked down the aisle towards her an;io,-"'Jioot, s'L "tiled
to hersetf lt was her v€dding
it.i Jlano-"unr" oro p"a'r-",-tt'ein"* '""ading gown' her bonowed veil and her lovelv' blue

A darkened room. The curtains arc drawn. The sun has set A figure huddled by a huge solid black
mass-it seems to be an armchair. The air is cool, a mere 28 degrees. The solitary creaking of the elecl.ic
fan's motor cuts through the silence- Listen caretully and you can hear the air-conditioner calmly puffing away
to itsetf.

I cannot wait lo close my eyes for I have had a bad day...

I have a bird's eye view over the place. lt seems to vaguely resemble tandom computer games that I
have played before. Everywhere, there is this sparkly, tingly star dust. I can almost imagine hearing a
twinkling noise whtn lhappen to look in the direction of a particular place. "This way to the Town of ''the
signpost screams- Another signage jostles lor my attention, "Bo-peep's Place", and as though to emphasize
its point, a shiny anow was squirming in the leftward direction- I see Mother Goose smiling jovially at me lrom
behind her golden spectacles. I meet Jack at a corner. I skittle past Georgieporgie, nanowly missing the
gaggle of crying girls. Three Blind Mice bumped into me and mumbled their apologies. I nearjy got the shock
of my life when I saw tlvo children tumbling down the hill... after which they got up and apparently seemed
alright and walked awayl I chanced upon a straw house, a stick house and a brick house. And then appeared
the most delicious looking house of all-a gingerbread house. I was in the act of stepping closer to it and
inspecting it when I was rudely woken from my reverie by a sh.ill


Blurry-eyed, I walked out of the room and left my 'unfinished dream' behind

Today the teacher asked us what we would like to be wheo we grow up. I did not know the answer
and I was laughed at.

Angry, sad and hurt, I came home and went at once to the room to think

Iwould become a professional singer and everyone would want to know who I am They would like my
songs and my singing. lwould be critically acclaimed. And they would not laugh at me--ever again;

Or I would become an author and create my own magical best-selling series. I would earn lots of
money and I would have the money to buy the things that I need and if I have enough' what I want;

I would become an athlete and climbing would be my sport l would be so good at it that I would
represent my coun!ry. I would try to do my country, my team and myself proud. lwould win some prizes. I
might even get into the top three positions. Everyone would want to be my friend They might even want my
autograph -.;

Oa I would open my very own shop or stall. lwould cook delicious food and earn rave ratings from
food critics; or I could create my own items to sell, like customised clothing and apparel or stationery and start
a new kend. I could be a kendsetter! Or start up a business that would take the market by storm and begin an
'economic revoluiion'!

ln my thoughts, I can achieve everything and anything l am, all at once' a singer, an author, an
athlete and an enhepreneur. I am good at eveMhing that Ido lwin many prizes and accolades lam known
all over the world. And I am well-liked. Many people support me---€specially my family My brand name
competes with all the other famous brand names in the world lt is not difficulHn my worid that is.
t ffi $ vr,ms v'nnos r,vorus m $
smile-though small that it is. I stop
I am reaily comforted by these thoughts. I relax. I give a satisfied
crying... But, I hive spent m,_rCh energy thinking about all this improbable things. I am tired. I slowly lose my
[;in;f thought as my eyelids grow heavy and my body weary' I finally give in and I fall asleep
It is a diferent day. A different time. And I am of a different age. I suddenly find that I do not treat boys
the same way I used to some years back. They no longer are my'soccer buddies'' I blush when I play
basketball wit-h the guys. I can hardly look at them straight into their eyes when I speak to them-l'm more
interested in thek sh;;s... Or my shoes, or the ground. Though I do not like the V,/ay some boys flirt, I do not
tell them so. Rather, I avoid them. I show concern for a particular pe6on, but I do not dare io tell him the truth,
the real reason behind my actions. For I am afraid-l am afraid that he does not feel the same way

initiate the relati;nship. I fe€l good. I like myself. I do not feel awkward. I have confldence. I walk with a spring
in my step knowing ihat he;ctually likes me too l smile. I laugh l am more mysell than ever' I have no
inhibition; for I do n;t fear rejection. lt all does not matter to me for I am not scared. I dAIg to be myself'

Some$mAs, I can even imagine myself being the heroine from a film o. a show or a book that I have
just seen or read. i pretend to be her-alt her good traits but less bad ones..l can do things that I usually do
joy of
not do. I can save the world. I can experience emotions that I have not experienced-love, loss and the
reconciliation. I can be anything that I want to be. I can do anything that I want to do. And in the end, I will
always triumph over 'evil forces'.

ln my world, everyone is beautiful and able-bodied. Diseases will not exist. Accidents and injuries will
be unheard of. There wili be no such thing as negative emotions like jealously, sadness, sorrow and anger.
Anxiety will not exist as there,4ould be nothing to worry about And love, would always be requited'

ln my world, studying is not everything- Whether or not one attains a degree is not a concern'
Everyone studies v'/hat they want, when they want to.

stress is non-existent. The traits that are the most important ale one's chaaacter, behaviour and
attitude. we would not be discriminated by our skin colour, by our race and religion, by our academic ability,
by our physical ability o. by our physical appeamnce.

And yet, after a thorough search ot my skull and my heart; afte. looking at the empty corners of these
places where the answer doe; not even exist, I know that I will never do all this and everything that I wish for
will not happen in real life. lwill never be like that. ln,.act, I have never been like that. The world would also
never be like that. For it is too perfect, too imaginary, too good .

How is it possible that I always think of the impossible when I am in my favourite place? It is simply
absurd. sometimes, I even chid myselffor thinking such thoughts for they are totally unrealistic. And every so
often, I wonde. whether l'm going crazy or whether I have schizophrenia ..

I reckon that it is because ! feel safe when I am in it- lt is and has always been my sanctuary' lt
comforts me, shelters me and protects me. lt is like a'mothed to me A second home-my second home And
the best thing about it is that it is mobile. I can'carry' it with me wherever I go and whenever I need to escape
from the cruelties of reality, I would 'take' it out and nose-dive straight into it

It has accompanied me through my life, though at different stages of my life I used it in different
amounts. lt stores my thoughts, my fantasies, my dreams, my experiences, my feelings, my songs, my life lt
is me, and I am it-this hollow empty thing that sits between my ears which is undoubtedly full of nothing and
most likely to be full of dust and cobwebs. This thing that contains cabinets upon cabinets stuffed full of pape.
which catalogue my life. This place where it is so cluttered that sometimes I wished I had upgraded to a new
Version so that all my experiences can be recorded in soft copy. This is the place where everything I have
said is recorded. where eveMhing that I have not said is kept even closer to my heart-in a locked drawer to
which only I know the hiding place of the key... This place where time slows down like sand that tfickles down
an hourglass in slow motion. This place where I love to be...

My favourite place is inside my head... where I can be free, where I can be me

b $$ Qunnnsu,msr,rnnosm S

t l

s You see them everywhere along Orchard Road on Sundays. Foreign domestic workers, employed by
1 in 7 households, have become a norm here. One would think that they would be treated as well as other
foreigners living here- Alas, my naivet6 was crushed when I interned at the United Nations Development Fund
for Women (UNIFEM) in Singapore last yea..
( l My internship proiect focused on the mistreatrnent ol many female foreign domestic workers, or
)t "maids" as lhey are commonly called, ranging f.om psychological abuse to physical or sexual abuse.
i Lea.ning about theirproblems, my project group decided to look for ways to aid their plight.

It took numerous detouE before we came up with a multi-pronged approach. We b€an by going to
primary schools to give talks to the students on appropriate behaviour towards maids. However, reaching out
r to maids themselves was tougher than we anticipated. We decided to print and distribute thousands of cards
with contact numbers of embassies and aqencies offering help-lines as well as tips on what to do in the event
of abuse.
However. we realised that we needed to reach a wider audience. So we chose to produce a short
video clip featurinq interviews of maids who were staying in a shelter foJ domestic workers
I will never forget my interview with Luzviminda. lt was the most moving moment of my p.oject. Her
words kansported me into her life and struggles, and ltruly felt lor her- He. tears brought tears of my own-
She told me how she had been swindled into working as a maid- She spoke of having an envious new mother
for an employer who falsely accused of he. theft. She spoke of waiting over a year for the police to close her
) case. Finally, she spoke of her son, crying dovm a crackly phone line for his mother to come home-
That day, I lamented for Luzviminda and her young son- I was incensed with ihe wild accusations
thrown at her by a spiteful employer and outraged by her lack of rights in my country.
Luzviminda gave a face to issues I had become desensitised to. All I could do was to offer solace in a
hug and shared pain. Her eyes told me my little acts were appreciated, yet I fell a sense of helplessness that I
could not do more. Questions ran through my mind - could loreign domestic workers be covered under
It Singapore's Women's Charter? Could the Legal Aid Bureau offer help?

( Before my internship, I had considered reading law in university. Howeve., that interview with
Luzviminda was a turning point. Many in society need help, and I would not want to lead my life ignoring it. A
career in law would not only be interesting and challenging but meaningful as well. An education in law would
'I equip me with the prcfessional skills to offer more than a hug o. words of comfort. I know many youth have
It idealistic ambitions only tc change course later, but I am determined not to fo.get Luzviminda's eyes and her
d story.

tr} $ Gunnnsu,onosunnnsm ( a

l\rao Zedong's revolutionary exhortation that women held up half the sky in patriarchal China st
resonates with relevance in modern Singapore. For without the women who contribute to the various circles
which we call the family and community, the sustenance of our society would be impossible, let alone tt
progress we ve enjoyed for decades.

But what makes the role of women particularly special? lt must be noted that despite having made
rapid progress over the years, Singaporean women still continue to fulfill traditional concepts of wifehood ar
motherhood while seeking the freedom that comes with academic and economic fulfillment. That is to say lh-,
female caree.ists or workers who strive for excellence in their jobs are not only expected to marry and
manage a family evehtually but also replicate the same standards in their roles of wife, mother and daughte
As paragons o{ versatility, it is certainly worth paying tribute to the countless women who go on to tireless -
contribute to various social, political and economic fronts.

Secondly, women have certainly come a long way since independence. The number of women
politics, higher education and those holding top corporate positions in various businesses and industries has
risen dramatically into the 2lsrcentury With greater empowerment and participation, women are in a bette'
position to shape their community with their expertise and influence.

The women who give

Perhaps the most visible aspect of a woman's contributions would be to her own family, which forn
the basis of the community and country. Women as caregivers ofthe young do more for the community wh€
they provide a stable home environment for the nurturing of an entire generation of children than do anyone
else, for the future of Singapore can only be at its brightest when its tuture guadians are raised with tf
support and encouragement of a loving home.

And it is an undeniable fact that when it comes to childcare responsibilities, women make up the vast
majority of full time stay-at-home parents, not to mention the mothers who undertake part-time to fulltim
careers while bringing up their children to be the best they can. Sacrifice would be an appropriate word here,
for who is not familiar with the Singaporean career woman who forgoes any earliea aspirations she had in her
profession for the sake of her growing family?

As volunteers who dispense of their time and seavices to various causes, women are cedainly
invaluable to the smooth functioning oftheir own community. Women, whether students, housewives, wo.ker
or retirees, participate actively in diverse associations which allows them to not only give back to tf
community but also to endow others with the capacity and inspiration to further enrich society in their own

A fitting example would be the female volunteeF who are membels of Community based groups sucn
as the Women's Executive Committees and the Singapore Women's Association, where they are given
opporkrnities to contribute 10 women's welfare and help enrich the lives of themselves and others "through
diverse range of cultural and recaeational activities, and community services."

The women who empower and enable empowement

"Singapore belongs to the women as much as to the men. Never have lhe oppoftunilies to contibute be€
befter, especially as political leaders and activrsts. Regardless of ou background and ability, each and every
one of us women can make a difference. So, step forwad and be counted."

l\4rs Lim Hwee Hwa, Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister of State for Finance and Transpon.
sums up the necessity of women's initiative and our ability to empower oLlr country. lndeed, following PrirnE
$ $ Q unnns u,ocosunnos m i3
irinister Lee Hsien Loong's call for mo.e women to participate in politics, there has been an increase in
number of female Members ol Parliament (MPs) The General Elections held in May 2006 saw an 8yo
increase in the number of women MPs. 17 ol the 85 MPs, or 20 percent of them, are wdmen, of which four
serve as political office holders, a significant enough number in our small city state. Just by their willingness to
establish ihemselves in the predominantly male world of politics, female politicians encourage greater politjcal
awareness and participation in local polilics as wqll as in the alfairs of their local community

Certainly, the female politicians and other community authorities arc the catalyst of change and
empowerment in the community. Women MPs are well-known for their inclination to pay great attention to
concerns affecting women, and through their positions as leaders work towards the betterment of the lives of
women, children and families while bringing awareness to social issues that concern them. For instance, local
female politicians such as Dr Amy Khor are firm believers in engaging and reaching out to Singaporean
women, empowering them by formulating their opinions into policies and promoting economic independence
amongst women th;ough education and employment opportunities, as the women's wing of the People's
Action Pa.ty (PAP) righttully claim with pride.

Forging togethe.ness within the community

- Fertr]aps one of the best showcases of women's contributions to the community along with thelr
strengths can 6e lound along racial and religious lines. singapore might be a multi-racial society, but the
manialtiances and organizations that offer helping hands or provide support with a special locus to a certain
ethnic g.oup would tunc{ion at their best if their own membefs banded together. And women certainly play a
leading role in the running ofsuch programmes.

For example, The Singapore tndian Development Association (SINDA) organises literacy programmes
for lndian mothers and housewives without a basic understanding of English as well as a women's
empowerment programme which aims to promote setf-confidence and independence among women so that
they a.e able io better manage their family relationships and develop their personal strengths. All these
activities are often conducted by female instructo.s for women who put the skills learnt to further enhance the
well-being of their families.

The women who create, head or work for the various self-help griups gathe. together for the good of
their racial community, furthering st.engthening the network ofties thai supports the racial gfoup from within.

The Fulu.e
As of 2006, Singapore is on equal footing with other wealthy and developed countries' wherc social
progress is keen and economic advancement the norm for most levels and groups in society. surely women's
proipects have never appeared brighter in an increasingly economicalry vibrant and libe€l society, but at the
same time we witl undeniably have to undedake more challenging roles both in the present and future within
,.{ill bring
the community. Changing d;mographics, along with conflictjng expectations of the female identity
new issues for the woman playing an active role in her community, and as MP Ms lrene Ng puts it, \rr'omen
must be prepa.ed to take in dive.se views and respond to the needs of our changing society "

resources oi serviies (such as greater healthcare costs) could increase. As more eldedy suryive, and when
demographics indicate rising numbers of unmarried persons, many morc women, particulaaly the older
generition and the tower in;ome bracket, will find themselves in the vulnerable position of being old and
iingle or widowed, with few financial resources to fall back on in old age. lnc.eased burdens might be made
on generations of women who with limited time and money support their retired parents and
grandparenis along with their own children as fewer potential workers are born to take responsibility for the
economicallY inactive.

Secondly, there have been mixed opinions about women,s roles that will persist into the futu.e,
women are called to be productive both at work and at home. society wants modern career women who eafn
money fo. their familieg and contribute to the economy but it seems we also want traditional wives and
mothers who devote themselves to their families and thus sr-rstain the community's stability- But trade-offs and
unforeseen consequen@s will come along with cooflicting standards- A successfully educated singaporean
woman now has to juggle several goats such as completing her studies and doing well in her iob while
fulfilling kaditional expe-ctations of devoting more of herself to her family as compared to her brothers oI her
husband. ls this at all possible?
O t? O unnos rams uroms m (',
As pillars of their community, women in the futu.e, young or old' rich or poor' able or disabled' will ou
of necessity and willingness be more tightly woven into lhe fabric of the clmmunity. They will be engaged ar
prime economic contribubrs as Singapore prospers, as leaders in a political climate more inclusive towards
women. and as the focus of social debates especially with the inescapable rise of single-hood and declininc
fertility. The country's women would surely find themselves increasingly instrumental to the solutions societ
offers for the dilemmas we face in the future, but with greater involvement comes greater power ano
influence, something the women who heid up at least halflhe sky for millennia could very well have excellent
use for

Deforestation lssues in Asia

When I was presented with satellite images of the remaining forest cover in some countries during a
ceography lesson in Secondary school, the image of fire blazing in the forests came to my mind. Yet soon
after, a cold shrill went down my spine.

By conddctino a simple research on deforestation on the lnternet, the data provided screams that
approximately gO% oi the forest in the Philippine archipelago has been bulldozed in recent years! With much
m;dia and iniernational €ttention placed on the loss of foresled area, one must agree that deforestation is an
acute problem especlally in Asia. Efiorts to prevent and mitigate the effects ot deforestation inclode entitling
people with land ownership rights and engaging the community in ecotourism. However, the effectiveness of
such measures is debatable.

Defo.estation is commonly referfed to as the use of the forest by cutting wood for fuel, subsistence
farming through slash-and-burn techniques and even la.ge sca'e commercial logging. These activities cause
a temporal removal of forest cover. Deforestation is also known as forest decline, fragmentation or
degradation and land use conveFion. Deforestation is considered as an ecologic€l disaster as it reduces the
bio-diversity of the land. without trees trapping precipitation, deforested aleas are now playground slides for
surface run-off which send water directly to the oceans. This decreases the rate of evapotranspiration and
amount of rainfall received. There is evidence in North and Northwest China whe.e deforestation has led to a
drop in annual precipitation by a third between the 1950s and 1980s. Plant g.oMh is inhibited by the lack of
rai;fall and land may be left barren in extreme cases. Defo.estation also directly affects the soil quality
through leeching processes. The livelihood of subsistence farmers may eventually be affected when they are
unable to harvest their crops.

By tracing the root cause of deforestation, one will find that deforestation is often due to logging
activities. This highlights the much debated topic on whether short term economic gains should precede that
ofthe long term gains from environment conservation.

Examining this issue at a micro-level, one may accuse the iltegal loggers of thei. Iack of concern for
jn countries such as
the environment.-They exploit the land by logging trees to meet the demand for timber
china and lndia. Logging appears to be the most convenient method to generate income as timber is readily
availabte for the vi1;ger; in the forests. With an unregulated market, the problem of "The Commons' arises.
There is no monetari value is attached to this common resource and hence, no direcl costs involved. This
inevitably leads to exlessive logging beyond the rate of.enewalofthe trees. Fu.thermore, the conservation of
natural resources is not perceivtd ;s a priority amongst those that exploit it. Instead, basic necessities, such
as food, health and education, take pfecedence. lhis is not surprising since subsistence loggers are often
from low income groups in developing nations who view the lack of basic necessities a greater threat
compared to the e{fects of environmental degtadation

There have been many recommendations by expefts to combat the issue of deforestation- one of the
suggestions includes introducing property rights or rights of access to natural resources foI the villagers. This
soivls the problem of'The co;mons' by fbrcrng farmers lo internalise the cost of the damages they do to
their tand. When farmers are bestowed ights, they are encouraged to engage in long-term planning of the
use of land to ensure its longevity in bringing income for the family and {uather generations ahead. Faamers
will have more incentive to conserve the state of the land and engage in longer term agaicuhure activities. The
roots of the crops grown bind the soil and prevents soil erosion which is a common problem associated with
land degradation. Furthermore, engaging in agricultuaal activities may become a good substitute for the need
to work for commercial loggers. The size of the logging industry shrinks when the amount of available lan(
and pool of labour is constricted.

Even so, encouraging the introduction of rights to the people may still not be feasible as logging stil'
remains a more lucrative trade. lndonesia proves that timber still remains as one ofthe most lucrative trade ir
the country as she is the world's largest exporter of tropical timber. The logging industry contributes US$5
billion annually to the national income. The aftractiveness of the proflts involved continues to act as a barrier
for the loggers to stop their trade.

Another recommendation suggests that conseNation projects can be funded and initiated in the
forcsts as localvillagers are often incapable of baring the direct costs involved. Even so, not all conservalior
projects are embraced or carried out successfully- A classic example is in the Nam Ngum catchment area ir
the Lao People's Democratic Republic. The conservation programme to develop an integrated agroforestry
system was only supported by 20 to 25% of the people in the village fiver years after it was introduced. Thi.
may be due to the lack of understanding of the importance of environment conservation- However, feedbacl
collected by the Mekong River Commission, Bangkok, reflects villagers' views that the extra labour involved
generated instfficient profits tojustiry their efforts. This shows a conflict between the aims of the villagers and
those of consejvati-on projects. Hence, such policies may not be welcomed and supported by the people.

By enlarging our view to a macro-level, one may find fault in the govemments for their systematic
failure to enforc€ laws'to reduce the country's appalling rate of deforestation. Legal timber harvesting affectr
700, 000 to 850, 000 hectares of forests per year in lndonesia but, with illegal logging, the overall logged arei
jumps to 1.2 to 1.4 million hectares . Even though an official ban has been erected on the export of raw logs
frcm lndonesia, there are reports that timber is still regularly smuggled to Malaysia, Singapore and othe
neighbouring countries. This problem arises from the presence of underpaid government seryants an(
cunning businessmen who overlook environmental regulations in the case of self-interest-

One cannot underestimate the power of politrcal commitment. Political will is essential to initiat(
projects to help dive.sify the economy to decrease the dependence on the logging industry. The governmen,
may have to intervene and limit the destruction caused by the large scale commercial loggers which
undoubtedly, create the most extensive destruction. Political commitment must be dedicated to ensure tha
illegal logging is stamped out. This is imperative as illegal logging constitutes approximately 75% of th(
logging industry in lndonesia. Thus, political commitment is essential in kick-starting environment
conservation effods-

Political stance on this issue is also important in shaping the minds of the people and promoting
sustainable development. An example is, paradoxically, China, which is one of the largest consumers or
lndonesian timber. Previously, the government enlisted the work of every healthy citizen aged from eleven k
sixty to plant three to five trees a year. Though the effectiveness of this project may be questioned, the
Chinese government claimed that at least 1 billion trees have been planted in China every year since '1982.
Even though this project has been dropped, China still declares March 12 as its Planting Holiday. This show!
that political will is like a muscle that is capable of inducing positive changes jn environment conservatior.
when exercised correctly-

Setting our sights further in the quest for effective measures to prevent land degradation and for lan(
rehabilitation, one can find greener pastures in ecotourism- The EcotoLlrism Society defines ecotourism as
'tesponsible kavel to natural areas which conseNes the environment and improves the welfare of the loca'

Ecotourism adds commercial value to environmental conservation. lt encourages inhabitants to protect

the natural surroundings in its most pristine form for those seeking naturai beauty. lt generates tourist dolla,
both directly and through peripheral activities in cottage industries p.oviding both a form of emptoyment and ..
source of income for the villages. As ecotourism does not require large expense of land and prohibits the
logging of trees, it is suitable for smaller communities living in the forests. An example is the Sukau Rainfores
Lodge in Malaysia featuring jungles, paddy fields and rivers. B0% of the staff is local so as to ensure loca
participation. They usually work as cooks or tour guides. Furthermore, a free medical check up and treatment
for Sukau villages was held in 2003. This shows that there is a possibility that businesses can create .
positave impact on the community. Ecotourism allow the peopie to attain economic progress whilst livin!
alongside the forests- This shows that there is a sohltion to both economic conservation and economic

(} (? Or,rnnosr,rnnns,aronmm
Centre purchase tree seedlings
retraUititative aspeAs too. Tfie Sukau Ecotourism Research and Developmenl
ii"r-it'" r"""f tommunity and encourage guests to rehabilitate a sixty-four acre site: This shows active
pirii"ip"tion uv ,""ponsibie businesses can work towards reversing the effects on the land caused by logging.

No doubt the ideals of ecotourism seek to create positive changes to the environment; in reality,
group of consumers By catering
actuar ouicome may oe different. Ecotourism serves a small, albeit growing,
posh facilitieq large scale development may have to be
ioiin. conu.ntionjr tourists that seek luxury and
limitation to the amount of
Ir,]"0 out. ifri" in"uitably undermines the environment. This shows that there is avillages ofren need external
il""ri" g"in" progiess that can be achieved lrom ecotourism. ln addition,
""0 ihe project. without retevant skilts, expertise and capitat, villagers may be i -equipped
O-Jup "rirt induitry. Funds are needed to build guesthouses and communication lines are
neeJed io promote tne site. The ;uccess of Sukau Rainforest Lodge may be attrjbuted to the expertise of its
."n"ging liruao, NIr Albert Teo who has relevant job experience in the tourism industry. This shows that
iiie," i" itiri o"nie, tor vifiages to eradicate the pove.ty trap on their own and they may eventually rely on
iogging " fr
in"ot" again. He-nce, with difticulties in setting ecotourism in a country, the aims of ecotourism
may not be successfully achieved.

olobalisation and hiqher demand for qoods and services, it is certainly a myth that should be debunked Many
iouon."nt" t"i" heed from tho;e in Tokugawa Japan during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries'
it .ng"g.d in long-term planning to halt and hopefully, reverse the effects of deforestation from
pr"uiousl"ntrri"-s 6y the use oi timber and engaging in efficient land use. Japan now boosts as
"ubstituiing friendly country and paves the way in the development of sustainable
lne of the most environmentaliy not be
i""t'norogi"". rti" example servis to show that iong term planning is necessary and benefits may
immediaie but with dete;mination and patience, the goal.of restoring our environment can be achieved.
Oetorestation has been an issue of concern for a loig time and with accelerating rates of deforestation
recently. it deflnitely cails for attention

qp $$ unm\ /oRDSVurRDs oe (1

ln this modern complicated world, ASEAN seems to be a big unreachable association which deals
with grown-ups' politics and economics. !n our small perspective of life and global world, ASEAN looks as
though it has no direct effects to us, youths. Well, let me share with you my personal view To me, ASEAN is
an identity, a sense oftogetherness and never-ending similarities in differences.

I was fifteen when I made a lifechanging decision of studying abroad in Singapore' leaving my family
behind in lndonesia. I had never felt lonelier ihan my first day in boarding school. My mind was full o{
uncertainties and fears. I barely passed my nights withoul bursting into tears.

To my sr-rrprise, I was welcomed warmly to a family * the ASEAN scholars' family. From orientation
activities to the.sharing of experiences by the seniors, new scholars were led to discover their strengths and
independence. Amazingty, scholars from different AsEAN countries got together through the journey with our
broken-and-nolsogoad English. I think at that time, we all figured out that there were so much more than just
different nationalities and languages. We felt as lhough we were one, with ASEAN pledged as our identity

At first, this new environment gave a weird sensation- I would never have imagined eating dinner
together with a Filipino, a Thai and a Vietnamese, all at one table. Yet, I felt a sense of togetherness thal
stuck us together, creating an understanding beyond races and nationalities lt was as though at that moment
everyone realised that we were all in this together and we could depend on each othea because we
understood others feehngs.

I used to think that sooner or later the international friendships wo.uld face a road block of differences. I
can say that we did find differences but we found a surprising amount of similarities. After all we were of the
same age and iong distanced neighbours. I learned that we cried over the same Korean dramas, idolised the
same bands, and faced failures in our first months heae. Even so, we did appaeciate the differences we hao
by teaching each other general sentences like greetings in our language With that, we embraced both the
similarities and differences that existed-

My experjence is what I think ASEAN is a{l about on a small scale. I realise what I had learned for the
past two years was what ASEAN countries received from the association too.

The significance of the acronym 'ASEAN' eludes most people walking down the st.eet. One will b€
lucky to find a passer by who actually knows what ASEAN stands for, much less what ASEAN means to him.
l, sadly, was one of those people until Education intervened and made me dig a little deeper anto the activities
and aims ofthe organization. I am glad I did, and I can confrdently tell you now exactly what ASEAN means tc
me, a young third-geneEtion citizen sheltered under its umbrella.

ASEAN, first and foremost, is an idea in action. The purposes of ASEAN are, truth to be told, overtl)
idealistic. [,/any social and economic issues have yet to be resolved. A aecent example is the 2007 Burmes€
anti'government protests, in which ASEAN was placed under inte.national scrutiny and criticism for
maintaining its commitment to the notion of nonjnterference, despite its aims to strengthen democracy anc
protect human rights and freedoms. However, I believe that even though ASEAN is idealistic, it is working t(
fulfil these ideals. ASEAN, io me, is not stagnant; it is m action. The ASEAN Charter, adopted just last year, is

$q3$\ nRDS\ nRDS\ rlRDs6{}
public. lt aims to ensure that all
evidence of the organization working towards improving the lives of the
iitt comply with ASEAN agreements or face penalty, thus abandoning the policy of non-
interference. This is an important step to finding peace and stability in the region'

ASEAN also repfesents unity. Ruled by the colonial powers lor centuries (even Thailand, though not a
made us
colony, did not escape loreign intervention), we never enjoyed true autonomy until much later. This
ASFAN was born as
moie'aware ot ttre n&d to p;event any other power f.om taking away our independence;
itre answer to ttrat need. coordinating as a region, we couoter-balance the influenc€ of the economic and
1 .itit.w suoemowers like china and the united states. Like ten chopsticks bundled together, we are had to
s Oieii.' rnOiviauaffv, however, we are insignificant. A united ASEAN benefits all. Agreements like the ASEAN
la Free Trade Area reap lhose benefits

lv after knowi;g in depth ;hat ASEAN is all about, these ive letters mean so much more to me than they used
l to. I have hope thateach year ASEAN will get closer to the South-East Asia all of us dream of'






C q? qD unRDS unrusr,rionns m S

an increasing raie in recent decades, and in future are l;kely to arise in "hot spots" such as Asia and Latin
Ame1ca bef;rd being rapidly transferred to Western countdes- ln Asia, SARS and the avian flu are examples
of such emergi4g dls-eases.ban Singapore find a role to capitalize on these developments ftom an economic
development perspective?

detrimental s"ocial consequences. Nevertheless, the development of more new infectious diseases can be
capitalized upon to boost singapore's biomedical and public health enforcement industries. The meny taces
in Singapore also have a paat to play in impaoving the efficacy of vaccines and cures'

To begin with, the increased infectious disease research necessitated by accelerated rates of
emergence oinew infectious diseases would greatly boost Singapore's already thriving biomedical sector;
Singa,-pore woutd merely need to maintain or incaease its current investment in biomedical sciences. Phase
tlvioi Singapore,s Biomedical Sciences initiative aims to establish Singapore as a 1eader in five disease
areas inclu-ding infectious diseases by attracting world class clinician scientists to singapore. To do so, we
have established strategic partnerships with muftinational companies to devise cures for infectious diseases.
ln January 2006, for instance, combinatoRx singapore, set up by Boston-based biopharmaceutical firm
combinatoRx Inc and the singapore Economic Development Board's (EDB) biomedical investment arm
Bio'One Capital, ag.eed to invest 5$32.6 million to develop drugs to combat infectious diseases 25
companies, including Eli Lilly, GlaxosmithKline and Novartis, currently have research centres or corporate
labo;atories in Singipore. Furthermore, the industrial output of the biomedical sciences sector has been
steadily increasing: having quadrupled from 5$6 billion in 2O0O to S$23 billion by end 2006, accounting fo.
ovef 5 per cent of singapore's GDP. ln 2008, the EDB brought in s$932 rnillion of investments in fixed assets
and s$245 million in total business spending for the industry. These examples and figures illustrate that
increased outb.eaks of new infectious diseases will likely trigger increased investments in infectious disease
research. Manufacturing output is slated to increase concomjtantly, given the trend of increasing
manufacturing output. The amount of investment and tevenue which could be generated' together with long-
term benefits of attracting international talent and collaboration- building a pool of skilled talent and keeping
updated with cutting-edge research in othe. countries- would definitely make Singapore a forerunner in
infectious disease research.

Furthermore, Singapore's multiracial polity has tremendous potential to facilitate the development of
vaccines and cures e{ficacious for specific genetic make-ups. ln 2003, a team of scaentists at the Mackay
Memorial Hospital, Taipei, found that South Chinese SARS victims possessed a va ant gene coding for a
protein HLA-B*4601 that increased the severity of SARS symptoms, and was absent in most European
populations, where few SARS cases were observed. The findings established that individuals or gtoups with
different genetic make-ups may tespond differently to new strains of infectious diseases; therefore, cures or
vaccines will most likely need to be tailored for specific genetic make-ups Local born Chinese of mainly
southern Chinese descent, indigenous ethnic Malays, local born lndians from both North and South lndia'
Eurasians and Southeast Asian or northern Chinese immigrants are some examples of the diverse ethnic
groups represented in Singapore. Because of Singapore's administrative efficiency and readily available
means of disseminating information to the general population, it will be easy for Singapore to raise public
awareness of the need for accelerated infectious disease research, solicit for contributions of DNA samples
from the population and distr'bute them to relevant research institutions for analysis. This would increase the
chance of Singapore successfully developing a range of ethnicity-specific cures for infectious diseases, which

C () Gr,rom\,oRDS\ nRDs6 (=e
--..,, . -^ m.i.. nrofits in the Dharmaceutical industry as the drugs would be in demand worldwide among
count es due to movement of
. lJr'i""""1i"i" br"ips, given that infec,tious diseases spread rapidly between
' peoPle.
trm..dcnt inlectious diseases would also generate economic spin-offs for the area of public health
^-r^,"""-lii"iii"""i"o technotogies for the expedient identjtication and quarantining ol infected individuals
ij"Jrjii, n,iir,rv p*"a. To ittust;te, in mid-April 2oo3 du.ing the SAR5 outbreak, Singapore was the first
:':;;;" ;"""il thermal imaqinq cameras adapted from military technology to monitor temperatures of
]|^il *r"irJ .i Cnanqi airpoi oicrossing its border with Malaysia. ST Electronics then received numerous
5ij-'i. ii"li"ri".. irom other Asian countries. Each device was priced at US$85 000. ln addition, to
a bird ffu test kit that could detect the
i.i"'u"i""i"" i^n"""ta, Iocal company Veredus Laboratories pioneered Organisation' and sold to
lli]r-"rrri" r" three hours. The technology was approved by the Wodd Heath disease screening industry can
ii"ii"!'i u'. Asia, the Middte East and Europe. Evidentiy, the infectious
.".iii"ira *oao *arket. singapore could take advantage of new infectious diseases to perfect its niche in
i""iJlr"l-r."rr".roou. aoaptinq ii to detect various symptoms and strains of viruses, thereby creating a
i"Jtli""n"-rr."ttt industry that would protect Singaporeans and satisfy global dem€nd for
.irr"nino uqrip{nent. Also, quick quarantine measures made possible by effective screening technology
*"rrJ r.i*ii itrr""t. lo pubiic health within Singapore. This would encourage continued travelling inio
iin-oaooie. wnener for woik or leisure, even dudng periods when infectious diseases are on the loose
that reduced travelling into the country can 'n
I"gioi ihL *ouro ,"auce the negative economic impact

economic oenefits from this trend because of its established research infrastructure, multinational
;;;;;;;hi"; and larqe qenetic pool easity available for analysis Past successes in marketing singapore-
researching infectious disease cures augur well for
i"""l"p"J'""*""'"g"tec-hnotogy and attracting companies
singapore must continue building its pool of
tn. iuii oi oion1"o'i"at scienjes in Singapor;. [.4ost importanly,
i"Lni"J "fo""f biomedical scientists to arive hdigeoous research etforts that wrll further afflrm singapore's
status as a world-class infectious disease reseaach hub

Singapore is an economy that is constantly remaking itself to best capitalize on the developments
around us.iryhat the study terms "emerging infeclious diseases (ElDs)" is yet another of these
Loong' "We must now rise up
from which our economy can benefit ln th; words of Pnme Minlster Lee Hsien
years of progress and
to the iatest challenge, and by remaking our economy, Iay the basis for many more
prosperity for Singipore." i-lowever to 'flnd a role' ior Singapore, we must first understand these
developments in full.
The study finds that ElDs are driven "largely by socio-economic, environmental and ecological
hidd;n ,cost of human economic divetopment." As such, diseases Iike SARS and the avian flu
and are
ui" ott"n ui"*aO as positive externalities, or the unintended third party spill over effects f'om under
lack of
consumption of meoi"ai services (vaccines or regular checkups). Alternatively, a.developing country's
livestock. or lack of
ability lo reseafch and develop vaccines, failure io educate farmeF in close contact with
to frat the spread of such diseases, may be possible causes of this positive exte'nality -
in these
"Oiiity l"u""a ov ,ioeFprovision of certain services \'vhatever the cause of the problem ' one thing is certain
iiconstitutes an instance of market failuae, and to resolve it would be to more efficiently run the economy
a solution. Firstly, in p.evention:
H;, ;;;; id.;ft itriee areas wnere ttre economy can be devetoped as undertake When such
Raising awareness ot the necessary precautions that those in Ellprone areas must

C t? Gunnos unnmr,r,onnso q)
precautions require medicar services, prevention wil arso entair making avairabre
vaccines and regurar
checkups affordabry. secondry, in rimiting the spread of ErDs by en-suring tne quict diagnoses"anl
quarantinlng of those infected, in line with the study's emphasis on tie -criticaineed
for health-monitorinol
Finally' in keating patienrs intected with ErDs to minimize the cost to society. r" o,c"i t"
spots', or """"rpiiit
these lhings, any sorution must arso be abrero accuratery identity where thesJ hot "ii'"
rtupione areal
are This will necessitate the 're-allocation of resources ior 'smart surveillance' of emerging oG""!! rr"t"pJt",
'.. -including targeted surveiflance of at-risk peopre to identify earry case crusters oipolentiatty new Eioi
belore their large-scale emergence." Of course, ii is here that singajore can Rnd its rote.

Firstly' to address the need to raise awarcness of preventative precautions, singapore

can rearn from
ll^l"rr qllldlls an e-heatth
in southeast Asia as a way to disseminate urge;t information to rocal
h"ads in devetoping countries at the grassroots tevet. Such an oniine portat woutd proviOi
l::^1"r:.:-1o -yl,:S:
rnTormaron on precaulions necessary to minimize the risk of the disease,
arert vilagers in .trot spots; ot the
need to obtain vaccinations, and alow vifiagers to schedure appointments for
rake this digitat informati;n widety available,'tire project coutd tie i" ti iir."riong
::yi:?:;_|"--.j9"r lo
Per unrkr programme, which aims to provide low-cost computing services to underoevelopeo
singapore wourd invest in providing severar low-cost taptops to viiage rteuo"-"t n" rowest
levels, and providing the basic education necessary to use them.

Secondly, to address lhe need for_health monitoring, efficient diagnoses and treatment,
could increase our existing investment to the buirding of ho;pitars aoroad,"as we
smaller-scale clinics as wefi, pe.haps modefied after the pory;rinic system. Ttrese
as expano tnis frj-iiio
crinics wourd be connected
+heatth portat,.which woutd alert med'icat woriers of any symploms reported by vi age
l"^1"_ anc,.drrect them accordrngry. This project wourd minimize the risk of thedisease
spreading by isoratiig
cases of infection and imposing quarantines, as well as collect vital research
information and data about the

Finafly, to address the need for treatment, singapore wourd invest in research
and deveropment
locaily, utilising the research and data obtained at the iredicar cent.es ao-aJ.
singapore as an R&b hub
wouh then develop and provide vaccines and treatments to its hospitalg and ;linics-overseas,
which wouid
this three-prong approach woutd buitd a comprehensive network inrougt wh-h
:g:]Y,f"l :::gntially, .hot spots',
1191-L" ."1n,,"ooruss the EtD probtem, identifying exchanging information, anO iroviOint
rrearment srmurtaneousry. Thus far, however, the most important qlestion
his yet to be asked - How wouri
this netwo.k benefit Singapore?

lncreasing.our medicar prcsence overseas wourd draw attention to singapore

as an internationafiy
renowned medical hub. capitarizing on this attention, rnvestment to
the domestic medicar tourism sector (h6
provision of high quality healthcare to affluent tourists in
search of treatmenty would bring in increased retuins.
The..research and devetopment of vaccines in Singapore *orlJ p;;u
medicines-and high-revenue exports ofthese tr"_"t.u-nt". tn aooition, tne piogram'mes
;; for iumerous p"te;i; ;;
in deveroping couniries
could be tied to trade deals oivind sindapo.e firms freer access to theie
Holdrngs and crc,more redite- gro-unosior ror"ign inu""tr"ni. FiJry, -uii
anC proviOing- temasei
ri"iirport"nfly, the prevention
:l1,.lj:"lT::l q EIDS.wi minrmize posirive exiernatities and wetfaie to io"t"ty, hetping to create a
nearlny economic environment, providing high_value added employment "oit"in clinics ;nd nir"p,"lt"f" uO."O,
ensuring the resources are besi altocetea to maintaining a dise;s;fr;
;o;kf;;ce, and creating the stabte
conditions required for herping underdeveroped co.ntri;s devetop an
economy_ lndeed, Singapore can most certainly capitalize - "au"ni"g.
on these Oevelopmenti.
to, the entire regionar

O q"?
Cu,oRDS unnoswonosm q?

An eight-year-old scribbles on the wall in his room excitedly, leaving p.oud scrawlings of trees and
people. When he turns seventeen, he paints the wall in varying shades of red and black, a supposed
reflection of his maturity, a sign of rebellion, a precursor to adulthood. He turns twenty-eight, and decides to
get rid of the colours he now finds hideous, whitewashing it all away. Yet when he is sixty, he embellishes the
wall with wallpaper, preferring the comforting patterns that richly adorn the room.

One wall, yet with the many transformations it undergoes over time as a percon grows. One political
scene, yet with-the many transformations it undergoes over time as a country grows.

As a cosntry grows, so does its political scene - the latter is a perfect mi.ror of the countrfs situation,
the country's society, and the countqy's maturity. When a country is first formed, in its teething stages, its
political scene is similarly immature. The scribbles on the wall are simply insuffrcient to even put in place a
basrc system to bring about social stability. ln limor Leste, a newly lormed country in Southeast Asia in 2002,
its political scene was anarchic when it tirst started out, with the military even having to inteNene, juggling the
problems of.ebel militants and an identity-starving people-

When a country's political scene begins to stabrlise, il is only often after a protracled period of time,
lvhen its people have begun to mature, and with the requisite factors of a stable democracy already in place,
such as education, and a comfortable standard of living. Only.then can the full benefits of a stable political
system be savoured, with the government in power focused only on the welfare of the people, and the
efficient running of a country. ln Singapore, after many years of political struggle and economic hardship, it is
now nearang what would seem to be a golden age, in which comforting datterns and trends may be observed
- a stable political situation that begets greater economic growth and prosperity. Many may disagree though,
and quesiion the seeming lack of political opposition and the dearth of political awareness - issues that are
crucial in determining the political health of our country. Nevertheless, one cannot deny the benefits that this
stable potitical situation b ngs.

ln between, of cou6e, are the natural g.owing pains that a country's political situation would most
likely experience- The shades of red and black on the wall of politics that are the protests, revolutions, and
political mischief are also reflections of a country that is tottering into maturity, beginning to be aware of their
political rights, and the political process. ln democratic countries that hoid political elections, biased electoral
systems or rigged elections are these unsightly colours, wherc measures to prevent these misdeeds have not
been fully internalised. ln the Philippines, its govemment is often shaken by corruption charges against
various peasonnel - even current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has faced impeachment charges, with
previous presidents like Joseph Estrada coming under fire before- But as maturity beckons, and as it comes,
these memories of a haunting past will be forgotten, whitewashed- Coffuption and other scandals that rocked
the political system and society would soon be forgotten, and the country begins to move forward again.

As time passes, a wall in a room would take on different facades - reflections of the personality and
idiosyncrasies of its owner- Similarly, as countries mature and develop, their political systems and situations
evolve, being influenced by various events and phenomena, such as the general psyche of the population. To
clarify, the age of a country does not proportionately determine the maturity of a population and its political
process. Rather, the emphasis is on the time that is needed and requked for the evolution of a political
system into one that is better and stronger.

The different facades each wall may take on reflect the diversity of various political scena.ios that are
possible too. The different designs of wallpaper encompass the many successful political systems, that are all
distinctive and unlike each other. Whether welfa.e-based, forward-looking, or eternally truth-seeking, the
various modes of goveanance appeal to various peoples, and contribute to the overall diversity of countries
we see in the world today.


(D $ (3l,rom\ /oRDS\ /oRDsos *

Language is, in itself, a curious paradox. It is intended to melt down barriers but is
also, at the"saire time, a divisive medium Language exists for two directly contradicting
funciions, firstly, to facilitate communication between different parties, and secondjy, to
,"pru""nith" unique and diverse identities of different communities and societies Given
these two ctashing functions, it is apparent that having a common language would have
both negative anJ positive repercussions. However, while a shared language would, to
some d;gree, facilitate ease oi communication, it would incur far greatet costs' in the form
of a loss'of diversity. Therefore, since the cons far outweigh the pros' the world would Effective
mostly nottumout for the better if everyone spoke the same language thesis
One major problem with a uniform language is the loss of .a .key cultural stand.
component, theiebtcompromising cultural diversity. Languages play a vital role in defining
diffe;ent cultures and communities, establishing a unique identity and setting one
community apart from'one another. A case in point is that of the Japanese language,
which is made up of gentle intonations that result in the spoken tongue bearing ciose
similarities to the soun;s of nature - of rustling trees and the soft chirping of insects This
clearly brings out and puts emphasis on the harmonious nature of the Japanese peopte -
a pejce-loiing aftitude that pervades their entire culture - and points to their shinto
background a;d elements. The language is a key part ofwho they are and the culture they
belon-g to. To have a shared language would rob the vaaiety of cultures around lhe world of
their d;stinct identity, ihus reducing the world to a state of homogeneity and stripping away
the cultural differences and the diversity that rcnder our globe colourful and beautiful'
Different languages also cteate a sorl of heatthy pride in one's own cultu(e, as sholvn from
ttre french'J niin opinion of their elegant national tongue A common language would
effectively get rid of such pleasurable sentimenis that one ought to leel when speaking a
languagethat allows one to identifywith one's roots and background.

Having a homogenous language all across the world is also detrimental in lhat it
does not fully'cate. to tie needs oi different cultlres- Different societies have different and
specific needs, which are often best communicated in their own languages For example,
the Chinese, who have always been more conservative than their Western counterparts' Give specific
tend to expiess lhemselves in subtler and more de'icate ways, employing idioms and examples for
symbolic phrases to get their message across- lt would be diffictrlt for them to express stronger
themselves properly in straightforward Western tongues Iike the English language Also, support.
due to geographicil necesiity, the Eskimos, who live in a perpetual winterland, have
develop;d over forty words for'snow", a feature that would not be included in languages
spoken by those who do not spend every day of their lives in a region that is blanketed
with snow Given lhat each country and cultuae has very different needs, and that one
culture may not share in, and therefoae may not understand, the sentiments and needs of
another, j uniform ianguage would not better the world, fo. it would be woefully
inadequate in terms oftrying to encompass and meet the needs of different cultures

To have everyone speaking the same langoage would also mean that many of the
most beautiful writings in the world would not be able to exist Many renowned literary
pieces are so wellloved precisely because they make use of the nuances unique to their
chosen lanquage to get their meaning across to their readers. Shakespeare, with his
talented wordplay and amazing expressions, would not have paoduced quite the same
plays had he written in a different tongue. A modem Chinese poem, entitled "Tien Wang"
isty t'teg is beautiful and inspiring when read and recited in chinese but sounds
and laughable when translated into English in the process of translation' the piece has
lost haliits meaning. Similarly, the expressive simplicity of a Japanese haiku is simply not Good
present when it is not composed in Japanese. The design and make up of different observation.
ianguages contribute deeply to the gaeatness of woaks written in those tongues, and what

O t3 O unnm u,mm r,r,orus m $
sounds impressive in one language may not seem so to another. Therefore, should
everyone speak the same language, the world would have a great deal to lose, for it would
not witness the birth of literary masterpieces that are all the more amazing due to the use
l' of languages that convey their meanings.

However, a common language is not without its merits. A similar language would
meet one of its fundamenial objec{ives -to enable easy communication and this newfound
convenience would call forth a plethora of benefits, for example, in the economic sector-
Firstly, a common language would facilitate intemational trade, since it would break down
language bar.iers that ofren hinder transac{ions and interactions between firms ftom lwo
countries thai speak difierent languages. The example of how many Western businesses
are unable to break into the rapidly-rising Chinese markets due to their lack of proficiency
in the Chinese language, .esulting in a frantic scramble to master the complex language,
shows how much more convenienl things would be if there was a common language that
everyone could speak. There would definitely be increased kade, thereby benefiting both
the suppliers and lhe consume.s alike and theretore more solid and firmer links would be
established within the global market. ln addition, a common language will allowthe poor to
break out of the vicious poverty cycle and ascend the socieeconomic ladder, as they will
not be kept backJrom prosperity by a lack ol knowledge of the language ol the reigning
economic superpower. ln the past few decades, \,vhere the United States established itself
as a world economic hub-, the key language employed in economic circles was none other
than English- The poorer parts of the world therefore sulfered for a sizable quantity of the
poor could not master English and were familiar on,y with their respective mother tongues.
This negative scenario could be easily averted if everyone spoke the same languages and
therelore canied out trade with that very tongue. This would help the world progress This paragraph
further and close the rich-poor divide. is too lenqthy.

The lundamental assumption oI this argument, howevet, is that the language

ba.rier is the oniv thing that will hampe. and comprcmise economic progress. lndeed, this
is not true. Policy mismanagement, trade barriers and un{air economic policies contribute
as much, if not more, to the vadous economrc problems the world faces today.
Furthermore, a common language would mean that developing Asian countries would lose
the edge they now possess over more developed rivals like the European nations,
America and the United Kingdom, as they speak the language of rising Asian powers such
as China and lndia, and this would give them the upper hand in b.eaking into their quickly-
progressing economies and markeb. A common language would negate the advantage
that poorer.egions ofthe globe are beginning to enjoy. Perceptive point.

Another argument for a common language would be its positive impact on

diplomacy. lt facilitates effective negotiation, for count es in conflict can now talk over
disputes more easily, without their messages being lost in translation. This will deeply
accelerate the peace process and prevent disagreements from being exacerbated
However, things are not as easy as they seem. Speaking the same language would
prevent miscommunication during mediations and negotiations, but this does not mean
that a compromise or conclusion can be achieved effectively still, since many conflicts,
such as lndia and Pakistan's dispute over the states of Jammu and Kashmir, and the
AraSlsraeli conflict, encompass countless sensitivities and complexities, which a.e no less
difficult to work throuqh. As such, a common language would do little good for the world in
terms of international diplomacy, and therefore would do naught to better the wo.ld.

ln conclusion, it is not undesirable that there will be gains available if everyone

were to speak the same language. However, the dramatic loss of intangibles that would
also result from this situation far outweighs these merits, and therefore, a homogeneous
language would not be better for the world.

Content 26/30
Language: 15/20
Total Mark: 41l50

Well done! Very onjoyable to rcad!


The arts are an integral part of socjety and can be employed for various means'
The decorative role of the arts, tirough appearing to be its primary function' is only one of
the many roles that the arts play in our world. Given that there have been attempts by
artists t; harness its potential for catalysing change through their paintings, it is mther
unfair to say that the arts cannot change the world. As outlets of expression, the arts have A decent
the capacity to influence a large audience through their visual appeal. opening.

To begin with, most people accept the idea that the arts make the world more
beautiful- Thd seems to be confirmed by the abundance of examples of aesthetically
pleasing paintings. This ranges from the Sistine Chapel frcscos to the modern day Colour
iietO piintings.-ttot only are they aesthetically pleasing; the peacefulness' serenity and
calmness th;t'radiates'ftom Vermee/s'The Kitchen L4aid" or Millet's "The Gleaners"
reminds us of the simple beauties in life. Likewise, the bealty and the softness of the
colours emploFd bl John Constable in his landscapes bring out the beauty oi everyday
scenes from the countryside. Whether all paintings make the world more beautiful though,
is indeed questionable. Some critics may argue that a painting as non-naturalistic as Good
Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" does not contribute to making ou' world a mo'e consideration of
beautiful place. The dark, pessimistic canvases of Francesco Goya, in the minds of some, balance.
present no appeal and are therefore downright ugly. Despite this, it has to be noted that
ieauty is in the eye of the beholder. What one person considers beautiful might not
correspond to the iaste of another. Even so, the vadety that exists within the -arts itself
would mean that the tastes of all could be satisfied. Moreover, the presence of a few "ugly"
works does not negate the beauty of the others. lt is with this perspective that it is safe to
conclude that the arts do indeed beautify our world

Aside from beautifying our world, the arts have the capacity to inJpire change This
is especially so, since the arts appeal to us mainly through our emotions rather than
reason. Thi di€ctness of the work of art reacfies easity to the emotional co'e of our
beings, thereby making it a powerful means of communication. This is effectively
exprissed in paintings such as Picasso's "Guernica" The screams of the writhing,
-nimals bring across the brutality of war that the artist is against on
oistortea Rgurei ano
top of tha{ the large scale of this monochromatic wo.k fills the vision of the viewer,
theretore overwhel;ing and shocking the viewer' Here, the artist triggers an emotional
response instead of objectively nanating the events of the bombing On a less serious
note, the bright, vibrani colours employed by Mondrian in "Broadway Boogie Woogie'
infects us wiah the a ist's enthusiasm lot jazz and New York City As characteristic of lvloie could be
other abstract art, the colours and texture of the painted surface is enough to move the said about how
viewers and to change the way they see life. Although the response of each individual is painting could
personal, it is the collective effect of such works on society that can spearhead change' change the
world. E.g. effecl
ln addition, the arts can act as a window to the world, highlightang issues that can of Guernica,
be improved. Paintings, like Courbet's "Stone Breakels', help us see other people (or Goya's
minorities) and theii culture as something to be admired, revered and someday sketches, etc.
understood. Many artists also see themselves as socially engaged, incorporating issues in
their works. However, it must be noted that painting alone cannot stop global warming or
the spread of AlDs for instance. The arts can only bring our attention to these issues and
evoke our social conscious to make us respond to the issues- Ultimately, it is the people
who are the agenls of change.

Perhaps one of the reasons why the arls do not appear to change the world is that
the effect the arts have on us is more subtle. Rather than acting as an explosive agent, the
elfect of the arts is more slowburning, and can insidiously alter the way we think. lt is for
this very reason .that the arts were under tight control in the Soviet Union and in
Communist China. Artists were only allowed to paint works that 'seNe' society and in line
with what the Party catled "social Realism", for the governments feared that the works

mioht incite a rebellion. Likewise. Hiller's burning of "degenerate" works ol art arose out of Good examples
tnj b"li"f thut paintings by Kandinsky, for example, could conupt the soul As the employed.
effects cannot"b"tr"a
be physically or immediately obsewed, the impact of art on the way we
think is easily overlooked. Nonetheless, the arts have the capacity to change social

What change can the arts inspire though, if the viewers are not receptive to the
ideas? Uninterested vis..,/ers could easily miss the socio-political themes in lhe paintngs of
artists such as the lndonesian artist Dede Eri Supria. The sense bf isolation in the works of
Edward Hoppe. could even be taken at face value by viewers lvho do not see any value in
delving into the artistic intentions. Despite the proliferation of adistic images through the
mass media, interest in the arts in general is not high, especially in societies where
money-making is valued over the arts. Not only that, the lack of access lo works of a.t also
severely limits the impact the work can have on the world. The storing of valuable
paintings in private vaults also conkibutes to the problem. With regards to access,
measures have been taken to address this. ln China, museums have waived their entry
fees. Still, it is a running joke thal many Chinese visit the museums tor the air-conditioning
and not the aft. As such, the message that the aris have for society might be lost, and
change would-lno tonger follow. Even so, optimists believe that the various moves to
participate in the arts, such as the setting up of an arts school in Singapore, point to the
growing importance of.the arts in society.

As can be seen, the arts can change the world while making it more beautiful in the
process. The arts allow us to better appreciate our world- lt is a force that will continue to
shape society and our experience of the wodd. That said, it is up to us to open our hearts
and minds to receive the messages the arts have to convey,

Total: 41i 50

Good work, Teresal Points are well-substantiated.

Art, music, literature - infinite forms, most beautiful. lndeed, the myriad works
talling into these three categories epitomise the most beautiful ot Man's creatlons, the
appr;isal of the worid th.ough aesthetics, tune, and poetry. Artistic creations are born of a
human desire to depict thoughts, feelings and observations in the mosl exquisite offorms, Yes. Original
to satisfy the human need for beauty and creatavity. At the same time, however, lhe arts ideas? Good
fulfil many other roles, providing a conduit like no other by which to explore the human roles/factors to
condition, to preserve subjective expedences and to define entire cultures. consider.

one lunction of art, music and literature is indeed to express Man's need for Good that you
beauty. Van Gogh turned a simple night scene into a riot of swirling colourc; impressionists qualified art s
allow realistic contours to melt away into bold strokes of emotion, while realists depict the role of beauty.
worlds as they see and feel it from the most picturesque of angles. Traditional Chinese
painters suggest lush landscapes with mere brush strokes- From folk songs to the popular
music of to-iy, musicians have used tunes, rhythms and beat to suggest wonderfully the
imaginative landscape of the mind - Irom the powerful idea of an ancient and treasured
cultJre, to graceful images of swans gliding through waler, to the common expefience of
today's gene.ation - all packaged into beat and tune. From Shakespeare to Chekov to
even the now-famous J.K- Rowling, writers have sought to "poeticise" human existence
with lyrical prose and vivid imagination. lt would be much easier for an artists' musician or Beautifully
writer to simply transcribe his thoughts or observations without embellishment; yet the very phrased (no pun
fact that Salvador Dali's 'The Persistence of Memory" is a wtrimsical figment of his intended)-
imagination, and Milan Kundera's "The Joke" is not a factual account of one man's

Q $ u,om r,rnnns urcrus q)
$jmagination oo

and which' Excellent

oersonal history shows that Man craves beauty' embellishment
thtough the arts comment!
[i"faing tlrtt riro,"" of his creative energy' he expresses
powers used to satisfy his need
Aside from serving as an outlet for Man's creative
The best Yes!
r.l. u"rt". tn" es'sential in allowing Man to explore the human condition
*.'i" "*
"rt" aie those which delve into emotion, mood
rii.Llri" and temp€rament -
6rr"rl"o""r. tort" hold popular acclaim today precisely because of their relevance
Good examPle.
; ;;#il;;; " l""u"t"till -
p"rt"inil'g to the human soul discrimination' love' authoritv -
not only an Excellent Point.
conceots which continue to preoccupy us- The most beautiful artworks capture joy to
il;il;"'i ffi .ooJ-"i tit" artlsis; the viewer is catapulted from sorrowoftoMonets
-"Li*rtofv as he moves from work to work' from the cheerfut colours
i"rii"i"iJ t"1t" ",irie oisiointeo human faces created by Picasso's brush' The best
rr"i" off"o tun." "nd lyric; that stay with the soul' which 'epeat themselves in the mind
ie,G;;iy, pit"n ror pii"tt, word for word Through art, music and literature' human
!.iti"", in"irgl't and experience are exploted in ways which. cold factual or logical Good
,n"tu""" tat;h, simply because the nuances of the human mind require the comparison.
*",.th of *hit ind
"outo"n"u", to elucidate them
is prese'ved Good choice of
The essence of what an individual observes, feels or thinks' therefore'
word in
or rational "obtuscate'.
;i;";;i. G
i; ti";siiv of his experience oi emotion with logical
poignant of
his experiences in a
he endeavours only to capture the most
-"' ti.
*t'iJ i" io tost beautifui. All the arts are highly subjective' built f'om the soul of And
rhat draws orhefs into the genuine too.
iil'iiii*io"jr i"ri"d-into a pactage or sound, sighl or wo.ds
iri""i"tiof" of the ariists experience The beauty and importance of the arts lie
*'til",ji G" i6tt"l oiiogicat ano ralional lhoughl the rndividual can escape into his own Perhaps elaborate on the
.inJ unU ."pi"t" t t:orld in all its salient complexity for all rn the outside wodd to share'
" impacvinfluence
More pragmatically, art, music and literature are the pillars of culture' a powerful of such art
are distinguishable from (despite its
.""n" oio"inin! "us' versus 'them". Abo.iginal tine drawings
.laDanese Dnnts it a qlance; one twang of, string will set an erhu apart from
a violin; subjectivity) on
ctiltural society.
Lrigr"g" i"d th" wie]ding thereof' ca; immediately be identified with specific these identities
o,o"uo"l u"n has a need to form community-based identities because
I""illut" to fi" of self and give him a context in which to set his existence A man
riinlui" Jtu,. to fuv claim to is liie a baby bird hatched in mid-air' with neither home nor
of collective imagery!
;;;;";ti";1;;y d,i of the world, a piffling individual against.all the enormitv
art' music and
civilisation. Therein lies the importance oi one's roots ln this contelit'
;i;;;1;;; ;;; "" a"nning the demarcations of cultural boundaries which reafllrm
co-mmunaf ioentities and seicultures uniquely apart from one another' Precisely because
oitln"ii t".utv ina tn"k ability to explore the human condition and to preserve subjective with the Nice summary of
J,i"iii,*., tini"n r,l"s oeen exptained above, art, music and literature connect their collective your argument.
t tina" ot uach individual within a cultutal group and immortalise
"'"rti "nc

To argue that art, music and literature seNe the sole function of expressing Man's
need for bea;ty would be to neglect their invaluable role in the exploration of the
pr."urvation of subje-c{ive experience, and definition of the myriad of human
"onJition,iri"t co-exist on thi; world. Art, music and literature are appreciated by all Or ought to be
mantinO, across cuttures and geography; there;n lies their universal
quality At the same appreciated!
ii.". types of art, musii and literature bind groups of people with shared
irr."rl.i".. tooether. on an indrvidual level, the arts enrich and allow for equally rich
."[i.Jiuu .l<or'"""ion. This essay has, however, dealt only with the forms of art' music
wf ictr tne writer appreciates; the very subiectavity of the arts allows lebels -
"niiiLrature"""".pr"V', 'ignominious", "worthless'to be slapped onto artistic creations far
r.l .""ilu. works of art tirat do not agree with an individual or a group b ng common
.'Lil".i!"a "nO 1i levelry in human experience Nevertheless, art' mrrsic and lnsiqhtful pointl
ii"irruru i".. "t "r.o
.unv fun;tions and the wodd would be an unbearably boring place
without them. "rucral

O$Ounm\4,0RDs\ nRDsG{}
Content 23130
Language: 1220
Total Mark: 40/50

Well-aeued, beautifully wdften, convincing and touches on the impottant aspects of what
liteaturc/ musid ad ought to be about. You created a very fine piece herc, young lady.

There are three levels on which people can engage with the arts. They can choose
passive appreciation, aclive participation or passionate creation oftheir own artistic works.
Singaporean society is, at present, caught in a limbo; while the government has all along Not so in lhe
supported the arts, the population is slower to embrac€ the arb even as a fotm of formative yea.s.
enrichment and entertainment, not to mention as a career. Neveriheless, cunent trends
indicate that the arts will likely play a more significant parl in Singaporean society in the

Since the early years of its governance, singapore's People's Action Party
government has taken measures to ensure the arts have a place beside the compelling
imperative of economic development. As early as the 1960s, it was decided, as stated by The push for
Lee Kwan Yew in a New Yea/s Day address, that the nation's money would be invested in
the construction of a national theatre which would have more permanence and meaning development did
than a one-time splurge on National Day celebrations. Soon, 'ext.aturricular aclivities' overshadow
were introduced in schools, with the performing aats such as music, dlama and dance development in
constituting a major part of these activities. In addition, special school Programmes such the arts (but for
as the Music Elective Programme, Art Elective ProgGmme and Language Elective good reason).
Programme, which can be offered as core academic subjects, were set up to crter to
students inclined towards the arts. ln a nutshell, the Singapore govemment has done A great
much to inslitutionalise participation in the arts. This has ensured that the arts remain concluding
visible in the local context. statement.

ln fact, most Singaporeans may find that they participate most ac{ively in the arts Not your usual
during their school years. Unlike in Malaysia, where co-curricula. aclivities are held for topic sentences
only tour to six hours a week with the time divided between sports, clubs and societies and that pack a
performance arts, cocufiicular activities in Singapore pa.ticularly in the area of the arts punch.
are more intense. During the period of the Singapore Youth Festival, it is not uncommon
for bands, choirs and dance troupes to spend four or five aftemoons a week in
preparation. Furthermore, for these students who opt for the abovementioned special a.ts
programmes, at least five curriculum pe.iods a week are set aside for them to hone their
skills in the arts-based topics of their choice. A significant proportion of Singaporeans thus
have had at least some contact with the a.ts. Participation in the arts, ctucial in helping
Singaporeans develop and appreciation for them, has thus been achieved in Singapore on
a significant nation-wide scale ;n schools. At the most basic level, therefore, the arts have
played a part in Singapotean society.

One would expect the next logical development to be an increased appreciation for A nice transition.
the arts among Singaporeans, given that many have had the chance to be erposed to
them. lhere has indeed been a steady trickle of foreign 'imports' arts groups fiom
overseas that have come to perform locally. From the awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil to the
eye-opening of WOMAN music, dance and drafta pieces, the.e have been a myriad of
opportunities for Singaporeans to appreciate the arts. That tickets for lan McKellen's
recent performance of'King Lear' sold out within two weeks perhaps indi€tes that But are these
Singaporean sociely is ready to move to the 'appreciation' phase, in which diverse a.t meant for a
forms are celebrated and welcomed as enriching experiences which provoke thought and select
stimulate reflecton. However. a declioe in attendance at the Singapore Arts Festival in audience?
O (} C unnos ra,oms vvonos m S
recent years has also been reported. Straits Times reporters made attempts to explain this
unexpected trend, suggesting that Arts Fest performances were perhaps attuned to local
tastes. Should this be the case, the situation would then be still more worrying since a
failure to appreciate forms of art which are 'different would indicate that the air of
creativity, open exchange and receptiveness which characterises the arts has not become
a significant part ofthe Singaporean mentality.

What then of the next stage - creation? ldeally, participation in and appreciation of
the arts would lead to growing numbers of Singaporeans partaking in an artisan's career,
to invent truly indigenous pieces of music, literature and the like. There is little doubt that
there have been some Singaporean 'creators . Kuo Pao Kun, for instance, parodied the
policies of the Singapore government so adroitly in his plays that he was incarcerated
momentarily. Born-and-bred Singaporean musician Dick Lee created the unique medley of
Western-styled song types that constitute the 'Beauty Wodd" experience, renowned for its
uniquely Singaporean histo.ical context. Catherine Lim, opposition-advocateturned-writer,
has even been hailed as "the Jane Austen of Singapore" for her literary pieces which
portray Singaporean life. Despite her unfortunate tendency to degene.ate into quasi-
realistic class stereotypes, her work does at least convey some genuine rellections on
Singaporean sccieq. Singapore has produced its share of professional writers, musicians
and other artistes, and the fact that Beauty World was just revamped this year and
performed again for the'iPod generation" shows that these "creators" have not lost their
relevance to Singapore society-

While the arts remain "relevan{'to Singaporean society, Singaporeans who pu.sue
careerc in the arts are few and far between. Pragmatic Singaporeans make pragmatic
career choices; many rank careers in the scientific, technological or medical fields far
above the "artsy' vocations - musician, actor, wdter - because the chances of getting a
slable, wellpaying job a.e higher for the technically qualified. Qccasional news reports on
young Singaporeans who reduce their parents to tears by choosing a career in the arts
attest that the perception of the arts as an enterprise unworthy of commitment lc it is still
prevalent in Singaporean society. lndeed, many act on this perceptiori by shying away
from arts-related careers. Thus, for the larqe portion of Singapoae society, the arts remain
at best a source of entertainment. Most Singaporeans do not expend a significant amount
of their energy on the arts, devoting it instead to other kinds of careers.

Nevertheless, rising numbers of young Singaporeans aae becoming more open to

pursuing professional training in the arts. La Salle and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Do not forget the
.emain popular choices for eager arts students, and the government has tabled the idea of School of the
stetting up a liberal arb college in Singapore in the future- As out society has become Arts...
generally more affluent and stable, it seems that young people have replaced the fears
overjob insecurity from their parents'times with idealism and the 6lan to follow their hearts
when it comes to career choice. It is not to say that one has to have a full-time job in the
arts in order to become a good "creatod' but having more time to devote to it will certainly
raise the quality and qoantity of Singaporean artistic creations. Hopefully, the significance But why is it so
of the afts in Singapore society will increase in the near future important for us
to do this?
All in all, the arts have played a noticeable role in Singapore society. Much of the
population has padicipated in the arts, and perhaps appreclation and creation of local 'art'
will increase with time. At present however, the arts are not so much significant but merely
relevant in Singapore society-

Contenl 22130
Language: 16/20
Total Mark: 38/50

A faidy insightful discussion that begins from a brcad-based, fundamental education in the
ads, to a specialised fom of it. Arguments are convincing and examples are appropiate
and wida-mnging. Consider the govemmont's push fot Singapore to be an Ais Hub and
the vadous obstacles (e.9. people's mindset).

|q? Q\,0RDsr'ronm',vonmm $

With the rise in world population and consumption, the problem of waste has
worsened. ln our attempt to curb this problem, solutions such. as recJcling, using of
landflls and incinerators, educational campaigns and regulations have been widely
adopted. ln my opinion, recycling is certainly one of the answers to the problem of waste.
However, inherent problems such as the high cost of recycling and advanced technology
have made recycling economically unfeasible especially for the less developed countries.
Nevertheless, recycling as compared to other ways to minimise the problem of waste is Be clearer;
much more environmentally f.iendlier and is least objectionable. As such, I feel that mention what
recycling must b€ adopted and used in tandem wilh other measures such as educational otherways.
campaigns and laws. Ihese solutions would then be able to complement as well as
supplement the ljmitations of recycling, making the approach to the problem of waste a
more elfective one.

Recycling can be a feasible answer to the problem of waste but it mainly

targeted at developed co-untries that possess the necessary advanced technology and are
able to afford the high costs associated wilh recycling. Despite the advancement in
technology; recycling today is still an expensive tool as compa.ed to other measures like
land filling and incineration. Therefore to less developed nations, recycling is simply
economically unfeasible. According to the Genuine Progress Index, a research group that Focused
has spent a decade monitoring the recycling progtammes in Nova Scotia, recycling cost examples to
the province US$18 million a year more as compated to throwing the waste into landtills. support youa
Similarly in California and New Jer$ey, local public utilities authorities have reported that point. An
recycling cost the country over half a million dollars more in 1995. Hence to the less engaging first
developed countries, recycling is simply beyond their reach due lo the population's part of your
generally low average rncome. prevenltng them trom affording recycling Drogrammes in essayl
their budgets- Even though recycling may be a feasible answer to the problem of waste to
the developed countries, this is certainly not the case for the less developed countries- ln
this light, technology must improve to reduce the cost of recycling before it can be
embraced even by less developed counkies.

Recycling can be a viable solution to the problem of waste in the environmental phrasing as
sense because, relative to ober methods, it creates less pollution and is more sustainable "problem of
over a longer period of time. Over the years, the magnitude of environmental deg.adation waste" is an
has inc.eased, and with globalwarming, recycling, a method that is environmental friendly environmental
seems least objectionable as compared to other conventional forms of waste treatment. issue.
For example, incineration releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide as well as other toxic
gases into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming and adversely affecting our Combine first two
health- Similarly, land filling can result in water pollution and affects the ecology negatively. sentences of
Greenpeace, a world environmental research group, discovered that the major wells in the paragraph to
Philippines contained a high level of metal content beyond the safe drinking limits set by have a power-
the World Health O.ganisation. Ihis unfortunate pollution would not have occur.ed if not packed topic
for the landfills situated near the we'ls. The metals buried in the landfills managed to sentence.
dissolve and seep into the ground water, causing water pollution. ln this light, it is rather
Unnecessary to
clear that recycling is a much better tool to solve the problem of waste. This is because
repeat topic
studies have shown that foa every ton of papea recycled, 17 small trees are saved and air
pollution is greatly redu@d. An example to illuslrate the environmenta!ftiendliness of sentence. Just
elaborate on how
recycling can be seen in the success of recycling programmes in the United States. The
country managed to save'1.3 million tons of iron ore, 8.2 million trees and successlully
reduced greenhouse gas emissions by two million mekic tons in 2004 due to the
nationwide .ecycling programmes that the country implemented. Therefore, in my opinion, environmental
damage caused
recycling is certainly a good answer to the problem of waste especially in today's world,
where environmental.conse ation is inc.easangly embraced by most counkies. by land waste.

Recycling is certainly one of the viable answers to the problem of waste in

$ q) $ \,\oRDS u,mos uonm m q)
and is
countries with limited land. Recycling as compared to landfills takes up less space
A good example to illustrate the Example could
therefore suitable for countries with a small land area_
to the p'oblem of waste is be shortened in
i"n""n1" ptty"i""f factors on the choice of measures
iing"poi.. siLg'"pot" has a limited land area but an escalating quantity of waste There terms of
*"JJi.os rniiiion tones increase in the amount of waste from 1970 to 2005 To to
last till Another example
iiring- woiie, the fitespan of the Pulau Semaku landfill of Singapo'e is expected
generate more waste would be good
on1y"2030, a;d this is provided that the present generation does not
.r"/"roit - ttence the country implemented the National Recycling Programme in 2001 to
'.ini-i'". tf,u amount of wasie disposed to the limited landfills' prolonging the lifespan of
the landfills. By 2004, the rate of participation by households in this nationwide
t u" .or" tfr"ri tripf"a to 51%. Therefoie fiom the example ol Singapore, it is
evident that
recycling is indeed a feasible answer to the problem of wasle since it occupies less space
uito.iureO to conventional measures like landfills. Hence recycling is cerlainly one of
the soluiions to the problem ofwaste in developed countries that have limited land area'

Although recycling is one ol the least objectionable answers to the problem of

waste, it has io-be used in tandem with campaigns and laws that tackle the 'oot
of the
problem the excessive wastage of resources The over_consuming societies of the
beveloped wortd will continue to waste ,esources excessively if recycling is not
encouraged, made more convenient or appealing as an option ln Singapore for instance'
the Natiinai Environment Agency (NEA) organises road shows and puts up posters to
encourage recycling. ln addition, NEA together with the Singapore Environment Council
i.pf".""nt"o 'A,ingiour own Bag Day'to further strengthen their activities An additional
'lo'cents is chargei on these daya for every plastic bag used' and the money collected is
used for enviroimental projects similarly in China, the government has taken a step
p'oblem of
further to ban the use of disposable plastic bags nationwide due to the massive
accumulated unbiodegrad;ble waste caused by plastic bags ln the UK' the British
government has passed a bill indicating that charges would be imposed on singleuse
Excellent variety
iarrier bags unleis retailers take adion voluntarily to cut down on the ballooning pollution
of examples.
caused bilhe use of plastic bags These arejust some examples to illustlate the idea that
in order for recycling io be effe;tive, consumers have to be educated and informed on the
consequences of ixcessive wastage of tesources and how they can_ play a role to
minimise the problem of waste- Furthermore, law and regulations should also be
introduced and passed to prevent the problem of waste from intensifying Other
complementary measu.es would be to make using reusable bags and the recycling of
materials more attractive, such as saving costs on bags, or even making recycling bins
more accessible. Hence while I agree that aecycling is one effective answe' to the problem
and argued point
of waste, it has to be used simuh;neously with educational campaigns and regulations as
that clearly
thatwould comptement recycling and mitigate its limitations.
explains how
we recycling can be
Recycling is certainly a good solution to the problem of waste However, must
fully effective in
acknowledge th;t due to the high costs and advanced technology needed for recycling.
dealing with
developed-countries are therefore in a better position to embrace recycling as compared to
far les; developed countries. Ahhough recycling is suitable for small countries with small
land area and is more environmentally friendly, it does not elimlnate the underlying cause
to the p.oblem of waste. Hence recycling should be implemented together wilh educational
campaigns and regulations for it to be most effective.

Content 20130
Total Mark: 32.5/50

Patagraphs 1 and 3 are very cleat and focused good iob! Have you considercd how
Japa;, a country which stpngly believes in recycting, has managed to have a trcck-recoftl
fo; maintaining'a wodd-class rccycling system? Othet counties like Hong Kong have also
fo owed suit;nd it wo td be g(Dd to cite these countdes to illustrate how rccycling is
indeed an excellenl and effective way to combat ptoblems of waste

O $ C unnos'anmi,vonm m f3

Environmental disasters a phrase which commonly conjures up images ot the Widen scope of
devastating effecls of the wrath of Mother Nature upon human lives. However, upon discussion;man-
further close scrutiny, one would realise that so much more is at stake than a few made disasters?
thousand lives lost. The existence ol everything around us is in jeopardy because of
environmental disasters. Especially when the diversity and quality of life, with drastic Do not trivialise
climate changes, rising water levels, and the many varieties of living organisms are wiped the loss of "a lew
off the face ofthe earth, how much more hlts can the planet Earth take from us? While the thousand lives"-
large majority of the human population is to blame for wasting resources in the daily
course of our lives, the main culprit would be the ruthless industrialists who put profit-
making on the top of their priorities, regardless of its sacrifices, and mainly world leaders
(governments) who have the power and means to stop them. Vague - stop
Drasticclimate changes and lemperate fluctualions are one of the side effecls from
the excessive release of greenhouse gas emissions. Thidy years ago ('1970s), the earth
experienced aloohng effect due to the introducton of aerosols into the market. Now, with
refrigerators, chlorofluorocarbon emissions are breaking down the ozone layer. Explain how the
Consumers as well as irresponsible manulacturers are definitely to blame for this climate situation reached
crisis- Despite knowing that aerosols and CFCS are degrading the environment, educated the proportions
consumers are still fuelling the market for such products. of a disaster.
Examples are
Another environmental disaster is a result of what the market consumers have cdtical.
created - the extinction and endangerment of animalsi While poachers and private
businesses clamoua to meet the demands of consumers, they have caused vadous
species of tigers and foxes to be reduced to being endangered.species. \ryhile pola. bears Acknowledge the
are not yet under that, they might soon join them. With polar caps melting due to the rise in legitimate virtual
temperature, there have been many reports oi polar bears and other nFmmals drowning complaints: arc
from exhaustion when they could not find land to .est on. lnstead of rising to protest such
against green house gas emissions, there are people who actually believe these are environmentalists
coincidences which should be ignored. While environmentalists and politicians like Al Gore altru'stic or do
are petitioning to save the planet, there are many who mock them through forums and the they have vested
lnternet. interests?

Well-intentioned organisations a.e partially to blame for their incompetence and Do not use
inefficiency as well. Despite having r€ular meetings such as the APEC World Summit, acronyms if you
they are consistently forming vague conclusions like "... will take a step towards reducing have not eadier
greenhouse gas emissions". While many private organisations are petitioning, and funding spelt them out in
these environmental conservation campaigns, these intemational environment full. Note that
conservation groups have yet to make any significant impact. organisations like
APEC are not
Another environmental disaster that happens frequent'y is oil spillage. Petrol chiefly
companies as well as the military are to blame. ln 1991, the Gulf War oil spills were the environmental
worst in history with an estimated 1.5 million tones of crude oil dumped into the sea. The organisations.
environmental implications were disastrous as many forms of sea life perished and its Provide more
lingering after-effects can still be obseNed a decade later. The toxic vapours killed marine appropriate
life while the oil poisoned the birds when it was ingested by accident The worst part of all examples.
was that the oil spillage was intentional. The countries along the coast dumped tones of Support claim
crude oil into their waters in an attempt to deter US marine ships from entering their that groups have
harbours. The oil slick was 4 inches thick for miles, and the wildlife there has never not made "any
recovered since. This shows that politics have a part to play in environmental degradation significanl
The flight to becoming the most afffuent between countries has also led to
countries refusal to acknowledge that environment disasters are a pressing concern- With Short body
a mixture of political and economic reasons, the United States of America refused to sign paragraph.
the Kyoto Protocql. Despite international talks of sustainable economic grolvth, many Elaborate on
countries arc not willing to slolv down or compromise their production lo invest in your argument.
environmental conseruation schemes.

$*$, nRDswoRlsworusm(1

Content: 19/30
Language: 13/20
Total Mark: 3250

ln today's world, where world population, industdal production and economic

grov'/th are surging at breakneck pace, energy consumption is expanding and mankind's
insatiable desire for energy, arable land and natural resources are both depleting natural
resources and damaging the environment. I believe that economic progress today
necessitates mankind's utilisation of the Eadh's resources and .damage of the
environment. However, I believe that it is possible to both enjoy econoTic progress and
protect the environment at the same time, especially with advances in alternative energy Balanced and
technology and a greater involvement of the public, government and public firms in the justified stand.
protection of the environment.

There is, largely, a false dichotomy between economic progress and protecting the
environment. This is because, among other reasons, of the availability of alternative
sources of energy - not that of crude oil or coal - which can power industries and drive
economic progress lvhile protecting or doing only minimal damage to the environment.
Such technology includes nuclear energy, which use does not emit carbon and where by-
products can be stored underground without damage to the environment. Other forms of
alternative energy also include that of wind and solar energy, where although some might
seem prohibitive and capable of providing only small amounts of energy, may actually
allow entire lowns to be powered if harnessed and dist.ibuted efficiently. This is the case
of Saint David's, a town in Southem Wales, which successfully leveraged on such
technology to reduce its household carbon footprint to almost zero - a testament to how Good, you linked
technology can allow an economy to function and progress while protecting the the example to
environment at the same time. However, despite the efficacy of such technology, I your argument.
concede that alternative energy sources are no panacea for todays trade-off betlveen
progress and the environment as yet and that is why the world still consumes 85 million
barrels of dirty-burning crude oiltoday. This is because alternative energy sources are still,
in general, not as cheap as drilling for oil and hence are not widely adopted. However, I
believe that in the near future, with today's pace in the advancement of alternative energy
technology and in order to circumvent the predicted disaster of oil running out by 2050,
alternative energy will become cheaper and widely used to the point that it drives Give support to
economic progaess while protecting the environment at the same time - a very possible evaluation here.
eventual outcome.

Another reason v'/hy I believe that protecting the environment and economic Discuss
progress is possible and becoming ever less mutually exclusive is the increase in increasing media

O $ Ou,onos r,r,muronmm S
environmental awareness and desire to protect the environment, whether for alttuistic coveraqe.
reasons or for self-interest. Today, 30 percent of paper and plastic waste in the united
States ofAmerica (USA), as stated by the U.S. Environmental Agency, is recycled- This is
despite the fact that recycling is often a low p.ofit margin business that .requires
govemment subsidies to operate. A 30 percent recycling rate is an achievement that
shows how a government can push for both progress and environmental protection at the
same time with enough political will. Also, air travel, the bloodlines ol the world economic
machine, is beginning to become cleaner with the foray ol firms slch as France's Climat
Mundi, v'/irich encourages air travellers and gives them a medium to compensate for the
carbon they had caused to be emitted during their flights. This is done by paying an extra
but small sum over the air ticket's price, which then goes to fund treeplanting events and
to replace the dirty-burning wood stoves of poor Sub-Saharan Afticans with cleaner
electric or petroleum stoves. Of course, disserters would say that such schemes only Effective shift in
apply to altruistic people and governments which are few and lar between. However' I argument-
believe that such choices are increasingly becoming ones that are made based on self_ Good - Critical
interest as people are feeling the negative effects o{ environmental damage. For instanie, evaluation here.
in October 2OO8r well after the Olympic and Paralympic Games concluded, Beijing re
imposed car quotas because it was in its interes: to reduce pollution levels to protect
people's health and to attracl tourists and investors. Thus, I believe that self-interest and By governments
altruism are, more than ever, leading to'green" decisions being made which protect the or by individuals?
environmentwhile not or.insignificantly inhibiting economic progress

lhe final reason why lbelieve p.ogress and environmental protection may go
hand-in-hand is that of the sysiem of Capitalism and the desire of businesses to maximize
profits. The increase in environmental conscjousness and the desire of consumers to
purchase 'gaeen" products and cleaner cals have led to a paradigm shift in markets where Discuss shift in
companies are now incentivised to prodtlce green products ot to sponsoa green consumea
movements. Companies such as Toyota and Honda have taken advantage of such a mindsets and
change in drivers' preferences by creating smaller, cleaner cars and hydroelectric cars' behaviour.
leading them to "progress" and turn proflts while protectrng the environment at the same
time, unlike Ford and General lvlotors, lvhich gas guzzling cars have' led them into ls this the
business losses in the order of billions of tJ-S. dollars in 2008 Appearing green is also a main/only reason
trend for companies which are in the service sectoa. Wall Stteet research firm Slandard for the losses?
and Poors has concluded in 2008 that "green" corporate citizenship adds profits to a
companys balance sheet. This could explain why highly respected Wall Skeet firms
Goldman Sachs and the Bank ol America have been sponsoring envircnmental reform
projects in China, ensuring that they do not provide loans to illegal loggers and promoting
themselves as'green banks'. Thus, it is seen that capitalism and businesses' inhercnt
desire for profits can and is increasingly leading to firms both progressing and protec{ing Consider also
the envircnment at the same time. The envi.onmentally sustainable growth of businesses LDCS and the
could quite possibly be the wave of the near future- quick pace at
which they are
I believe that it is possible to protect the environment while striving for economic industrialising;
progress, notwithstanding the latter requiring increasingly more energy to accomplish. link to increasing
This, though, is contingent on the fact that the development of alternative energy sources demands on
and the increase in environmental consciousness among people, governments and eneagy for
businesses are sustained at the current pace. To do this, I would suggest thai more weight economic
be placed on the advice given by the united Nations (UN) and the lntergovernmenlel gro',vth.
Panelon Climate Change (IPCC) to include the developing nations in Annex I ofthe Kyoto
Protocol and for more countries to adopt the European Climate Exchange's system of
pollution pe.mit trading. With that, the possibility of economic progress and environmental Link also to the
protection will be increasingly close to being realised. idea of
Content 2230 development.
Total Mark: 36/50

Many insighttut and woll-substantiatod argumetfs Focrssed d/scus sion with cloat topic
sen[encos in most body paftgtuphs. Good recognition of tension betueon environmental
consevation and energy demands. Effective use of language to signal shifrs in aryument


Gender eqoality has evolved from an ideology during the time of the famed Rosa Was she an icon
Parks to a massive human rights movement today. The movement that took the world by for gender
storm has borne many fruits, and society has made clear progress in this aspecl. The equaliM Check
significant achievements in this tield and the widespread acknowledgement of gender your facts.
equality have led to a slowing down of the once fervent race. The reducing number of
protests, placard marches and campaigns has raised a doubt in the minds of many.
Perhaps, today, in a world as developed as the one we live in, gender equality and the
fight for it is no longer important. They are wrong. Gender equality, and the fight for it, is
still, if not more, impo.tant today, than it was in the past.

lndeeq the fightlor gender equality has won many battles. The suff.age movement
won rights for women all across the globe. lt not only increased the value of women in
society, it did the same to a woman's sense of self-worth. The suffrage movement
revealed many injustices and sought rectification and compensation. lt demanded equal
playing fields for botb sexes, sending ripples through the many patriarchal societies. lt
brought education to women, a right now largely recognised, and allowed women to
contdbute to society. Besides raising a woman's status, it also raised a woman's esteem
and notion of self-worth.

The fight also showed considerable results in the working world, which was largely
dominated by males. Ihe Ught for gender equality has decimated glass ceilings in jobs Does the glass
across the spectrum, allowing women to take on higher positionaljobs. lt awarded women ceiling not exist
equal opportunities, with many companies now functioning on the system of meritocracy. still?
Today, mo.e than 30% of high position jobs are occupied by women,.compared to less
than 2% in the 80s

ln the political arena, a once largely male-dominated world as well, Condoleezza

Rice and Hilary Clinton are among the few women charging head-on into a once foreign
field- Hilary Clinton ran against Barack Obama in the Democratic elections in 2008,
matching him state.to-state until the end. Clinton is a stellar example of how women can
contribute more than their two cents worth- Despite losing to Obama, Clinton continues in
the political game, aiding the Democratic representative in the Presidential Elections
against John Mccain. The light for gender equality has opened up many doors, managing
to even allow women to take a slice ofthe political pie.

The success of the fight is apparent. However, today, many are questioning if
maybe enough doors have been opened for women, and whether the importance of the
fight has disappeared. This may ring true for developed countries, but for developing
countries which are stillfar lacking in resources, and the couaage to take on an idea seen
as absurd to some, or dangerous to others, women are still at the losing end. lt is only
because the developed countries refuse to acknowledge this fact that it appears as if the
fight fo. gender equality has outlived its welcome-

ln strict Muslim societies such as Afghanistan and lran, backward traditions and
mentalities hinder the countries' groMh. ln the former, statistics have shown that less than
'10ol" of the reported cases of rape have received justice. Ridiculous clauses, such as
requiring at leasi two adult male witnesses willing to support the rape claim, prevent many
cases from even gaining access to a court hearing- This injustice has long plagued the
country, with litde being done to rectify it. However, this problem is also the reason for Link this
Afghanistan's 'uncjvilised' laws, which prevent it from gaining a good standing on the paragraph to the
international level. This could lead to a stagnant economy, or even wofse. a stagnant
economy trapped in the dogmatic principles ofthe past. question clearly.

ln the economic domain, developed countries are no exceptions- The perception

that a male has more value than a female runs deep in countries like lndia and China.
Both countries are, today, facing an imbalanced sex ratio, that of China being one female
to every 1.6 males. ln China's case, the one-child policf is the main culprit. Set during
revolutionary days, the one-child policy allows each family to have only one child, or two,
in special cases. While this was done to combat the problem of a population growing
faster than its country could support, it has brought along with it many problems. ln both
countries, infunticide ranks high on the causes of intant deaths. The desire for a more
'valuable' male ofGpring has led to increased abortion rates and cases of baby girls being
abandoned. The imbalance in the sex ratio also has many serious repercussions. lt has Again, your
been linked to incrcased cdme rates, t1/ith men unable to find a bride, resorting to argument needs
kidnapping, buying or trafficking women to fulfil their needs for companionships or carnal to be linked to
desires. A largely unmarried society could ironically lead to the downtall ol the family unit, the question
a component ol society valued by Asians. High migration rates could lead to a drastic fall explicitly.
in the working population, in turn resulting in a weakened economy.

It is age-old outdaled views, captured in equally old sayings such as'Eighteen

goddess-like daughters are not equal to one son with a hump', that still call for the fight for Yes, this clearly
gender equality to continue. Statistics like the fact that women make up 60% of South add.esses the
Korean graduatestut constitute less than 25% of the working force only compound the question.
problem. Crusaders ofthis mission have yet to fully spread their message, with only larger
communities benefiting. Besides the facl that the'ceass.fire' could bring repercussions
such as the ones faced by China and lndia, the fight for gender equality is also, above all,
a stunning example of human spirit. Just like the heart warming stories of Chinese natives
who went out of their way to help their fellow men after the Sichuan earthquake, the fight
for gender equality tore social theories such as social Darwinism to bits. lt displays human
compassion in a dog-eat-dog world, where the more forturiate gives to their less fortunate
counterparts. Philosophers Iike Charles Darwin believed that Man is born selfish. The
continued fight for gender equality proves otheMise.

ln conclusion, gender equality, and the fight fo. it, is still very important today- lt will
help to level unequal playing fields, giving women a voice and a place in society. lt will not
only go down in history as a revolution that caused old systems to fall, and new, stronger
ones to rise, it will also display the full capacity of the human spirit, with both men and
women, spanning the va.ious races, jobs and social standing, joining in the biggest human
riqhts movement of alltime.

Content: 21l30
Total Mark: 36/50

Good ideas and insuhts nised in the essay. Ensure that all are well-linked to the focus of
the question thrcughoul lre essay.

Delinquent children have constantly remained a thorn in the ffesh of society, and
with the rising trend oI increased divorce rates and the change in the functions served by
the family, delinquency rates have risen at an alarming rate over the years. This is in part
due to improper guidance on the part of their parents, who do not inculcate their children
with desirable moral values or socialise them with appropriate social values. Digging
deeper, however, one recognises that parents may not neglect their duties to their children
out of a sheer lack of responsibility, but instead may be forced to do so under e)denuating
societal circumstances.

Delinquency can be defined as the wiltul committing of violent or non-violeni


$ $ $ unnns woFD€ woms qf cs

in the full More
crimes. This being accepted, it foltows that a delinquent child commits crimes
be sanctioned thus kind of
i"o*r"as; tn"t ie is perpekating an act which cannot morally
on a child's language, void
J"ro""ti"ting inaa&rite grorinding in moral principtes The onus.lies
p"i.nt" io "" ttt"t he is so;ialized to adopt values cherished and widely accepted in of the formality
which the
in wnicn he is born, because the parents, having made the decision to bring a
ineiociety "ti"ut"
fif; iti" world, have a responsibility both to it and to its society to ensure that it is written, essay-
type language
sio;"it" r" r;""tional social unit dhich constructively rather than destructively affects
i" "While genes and inborn characteristics do have a bearing on a child's fequires.
"o.mrnitv. child as "This being said"
meniat ana emotionat d'evelopment, environmenial factoG substantially shape the
*"ff.'itri" u"ing said, parents are an immense influence on the child' who is brought up - inappropriate
und n"" a considerable amount ol contact with them- Thus, when a language here.
under their
o"iinq*trt ""iuo, youth disrupts societal order with his criminal acts' the direct blame lies
Give concrete
"nitotot t"uing faited in thek fundamental duty to raise a functional social unit'
on ni] p"r"nt" examples or
scenarios to
Yet delinquency often stems from a child's or youth's own inadequacies' which can
illustrate the
be as crucial a factor as their parents' failure in delivering on their responsibilities' points you raise.
Emotional insecurities may de.ail a child from his normal course of development Somay For example,
oressures from his contemporaries, his appetites and his circumstances thrust his
given that he has nol fully matured, put him in a give specific
mind into confrision and uncertainty and'
r9s9rt to crime to values deemed
foiruon witn which he is ill-equipbed to cope. As a result' he may important and
ii.uiut" ttt" pr"""rr.s burdening him Because the plethora of external infiuences a child necessary for a
is exposed to cannot possibly be comprehensively monitored by his parents' and member of
his innate insecurities and immaturity are part of the natural process of his emotional
Jevetopment tnat cannot be removed by any act on the part of his pareJlt, lhese factors
parental irresponsibility Thus the parents
that can lead to delinquency are not caused by Again, p.ovide
are not fully cuipable for the development of a delinquent child' conctete
At the same time, the root cause of the so-labelled 'rirresponsibility' of parenis
merits closer examination. Should this irresponsibility stem from a fundamental lack of a
sense of duty on the parenfs part, he should no doubt be held fully culpable for the
subsequent wayward turn his child takes- However, parents are often forced into
"irresponsibility" by characte.istics of ihe society whose impact they cannot resist For
example, the detlnquency seen in a child could be blamed on parenta' negligence, but the
root cause of his neglig;nce could be timeconsuming career commitments which both point.
parents have to placjp;iority on in order tc eilsure the financial stability of the family unit
ihe problem is exacerbated by the fact that more and more women are becoming viable
economic units who partake iqually in a family's 'breadwinning business' The varied
demands of the modern, globalised wodd compete with children for the attention' effort
and time of their parents. Farents become forced inlo a situation in which, in order to fulfil
another tundamental responsibility of theirs - to safeguard the linancial secu'ity and hence
overall stability oftheir families - ihey sacrifice time that could be spent on better grooming
their children. ln this manner, the opportunity cost of familial stability can be the sound
moral tutelaqe of a couple's children.

It is thus difficult to ascribe blame wholly to one party or another for delinquent
children's inappropriate behaviour- While the phenomenon is partially brought about due to Aae there
irresponsibility on the part of their parents, extemal factors' coupled with their immaturity' possible
are also partty the causes of this aberrant behaviour in children Parental neglect may not solutions to
entirely represent a failurc on the parent's part, but may be the product of-a series of alleviate the
caref'rily weighed decisions made by the parents to ensure the stability of his family, problem then? lf
decisions he-has been forced to make due to society's demands of him As the issues so, state them
descend into shades of grey upon careful consideration, parents cannot be fully blamed briefly here-
{or delinquent children or Youth.

Content: 24130
Total Mark: 39/50

Points arc coherent and stand is clear thrcughoul as see, and

Irr essay's strong direction
putposefulneii. Give more concrete examples to convince the readetthat points arc valid


ln this day and age, the entire world has aansformed into a global village,
seemingly becoming smaller as advancements in technology, such as the embracement of
Web 2.0 and the many innovations from Technology, Ente.tainment, Design (TED)
confercnces, all bring us closer to one another. As demand for cheaper connectivity soars
due to the currently exorbitant prices of oil, which have hit US $140 a barrel leading to
more expensive air t.avel, the people that connect us like Skype have engineered feats Rephrase 'the
such as low-cost video-conferencing. And as many more examples of connectivity may be people that
rattled off, we can thus see that globalisation is ,ndeed reaching its peak as its sphere of connect us like
influence spreads due to technological advancement. Horrever, the impact of this Skype".
phenomenon is quite human-centred. With globalisation, people all over the wodd imbibe
and partake in a cultural experience conttibuted by the many diverse groups of people on
this planei, and it is thus the extent to which we have been affected by this cultural
experience tkat determines our global-mindedness. As such, in the context of Singapore,
though it may be obvious that we are globally connected, it remains to be seen whethe.
we have truly been shaped by this global cultural experience as a society.

With the increasing connectivity, Singaporeans a.e exposed to many media

platforms that transmit information about global issues, such as television, radio, the
lntemet, newspapers and magazines. This has allowed many here to be more globally
aware, and to keep in touch with current affaias around the world which may or may not
affect us. Nonetheless, this phenomenon has since removed us from the close- lnsightful to
mindedness that many societies face, especially in developing countries. The Democrats' b.ing in
nomination campaigns for their potential presidential candidate, for example, have been developing and
closely followed by many Singaporeans, due in part to wide coverage h news media. This non-developing
has resulted in Singaporeans even being able to be a part of this electoral process, parts of the
endorsing candidates of their own whether it being the frontrunners Obama or Clinton, and world.
experiencing a part of the political process that many young Singaporeans have never
experienced before. The outpouring of compassion as seen by the many generous private
donations to aid disaster victims of the Sichuan earthquake and Cyclone Nargis in
I\ryanmar is also testament to the nation's civic-mindedness in the global arena. Such is
the eient of globalisation that has allowed our people to be aware of various global
events, and even partake ofthe experiences that these provide.

On a lighter note, many in Singapore have also been part of a different global cood choice
cullural experience. With connectivity, knowledge of consumer culture has also descended of phrase
upon our shores, seen by the many sawy consumers who are very in touch with fashion connecting
trends and imported waves. So strong is this fascination that many world-renowned retail previous
outlets have set up flagship stores here, as seen in the clothing label Gap having set up paragraph to
one heae as well as luxury goods retajler Louis Vuitton. While lhese may seem superfrcial this.
and possibly scoffed at by detmctors who will argue that this has nothing to do with
globalisation, it has to be noted that many anthropologists and sociologists deem Good counter to
consumer culture as perhaps one of the largest determinants ofthe extent of globalisation, the counter-
given that the desire to possess and own something is very human in nature. Hence, argument.
surprisinqly, it is our voracious shopping culture, which especially takes a shine to our
imported goods, that has increased our "global quotient', and perhaps may qualify us to be
at least semblances of a global citizen.

One also begins to realise how cosmopolitan and globaiwe really are as a country'
Eesides consumer culture that has been assumed our very own, our local community
carries many international flavours too. I\rany expatriates have increasingly flocked to oua
shores naming safety, cleanliness, stability and the largely global culture here as the main
draws, persuadilg many multi-national corporations lo set up regional headquarters here.
This may be sedn by the bu.geoning educational institutions here such as the Tanglin
Trust and the Australian lnternatonal School, that have begun to hunt for local

$$$ unnos r,ronos rnronm m {"
opportunities, and the Global lndian lnternational School campuses. Even local schools
have become quasi-international schools, such as MacPhe.son Primary school which
boasts of many nationalities studying there, as more expatriates bring their families over' lt
is perhaps these growing communities of foreigners in singapore that have contributed to
the global mindset that we possess today, as we begin to shake off ou. colonial past and
become more accepting of other cultures, and even religions. Perhaps, government policy
like that of the promotion of racial and religious harmony and the gracious acceptance of
foreign talent into our shores has helped us to become people with cosmopolitan

Yet, one also begins to question the authenticity of our supposed global-
mindedness, and whether this qualifies us to be fully-fledged global citizens. Even as we
embrace opportunities to go for overseas study stints to engage in international
experiences, these may be labelled as our fixation with a global education as one that Rephrase: lt
boosts career opportunities. Therefore, anger over foreign talent "stealing jobs" has also may be
been an issue, though it has subsided considerably over the last year. Nonetheless, it is a misinterpreted
sign of unhappiness at the phenomenon that is labelled inevitable: globalisation. ls by others to be a
Singapore truly globalminded, when we have been labelled 'ugly' Singaporeans due to fixation with a
our lack of s6cial graces when travelling abroad? And are we truly embracing global globaleducatior
culture, when we celebrate music icons from all over the wodd, and yei many of us are full to boost one's
of disdain for the culture that is attached to the entertainment. like deviant sexual career
oientation? While one cannot fully embrace all of these and transform into an entity that opportunities.
fully lives and breathes global culture and forget one's own local identity, Singapore still
has some way to go before it may be labelled a country of global citizens. We have
succeeded on many fronts in trying to re-orientate our citizens as global citizens, with the
many initiatives to inject international flavours such as the upcoming Formula One night
race this September and the successful bid for the Youth Olympic Games 20'10, to creaie
a more vibrant nightlife and revive the spirit of sport within the community and especially of
youth, respectively. Nonetheless, there are many traits that will, for a long time, deflne us
as Singaporeans, such as the "k/asr/' mentality of the fear of losino and the general
pragmatism ofthe local population and of global citizens-

Hence, while we may not be able to claim the full mantle of values and traits a
global citizen embodies, we can say that we have at least imbibed a little of the global
culture experience to at least suNive in this increasingly globalised world. That said, it is
definite that while being a part of global citizens is essentially positive, to be a global
citizen and lose tou6h with one's local or indigenous cultu.al identity is an immense loss. lt
would be a pure shame for one to be able to identify so well with global culture and yet not
belong to a certain community. There is no true global community, for the record, as each
individual has his or her own cultural baggage that will indirectly influence whatever global
identiry he or she assumes. As such, while people in my country may not be true global
citizens who assume an ent'rely global identity, we can at least say that we have taken
part in what is labelled the global cultural experience, and that, I believe, is allwe wll ever

Total Mark: 43/50

Your essay is fluently witten with good linking devices. lt analyses mainly (though not
solely) the cultunl atttibutes of global citizens. You argument is balanced, coherent, and
you analyses are often incisive. Yout choice of examples is also generally good.

ln has found itself swamped by a substantial quantity of

problems. has to be done and that some changes must be

effecled, to ensure that these challenges can be properly overcome. The crux of the issue
is the choice of mechanism by which such changes are made, and the present wodd now
witnesses a growing call for the change to begin with the individual. Currently, the toF
down approach is widely regarded as an ineffectual problem-solver, and fie popular beliel
is that the best way to get things done would be to initiate change on the individual level. Good treatment
such changes may seem insignificant, but will have a ripple effect on the rest of the wodd of the question
and will thereby create a sizable impact. ln other words, many are of the conviction that to in the
change the world, one mustfirst change oneseli and look inward and do something on the background of
individual level. Ihis is an idea that is fervently echoed in, and to a great extent, deeply the infoduclion.
.elevant to Singaporean society. CIear stand.

This belief is highly relevant in the local economic sphere. The government, as \,{ell
as key economic authorities, have often made known to the general public that while they
are the ones with the power to create and implement policies and legislations, it is the
people, the general populace, that truly power and drive the local economy. The extent to
which locals spend, labour and serve ultimately decides the state ot the economy. Hence if
the people desire any changes in the economic sphere, it would be most effective if they
were to first initiate it on the individual level, and act on the very thing they want to change.
lf everyone wers'to try to trigger a positive change in the economy on the individual level,
it would have a snowball effecl and result in very signmcant economic movements For
example, during an ecooomic recession, a good way to revive the economy would be to
increase spending thereby pumping and circulating money around the economy again. lf
the responsibility to effect such change was placed on the gove.nment, it would take a
great deal of time for lhe government to increase its expenditure and doing do may place
undue stress on its finances. Conversely, if individuals v/ere to be the change they wanted
to see in the economy, and not curtailtheir spending as much as theia means would al,ow,
it would not take much on anyone's part to stimulate the economy and move it out of the
recession. lndeed, the concept of change needing to start from the individual is very much
present in local society, in the economic dimension. The rise of entrepreneuaship is a case
in point with regards to the importance of the indiv:dual approach in tle Singaporean
society as well. Being and initiating the desired changes is an approach that is highly
advocated in Singapore, and economic policies and trends in the country are testimony of

Furthermore, the relevance of this concept to local society is also shown through Apt area to
the nation's environmental efforts. The environmental campaign has enjoyed much examine for this
p.ominence in Singaporean society in recent times, and a notable aspect on it is its essay.
emphasis on the fact that there can only be a tangible etfect on the envkonment if
everyone makes an attempt to go green and make small changes to thek lifestyles to
render their daily practices more environmentalfriendly- The recent "Saving Gaia'
movement is based on the importance of one's individual effort - it did not advocate vast,
large.scale elforts like affecting the national landscape and setting environmentally-friendly
industrial laws. Rather, it advocates that locals should go green in their day{o-day
practices, such as turning off electrical appliances aftet usage to save electricity. This
echoes the prominent local belief that by acting on the change as much as one can, one
will enable the change to materialise, and show the relevance of this beliefto local society-

ln addition, Singaporean society is seeing a shift towards individual participation

and effort in the political scene. People no longer want to be passive voters; they want to
be a part of the action as they strongly believe that their individual efforts would make a
tangible difference. The use of the Speake/s Come. in the heartland and the employment
of o;line avenues like STOMP to make one's opinions known are prime examples People
now prefer to step to the forefront and call for change, rather then wait for the authorities to
do it, in the political arena, for they see that one person c€n do a lot and have an immense

However, some may argue otherwise. They may point out that in areas like social
welfare and cohesion, action to effect positive change was largely carried out by higher
authorities while pecjple waited idly by for the improvement, as seen trom how racial
policies like housing quotas and bonding events like Racial Harmony Day celebrations

$ $$u,onm\,oRDS\ rcRDs@ q I
were largely initiated by the government. Also, it is often argued that the youth community
remains- apathetic and unwilling to initiate change. However, the active efforts of Counter-
Resident's Committees to create better social cohesiveness at the grassroots level, and arguments are
the rise of youth forums like youth.sg so as to do something for youth by youth' showed dealt with rather
that there ia still a significant number of people trying to be the change rather than wait for abruptly.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." lndeed; this is a view that is highly Conclusion
relevant, and much practised, in Singaporean society. paragraph is to
Content: 20/30
Language: 12120
Tolal l\4ark: 32y50

IJse rcal examples to elaborcte your point in paragmph 2, not a hypothetical scenado
There is evidence of some insightful points.

ln today's globalised world, there are indeed mdny issues which serve to divide
rather than unite us. lt is no longer a simple bipolarisation, but is now a multipolarisation as
globalisation has facilitated the spread of ideas, such that there is now a myriad of differing
tiews. But proponents of globalisation advocate that it has made the world smaller'
encouraging interaction across borders, uniting the world as one.! Globalisation, has Not quite the
hence, in itsell divided the world along two lines - those for it and those against it crux of the
Therefore, I believe that globalisation has created and enforced divisions, instead of question.
encouraging unity most of the time. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing at the Let's see how
same time. you handle this
- seems like
A simple look at the world rankings according to countdes' GDP (G.oss Domestic many ideas/
Product) illustrates that globalisation has not created equality and appears to have even lines oI
enforced the divide between the 'haves" and the "have nots" Advocates of globalisation argument goin
assert that this process creates greater equality in opportunity and enlarges the pie, such on.
that the poor may climb up the ladder and enjoy better standards of living Looking at the
proliferation of micro-financing today, it seems that globalisation is bddging the disparity in
terms of income, and qradualiy bringing the world together on equal footing' since many
needy people in developing nations are given small loans to set up smalLscale businesses
so as to find their way out of poverty. However, it must be noted that firstly' not everyone
has equal opportunities to obtain such loans, and the fact that some have access whilst
others are baraed serves to intensify the divide, causing a further polarisation in the
developing world, whereas it was iust the richer oations versus the lhird Wodd in the past. Not as simplistic.
On another level, it is untrue that those who obtain micro-financing are able to catch up
with people in the developed world, as they are operating on a small scale and catering to
a limited domestic market. Therefore, globalisation does nothing to bridge the income gap,
and instead increasingly pulls the world apart, as the rich get richer and the poor, either
poorer or remain the same. But most of the time, globalisation serves to weaken the
financial standings of those at the bottom of the wealth chain, especially with multinational
corporations (MNCS) such as l\,4cDona,d's entering the developing world, threatening and
even destroying the viability of small-scale food businesses and big roasters such as
Nestle jeopardising the well-being of farmers as they are exploited due to unfair terms of
t.ade. This is extremely detrimental as most of the Third World is agrarian. Hence, Lenqthy
globalisation has further strengthened the divide between the First and Third worlds in pa.agraph.
terms of financial. Though the divide has always existed, globalisation has intensified it You also need
due to the proliferation of global conglomerates at the expense of small-scale businesses to include a

O$C unms ra,mos r,v:nos m q3
Furthermore, acts such as micro-financing, though appearing to alleviate poverty, serve to reiterating
restricl the poor to smallscale businesses, which will eventually be wiped out by the large- statement to link
scale MNCs anyway. your ideas to the
Due to the emergence of the mass media, it has never been so easy and fast to
spread ideas, and this has resulted in a further divide along political lines. During the
period of the Cold War, it was simple and clear-cut since the world was divided into two
How do you
distjncl camps the American Bloc and Soviet Sphere. However, with the advent of think the divide
globalisation, we have seen the proliferatjon of religious fundamentalism and the has evolved?
emergence of neither democratic, nor communist, but religious states. Therefo€,
globalisation has not brought the world together as a whole, but perhaps selected Need to be
communities, such as the Muslim of lslamic community on the same platform to pursue clearer with your
lslamisation. Ihe rise of religious fundamentalism and the violent tenor tactics adopted by lines of
g.oups such as the Hezbollah and the Taliban has polarised the world turther, with argument:
America and its allies declaring a war against terorism, whilst the Muslim fundamentalists a) political
have sanctioned Jihad' against the West. Therefore, it is now a multipola. world we live in, system
with a few coqntries remaining Communist, such as Cuba and Vietnam, whilst the majority b) Muslims
is democ.atic, with America as the leader, and newly rising fundamentalist states like lran veasus the West
and Afghanistan. However, globatisation has at the same time, brought countries within
the various camps together, creating stronger bonds. The democratic world has never
been so united before. with a clear example being American-French relations. These two
nations were historical rivals but facing very bad terrorist threats they have been working
closely to cbmbat terrorism. At the other end of the spectrum, the Muslim states have also Perceptivel
bonded together against the West. Therefore, as globalisation divides, it unites at the
same time, but the unity created is only amongst certain groups subscribing to the same,
perhaps monolithic ideas- This is most clearly crystailised in the formation of organisations
such as the United Nations and lnternational Monetary Fund, which are both led by the
tJnited States, symbolising unity unde. US patronage and leadershjp. A potential idea
- do not just
Examining the effects of globalisation on communities and peQple, globalisation gloss over it.
appears to have both the ability to unite and divide and whether it has created more issues
that divide rather than unite is not so easily judged. With the formation of rnfo-tech
highways, it seems that the world has never been so well-connected. The creation of
Friendster and Myspace, whi6h are social netlvorking websites, and 4shared and
Napster, which are music sharing websites, shows that people ac.oss the world are
increasingly undergoing exchanges with one another- However, unity as not necessarily
created through increased exchanges, since cultural exchanges may be aare, hence,
people from different parts of lhe world are coming together on a very superficial basis and
the divide between cultures is not really bridged, but remains- At the same time, Good
globalisation is linked to the rise of individuality, with everyone pursuing their personal observation!
identities, moving away from common forms of identmcation. lt is perhaps the rising
awaaeness and consciousness that has led modern individuals to discard the sort of'herd'
mentality and start a quest to be different. However, this concept of individuality is very
much a Western concept, and as peopie increasingly seek to discover their personal
identities, it seems that we are being united in a common cause. An example is the
emergence of the iPod, the bestselling [,4P3 player globally. lts marketing advertisemenl
emphasises individuality in the type of music one adheres to, but with everyone
scrambling to purchase an iPod, it symbolises that the world is gradually coming together,
with a gadqet as the lowest common denominator. Therefo.e, globalisation is perhaps
slowly creating a world community, and despite the many issues that divide, it is actually ln wtrich
unitjng the world. aspects?

However, one point lo note is that global unity is a utopian idealistic ambition which
is perhaps impossible to achieve, since globalisation does not create very strong links
between people, and in many majoa areas such as politics and economics, has even
intensified the divisions. ln fact, unity may not even be a goal lhe wodd should be striving
to achieve if it means conformity. Cuffently, it appears that the world is assuming a very
Western image as. the process of globalisation intensifies. This will bring about a whole And why so?
new spate of probl6ms such as the loss of ethnicity and culture, as seen in how the Karen
community is increasingly losing its sense of tradition, with younger gids opting lo remove

or not put on the neckgear altogether, due to modern concepts of beauty and femininity
popularised by globalisation. Therefore, though the statement in question seems to I lnsightful point
propagate the idea that division is not beneficial, neither is unity if it mean$ uniformity, and
hence, globalisation in creating or enforcing divisions does help the world retain certain
traditions it should protect.

All in all, globalisation has solidified and created more divisions than it has bridged.
Ihough it does serve to paper over cerlain divisions, it does not.nec€ssarily unify. ln fact,
the topic of globalisation itself has seemed to divide scholars into different ideological
coups, some of which actively promote globalisation, whilst other are totally against it and
others have more balanced views. Therefore, if the topic itself can generate such differing
views, it is definitely not a tool to unify a,though certain advocates believe that a world
identity is gradually taking shape. Nevertheless, world unity is a very utopian view, and not
necessarily something we should strive to achieve if it amounts to conformity. Therefore,
the divides created by globalisation a.e not entirely evil.

Content: 24130 -
Language: l5/20
Total Mark: 39m

ldeas a@ rclevant and-addess the question well. ldeas and arguments in paragraphs 3
and 4 rca y sing! You have prcvided a perceptive and mature discussion on the whole.
lnclude morc ctncrete examples and make sure you intrcduction is of the same
so ph isticated stan dad.

In this increasingly globalised world of ours today, it is never easy to completely

dissociate a particular country or state from all othels, because of the increasing
interdependence between countries. Just as no man is an island, no country can
effectively function on its own in this age, and even if a few managed to, they would be
worse off in the long run. This is one of the main reasons why we, whether as an
administration or a society, or as individuals, should bother about lvhat goes on in othe.
countries apart from our own. This simple duty may also be justified because it is critical
for us to recognize the global community as having a collective identity, instead of
disparate ones, as globalisation draws all of us closer to one another- There is, as such, a
pressing need for us to be concerned with the current affairs of other countries.

Due to
increasing globalisation and connectivity, there have been many
connections made between countries. Trade between many countries continues to grow,
and even organisations like the World Trade Organisation (VWO) have been set up to
facilitate intemational trade and the smooth implementation of its accompanying practices.
Cultural exchanges and high-level talks between countdes have been on the rise as
governments acknowledge the importance of such meetings to their own countries'
welfare. Countries all over the world are beginning to recognise that interdependence on
other countries is inevitable, and is a relatively secure route to development and eventual
prosperity. This interdependence requires us to be in the know about various happenrngs
in the region, and of those concerning other countdes- ln order to secure benefits arising
from interdependence, countries have to ensure that events occuning in partner counkies
do not adversely affect any relations between them. For example, the recent invasion of
Georgia by the Russian military was closely watched by the Untied States (US), given that
Georgia is a close US ally- The Western Superpower was quick to denounce the conflict
as an affront to peace, but this could also be noted as a measure to hopefully contain
How does the
Russian aggression, and to secure the safety of its own ally from dissolution. It is thus
seen that concem about events happening in other counkies is crucial in ensuring our own

prosperity and security, given the increasing interdependence we experience due to illustrate this?
globalisation. Link between
example and
However, this concern may be deemed td intrusive at times, and may thus inlringe earlier point in
on the individual sovereignty that many countries around lhe world dearly hold. The tenet the paragraph
of national sovereignty is protected by many statutes issued by the United Nations (UN), on economic
as well as espoused by many individual nation states- But concern with regards to welfare and
happenings in other countries sometjmes leads to potential inffingements of it- Take for prosperity needs
example the recenl Cyclone Nargis catastrophe in l\ryanmar that left some parts of the lo be shown.
country in ruins and retegated many of the citizenry to backward poverty. lt brought into
spotlight the issue of national sovereignty, because other countries which had unbridled
distrust in the military junta wanted the country to allow entry to aid teams and
international relief organisatjons, such as Mercy Reliel But the junta insisted that they
.espect the countrfs sovereignty, and instead asked for aid to be given to the
adrninislration, after which the aid would reportedly be distributed to the people. As can be
seen, the issue of sovereignty sometimes limits the concern which we can have for other
countries, leacling some detractors to entirely abandon the idea of even caring about what
happens elsewhere, and instead, focus on domestic affairs at hand-

However, it is precisely because of these domestic affairs that we have to care

about extemal eventsrAs mentioned earlier, interdependence with other countaies results A good juncture
in our inability to insulate ourselves from the rest of the international community. For to bring in the
example, the issue of trans-boundary haze pollution in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region idea of the
makes it impossible for those affected by it to be entirely unconcerned about the forest
envkonment as
fires in lndonesia which caused the phenomenon. ln this case, due to the positive a common
diplomatic relations the SEA counkies have with each othei, lndonesia allowed fire fighting aesource.
teams from other SEA countries such as Singapore, to help curb forest fires and thus
minimize haze pollution. As seen, there may be cases wherc sovereignty may be Explain link
prioritised lower than the need to secure prosperity and the well-being of various countries,
and thus, concern for what happens in other countries is not misplaced, and can exist pollution levels
even with the slalute of sovereignty. and prosperity -
Fudhermore, globalisation has begun to impart a collective identity on many Discuss also the
countries, and this has resulted in a convergence of values. This can be observed through health concerns
the prcliferation of many international organisations that seek to uphold the values shared which are of
by a qroup of nations, such as the UN which conslsts of neariy every country in the wodd, paramount
or the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which consists of China and other importance.
nations like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and other former Soviet Union states. As a
result, there is a need to be familiar with ongoing events in other countries, as this is vital
in ensuring that member countries ol a pariicular organisation still adhere to the set of Good
common values, this being demonstrated by the state of their domestic affairs. For observafion
example, the US, as one of the Security Council (SC) members in the UN. often takes the
lead in admonishing countries and placing pressure on UN members who do not adhe€ to
UN conventions and rules- This may be seen in the constant US reprimands of Chinese
violations of human rights, during events such as the violent clampdown on Tibetan
protestors in Lhasa by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in [,'larch 2008. Plenty of
international criticism followed, and this was followed by Chinese efforts to appease the
international community, one example being the government tours ofthe region conducted
for foreign journalists. It can thus be seen that concern with what is going on in other
countries can translate into action being taken to ensure these countries adhere to the
values of a global identity. This is especially necessary in oder to maintain global peace
and stability.

Ultimately, it is recognised that there is a need to be concerned about the affairs of

other countries. This is to ensure that the increasing inteadependence between countries
will yield mostly benefits, and to uphold certain values dear to many countries, such as the
sanctity of human rights. While it is acknowledged that this concern may sometimes lead
to actions that infringe on sovereignty, it also has to be recognised that with diplomacy and
appropriate foreign policy, sovereignty can sometimes be placed confortably at a lower
priority, allowinq for redemptive action and help, given by other countries to the host

$ ffi $vrcnosvrnnmr,rmsm {.
country. Perhaps, with more countries caring about what happens to each other, whether
in self-interest or otherwise, a closer and more cohesive global identity may be forged, and
a safer, secure and more prosperous global environment will prevail in the future, avoiding
future maGmade calamities such as a Third wodd War. Therefore, it is best that we
should care aboul v'/hat happens in other countries.

Content: 25130
Language: 16/20
Total Mark:41150

A lluently and pe6uasively witten essay with well-developed aryuments at most paIts.
The example in the first body paragmph could have been better linked to the point on
econamic welfarc and political secudty. Sti , a balanced and effective structured piece with
insighfful obsevations which ref,ect a sound unde6tanding of the tensions and issues it
the question. Keep it up!

0 e3 O u,ms u/oRDsunRDs G L3


From "Lessons from the Dying,' Rodney Smith wrote that "we, (human beings),
seem to have an unlimited ability to hold ourselves hostage to the past' ln one way or
another, he was correct in referring to a group of people among us who always think with
the past, live in ihe past and use the past as the background for all their future projections
Bv lettrng the shadows of the past hold themselves back and preventing themselves from
mbving on and succeeding in life, they indeed have become prisoners of their past
However, looking at society as a whole, these prisoners of the past are not representative
of our behaviour- ln fact, we human beings have become both leamers and critics of our Good thesis
past and have at lhe same time triumphed over it. statement

It is acknowledged that under many circumstances, we find it hard to overcome

impactful tragedies that we might have expe.ienced and thus become prisoners of our own
past. This is when we have been so devastated emotionally due to the pains we had to
suffer that we are no longer able to pull ourselves back together. lt is true in the case of
Pop star Britney SpearQ, who entangled herself in many scandals after her breakup with
Justin Timberlake, her ex-boyfriend and after her divorce. Going to rehabilitation oentres
tor mental health treatment and losing custody of herself show how far a person could be
pulled back by the past and become its prisoner.

Just as tragedy and its cruelty lead to people becoming prisoners of the past, good
memories play a part as well. This is when we refuse to accept the hardships being
experienced in the present, thus resulting in the problem of people unable to adapt to a
new environment. A study has shown that young Singaporean students are the loneliest of
overseas students in Australia. They fnd it so hard to befriend the loqals due to their
suffedng from culture shock. Therefore, these people are another notable example of
prisoners of their past wheaeby they cannot rid themselves of the sweet memories back in
their home country to move on with a new life.

Sometimes, we become prisoners of our past when a sense of vengeance

overwhelms us upon the learning of historical conflicts with another group of people.
Usually. this stems ftom the inherent differences between people of different ethnic or
religious groups. The sense of vengeance could continue to haunt us and to creale a
vicious cycle of hat.ed and anlagonism among us- ln the case of Northem lreland, as the
Protestants look back into their past and celebrate the Battle of Boyne wlren they claimed
victory over the Catholics, the tension between the Catholics and Protestants could hardly
be suMued. Similarly, in the Ara lsrael conflict, the history of the two sides has a key role
in the conflict that could only further worsen it. Haunted by the Holocaust, the lsraelis
turned aggressive to avoid any threat to their existence. Meanwhile, the Arabs look back at
what the lsraelis did to them and responded. By not being able to let go or forget what the Pertinent
other side of the conflict did, jt is almost impossible to flnd any peace resolution in the examples to
,4iddle East. The bleak future concerning the peace of both the Arabs. particularly the illustrate your
Palestinians and the lsraelis, further shows how the past has held these people hostage. point here
These people have become prisoners of their past as they cannot get out of it and start a
peace process with each other.

ln addition, v,/e are also pdsoners of the acts that we committed in the past as the
acts, once done, cannot be changed. This is evident among the Japanese who committed
many war crimes during the World War ll in China, notably the Nankang Massacre in 1937-
The consequences are still felt at present. Since then, the relations between China and
Japan have soured and this is one repercussion that Japan has to bear due to its brutality
du.inq the war. Recently in 2008, there have been repo.ts of China-made dumplings belng
poisoned with insecticides and sold in Japan. lt has been alleged that this ir.esponsible
Chinese act was peihaps done in retaliation to the Japanese refusal to issue any offcial
state apology to China despite the severity of the wa. crimes they had committed. Also'

S ffi $u,onns\,sDS\ nRDSG *
the Chinese outcry following ex-Japanese Prime Minister, Koizumi's visits to the
controversial Yasukuni Shrine has shown that both Japan and China have not been able
to leave their past behind and move towa.ds a meaningful and peaceful co-operation.
Thus, both continue to be prisoners oftheir past.

Besides the war crimes that leave long{erm consequences up to the present, our
destruction of the environment has also led to us having to bear the impact ol our past
actions. lt is impossible to just let go of what we, humans, did to the envi.onment, such as
deforestation or overfishing fo. our own selfish usages- Therefore, by having to grapple
with today's climate change due to past actions, we have indeed become prisoners of our
past deeds. This continuum of human activities, such as anti-whaling campaigns against
Japan and the holding of extravagant and timeconsuming talks such as the 2007 Climate
Change Conference in Bali to deal wjth the environmental costs of man's past activities, is
evidence ot us being bound by our past.

However. as Rodney Smith suggested, "we are prisoners of actions we cannot Apt use of
change but our perspectives of the events can change." Even though we calnnot change quote.
the past and must deal with our past deeds' consequences, our perspectives towards the
past and how_l e fackle the consequences can free us from becoming prisoners of the
past. As humans, we have always strived to become better beings and thus many have
triumphed over the pa€t, instead of letting it prevent us from achieving success. The late
Christopher Reeve, a rcnowned American actor, director, producer and writer, despite
being paralysed in an accident in 1995 and being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of
his life, still managed to bring himself to greater success in life. While living with the pain of
the accident, his attitude towards life was positive. He lobbied on behalf of people with
spinal cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, and successfully founded
the Christopher Reeve foundation. This rema.kable achievement shor4€ how the past,
instead of holding him hostage, actually became an inspiration for him to move on further
in life. Similarly, Barack Obama, lvho was involved in drug usage dudng his teenage
years, is now a United States P.esidential candidate. What led to these.people becoming
great leaders in society is that they had the will not to allow themselves to be prisone.s of
their past. For cases where people are pulled back by the past, such as the lonely
Singaporeans in Australia or Britney Spears, it is just their individual failure to accept
challenges in li{e. Regarding society as a whole, there are still many more such This claim is
Christopher Reeves or Barack Obamas who are not at all prisoners oftheir past. difficult to prove.

Moreover, many have also become learners and critics of our past. As part of our
quest for knowledge and our curiosity, we have been trying to understand why things
happen at a specific time and at a specmc place in history. ln fact, in the world, conflicts,
such as the AraFlsraeli conflict that arose ftom people being prisoners of their past, are
only some of our mistakes. As humans, we do make mistakes and this only drives us to
strive turther not to repeat them by learning from the past and history. During the period of
the Cold War. the United States learnt from the lesson of the Vietnam War, which was
later known as the Vietnam Syndrome, and thus was more willing to move towards a
D6tente, or the cooling of relations, with the Soviet union. ln Singapore, learning from the
racial riots of the 1960s, the Singapore government has made great efforts in celebrating
Racial Harmony Day in its bid to maintain ethnic and racial harmony and peace in the
country. These have indicated that throughout the world, across governments and
authorities, we have been trying hard not to fall into the trap of our past, not to become fts
pisoners but to learn from it instead. As the adage goes, "he who does not understand
history is doomed to repeat it." By constantly learning from our past lessons, we move
ourselves away from repeating the past, and thus avoid becoming prisoners of our past.

Throughout human evolution, the past has also been used to liberate us in terms of
paopelling us forward to greatea discoveries and progress. Many extraordinary inventions
were made based on past observations or work by our ancestors. Without a great inventor
like Albed Einstein, there would have been no atomic technology. Without Leonardo da
Vinci, the Renaissance Man, and the use of his work such as the conceptualised paintings
of the helicopter and tanks, such great inventions might not have been made in history.
We have thus indeed been able to make use of the past, manipulate it for our own uses

and development instead of being prisoners ofthe past.

Sometimes, the past was made use of as a libe.ating and rallying call for national
unity. ln Siam, present day Thailand, King Vajiravudh, the founder of Thai nationalism
used the lhai past as the basis for his nation's vision. He emphasised the past glories of
the ancient Thai kingdoms, Ayulhaya and Sukhotai, in the attempt to unite the people
under one formula 'King, Nation, Kingdom.' There{ore, it is possible to make use of the
past to our own advantage instead of it preventing us from succeeiling in life.

All in all, as human beings, we live in the past, present and future. We tend to both
look back and ahead to determine our curent direction. However, looking at the past does
not mean that we are prisoners ol our past- lnstead, we try to make use of it to move on
towards greater achievements and goals in life. For those who allow the past to
overshadow their lives, it is only their own failu.e to learn fiom their past and not the failure
of society as a whole. For such people and for conflicts that arise from theirfailure to learn
lrom the past, ,t is perhaps due to thei. lack of sensilivity towards others, as well as their
unwillingness torovercome their problems. ln a sense, they are a group of people who are
prisoners of themselves rather than their past.

Language: 1220
Total Mark: 33/50

Good use of examples and apprcpdate employment of quotes to suppotl the aryuments in
your essay.

History has, indeed, recorded some of the grossest atrocities and unimaginable
depths of humanity that the world as a whole has witnessed. Yet to conclude that this pain Quick, sharp
conslitutes history in its entirety would be to neglect the countless glories which people and smooth
actoss cultures hold dear and commemorate to this day. ln addition, far faom being a mere introduction to
'tableau', history is the binding fabric that defines cultures and provides a sense of the essay.
direciion and hope for the future.

War and suffering have undeniably been recuring themes in history. Fresh in the
minds of many are the ho.rors of Nazi Germany; the brutal slaughter of six million Jews,
the torture and the experiments conducted on living human beings - the crimes against
humanity committed under the morally defunct leadership of one totalitarian dictator. This
one historical event has come to dominate German history writing to the extent that their
paesent syllabus for secondary school students focuses almost exclusively on how the
Holocaust occured and how to prevent another. Germany is not alone: many countries
commemo.ate the misery and grief in their pasts. Such is the function of war memodals
and shrines. History thus definitely .eflec-ts the crimes and misfortunes of times past, and
the more traumatic events are, the more they dominate the historical narrative especially if
they seem to overwhelm the many other facels of a nalion's past. lt would be difflcult, for
instance, to read a course in Vietnamese history which does not cover the Vietnam Waa,
especially in America where the p.evailing opinion is firmly againsl the administration's
insistence upon intervention. This accounts for the general misconc€ption that history is
merely a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

However, while being prominently rccorded in the historica! narrative, traumatic Strong topic
events rarely eclipse-time-honoured glories or achievements from ancient times. Societies sentence.
frnd jt impo.tant to pass on memories of their triumphs to their descendants so that heroes
may be immortalised and serve as constanl sources of inspiration for them. For instance,


Chinese history extends far beyond the human .ights abuses of the Great Proleta an
Cultural Revolution to honour great heroes from its past Qin Shi Huang, who unified
China: confucius, Mencius and a whole mnge of thinke6 who set the direction of Chinese
philosophy; they remember not only the excesses of Empress Ci Xi but also the 6lan and
daring of Hua Mu Lan. History is not merely a catalogue of pain and unhappiness; it also Effective
tells ofthe greatness of the past, honouring the linest qualities of mankind in semi-mythical reiterating
fashion. statement which
ties paragraph
The power of the historical narrative lies in the fact that the historical events people to the focus of
choose to record determine how ihei. culturcs will be defined. An honest history will record the question.
the best and the worst of a culture, bringing out traits or tendencies characteristic of a
particular society. By tracing its evolution, history delines a culture, providing a context
withio which its members can relate to the world around them. For example, the Thai King
Bhumibol Adulyade, continues to be a cantral pad of the lives of many Thais, not simply
because he visits rural areas and has numerous successlul agricultural policies under his
belt, but mor,e signiflcantly because of Thailand's long histo.ica! tradition of reverence for
the monarchy. Thus, the historical element is critical in shaping the nature of a culture. lt
fieates the difference between Singaporeans (who have emulated their pragmatic leaders
so well that the leaders themselves, Srinathamby Rajaratnam among them, have
questioned the excelisive "money-theism" of the masses) and Americans (still captivated
bylheir founding father's vision of an egalita.ian society). Aside Irom its function as a
chronicle of events, history has moulded cultures ofthe world into what they are today-

So far, this essay has dealt with how history gives us a sense of'\,vho we were"
and "who we aae'. ln fact, history can also provide a valuable sense of direction - towards
"who we will be". While some schools of historicai thought may disagree with the idea that
progress can be achieved via historical evolution, history has been used countless times
to galvanise peopte into acting to improve their futures. ln the case of Vietnam, the
taaditional monarchy was presented as derelict and ouldated by the lndochinese
Communist Party form the '1930s onwards. Painting a dark portrait ofthe past, the party
mobilised the masses to support their struggle for a bdghter future. ln Singapore, it has
been the commendable elements of the past the good track record of the People's
Action Party govemment in securing economic and political success - which have been
used to remind Singaporeans of the need to stay competitive and aware of Singapore's
vulnerabilities in order to continoe to stay afloat in the modern world. To present either an
alternative future or a continuation of an already bright present, it is necessary to invoke
either the failu.es or achievements in people's history.

To conclude, history does indeed record many climes and misfortunes. These
stains on our collective memory are, however, balanced by equally important recollections
of aspects we can be proud of be they human courage, human achievements or the
l grandeur of great civilisations. Far from being a mere chronology of events, history also
serves the important function of shaping cultures which provide a context for individual
lives, and providing a sense of direction fo. future progress. Nevertheless, the importance
of history's fLrnction as "a tableau of crimes and misfortunes" cannot be overlooked, and
honest history must record both the climaxes and pitfalls of civilization. l{ not, it would be
guilty of the same moral lapse as Japan, which is, through its whitewashing of textbooks to
exclude records of Japanese wartime atrociiies, incurring the wrath of other countries
unwilling to forget their past suffering-

Content 26/30
Language: 17120
Total Mark: 43/50

A thoughtul piece which touched on apprcpiate examples and conveyed the key

O $ O u,ms'nonosraronos m $

"The rest is histoql is an oft-used phrase in the English language- History records
many significant tragedies and horrors that can be painful to recolled, but lhe crimes and
misfortunes that Man has witnessed and executed are not the bnly things that his1ory is
about. Social change and political reforms which may or may not have been brought about
by less savoury events, too, can be observed in the course of history.

lndubitably, history has recorded many crimes committed. The Holocaust, where
an enormous number of Jews were persecuted in an attempt to "purge" by Hitler, still rings
in the minds of many people living in Germany today. The lraq war, too, has had its lair
share of horrific war crimes committed by the soldie.s involved. History has also been
skewn with numerous misfo.tunes, from the September 11 terrorist attacks which have
claimed the lives of many innocent American people, to multiple natural disasters such as Why "muttiple"?
the Boxing Day tsunami in lndonesia. However, it would be a rather disillusioned What is a
statement to sai that history is only represented by these macabre things. "disillusioned
Ihere is more to history, as can be seen from social changes that have taken place
across time. Abraham Lincoln made the significant achievement ot abolishing slavery, a
milestone for which he continues to be remembered for today. These changes in society
for the greater good are equally as significant as the previous suffeings and injustice that
brought them about. As such, even though history records events ol persecution and
discrimination, these happenings are oflen accompanied by efforts and successes in
changing them for the better.

The significant people that appear in history, too, are not merely those who are
noto.ious dictators and criminals. Mother Teresa, a beloved figure, is wellknown for her Just one
acts of compassion and motherly love for which she is also respected and celebrated. example?
Hence, among the unfortunate events that have taken place also come along figures of
comfort and do-qooders. To call history a tableau of crimes and misfortunes would be
overlooking the people who have contributed positively in the course of history as well.

History does not merely reco.d depressing and morbid acts of mass genocide and
unfortunate occunences. lt is also a store of beauty that Man has created- Leonardo da
Vinci and Pablo Picasso are so cherished and admired because of their incomparable and
exquisite artistry, technique and craftsmanship. Therefore, history not only records events Good to cite
but also remembers the works of geniuses which are a celebration of human ability and works of
imagination. These are things of beauty that delight our senses and not just depress them. Beethoven and
Hence the capability of humans throughout history is not just seen to be tor the creation of its elfects on
devastation and suffering, but also for the creatjon as well as appreciation ot aesthetics. people - make
men sing and
The weakness and evil of Man are not the only things that stand out in history as women weep.
his strengths a.e also celebrated. For example, the Guinness Book of World Records
contains the achievements in the extremes Man has made. Although some of the titles Good
may verge on the absurd, such as Singapore holding the record ot having the most expaessioni 'the
number of people doing push-ups at the same time, these events go into the reco.ds also achievements '
because Man's effort, teamwork and uniqueness are recognised and valued. Thus the
atrocities of Man are not the only events that stand out in the course of history.

'l\,'lisforlunes" such as the Japanese occupatjon in Singapore during World War

Two, too, should not be seen as mere misfortunes. The degree of the "lack of fortune'
regarding such events is debatable- While indeed many people were persecuted and
oppressed during the Japanese reign, there were lriumphs amidst the suffedngs endured,
such as the perseverance of Force 136 led by national hero Lim Bo Seng lvhich aimed to More examptes?
stop the Japanese-.Although he was captured and killed, he remains a hero in National Avoid common
Education dasses. examples where

O t3 Su,onosu/0RDs\
Hence, crjmes and misfortunes are not the only significant events that have played
rcRDs os *
out in history. History also remembers the triumphs of man over the years, as well as in
the midst of these unfortunate events, where heaoes, an even greater blessing, can arise.
To only remember the dep.essing parts of history would be to forget how exactly they
were overcome.

I anguage: 15/20
Total Mark: 34/50

should make some mention of the assay question and link it back to the guote given. A
decent stab at the essay though it could be better elaborated at some pads.

lf we look back at our past, we see that our history is in fact ridden with crimes and
misfoftunes - people suffering under merciless dictatorships, great men being
assassinated and so on. lt somehow does seem that history jost serves to remind us of
how we have suffered, either under the cruelty of other men or Nature. However, history is Why would
not just meant for our entertainment- lt gives us an appreciat'on of the world we live in misfortunes be
today. lt helps us understand the reasons why things happen in a certain way. ln fact, I "entertainment"?
believe that history is what shapes our world, and is definitely muah more than a tableau of
crimes and misfortunes-

l\,llost of history does record down crimes and misfortunes. Hitlei's belief of the
"pure" Aryan race led to the deaths of millions of Jews, homoseiuals and the
handicapped- The Bedin Wall that divided East and West Germany separated relatives for
years. The 9/11 terorist attacks that caused the fall of the tlvin towers and the plane that
crashed into the Pentagon completely changed the way we looked at terrorism- Why do
we study history then? The simple answer would possibly be to learn f.om our mistakes What is the link?
and not commit them again. The devastation caused by the First and Second World Wa.s
had such an impact on the world's economy and people's lives that world leaders now
have to have a rock solid reason to want to .elive that again. Without experiencing history Two diffe.ent
and all its hardships, it would be difficult for us to understand how our current actions arguments in
one paragraph!
might damage the world we live in.

History also allows us to make some of the world's most important improvements- Get your facts
Worid War ll occuffed mostly because the Allies consisting of the United States and right even as
Britain were unable to negotiate properly with Germany, leading to Hitleds invasion of you try to
many other countdes. After World War ll, it became apparent that what the world needed present the
was a negotiating platfo.m on which peacelul solutions can be found. The United Nations argument
(UN) was born out of this and is now one of the most successful international succinctly.
organisations which have helped solve disputes between counkies_ The UN also allows
countries to have a say in world affairs so that their views arc equally represented. All ls the lesson
these would probably not have been possible if not for history's lesson. how diplomacy
has become
Studying history also helps us better understand our world today and how things more vital in
are structured in a cedain way. This can be said for the above example of the United international co-
Nations. History tells us that countries need to work together and have a common operation?
understanding if we wish to avoid wars. On the other hand, on a more personal level,
history tells us that how we are as adults today could possibly be influenced by how we
were raised as children. Psychologists study oua history to understand whether our
childhood experience! and environment shape our future behaviour and habits. Similarly,
we study the history of our world to better understand and appreciate il. We learn why

China is influenced by Communist ideology, why No.th and South Korea are still divided
after all these years, and even why Singaporean lvlalays get free education up till Get your facts
University. History gives us a wide. breadth of understanding of reasons which have led to right.
the way things are today.
Make this 'live
Finally, history changes the way we live our live6. The 9/11 attacks changed the
our lives' bit
way we view terorism. Security between borders is now tighter than ever. The Homeland
clearer. From
Security Act which was launched as a rcsult of that significant series of attacks allowed the
privacy, to social
governmenl to listen in on cjvilians'phone conversations or intercept their emails. This
mindsets and
invasion of p.ivacy was much protested against, but deemed necessary by the US perspectives,
well as
Therefore, I skongly believe that history is much more than a iableau of ciimes and
misfortunes. lt not only teaches us important lessons of our past but also of our present. lt
one are you
allows us to appreciate and understand our suroundings, and uhimately, history shapes
referring to?
our world.

Content 20/30
Language: 1 5/20
Total Mark: 35/50

A decent stab at the question. Good counterargumenls, but a bit morc could have been
said about why history could be viewed negatively, as evident in the quote of the essay

ln his fight for lndia's independence Irom the British, l\rahatma Gandhi once said,
"The tuture depends on what we do in the present.' ln fact, his efforts to move and unite
the people of India eventually resulted in lndia's independence. lt is often argued that what
we do in the present will shape our future. What we do at the personal, societal and even
global level will somehow have an effect on our future- However, the present is inextricably Good perceptive
linked to what we did in the past and no one actually knows what the tuture holds. so,
what we do in the present may not always have an elfect on our future.

At the most personal level, there is constiant individual development and

progressive levels of education in our life. Many people argue that personal development
and education shape our futuae. For example, today, many governments around the world
are preparing young people for the luture through education. A holistic, effective and
productive education system is implemented to gear and equip the students with important
knowledge and life skills fo. future employment. As these students enter the working
world, this will ultimately determine the economic grolvth of the country. Many people also
realise the importance of education in determining their lile in the future. This is reflected in
the sho.tage of available places in well-known universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and
Harvard. The desire for good grades is also shown by the mushrooming of tuition centres
and private tutors in Singapore- Many students are concerned wjth getting good or
excellent gEdes for their'O-levels and'A-levels so that they can get enter courses in
institutions of their choice. Howevet there is no doubt that the past also plays a role in
shaping the future of these students. The teachers, university lecturcrs and the education
system itself are products of the past. Thus, we must aftribute our present education
system to these elements of the past. Ultimately, the past also shapes our future. lndeed,
education is dynamic and our learning paocesses always changes with time. The
government checkq that their education system is up{o-date and relevant for the future.
Unfortunately, there is the idea of fate o. luck that determines our future. For instance, Or fortunately?
there are numerous examples such as Bill Gates who did not have a university degree but


$$ $',r,onns unrusuronns m S
succeeded in his life.

It is also true that what society does in the present may affect
its future Today' we
-niteo riigcom (uK) sweden and most notabiy singapore It is Singapore is
-ri,ii-"'"r-"n tn"
ii'i""*J in"i"lthis trend will be r'urmrut fo' the future oflhus'
these countries' namely the
these governments are
trying to take a
leaf out ol
iloi.tion or human resources and an ageing popuLalion people to have more Sweden's book
*o.lino on various schemes and progtams to encourage mbre 'post-war to boost its birth
tt is ironic tna-t in the past the so-called baby boom"
irt ii,"ii
"Lr"tlei. problems todav' as rates.
;;;ft;;;h;"6 and, as a result, is now expected to cause many
itri" q;n"i"iion l""o.es the'nev/'ageing popuiation in ma-ny.counkies For example'
il"i*" ;;h us t" ur "no the u;ited states (uS) are facing two of their greatest
number of people growing old
;;il;G",;il;g p"pulation grov,/th and an increasing
tnese ild oeople iave to survive on social secunty payments and they still need 1o work
;;;;i;Til A;"ment age so. the tuture does nor depend onlv on the efforts to
.ti"""" liitti"t"", but also how these countries will handle the problems of the past'
i" tn,icat", dt population No one can actually tell what is going to happen in the
future. ll there-is wai, then we can expect the population trend to change
drastically and
what we do today will have no effect on the future'
At the world leiel, the issue of .apid technological advancement and
Lc.;n-o-ilgi""f progresi witt bring about in the future While it is true that technological
iau"n""i,"nt otin results in better standard of living and a more convenient lifestyle,
tt'"r" gr""i un""rtainties regarding this field- We can always wonder and imagine that
in tn""*tut-uru we may be abla to alter our genes or have babies - acco-rding to oor
p,"i"*"i!"-w" ilso remind ourselves of lsaac Asimov's vision of the future where
""" and humans are very diffeaent from humans in today s woJld True
iobots are ubiquitous
.norof,. r""""iat' and development activities are intensively done in the fleld of medical
.liL"L, and robotics So it may be possible that one day we could live
in "pi"" ti'"r" will be an effective cure for our illnesses Nevertheless' it is also
"J""utn"t today's technological progress is a result of past actions For instance if
w;t"- il hi" doll""gr"" hid noi diicovered the strLrcture of DNA, future research on
o"n.t'" enoine.rinq wiuld not have been possible The study of medlcine slarted more
ih;;'iooij-t";; igo. together with the rise of human civiiilalion we have lo lhank
iippo"i"tlJfo., *iflt-ort hi;r, future medical science and technology would be absent'

Environmental destruction is a very good example of present-future interaction

fne study oi causes and effects may oe nitpt''rt in helpng to reduce the severity now
enuironmintaf degradation today Many people believe that if we do not take action
ou, tutur" *iff O. Moth;r Ea.th will be inhabitable and we must find new planets
Li "ri i"*itir, hence the prevalence of "Save the Environment" activities such as
-n*rt", aouia", demonstraiions and education There is an urge to 'educe ca'bon
But how
emiiiion teuets in ttre atmosphere and many pacts and ptotocols, most notably the Kyoto
great effective was th
Piotocol, are created io ensure that effods are not futile Moreover, there must be a
*in to change our behaviou. and habits in hopes of a cleanet, greene' future' Kyoto Protocol
I o"iir"
For example, by redicing plastic bag usage and dnving more iuel-efficient cars-
"na really?
Unfortunatlty, the envirorimental destruction is due to past-actions such as
inauitriafisatlon ftenzy, mass-production activities and the rise of consumerism We
lannot Oeny tne tact ttrat the fuiure depends on what we did in the past The destruction in
the past h;s had an effect on the future Also, the future is not predictable as there are
oihJ, tor""" present in our wodd. Natural disasters, which are now mote predictable'
Jestroy ttre environment a lot of the time. one might argue that our human activities
these natural disasters, such as the recent Gustav and lke hunicanes
i"*"u"r, *" must remember that what we do in the present does not always affect our
fuirr".tt" pr"""n"" of other forces may either be a boon or a bane to the ftlture state of
ine environment. ,qt teast what we can db today rs expecled to have positive effects in the

ln conclusion, the future does not always depend on what we do in the present

O (} C'annos vrnnns wonos m q?
White what we do may largely affect our tuture, we must realise that the past also
contributes to the tuture and the capricious nature of the world will eventually shape the
future. Therefore, there is a need to carefully think before we do things in the present, so
as to minimise the adverse effects in the future.

Content: 24130
Total: 36/50

Points are well-doveloped but you naod to be concise- Sensib/o with well-selected scope.
Very good! Well-organised and sttucturcd with mature views. The use of mora specific
examples to illustnte would be a really plus point.

'History is written by the victors.'What is one of the most ftequently repealed

phrases about history probably points to history's preoccupation with wars. After all, any
self-respecting history student would be able to ratue off details of the World Wars and the
cold War, as well as how these wars have shaped the wodd today- However, it would be
eroneous to say that history is nothing more than the study ol warfare, for there are other A fair enough
fields of history that are concerned with issues apartfrom war-. start.

Undisputedly, warfare has very much been the focus of study by many prominent
historians because there are many lessons that society can learn from such battles As
history is about the study of events that have shaped our world, the study of warfare
presents many benefits to the human race. Studying wars could help prevent catasttophic
blunders such as that made by the French deployment of mounted knights against the
English archers in the Battle of Poitiefs and Crecy in the Hundred Years War. The neglect
of cornplex battle tactics that resulted in the disastrous Battle of Somme led by British
commander Sir Douglas Haig also teaches us the importance of battle strategies.
Therefore, in an effort to prevent such unnecessary bloodshed from happening once more,
much emphasjs has been placed on the study of such wars to etch them into the minds of present
the public and political leade.s. This leads to the disproportionate appearance of warfare geopolitical state
as the main focus of history. is a result of
war. thus the
ln addition, wars, especially the First and Second World Wars, are rigo.ously study of it.
studied for their atrocities. The Holocaust and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki that occurred in the Second World War a.e studied to remind people of the scale
of death and destruction left behind by wars. This fulfrls one of the purposes of studying
history, which is to ensure that people learn lrom the mistakes of the past. The formation
of the United Nations is closely tied to these horrors of wars and paying attention to them
would allow people to better appreciate the peace we enjoy now and, hopefully, to deter
future wars. As such, ihere is much focus on such wars in the study of history, for not only
is there much to learn from these ttagic mistakes, the lessons from them also helps to
maintain world peace.

Despite that. there are other historical events other than wars that are studied in
history for the very same puapose. Natural disasters, ranging from the volcano eruption at
Pompeii to the Eoxing Day Tsunami in 2004 seNe as lessons for mankind lt is the study
of history that highlights the importance of advanced warning systems and safety
measures. Another historical event, the Great lrish Famine from 1845 to 1849 that left
more than a million people dead, teaches us about the pitfalls of the over-teliance on a
blighlprone crop,'and therefore the importance of diversifying crop cultivations. With such
non-war related events in mind, it can be said that history encompasses other fields of

$ $ $unnnswmsriroRns m (';
studies, such as that of natural disasters and famines lor they are equally important.

Other fields of history include the study of the development of Art. Art historians
investigate how masterpidces relate to society in order to esiablish the relevance of art in
the modern world, as well as to enhance our appreciation and understanding of the great
works of art. l\4any historians and writers have devoted much of their life towards
discovering trends in art and such. These people range from the Russian writer Leo
Tolstoy to Emst Gombrich who wrote the first definitive book oi art history, "Story of Art'.
l.r a sense, it can be sald that this uitimately leads to the study of warfare for much of the
prominent works like Picasso's Guernica is a reflection of the horrors of war. The works by
sculptor Henry lvloore, such as'Nuclear Energy", must also be studied with the context of
atomic bombing in mind. However, art historians like Gombrich are more concerned about Effeclive use of
the role of these works on the human psyche and how famous works like Michelangelo's examples in this
"David" or Duchamp's "Fountain" shaped the art scene today than how warfare affected paragraph.
the artists. As such, the study of the history of art is far diffe.ent from the study of wadare,
and this adds to the diversity within the study of History itself.

Besideg the study ofwarfare, natural events and art, the study ol significant people
in the past is another branch of history. Such historians investigate how the present is
shaped by people such as Gandhi, who was an advocate for non-violence. Politicians are
also studied under the branch known as Rankian history, based on the belief that
politicians (not only wars) are the main driving lorce in history. As such, key figures, such
as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are
studied in history, mainly for their influence on politics and thus the vision of the country.
Though many of these leaders are noted for their role in.wars (Roosevelt and Churchill
were the leaders of the United States and Britain and saw the end of the Second World
War), studying these men is not so much focused on the events of wals. Rather, such
historians analyse the politician's character and personality in order to justify the actions
that they have taken. The study of these people would hopefully inspire the new
generation of leaders and serve as role models for current and future politicians to learn
from. Hence, the study of history does not necessarily mean the study ofwarfare alone, foa
the study of personalities involved in shaping the world is also another key area of

AII in all, there are other lesser known flelds of study in history, such as that of a.t,
personalities and politics. Warfare is only a fragment of the larger whole. Unfortunately, it
is difficult to escape from the study of warfare for a large part of mankind's history does
involve wars and it is from such wars that the bulk of the lessons of history have to be
learnt. That said, there certainly is much benefit and enjoyment in studying the other
aspects of history as well.

Total Mark: 37150

A very good piece witten with sound knowledge ot the subject. lt would have been even
bettet if you were able to point out that the reason peaple study wat is because war is
often the catalyst orthe rcsult of many histoical events.

O q? C\ nRDsr,rncoswonosm $

Minister Mentor (MM) Lee Kuan Yew once remarked that Singapore has a better What is the
chance for survival as compared to Hong Kong in the long run. Once under the Eritish pumose of
colonial aule, both countries have emerged as skong contendeF of the tremendous raising this
opportunities as well as risks in the globalised world today- We have managed to achieve comparison?
this by cooperating and competing, both within the individual country and on a global
basis. i.4ore importantly for Singapore as a small country, cooperation has proven to be a
sound method of survival on a global basis - in terms of defence, economic and national
security. However, Singapore has also sought to be competitive in some of these areas in
order to keep up with the breakneck pace ofthe global landscape.

Coope4tion has always been a main featlre of Singapores policies, especially so Sharpen your
in terms of defence and national secu.ity- As a young nation with a small population, topic sentence.
Singapore can ill-afford to maintain a large regular armed force. Hence, there is a need to
involve every Singapo?ean to maintain our defence capability through the conc€pt of lotal
Defence introduced in 1984. Since the nature of modern warfare has changed and is no
longer limited to the battlefield, Total Defence provides the framework for a comprehensive
and integrated response for all kinds of threats and challenges such as security threat
posed by global terro.ism and national crises in the form of SARS and the Avian Bird Flu.
All relevant government agencies, private sectoa organisations and residents are brought
together for Singapore's continual survival and success. Different groups play
complementary roles, such as the Safety and Security Watch croup (SSWG) for the
commercial sec{or to be better-equipped with robust measures to fight crime and be more
confident in tjmes of crises. and the recruitment and training of civil defehce volunteers by
the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for crisis-management. Not forgetting those on
the frontline, Singapore's military forces are strong in their cooperation with the people Good analysis
th.ough National Service, and also with other countries through the Singapore Armed
Forces' (SAF) bilate.al and multilateral military exercises. Some examples are the cooperation
Coope.ation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2C07 exercise with the U.S. Navy within
and armed forces of aegional neighbours, and the Five Power Defence Arranqements Siogapore, and
(FPDA) in the region- This shows the significance of military coope.ation with the people with other
and with regional or global partners in ensuring Singapore's survival. counlries.

However, the Singapore government has also realised the potential risks - such as
aggression - posed by other count.ies and thus the need for a small counlry like itself to
keep up with advancing warfare technology in order to stay competitive or surpass others.
This is done so mainly through the statutory board, Defence Science and Technology
Agency (DSfA) under the Ministry ot Defence (MINDEF) lvhere the agency taps the best
technology and provides leading-edge technological sohrtions to the SAF so as to be a
formidable fighting force fo. Singapore's defence and security. Still, despite the importance
of innovation in Singapore's own defence capabilities, is still inevitable to seek
cooperation with the people and with other countries as cooperation nurtures a sense of
interdependence afld may be more helpfulfor Singapore's defence and security.

Moreover, cooF€ration has helped to open Singapore's economy and veered her
towards a global market. A small domestic market is iosufficient for Singapore to achieve
her economic stalus of a vibrant economy Hence, there is a need to build bridges with
other countries' economies so as to allow an exchange of products and services, and the
flow of information and resources betlveen countries. This is done thaough free trade
agreements (FTAS) that establish unimpeded exchange between trading partne.s
regardless of national borde.s. They are superhighways connecting Singapo.e with key
economies - major'ones and new markets - and help level the international playing field-
As of today, Singapore has al.eady signed 14 FTAS with countries like Peru, Korea and
the U.S. As economic integration deepens and the seeds of overceas partnerships take



E$ 8l,r,onns unnos vvoms m

root, Singapore has and still will enjoy strengthened business climates and great economic

However, cooperation is not enough as the main objective of FTAS is to promote

greate. competition through the fo.mation of international partnerships. Cooperation alone
iray be dangerous as theie might be a concentration of market power, resulting in a loss
of efllciency, speed and cost-effectiveness Hence' Singapore has to remain competitive
and not be over-.eliant on the cooperation through the FTAS, A way to achieve ihis is
through the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS)' a $tatutory board with a mission
of chimpioning competition for growth and choice. CcS' vision is to set up a vib'ant
economy with competitive markets and innovative businesses known for its
professionalism. This is under the Competition Act (Chapter 50b), which is a key tenet of
bing"por"'s economic strategy, where competltion benefits frms' consumers and the
eco-nomy as a whole. This has proven to be effective as Singapore is ranked the seventh
most competitive country out of 131 countries according to the Global Competitive Repod State the year of
by the World Economic Forum. Likewise, based on economic performance' government report.
and business efficiency, and infrastructure, Singapore is .anked the world's most
competitive small economy in the Worid Competitiveness Yearbook 2008. However'
regional and ifrternational cooperation has played a part in this significant achievement
Hence, engaging in both cooperation and competition in a two-pronged approach is the
best way to ensure Singapoae's economic suNival

Also, Singapore's political system has seen more cooperation than competition
which may be worrying instead. The politicalsphere in Singapore has seen an emetgence
of a fresh wave of post-colonial leaders afte. World War ll' and this was mainly the
achievement of the dominant party - the People's Action Party (PAP) - in the government-
Ronnie C. Chan, 1998 Co-Chair of the Davos Annual Meeting of the World Economic You need to link
Forum, once commented that, "Thanks to Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore is the sole success this to the
story (in Asia) despite Western scepticism". lhis is indeed true as Singapore has held on question clearly-
to a singleparty state in the last three to four decades.

However, in the last decade, this singleparty state has posed botential risks and
rung alarm bells in the political realm. MM Lee's remark of Singapore's better chance of
sutival than Hong Kong may not happen as the latter now is aiming to. free, fair and
competitive elections while Singapore is still govemed by the dominant PAP
Consequently, people feel their peFistent inability to effect political change is a bane as
there may be changes in economic and social policies but political reforms have not
materialis;d concreGly and not resulted in political U-turns, as seen in the issues of tax,
bus and taxi fare hikea despite rounds of discussion lhe lack of competition in politics is Prornising
not heatthy for Singapore's survival in the long run, and more political competition within arguments here,
the nation-state is necessary for stronger checks-and-balances in the system. but they need to
be teased apart,
ln conclusion, to argue that coopeaation and not competition is the best way for and explained
Singapore to survive is too absolute. A mixture of cooperative and competitive strategies and suppoded
haJto be sought in the right blend for different areas of Singapore's development in order carefully
fo. such a smallcountry to survive in this globalised world-

Content: 20/30
Language: 13/20
Tofal: 33/50

Your essay has numerous examples for suppoi, but do remember to sttenglhen the
atgumentation rathet than add morc examples. Some good considetation of Singapore's
charactedstics also, with perceptive obseNations at some pais.


$ $ (Punnos\,voRDs\ /oRDSm q?

Democracy, which literally means rule by the people' has many torms today While
insist on
some democracies emphasize the agreement of majority rule, other democracies
iti" ao.in"n* of the political majority in decision making As a resrJlt of the many
vaiiations, it is not the case for all democracies around the world that the minority must
types, forms or
Uo* to tn" U"tt"" of the majority." Even if this situation prevails in some
.rlctices of democracies, it may not be true that the minority needs to always accepi the
-) iviines of tne majority. And where the minority must accept the decisions of the majority'
ir'eie can stiff Ue iofitical provisions made to ensure that the minority does not suffer under
I majority rule or "must bow to the wishes of the majority

The statement is oniy true in some democracies due to the political structure of the
oovernment aM the method used in making policy decisions; ihe minodty needs to bow to CIear distinction
ihe wishes of lhe maiority. Such democracies often use the majority voting system to betlveen'must
JeclOe on poticies, as'in ihe case in the United States of America
(USA) Although this and'need'.
iounas tair to everyone in principle, in practice' such democracies are often perpetually
about its own political inierests- Goodl
;ominated by the majority political party which only carcs
Foi in Turimenistan, the country seems to have a democracy with periodic
elections being held. However, in reality the entire parliament is occupied by one political
party fully supports any political'
oartv as att oi'her political partres are banned, and the
lcoiomic and social interest the president oI the nation has As a tesuh, the nation suffers
from the tvrannv of a polilical maiority which ignores the interest of the political minority
wno often repreient ttre common man This system is often worsened in countries with an
ethnic or religious minority as they are forced to accept the majority rule which is often not
in tneir tavoir and a caule for grievances- This situation can be seen in Sri Lanka and
'19?1 New Economic
even tvtaiaysia wnere Uoth anti-T;mil discriminatory policies and the
Policy introduced by the respective gove.nments in each country resulted in great
resentments among ih. Sri Lankan Tamils and non_Malays in each respective country
ttrus, in these detiocracies, the minority is compelled to bow to the majority's wishes
when privileges and interests clashed.

Yet, even if the minority does have to bow to the majority' they need not suffer from
put in
injr-rstice oi unfaimess if ther; are other political factors and conditions .that .are
p;ce- ln fact, there are some voting systems in democratic countries that deliberately
lnoermine ma;ority rule. Switzerland is a country touted to be practicing democracy in its Good to point
purest form. Her piople are allowed to directly vote on policies through with out the concept
political parties kied of howthe
G majority vote determining poticy dircction However, when far-right
to pass anti-foreigner dlscri;inatory laws earlier this month, the majority of the swiss majority could
citiiens voted agiinst such laws even though they do not belong to he-minority who protect the
iellntty migratei to Switzerland. ln such instances, the political culture of tolelance and minority if they
neutrality his taught the swiss citizens to care about the interests of all the
population wanted to.
minority'or not. ln"Western Europe, 21 of 28 countries use propo'tional representation as
(GRC) ThoLrghtful
in Sing'"por". ln Singapore, this is known as Group Representation Constltuencj
examples and
) where"minority racJ representation is guaranteed- ln addition, before. any bill can be
linking of
pis.ea as taw. it must go th.ough the Prasidential council of l\4inority Rights to ens re that smooth
it]" .inoritv ini",""ts a-re not jompromised These constitutional provisions and political
conditions ;nsure that the m:nority do not suffer under the majo'ity rule even if they have
to accept the decision made by the majority.

Finally, in some democracies, the minority need not even accept the decisions
made by the majority. This is possible when the principle of majority.decision is not used
*n"n .iting poii"i.i- For example, id Britain, the political majorit-v, which is.the governing lnsightfuland
relevant lead-up
party, and th; political minority, which is the opposition' often debate over bilis and policies
to a conclusion.
LeJore a consensus is reached over relevant issues and before the modified bills and
poii"iu" ur" passed. tn this way, the views of the minority are rcspected and may
sometimes be adopted by the majority therefore, the minority need not accept the
decisions made by the majority if it disagrees with such decisions

Therefore, it is too simplistic and an overgeneralization to claim that the minority

would suffer under or 'bow to' majority rule io all democracies, and a close scrutiny ol the
practice of democracies in many countries would suggest that it may not even be true that
the mino,ity must accept the decisions made by the majorjty. As for those democracies
whereby the minority does bow to the majority, the governments and citizens who truly
care for democratic principles have the altemaiives of introdueing political reforms and
conditions so that it is not inevitable thatthe minority suffers under majority rule.

content 22/30
Language: 16/20
Total Mark: 38/50

This is a very good altempL Concepts are cleady explained and analysis is insightful.
Good showcase of fluid writing and examples which show your global awareness. Having
seen the political landscape of Thailand undergo much change in 2008, how is that an
exanple ol the majority vercus minoity?

O t3 Ou,onns \,ffis\ /oRDso *

Today, many fear that the world is quickly using up tha vast but finite and non-
renewable amount of fossil fuels. There are many countries lvhich rely on oil as the main
source of ene.gy. At the moment, fossil fuels account for 90% of energy used in the world.
Howeve., based on current projections, within around 75 years, the world will have used
up all extractable coal, oil and natural gas- Hence, many countries sense the urgent need
to invest more rcsources into research and development of alternatives to fossil fuels in
order to cope with the fast fate of resource depletion. Nuclea. energy is one of the
alternatives to fossil fuels that some nations are considering, given its efticient and
environmental friendliness during its operation. Nonetheless, nuclear energy may not be Good thesis
the answer to a resource-hungry world because of the possible undesirable health which allows
consequenceslvhich may result from accidents involving nuctea. power plants and the wide scope of
improper disposal of radioactive waste. lnstead, other energy sources can be considered discussion.
as well.

Nuclear energy can be one of the answers to a resource-hungry world because it is

the most concentrated source of energy generat'on. Nuclear energy produces huge
amounts of eneagy from small amounts of fuel. Uranium is an abundant source of
concentrated energy which will provide sulfcient energy to countries. The British Solid suppo.t
Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) noted that "demand for nuclear power plants is on the provided here.
increase and the lnternational Energy Agency estimates more than US$200 billion will be
spent by 2030 on harnessing the atom for energy output." For example, by 2050, lndia
expects to have 25% of its energy provided by nuclear power, compared to the current
3%. Given the fact that nuclear energy can provide a targe nation like lndia a quarter of its
total energy needs, it can be quite promising to a resource-hungry world: Similarly, China
and the United Arab Emi.ates are looking into developing nuclea. energy to satisfy the
rising electricity demand and reduce reliance on coal- The Chinese government has
become more ambitious about adopting nuclear energy, hoping to add more than 15
nuclear power reactors to China by 2020. This illustrates that countries are pouring
investments to harness the great amount of power that nuclear energy can provide and
hence this shows that nuclear energy can be one of the answers in a resource hungry

Moreover, one of the advantages of nuclear eneagy is that it is a clean source of

energy. Well-operated nuclear power plants do not emit greenhouse emission gases
unlike the buming of coal and oil. On lvlarch 24, 2008, Germany announced its plan to
build more nuclear power stations in order to avoid future blackouts. Europe's biggest
economy faces growing blackouts, signifying the problem of shortage of power. Thus,
nuclear energy is seen as one of the answers in a resource-hungry world. Besides,
starting from 24 [4arch, 2008, Britain and France will coopetate to build nuclear power
plants because nuclear energy emits no carbon dioxide. vvith the growing concern over Again, good
global warming, other countries such as Canada- Brazil, England, Ukraine, Russia, substantiation
Finland, South Korea and Japan are going to invest in nuclear energy which is pollution-
free. Therefore, nuclear energy is indeed a good option in our resource-hungry world.

Nevertheless, nuclear energy may nol be the answer preferred by all in a resoulce-
hungry world due to health and safety concerns. The problem of radioactive waste is still
unresolved. The waste ftom nuclear fuel, LJranium, and its by-products produced in
nuclear reactoas are highly aadioactive and thus, aae extremely dangerous. Moreover,
there is a high health .isk in nuclear power generation. Despite gene.ally high security
standards, accidents can still happen. Undesirable consequences have been shown by
the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine whlch happened in 1986 and the radioactive leak in
Japan after an earthquake in 2007- The after-effects of the Chernobyl accident were
devastating, causing loss of lives and adverse health effects because of the radiation.
$$ Qunnm\ oRDS\ /oRDsm q3
Exoosure to nucleat tadiation harms the cells of the body' making people sick or even
killinq them. Also waste disposal problems pose potential harm to people.if dangerous
radiation is emitted. The importance of health and safety issues outweighs the desperate
need for energy. lt should be evident that nuclear energy is not an absolute answer
to a
resource.hungi world but can be a source of further problems

Another substantial drawback of nuclear power is the potential for nuclear

prolileration and the possible abuse of nuclear energy- Nuclear power plants as wel! as
nuclear waste coutd be preferred targets for terrorist attacks- No atomic energy
plant in the
world could withstand an attack similar to the September 1 l terrorist attack ;n New York, in
the United States of America. Such a tenorist act would have catastrophic effects for the
whole world. There is rising concern about lran's rising nuclear programme' in which lran
can develop into a country with nuclear capabilities and develop a conventional nuclear
warhead. Apprehensions still abound ove. whether lranian-enriched Uranium could
potentially fall into the hands of terrorists and be used as nuclear energy weapons Hence
ihe development of nuclear energy can instil a global ciimate of fear and insecurity. Even
though the wodd is hungry for resources, the nuclear proliferation issue is sufficient for
counlries to discourage the use of nuclear enerqy as an alternative for fossil fuels

Furthermore, Uranium, which is used as fuel in nuclear energy' is a scarce and

timited resource. Uranium supplies are limited and they draw on flnite resources that will
eventually dwindle. The supply of Uranium is expected to last only for the next 20 to 75
years, depending on aclual demand. Therefore, nuclear energy is not a renewable energy
ind so is not a long-term answer in a resource'hungry world. Besides nuclear energy' Good that you
there are other answ;rs to a resourcehungry world. They include energy like hydroelectric considered
power, wind and solar energy, hydrogen and biomass All energy sources have both alternative
idvantages and disadvantages. Looking at renewable energy sources and putting in sources of
investm6nts into the development of renewable energy sources can reap benefits in the energy for this
long run. Yet, there are limitatjons in harnessing the different sources ofenergy in various question.
cou;tdes- lt is best to ensure energy conseryation as a first step towar4s the prospecl of
resource depletion. Governments need to plan and decide on eneagy generation that
proves to be safe for both people and the envi.onment.

ln conclusion, nuclear energy has a number of advantages that wanant its use as
one of the many methods of supplying energy in an ene.gy-demanding and resource
hungry world. However, nuclear energy is not the definite answer in a resource-hungry
worl-d'because ol major undesirable health, safety and environmental consequences which
can lead to catastrophic and irreversible harm and destruction - penalties which the wodd
c€nnot bear. Thus, considerations ol alternative energy sources are necessary to ensure
sustainable development in countries and to maintain the standard of living of people
around the world.

Content: 20/30
Language: 13/20
Total Mark: 33/50

A balancad, welt-aryued piece with focused topb sentences and rcitemiing stale.nenls /r,
body pamgmphs. Push up content na* by giving mora recent examples and
substantiation. lt would also be good to have vadations of'the answet to a resource'
hungry wold" instead of rcpeating it at the staft and end of every paragftph

Science is b field of study where scientists formulate, test and apply scientific
theories. As it always has been, science is the relentless pursuit of knowledge which

$$$ uonos r,rnms wom m q?
enables mankind to perform once jmpossible feats with ever increasing efficiency. Science
and its applications, though, have become omnipresent to the point that its practice and
application have clashed wlth the code of ethics Mankind holds onto- ln order for science
to meet its end of gaining knowledge and benefiting Mankind, it must manoeuvre around Rephrase this
ethical beliefs while not being obstructed or wholly dictated by it. I believe that it is in the eloquently.
business of the practitioners of science to deal with ethical issues, though not to the point
where scientific progress is signmcantly impeded.

The practice ot science requires testing new theories or discoveries. This requires
experiments which I believe the scientifc community should, to the best of their ability,
ensure do not conflict with the code of ethics. This means that scientists should design
their experiments in such a way that they do not invite retaliation from ethicists or the
public. Of course, each scientist has his own code of ethics and that is where legislation
comes in- Legislation such as the United States of America (USA) law of disallowing the
usage of embryos of fourteen days or older in stem cell research serves as a guide to the
scientific community as to where ethical boundaries lie. Trying their besi to formulate
"ethical" experimental procedures is mostly in the intercst of the scientists themselves too
as the backlash from the public is great \,vhen it comes to Bad Science that the research
may not go th-rough. An example is the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, where African-
American men with Syphilis were set up to die like guinea pigs in a bid to observe the
effects of Syphilis on tslack men. This experiment was halted with no significant findings in
the 1970s due to strong public opposition. Thus, scientists should, to the best of their Rather awkwa.d
abilities, conform to the legislation set in place so that they lowe. their chances of expression here.
conflicting with ethical beliefs and having their experiments terminated.

The above argument assumes that iegislation is a Oood guide as to what is ethical
and what is not. However, such an assumption may not hold true in reality- lf science is to
conform to legislation, and legislation to ethics, whose set 0f ethics should legislation
conform to? An answea to such a question is not found easily by legislators, and less so by
scientists who are not well-versed in ethics and policy-making. Hence,ll believe that the
scientific community should not waste their resources in a philosophical and normative
argument as to which set of ethics to follow. Legislators and philosophers should deal with
ethical issues and leave scientists to do their work. Scientists, though, should not remain
entirelv passive either. lf the scientific community believes that "unethi€l" experimental
procedures or discoveries are justified as their long-term benefits to mankind far outweigh
the costs, they should speak up. For instance, I believe that it is right for the scientists in
the USA, which bans many forms of cloning research, to move their research to Singapore There have
or the Caribbean lslands where cloning legislation is much more lax. That is because I been prominent
believe that it is not dght to ban the use of embryos and impede therapeutic stem-cell scientists who
research and deny everyone a cure for cancer or heart disease just for the sake of some have affived in
peoples' beliefs. This is especially so because opponents of embryo use - Christians and Singapore only
Muslims - constitute only a third and a quarter of the world population respectively They' to leave the
of cource. might say that such discovedes could be used for terrible purposes such as island not soon
playing God or lor frivolous body-enhancing operations l believe that this claim holds afler.
some truth; then again, from the time scientists began taking .isks to advance mankind's
knowledge, each discovery has been the potential opening of Pandora's Box Scientists,
therefore, should follow legislation and not take it in their hands to create such legislation
unless existing legislation does not take into account the potential beneflts of a discovery

Lastly, the scientific community, while trying its best to follow ethics' should not Go back to your
preoccupy itself with the application of its discove.ies and thus divert resources from its topic sentence
ultimate goal: discovering nature. lhis is because ii is virtual,y impossible to know of all on how
possible consequences of an invention and then to perform cost-benefit analysis of such a scientists aae not
predicted scenario. Albert Einstein once sajd that if he had known that his work in physics well-versed in
would tead to the creation of the atom bomb, he would not have studied physics He ethics and
would, however, probably have retracted his words if he had lived to this era, whe.e policy-making.
nuclear power is a cheap and clean source of energy and nuclear weapons' through the
Mutually Assured Destruction doct ne, have actually kept superpowers from antagonising
each other. This shows how futile it is to predict the future costs and benefits ot a
discovery, even for the discoverer himself. As such, the scientific community should not

waste rcsources in ensuring that their discoveries' cost to society does not breach ethical
codes, simply be€use it is almost impossible to even know what the costs and benefits Good paragraph
will be in the long run. with fairly
elaborated point.
I believe that science should take into account ethical issues, but not be
signilicantly limited by them. The best way to perform this is by allowing science to change
ethical codes, and ethics to guide Science. As the late pope John Paul ll said,'Science
purifies religion of false beliefs while religion purifies science from its evils." Science and Note that ethics
ethics should be dynamic and with interaction between the scientific community and and religion are
legislators, both would adapt to the changing world so that mankind can be proud of the not necessarily
two pitlars of the civilised world - science and ethics - while rcaping the benefits of the same- Be
constantly increasing scientitic knowledge. careful.

Contenti 19/30
Total Mark: 33/50

whilst most of the argumentation u/as persuasrve, a wider nnge of specilic illustrations
which touch on m6rc rccent scientific developments would have pushed up tho content
ma* significantly. Wofu also on ensuing that key wotds in the question arc rciterated in
the topic sentonce and reibrating statemenl of each body paragraph for a closer linguistic
adhercnce to the demands of the question.

Technology has been a key engine for groMh ever since the stad of the 21"'
century. The human race is continually tooking for ways to upgrade and develop various
technologies with the aim of improving the overall standard of living. The vadous kinds of
technology - scientific technology, medical technology, information technology and many
more - have become so pervasive that they are part and parcel of our everyday life.
Despite the fact that technology may seem to have made the common man 'handicapped', Good, clear
technology has in fact helped us more than it has handicapped us due to the immense stand.
benefits that it brings to various aspects of our lives-

At the workplace, technology has b€en beneficial in terms of raising productivity

and sustaining economic activity. With the advancement of technology, various machinery
have been developed and companies combine these machines with an effective use of
labour in order to maximise output and hence productivity. With increasing globalization
and a larger consumer base, computer systems have enabled companies to store large
amounts of data such as consumers' paaticulars and the various transactions that take
place daily. Technology has allowed information to be stored in bite-sized thumb drives
and discs instead of stacks of papers. Countries which have successfully used technology
to drive their economy include the United Arab Emirates, the United States, United
Kingdom, Japan and Singapore- Nevertheless, techno'ogy has its shortcomings, in sorne
aspects, to the ordinary lvorker. Some companies may replace labour v,/ith machines and
so some people in the worKorce may lose their jobs - and these are usually those who
are low skilled. Technology may have handicapped these people in the short-run, but in
the long-run with the inc.easing emphasis on upgrading of skills to meet the new demands
of the workplace, such people can find themselves jobs in which they can contribute to.

A positive impact of technology that is close to everyone's heart is that on ou.

social lives and communication with others. The rise of the lnternet and media technology
has opened up many channels and possibilities in terms of communication, interaction and
networking. From the telephone calls of yester year to the instant messaging of today, it is
reasonable to say that technology has given us more opportunities to interact with others

compared to the past. The development of 3G technology has even allowed us to watch
TV programmes on our mobile phones. Online platforms such as social networking sites
and web logs have allowed us to not only connect with others but share our opinions and
ideas with the rest of the world. Opponents of technology contend that computer and
lnternet technology has been detrimental to relationships and friendships because such
ties established over the lnternet may be considered superficial. Last year, "The Straits Would be better
Times" reported an artlcle on two girls who had a few thousand friends on Friendster, an to p.ovide
online social networking site, and that they derived satisfaction and pride lrom this fact, specific names
even though they may not even have met some of the 'friends' they are connected with. v',ihere possible.
However, such cases do not really apply to the majo ty and it is up to the individual to
decide if they want to use these platforms to enhance their social life or not. Hence
technology has helped more than it has handicapped us.

ln our daily lives, technology has been more of a help to the common man in terms
of the convenience that ii brings- Technology in the form of various inventions has helped
. to simpliry prccesses and reduce ou. workload. Household appliances such as the
washing machine, dish washer, hairdryer and many nore are classic examples. Media
technology has also given rise to a wide range of media platforms such as cable TV, MP4,
and HD-TV whictr help to enhance our overall entertainment pleasure and experience.
some people have argued that technology may have handicapped us because some
devices may require us lo have sulficient technical knowledge in order for us to use them
efficiently, as in the case of computers, possibly even DVD players or cameras. Again,
given time, such skills and knowledge can be picked up. Once that is achieved, the
beneflts of using such technological gadgets will be materialized in the longer term.

Lastly, technology has generally helped to improve or maintain the health of the
common man. Wth the advancement or medical technology, highly-sophisticated medical
equipment and processes have been developed and these help to improve efficiency rn
medical checkups, core more diseases and allow more thorough checks to be done on
patients. A simple X-.ay can help to detect lung problems almost instantb/ and now with
l\ragnetic Resonance lmaging ([,lRI) technology, almost any part of the body can be
analysed and monitored. Du ng the SARS outbreak, Singapore relied on such technology
to detect the body temperatlre of people moving in and out of the customs at the airport.
This help to eliminate long waitng times at the customs and was an effective
precautionary measure to contain the spread of the SARS virus. Technology has allowed
cheaper mass paoduction of drugs and vaccine. For example, the improved processes in
producing AIDS drugs has allowed such drugs to be cheaply available to many developing
countries such as Sudan and Nigeria, lvhe.e the AIDS situation requires immediate
attention. Ihus, it is justifiable to say that technology has helped more than it has What about
handicapped the common man. criticisms
levelled against
In many cases of our lives, it is reasonable to conclude that technology has helped medical
more than it has handicapped the common man, given its immense benefrts to our lives at technology?
work, home, our interactions with others, and in maintaining our health and survival.
Though some may think that there a.e shortcomings of technology in terms of over
reliance on it as well as circumstances when the complexities of technology pose a
stumbling block to the common man, the key tactor is in fact time, which people need to
familiarise themselves with new technology and to adapt to various situations.
Furthermore, given man's ability to think and be creative as well as the motivation to
achieve greater heights, technology is likely to evolve and improve at an accelerating rate,
with the possibility of its shortcomings minimised to a great extent.

Content: 24130
Languagei 14120
Total l\4ark: 38/50

Han Liang, this is cogent and well-argued. Fully Elevant points of argument that managed
to address the requircments of the question. Howevet, the inta@st value is not particulady
high: in otherwords, the oomph factot to make this maftetgo, "Wow!" is needed.


\Mth the advent of technology, it is indeed justifiable to say that it has helped
mank,nd in ways, be it in the medical or social aspects. Yet, despite the immense beneffts
that technology has brought to human lives, there has been much controversy over the Note how this
issue of negative implications that it can also lead to. This has led some to dismiss the stand has beer
notion of technology handicapping humans more than helping them. Eeing handicapped is expressed in a
like being paralysed and left helpless, where one loses the ability and freedom to choose more personal
to do what he really wants; this is similar to the negative impact that some people allege manner than tl"
technology has brought about. However, I feel that technology has definitely helped more stand in the
than handicapped us and this is evident in many aspects of our lives. previous essay
Both are
It is argued that technology has handicapped our social inleractions as our society acceptable.
becomes more depersonalised- With the rise of automation and computerization in the
working wodd, men are expected to work at the speed of machines due to the benchma.k
that machinis have set. This has come at the expense of leisure time for human Some evidena
interaction. Man is perceived to have less or no time to interact due to the pressure would be good.
machines have put on him. However, as much as this may contain some truth, technology
has instead helped us in terms of communicating more effectively- With e-mail, video
conferencing and short message system (SMS) now prevalent in our lives, technology has Please
in fact helped to break the geographical barrier in our globalised world. Thus, technology elaborate to
has improved our communication greatly too. lfeel that its positive impact outweighs the illustrate how.
negative ones.

Many people often argue that technology has paralysed our world peace and
security- Weapons of mass destruction ranging from nuclear to chemical and biological
weapons have indeed given man the capacity to take away human lives more easily. Man
can now commit genocide f.om a distance, with just a push of a button, or the drop of a
bomb. These have accounted for the severity of many of the wars in the wo.ld. The sheer
number of lives lost during such events has, in a way, desensitised some people to the
value of human life to the extent that human casualties are seen as justifiable and soldiers
at the forelront a.e seen as dispensable. ln this aspect, technology is argued to have left
humans helpless, with no power to stop it. However, take away Man's weapons and he
can still, out of malicious intention, find ways to hurt others to perhaps fuel an inner desire
of gaining glory and power. I feel that it is l\ran who has abused the use of technology, lntriguing
thus it is not reasonable to totally push lhe accusation of handicapping humans lo perspectjve an!
technology per se. Technology is a neutral tool. When used appropriately and wisely, such personalvoice.
as to build up the military strength of a country, technology is still of great help, as Support your
superiority in technology can deter potential aggressors and hence still aid security. arguments her'

ln addition, many have perceived technology to have handicapped ou. moral and
ethical values. As the frontier of technology is furthe. pushed forward, we may be at risk of
going down the stippery slope of ethics. lncreasingly, hygienic and safe abortion
procedures and using'morning after'pills to induce menses after intercourse have been You need to
alleged to desensitise humans to the understanding that abortion is tantamount to the have example!
murder of innocent young lives. ln stem cell rcsearch, embryos are seen as mere thatwould be
commodities to be experirnented on. All these seem to make humans more inhumane, and more relevant to
paralyse and rob them of their moral compasses. Howevea, medical technology has, on the common
the other hand, made many improvements in our lives too. Antibiotics and vaccines have man. You couk
cured formerly fatal diseases. Organ kansplants have given a new lease of life to those widen your
people with organ failu.es. ln-vitro fertilizalion has also brought hopes to childless couples. scope by looki.-
Numerous benefits have been undeniably brought about by technology and it is unfair to at the case of
assert that technology has handicapped more than helped. euthanasia

The mass media has also been accused of paralyzing humans in terms of their
ability to think and discern between right and wrong. \,lolence portrayed in the mass media
has been said to be the culprit for incidents like the Columbine High School massacre and This is a qood

$$$u,onos\4,0ffi\ /mG{}
the James Bulger mu.der. These incidents have led to the judgment that the mass media example, but it is
has robbed these people of their freedom to do what is right and thus caused them to also good to cite
commit these cnmes. However, there was also evidence that these people's actions were the more recent
due to the lack of guidance from the family and the alienation by their peers. Besides, Seung-Hui
even the average Joe would have the intelligence and rationality to distinguish between Cho's mass
entertainment and reality, for it is these cognitive traits that set humans apart from other murder of
species. Hence, it is unjustifiable to say that technology per se is ciippling people's minds. teacheF and
We must acknowledge and celebrate the media's achievement in portraying images of students at
natural disasters around the world, like the Tsunami in Aceh, famine in Niger, all of which Virgjnia Tech.
have informed the other unaffected people in the world. This has led to outpourings of aid
to the affected areas. Link this back to
the question.
Hence, I believe that technology has helped so much more than handicapped the This is a
common man, which is evident from the many milestones and hurdles crossed. Also, in potentially very
many cases where technology is deemed to have handicapped man, more often than not, forceful second
technology pe_r se is not completely responsible for it, Technology, if used wisely and last paragraph
appropriately and if not abused by man, will help us very greatly. to your
Content 25l3O
Language: 14120
Totel Mark: 39/50

Parcgtaph 5: Strengthen your aryument by elaborating on how the mass media, a paft of
teahnology, influenced and was used by them. Forinstance, the Columbine High School
mutderers we,e hooked on gruesome video games as well. Another example is Cho who
uploaded thrcatening videos of his amed self on the Internet.

Angelia, paragtaph 2 could have been explained mote cleady wilh concrcte examples.
Overcll, yout essay is highly cogenl and persuasive.

When Eli Whitney first invented the cotton harvesting machine, he claimed that it
was a milestone to improve the lifestyles of his fellow American farmers, and truly, it did.
lndeed, technology, or rather inventions and the forms of p.ogress they entail, have
certainly revolutjonised today's definitions of efficjency and convenience. ln virtually every
field, be it in politics, economics, social lifestyles or our environment, innovation and
development have made seemingly impossible tasks not only a reality, but a very efficient
and accessible one, thus improving the standard of living in our world. Upon closer
inspection howeve., the economic principle of opportunity cost must not be sidelined, as
technology has also compromised our freedom and privacy, personal relationships,
environment, and ironically even our resourcefulness or ability to innovate. Hence, while
many see technology as mankind's gift to ourselves, it has to be considered in the long A great
term for a more aeelistic essessment inkoduction.

For many in the government, technology is a blessing in terms of the efficiency it

bestows on the administration. Yet, one must not neqlect the costs incurred and the
privacy and freedom forfeited upon adopting modern technological creations into ou.
governance. Certainly, inventions like the lnternet help politicians to inform their people,
thus propagating the ideals of free choice and the right to information. Even in the process
of selecting government, for example in developing naiions. mechanised ballot counters
make for more transparent and efficient voting, as opposed to their possibly corrupt
counterparts of previous centuries. is also oC(ended to the actual process of rule,
where programmes can be executed, social security and identities can be .egulated,
security can be maintained and information disseminated through inventions like the

Link this to the
rr-* a"t" t'4" and energy-conserving, and provides the potential for resources to be quality of life.
;;iJ;"iiG t".d" or il"i"tv How;ver, the conditions imposed on such societies is
and benefit from tree media'
th;i-;;-il"i b" ;""eloped enough for each citizen to own
and that governments do not use
irr"i itrJ.ectt"niseo results cannot be manipulated.
t,""fi"g to impose restrictions on their citizens a la Big Brother' We see that
"""""ni""i must ui accompaniea bv tech-sawy and educated citizens 9nq.b"n:qlTl!
fair and ;on{otalitarian govemments, to truly improve the existence ol cltEens ln any
these, iny such innovations will defeat the purposes of efficiency'
convenience and transparency they were created for.

The same can be said of the field of economics, where machines and new capital
make foi more efficient production and labour-saving methods consumers do'
then' enioy
i"cr."*a amount of goods and services, but occasionally at the expense ot our
*"oui"." employmeit. Various producers in all fields, whether in Kodak's digital
|."to*, royot"'t of innovative machinery or the millions v"/ho use.eBay, Google
iirrd ""
t""n" for advertising, have embraced the gem in technology Notmore
it workers
Ooes it save o4 manpower, lowering production costs, but also makes
o"tonstrated in th; 1997 speedy adoption of Windows software lt is no
"" ".piy
imiti'r"onae, tt'it many received pink slips with the introductjon ot machinery.in tactories
stt:ns.nt lT-salvy requirements in todays corporate culture After all' machines
trive no famiti'at principtes, noido they need more than occasional upgrades Hence' while Good line
pioouction certainrv olcame more efficient' unemploymeot resulted, as well.as new levels argument-
It OemanO trom consumers, who saw the expanded capabililies innovation broughl to life'
itris mass consumption as a rcsult of automation has made the lJnited States one of the
largest consumers, consuming two-thirds of the developing world's GDP at double their
pofiutio" r"tu. Thus, while ;ociety enjoys greater consumplion and material living
standards from inventions in the economic field, it comes at the expense of employment'
-oirpanies l.""our"es and even an over-dependency occasionally, as demonstrated by
"iiu"oy """r"" oevastated by the burst in the dot com bubble. lndeed, technology for all its
worth, could come at a high cost to living standa.ds.

What then of the more tangible side of quality of life including health' and
communications? Here, as before, whlle modern caeations do promise prolonged lives
improved communications, it may come at the reduction of resistance to illness and A 'society
i app.eciation of life, and the creation of an "instant' society. Of course, one's health these expecting
oays is ensured la;gely by antibiotics, vaccines, and life-sustaining equipment While this
might lengthen oneis life ind thus many would consider it an improvement' sludies have
shiwn thit antibiotics weaken one's resistance to new strains of illnesses, make us ovedy Rephrase-
dependent on drugs, and when taken in excess, spoil our kidneys. Furthermore, while life
support increases'our span of existence, most under such systems are partially vegetative
anb'by alt accounts will never experience life's pleasures despite technically being 'alive"
Thus, while inventions prolong our lifespan, which some correlate with its quality, its costs
tie in the lowered body resistance and .educed sensory appreciation of the brain-dead'
Technology in health may atso raise many questtons about unused embryos, cloning and
stem cell;;search that open up .any med'cal posstbililies but may reduce the quality of
life of unborn humans, clbnes ino donors of stem cells Hence, the puiported benefits of
medical inventions are best taken with a pinch of salt as they come at a high price of
human health and even our future existence if not used appropriately

Furthermore, technology is also a double-edged sword in the development of

communications and lifestyles, making interaction more convenient, but at the same time,
creating a detached and "instan{ society. Surely one would consider it a boon to humanity
that rel;tives and friends are within such close reach with discoveries like Skype and MSN
Video calls. A lifestyle of convenience with microwaves, elevators for lhe elderly, digital
cameras, ce,l phones and the like are also recent innovations that conserve time and
energy and allow for more to be accomplished- However, as paaents argue increasingly in
I n"*"-pup., comments, their childten are all plugged into iPods and chatting with their
i peeri, such that, ironically, tools made tor imp.oving communication have made teenagers
stuck in elect onic spheres with litile desire for building personal relationships- Even more

$ S $unnos vrnnosraronm m ffi
so, in their habits of technological convenience, the "instant noodle society' that demands
food, attention, lransport, and vitually everything immediately has led to a fast-paced,
demanding society that seldom pauses to reflect or appreciate life's simple pleasures
while waiting. The monster birthed by technology if society does not tread with caution is
not the convenience that makes time more available to appreciate life, but rather the
compression of time, such that we seek to do more and more in an endless cycle. Hence,
if left to run without supervision, technology may undermine the very lifestyles and
improved communications it was invented to create.

Finally, with respect to the environment, President George Bush is famous for lndeed.
advocating how green science will eventually solve all our environmental concerns. While
it is valid that developments may aid in cleaning oil spills in Aceh, fuel cars without using
fossil fuels and patch up our ozone layer, it is also precjsely such machinery that has
accelerated development potential and hence, pollution in developing nations. Thus, when
green science is not shared with these Less Developed Countries (LDCS), all the
marvellous potential technology wields to improve the ai. we breathe and preseNe our
ecosystems lqould be lost. ln short, in all areas of our daily activities, technology is
ext.emely beneficial towards upgrading standards of welfare, but may occasionally come
at great costs if not used with caution.

Content 26/30
Language: 15/20
Total Mark:41l50

Well-done! A lot of conviction herc. Lovely use of language.

The Hippocrates' oath, a mainstay in modem medicine, pronounces that the

obligation of every doctor is to ensure the sanciity of a patient's life no matter what the
circumstances. lndeed, medicine may be one of the few professions where alkuism for the
preservation of human life has not been wholly tainted by political or economic greed.
However, with increasingly heated debate about the high costs of production and
resea.ch, the original intent that medical science betters human standard of living may be Yes. indeed.
compromised because a meagre few will be able to afford, much less benefit from it.
Politically, such research may be used as a bargaining tool to exert power over those who
are deprived economically. This defeats its purpose and comes at a high price if it does
not reach the public, and socially, it causes many to risk indebtedness on certain chances
in treatments. Yet, should such research be carried out \rith certain provisions such as the
rise of philanthropy and government aid, quick dissolution of patents that make such
treatment costly, and incaeased awareness on the sanctity of life in society, peahaps such
research would be warranted after all. Certainly, although jt may reach only a select few
initially, such provisions that eventually facilitate greater public access to these treatments
might very well make the expensive research they demand allowable-

For many, the key argufient against such expensive research into medical science
is because it may be used as a political ba.gaining tool against Third World countries that
may not be able to afford them, despite their great need. Experimentation with such drugs The focus
and equipment can be said to merely exacerbate the North-South divide, as developing seems to move
nations can barely keep from exceeding their budgets due to the growing needs of the here.
populatjon, much less afford expensive medical treatments- This situation deterjorates This is not quite
further when nations of the c7 cite intellectual property rights to prevent needy countries clear.
from reproducing the treatment within budget, and when black markets develop to the ruin
of both producer and consumer nations. A pure example of this would be the production of
HIV vaccines, almost 90 percent of w,hich were consumed by countries with the largest

$ (? $'annns\^,0Rrsw0RDsm (:
Gross Domestic Product, and the subsequent uproar that ensued when such drugs we'e
incorpo.ated into generic production by countries on the other end of the spectrum Even
with cancer research, the United States' major drug producers are notorious for citing
intellectual property to justify their numerous tort lawsuils against generic research and
produclion, even though closer inspection would reveal that it could be avoided if they
setted for narrower profils, lower pric€s and a healthier global community Hence, we see
that when such research is misused, it bodes illfor the millions who cannot afford it and it
maywell be justified should productjon cease.

However, from a more positive perspective, despite its detriments as an economic

bargaining tool against the needy public, the rising wave of philanthropy and government
production of such drugs has negated some of the negative effects of expensive medical
;esearch. lt is truly the effort ot the top ten percent of income earners like Bill Gates and
Holtywood heavyweights like Angelina Jolie who ease condilions {or such research- Even
in Singapore, govemment projects like the President's Star Charity are established to fund
the research and development of medical investigation !o that the burden of its expensive
cost would nql hinder public access to it. Thus, although few could afford such treatments
initially, research in this line is warranted still by the rise of political aid that will ease the
burden on thE poo. substantially. Therefore, while some might argue with validity that
costly medical science research has few justifications when so few can afford it and it has
the potential to be erploited as a political weapon, the frnancial burden undertaken by
conce.ned parties maintains its production lo the benefit of all vrho eventually can afford it.

What then of the opportunity costs of ptoduction, for if so lew can afford it, why
waste precious resources on reseaach when they could be diverted elsewhere? lndeed'
the opportunity cost of producing such costly medicines is high, especially when they will
very possibly not reach the many people they are designed to benefit. Consider the case
of AIDS drugs that have been purchased by developing nations bui reach such a select which
few of its populations because of steep prices they cannot subsidise. The rcsources from developing
purchasing even blueprints of such medicines and vaccines are cos{ly relative to their nation5? Give
affordability and even their rate of success especjally in an illlterate, indebted nation Upon specific details
further consideration, even the scarce finances could have gone instead to the where possible.
construction of better sanitation and healihca.e facilities. The approach taken by
Singapore is perhaps ideal in its stance that prevention is better than cure as seen in the Point here could
campaign against dengue. Far from merely relying on costly drug research that might have been
never reach lower income earners, they seek instead to prevent breeding spots and better shown if
upg.ading sanitation as the best and most economically viable defence against disease an example of a
Thus it is clear that at times, because such .esearch is inaccessible without wealth, developing
approaches that benefit the population as a whole are more viable. nation is used.

Of course this is not true of certain drugs which, though costly at first, eventually
become more accessible through natural economic processes. Hence, rcsearch into
expensive medical treatments llke the earliest antibiotics was warranted, although few
could alford them initially, because once patents on such drugs lapsed, their technology Good point.
sp.ead and increased supply had similar effecls on their alfordability. A large part of these
expensive treatmenls ties in their status as intellectual property, but this does not justify
the ceasing of their production just because many cannot afford them at first. Eventually,
justice prevails and with the increase in open economies and competition, as well as
lapses in patents, these treatments become much more affordable and benelit many,
warranting their p.oduction in ihe long term.

Finally, an argument might stand that, as few can afford such expensive drugs or
equipment, their research is not validated, because it would cause society to take great
financial risks to preserve life although these are not necessadly successful. As few can
afford them, these treatments that offer great, if false, hope would induce many to take
loans and forgo assets to obtain them. Should these come to naught, as seen in the 2003
case of high blood pressure pills in China, the public who might have been in dire financial Unclear here-
straits previously .would find their problems magnified ten-fold due to non-credible yet More details
expensive medical rumours stemming from research. required.

$ $ Q unnns r,rm r,vr:nm m S
Yet again, despite the fact that such keatments involve great financial risk and I
mav never be accessible to the public fully the most longstanding argument justifying
research despite its high costs is the sanctity and preservation ol life An increased I
awareness of this has caused many governments in the past to share their developments I

and experimentation flndings on multiple epidemics like the Severe Acute Respiratory
Svndrome (SARS) and malaria. Although such treatments may be without effect and Do the

e;oeciallv since so few have the purchasing power to even afford them, there is a general I preceding
sentiment amongst nations thal lhe lives of millions are the moie important concern and I examples of
research is conducted anylvay so that at the very least, survival from such global plagues SARS and
is oossible. Thus, despite the high costs involved, expensive trealments are warranted due malaria support
to the sanctjty of life principle, and as previously menlloned, are often eased by I your point? Nlore
governments and donors. I
apt examples?

Hence, in the short term, such treatments might be too costly to be iustified as I Conclusion is
compared to the tong term due to targer potiricat, economic and social considerations.
I :::*"Jrlll?
Content:2230- J
important Never
Language: 16/2,0 leave Your
Total Mark: 38i50 I concluslon
Very well-witten and developed arguments. Check the markels repott -
what else could I

be discussed? consider the role ot individuals. How about the facl that costs are often 1

reduced when morc people are lrcated2

Do you agre€ that technology has made the wodd more itangerous than ever?
chua Zhi Huei, CG 28/07

Al lhe turn of the 2Or' century. when the world first experienced lhe impact ot the I
lndustrial RevokJtion, many leaders hailed the advent of technology as "mankind's best gift |
to ourselves"- Truly, since the dawn of the Stone Age, technology in its most primitive form I
was ever present in inventions and innovations like the immortalised wheel Originally ]
designed to enhance living standa.ds of society, technology of late has seemed to pose a
bigg;r threat, or risk, to mankind's security instead. Be it in the elaborate netlvorks of
cririe and tenor, increased power bestowed on governments, potential of exploitation of I
the environment, o. the blurring of ethical boundaries in science, technology, or how it is | ..
used, can well be said to have made the world more dangerous than ever- These dangers I
Yes gooo
are negaled by the .ising trends to use technology to counter such threats in every field l 11"]::=
conctuiing once more, thattechnology in itself is not harmful, but only when misused.
I [il:'jl"'
Perhaps the best example of when all hell breaks loose with technology is in the technology
field of crime and terrorism. Here, technological tools of communication have enabled lhe
rapid spread of radical ideology, giving caiminals access to weapons of mass destruction
and making them much harder to t.ack, aitogether contributing to the climate of fear and I
danger in which we live in today. Where conventional c.ime which relied on a criminal's I
expirience was generally limited to small numbers, in this digital era' all kinds of l
organisations have been able to spread fanatical ideology and recruit many passionate,
impulsive youths today to risky causes like the destruction ofthe lsraeli state by Hamas, or
the suicide attack on the World Trade Cent.e by Al Qaeda. This new facet of crime known I
as terroa gains skength not just in numbers, but in sheer force and scate of destruction as I
elaborate arms kade netlvorks have enabled tenodsts to purchase nucleaa weapons and I
l!l-16 guns without having to be accountable. The boon of technology to organised I
intellig;nce has also been;isosed to strengthen such criminal organisations and allow for ]
hacki;g into virtually every intelligence system worldwide, as seen in the numerous i
hacking attempts on the United States' Central lntelligence Agency (ClA) Hence, the
world is far more dangerous due to the misuse of the lnternet and communications
technology. However, all is not lost as ctiminal databases for the police have expanded,

Ot? $unnos\ nRDs\ /oRmG ( )
tracking technology like the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is being improved almost
daily, and the media has increased public awareness about the importance of cooperating
with the authorities to reduce criminal threats. ln short, while the misuse of technology has
indeed been a cause for danger, its nature as a mere tool can also be used to rectlfy the

Yet in politjcs, it might cerlainly be acknowledged that technology poses less of a

boon than a bane for it enhances governments abitities to keep track of their citizens'
every move and lends them capabilities to launch wars of annihilation lor personal gain
lndeed, the loss of privacy and lreedom a la 'Big Brothe/', as predicted by Orwell in
"1984", can be said to undermine the security it was created fot. When governments
equipped with GPS, surveillance cameras and social security networks can monitor every
aspect of daily lile or movement of its citjzens, therc is much heightened danger should it
be misused to control or even oppress its people. Whal is more, nuclear technology has
become the new "diamond" of power struggles between nations, lending to the threat of
Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and intense risk as was seen in the race for the
development of the hydrogen bomb by the Soviet Union and the United States during the
Cold War- Surely, with all this, has not technology made the world a dangerous place?
Proponenb af the United Nations would care to disagree. lt now boasts enhanced
regulatory systems of governments and increased mandate, with the threat of weaponry
for unilateral intervention as seen in the Gull War, where the threat of nuclear technology
was combated by similar use of intelligence and weaponry to avoid disaster. Thus, while
the misuse of technology by politicians may certainly undermine security, when placed in Good analysis
the right hands, we see that it is in truth a neutraltool, with potentialfor peace and safety. here-

What then ofthe environment where inventions have hastened apocalyptic signs of
global warming and pollution that threaten our very existence? Certainly, innovations thai
increase our abilities to extract petroleum and coal have desttoyed habitats of wildlife that
we rely on and emitted fumes that overheat our earth. This risk to survival is exacerbated
by technology that incrcases production capabilities tenfold and widens each factory's
carbon footprint. As newspape.s shed light on the increasing loss ol fainforests that cool
our earth, the melting ice that threatens to flood our cities, and the depletion of resou.ces
so rapidly it could land us back in the Dark Ages, technology in environmental exploitation
has made our world almost too unstable and unfit to live in. The root of the p.oblem
however, which is Man's greed, has been negated by such corporations like Norwals How do these
Renewable Corp which devotes its resources to developing clean and green technology, examples sho[
and The Body Shop which refuses to employ products that ruin our ecosystem and the negation of
endanger our well-being. Therefore, while technology opens up possibilities for Man's greed?
environmental degradation, we see also its contribution in making our earth safer and
sustainable, when placed in the right hands.

Perhaps however, the boundaries are pushed further in the fleld of medical science where
technology has enabled gene manipulation, caused uncontrollable lreak accidents. and
placed the power of life and death in the hands of possibly unethical scientists- Surely, this
earth is not safe and mankind endangered when expe ments go out of control and genetic
experimentation opens up possibilities of human exploitation- Consider, for instance, how
Hitle/s scienlsts were empowered to exploit the Jews by making them bio-weapons and
rearranging their genes. Thus, we see here that as clones could be developed to be How?
supeaior to ordinary humans, we can be made redundant in compafison. As the power to But has this
alter human behaviour and even existence has been made possible, our world has been done?
certainly become more dangerous with the advent of technology. Yet again, however, Check tense in
these same capabilities have reduced the danger of potentially fatal illnesses and misuse examples.
has thus far been minimised through accountability networks. Hence, vedly enough, Give specifics
technology may be used in science for good or nay, and has not in itself made the world for better
more thrcatening lhan ever. support.

ln conclusion, we see the detriments that technology has showered on mankind's

security and yet acknowledge that it is more often than not its misuse that leads to
increased danger in the fields of te orism and crime, war and politics, our environment,
medicalscience, and in short, our woIld.

Content: 20/30
Language: '15/20
Total Mark: 35/50

A genera y well'aryued essay which reflects a sound gtasp of qualw demands. Point on
the unconttollable effects of medical technology could have been examined in greater
depth with suppott. Wotu on cdtical evaluation to push the content mark up.

Technology has inundated our lives over the years, and the fact that it advances at
a tremendous speed has improved the quality of our lives much more than before. Dubbed
as the 'Tech-sewy' Age, the 21n Century has seen some of the best inventions of BEST invention?
technology, such as the iphone for instance, yet it has also witnessed some of the worst Really?
crimes against humanity with the aid of technology, such as the infamous 91 1 attack which
still remains vivid and painful to many in America even till today. The much celeblated
technology has, in fact, jeopardised the globe in several aspects, making the world
seemingly more dangerous than ever. However, it should not be discredited as such, for You mean two
there are always two ends to a spectrum. sides to an
With the advent of technology, there is an almost parallel increasing concem over
the wide use of it in teroism. Over the years, terrorism has never ceased to remain as Be concise. This
one of the urgent issues that has to be targeted at by countries world-wide and the is quite a clumsy
accelerating advancements of technology only prove to exacerbate the situation. Via the expression-
lnternet, a quick search using popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo will
readily reveal available information about the famous terrorist groups' ideologies and Avoid colloquial
instruc{ions on easy-to-make bombs. Such is the power of the lnternet; radical ideas expressions
spread easily and threaten national security as moae are exposed to such information. ln such as "easy-
the most recent case of the war between Russia and Georgia, Russia held an to-make'.
unprecedented 'digital war' against Georgia by sending millions of viruses to networks
globally, directing the se.vers to the highly confidential websites of Georgia's government
and banks belore launching an invasion. Hence, it is clear that such high levels of How serious is
technology have indeed made attacks easier and more precarious than before. this danged

l\,4edical science has also played an important role in society over the years. With
medical equipment using advanced technology like nanotechnology and major
developments in scientiflc reseaach, technology has been hailed as the cuae to many once
incurable diseases. Yet technology has also, pa.adoxically, endangered ihe lives of many
due to the method th.ough which it has been harnessed. A classic example is the use of
Black Death dudng war. Due to such biological weapons, countries without the essential
resources will suffer tremendously from these highly advanced weapons of destruction.
The victims of such atrocities are really always the civilians; hence I strongly Have these
believe that technology in this case has no doubt 'nnocentmade the world more dangerous. biological
Fuathermore, the issue on euthanasia has sprung up since the Netherlands legalised it, weapons been
escalating into fervent debates on the ethics and morality behind such actions. The strong used?
argument that physician-assisted suicides or legal eulhanasia may be the start of a
stippery slope that wilt back the case of selective killing of people deemed unworthy of
living (due to bi.th defects and mental illnesses) is iust one of the many that highlights the
potential hazards posed as a result of technology. Still, we cannot fail to recognise that Precisely. Read
medical science has in fact improved our lives with better standards of living and medical the question
facilities. The danger lles in the way Man uses technology, to his own selflsh advantage. again. ls the
world more
Apart from the medical field, the misuse of technology has also resulted in global dangerous?
catastrophes in the form of natural disasters, deemed by some as 'Nature's revenge'. Euthanasia is

lndustrialisation has fuelled mass production and demand, and this in turn .elates to the entirely possible
surging number ol factories that a.e operated all over the wo.ld. The amount of pollution without
that these faclories produced is so alarming that environmentalists and scientists have technological
persistently called for action to be taken. Reports of cataskophes which struck both Asia advancements!
and the West alike are due to the resulting global warming, and the eve.-changing weather
patterns contribute significantly to disasters such as Hunicane Gustav in America and
cyclone Nargis in l\ryanmar. lt is also precisely due to this incessant need for products
and goods that has sparked off a series of natural catastrophes, which scientists have
promised there are more to come. People are quick to point fingers at countries lvhich
contribute the most to the pollution, like Ameica, China and lndonesia, and rally calls lor
action, but to put the blame on technology is unfair as technology is merely a tool which
l\4an himself created for greater convenience. Thus, it is not technology that has placed
the lives of people in jeopardy, but instead it has to be Man's own exponential wants and
needs that have made the world dangerous.

Not only is the natural environment's security laigely threatened, our daily routine What do you
in life has in Ja6t become more endangered- The prevaient use of visa cards and online mean?
bank accounts not only reveals personal information to the other party of the transaction
but also any outsider with the relevant skills, hence resulting in an increase in the numbet
of cyber-crimes- The obtaining of pe.sonal information from others without their permission
infringes on their plivacy, and the danger lies within the ill intentions behind the
perpetrators of such thefts. !n such cases, technology does make the world even more
dangerous, due to its wide connectedness. Email and telephone scams have increased
over the years as shown by the statistics provided by The Straits Times recently, and You mean that
hence one indeed must remain constantly vigilant in the face of such easy access to one must remair
olhers' information wilh technology. constantly
vigilant while
Overall, at can be seen that technology has no doubt contributed to the perils of online as oua
modern living in our globalised world today. Yet, it is often the scapegoat for the actual personal
perpekator - Man himself. We can only reflect upon how technology has evolved from one information
which provides convenience to one that is frequently mentioned and blamed upon when might be
catastrophes strjke. Being a double-edged sword, it is highly useful for people who use it accessible to
in the appropriate manner, but it is indeed a dangerous weapon when it is misused, olhers.
causing the world to be more dangerous than ever-

Content 20130
Language: 14120
Total Mark: 34/50

Slow staft (pehaps poor planning?) but when you finally got going, you were ight on

$ q) Su,cRDS r,ronmuronos m q?

mass media and journalism

specifically - 'The power of the journalist is g.eat, but he is neither respected nor admired
for it, unless it is used .ight." The former president of the United States aptly summed up
what the mass media should aim to do: to tell the truth and not abuse their power of
massive influence. However, the recent spate of terro.ist events tailored for the media
seems to propose that the media should not always tell the kuth, and that there a.e
circumstances that do not require the whole and absolute truth. That, however, does not
imply lying, but instead the ielling of a partial truth.

The mass media reprcsents the specific body of the media envisioned for a large
scale dissemination of information. Therefore, it is unde.standable that the mass media expression.
wields immense powers of influence over society- As it is, we depend on the media fo.
coverage on th"e events taking place around us and for information on impodant global
events. As Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore once commented, the mass
media has a "moral and social responsibility", and possesses powers of influence 'greater
than executives and corporate leaders". Therefore, the mass media has to wield its
responsibility and use its position of mass influence wisely - and this suggests a constant,
steady, unwavering adherence to the truth. The extent of the mass media's inffuence
means that its every coverage of events would be eagerly lapped up and absorbed by
members of the public, and the media has a social responsibility to cover and report Good if you
events in a truthful, forthcoming light. Society depends on the mass media for factual could support
reporting and unbiased recounts, and the mass media should live up to this dependenc€ this belief with
and expectation, and be held accountable. evidence.

Moreover, it is important for the media to tell the truth, especiaily when it pertains to
a nation's welfare, or is in relation to important political affairs that concern a country's
well-being. This function of the media in which it exposes misdeeds and misdemeanour is
one that clearly entails a telling of the tarth. The media's whistle-blowing and expose on Examine
the Watergate scandal for example, shows the need for telling of the truth and journalistic investigative
integrity despite possible opposition and backlash. The media is commonly regarded as joumalism.
the fourth estate to iudge a gove.nment's efficiency, and there is therefore a significant
reliance of a nation on the media to check and report factually, the truth on affairs big and
small. Theretore, the media's actions should always be guided by the truth as they have to
live up to a societal need for the truth, and non-slanted, unbiased and factual reporting

Besides its ability to disseminate information on a large scale, the mass media also
has the power to shape mindsets, create opinions and mould thought processes For Good point.
example, media cove.age on the Bill Clinton-lvlonica Lewinsky extramarital affair created
widespread disapproval of the former American president with females worldwide frowning
on the adultery of Clinton. The media therefore shaped an opinion on a global scale Thus,
the media should adhere to the truth, as opinions and mindsets are governed and
influenced by the media's coverage on events; dishonest or slanted and untruthful
repo.ting would lead to opinions and .eactions based on lies- Not only is this socially
harmful, it is also unfair to the parties these lies are built upon.

However, there are instances in which the tauth will not set one free, and there is a Avoid using the
gap between what society needs and what society should get. Senior Minister Goh Chok same evidence
Tong commented at Today newspaper's anniversary celebration that a medaa's interest twice in the
should converge with a nation's goals of order and stability. Therefore, there are several same essay.
circumstances in which the media, in order to move in tandem with a nation's goals, has to Check also the
avoid revealing thetruth. paragraph
An obvious instance is when the phenomenon of terrorjsm is tailored fo. the media
lnstead of simply bombing an obscure enemy village without injecting widespread fea., expression.

O t3 O vrnnos r,r,mm'annns m {
te.rorists nowadays are known to specially tailor their terrorist actions for media coverage,
so as to lutfil the more insidious obiective of sparking off panic, pandemonium and distress
on a large scale. This can be seen way back during the 1972 Munich Olympics in which
Palestinian tenorists massacred lsraeli athletes. The Olympic event was specially selected
by the tenorists as there would be global coverage, and their acts of brutality and
slaughter would be broadcast on an international scale, injecting distress across not only
one country but globally. Other instances include the execution of American Nick Berg
and the '1995 Oklahoma Cily bombings. Tenorists r,vho captured Nick Berg purposefully
filmed the gory and grotesque execution process and circulated it on the lnternet to spark Good use of
off distress to atl who chanced upon the film, using the large scale influential power of the examples.
lnternet to publicise their terrorist activities. ln the Oklahoma City bombings, the bomber
Timothy Mcveigh picked his bombing destinations as he knew it would be a good spot for
maximum coverage. During such deliberate, depraved acts of using the media and
exploiting its influence, the media should not succumb or fall prey to such schemes, and
should hide some of the truth of the matter, in order to oppose this manipulation of the

I\,,toreover, such tenorist acts purposefully aftempt to spark off pandemonium using
the mass meifia, and by reporting the full unadulterated and undiluted truth, the media
would be complicit in these acts of trying to destabilise and threaten the public. Therefore,
this is a significant instance in which the complete truth is not expec{ed of the media. ln
the aforementioned Nick Berg execution, media moguls CNBC, CNN and ABc refused to
air the execution videos to avoid causing diskess to the public. By not fulfilling the
supposed talk of reporting the absolute truth, these media stations saved America frofl
further panic and pandemonium, allowing a quicker recovery from the attacks, and helping
to salvage the remnants ol American national security. Another good example of how the
media should be allowed to not reveal the whole truth, is the recent London Tube
bombings. lnstead of airing unedited and therefore completely truthful footage of the
bom$scene, the news stations decided to air edited still footage, to not further upset the
already distressed nation. Therefore, it pivotal to acknowledge thatin slch instances,
the media should cover up the truth, in'sa bid to maintain stability and for the welfare of
society, and to also prevent itself from getting exploited due io the influence it holds.

At times, to not report the full truth in the interest of national stability is what the Usefulexample,
media has to do. When Jemaah lslamiah te.rorists wete arrcsted in Singapore, the rnedia but check
had to have the discernment and perspicacity to dilute certain information so as not to paragraphing of
ignite racial tensions in Singapore's unique multi-racial social fabric. Therefo.e, this is points.
another instance in which the absolute truth would not be the necessary truth, in order to
protect and maintain a country's welfare.

Therefore, the media should always tell the t.uth, but at times, it is required of the
media to tell halftrdhs in order to converge with the primary concerns of a countrys
security and stability. Although backers of complete press freedom and seekers of pure,
unadulterated truth like non-governmental organisation "Reporters Without Borders" might
say that the half-truths are equivalent to partial lies, I believe thal "partial lles" are at times expression
what is truly required instead. lt is far too absolute to say that the mass media should
"always' tell the truth, as there are precarious situations in our wo.ld that make truth-telling
an amorphous affair. Roosevelt's quote on the power of the journalist and it being used
right should probably apply to telling "partial lies' for the greater good as well.

Content: 22y30
Language: 14120
Total Mark: 36/50

Very good effotl. You have obviously spofted the question and were able to come up with
apprcpdate quotes and examples on the subject. Do check organisation at some pafts of
the sssay-

G {} Cunnnsra,onnsuroms m S

Poverty, as they say, is a vicious cycle. The millions entrenched in poverty never
do seem to escape from lt, and this is ironic given the talk about economic groMh
development throughout the world. lndeed, it does seem that the bulk of wealth created is
being amassed solely by the developed count es and the superpowers, with negligible
amounts given to the countries that really need it. Therefore, I must agree that a better
distribution of wealth is indeed the way forwad to solving the poverty problem, compared
to just a "one-sided" creation of wealth. Of course, the creation of wealth is still a necessity
and will go some way in solving poverty, but a more equitable distribution will undoubtedly
be the more effective solution.

To begin, we must fi.st understand how wealth helps the world. With the Rather slow start
generation of weefth and economic groMh, the govemments of poor countdes will have here.
the resources needed to tackle the poverty problem at the source, and develop the
infraskucture and edu€ation system for continued prospe.ity. With wealth, those
entrenched in poverty will have the ability to feed themselves, get healthy, and eventually
contribute productively to the economy. The generation of wealth is definitely preferable to
any other forms of aid, as these would do nothing to solve lhe problem and they only
inculcate a sense of dependency on the victims of povedy. Therefore, the poor countries
must be given equal opportunities at a shot at generating ebonomic g.o,,th and wealth,
through primarily their agricultural sectors. However, the p.oblem is that the developed
world is not playing fair, and in doing so, perpetuates the unequal distribution ofwealth.

ln the area of trade, the developed countries are seen to (impose heavy
p.otectionist measures on their primary industries, with the United States infamous tor its
heavy subsidies to its farms. The end result is the Americans being able to export their
produce in large amounts and shockingly low paices to the poor countries. This not only
eliminates any hopes for the poorer nations to export their produce and earn revenue, the
influx of foreign produce at artificially cheap prices wiil also wipe out the domestic
industries' businesses. How can these countries hope to generate any wealth in this Restate
situation? And it appears the rest of the developed world is nonchalant about their poorer question as a
friends as well, as seen in 2007 where Pakistani fisherman we.e robbed of their livelihood statement to
due to overfishing by international trawls when Pakistan decided to open up its territory. make your
Besides the obvious fact of the domestic fisherman depending solely on their catches for aroument clear
survival, it is inevitably clear that the rich nations are not playing a fair game, and are the
root cause in this inequitable distribution of wealth.

Therefore, to create a better distribution of wealth, it is up to the rich nations like

the United States of America (USA) to remove their expo.t subsidies and give the poverty
stricken nations a chance to generate wealth through their exports. USA can claim to be a
generous giver in terms of food aid, but as mentioned, aid does not solve the problem, and
the Americans should give col]ntries in Africa a chance and dist.ibute oppofunities for the
creation of wealth more equally. Furthermore, the USA would stand to gain as well, as
they will end up savjng roughly a billion dolla.s a day from subsidies, and the Americans
wjll also get produce at a lower cost. The idea would therefore be feasible.

It is also inte.esting to note the poverty that exists in the developed count.ies as
well, and they serve as solid proof that the wanton creation of wealth does not go far in
solving poverty. On USA again, it is seen that the top 300,000 eame6 collectively eam as
much as the bottom '150 million Americans. While not many of the Americans find
themselves in absolute poverty like in Swaziland where half of the people live on $1 a day, Currency?
it is still an increasingly pressing problem. Closer to home, a report also showed that the
Philippines' rema.kable growth gains have not trickled down to the majority of the poor. A
more equitable distribution of wealth would definitely go well in improving the figu.es for

O * Ou,onns\ nRDs\ oRDsm {*:
these two countries, either through greater progressive income taxes and perhaps a
triotr"r .inimum .aqe. Wnile such policies might not go down well with the more affluent
liiizens. tnese m,jst"oe strongly pushed by the government for the balance of the society
hinges on the severity of the tage gap divide Again' such policie-s are like food aid and do
not-tackle the problem directy, and a long term solution must be found

This leads me to my next point on education Besides being hailed by many to be

the 'ladder out of poverty", i find that educating the citizens of a country is a viable method
to uetter oistribuie weitttr. lf tne citizens of Somalia could receive a decent level of Effective
education, they would then be able to obtain jobs with much higher salaries, compared to weaving of
poor be examples into
the measly wabes they get from doing unproductive jobs. Thus, not only would the
able to drag thlmselves out of poverty, the muhiple increase in their pay packets due to argument
and presented in t',.s
education ;oub close the wage gap divide between the developed developing
countries, meaning a more equitable distribution of $realth. The importance of labour
relraining must alio not be underestimated, and if Cambodian flshermen could have
access 6 better fishing nets and taught more productive ways to fish, they would be able
to create rHore food and money for themselves. The affluent countries' on their part, can
aid in this aspecl by contributing their knowledge and expertise, particulady in the
agricultural-seitor. I am certain that lf the poverty-stricken countries in Africa could have How about
a;cess to high-yielding varieties of seeds and better irrigation, they would be-able to fend
better for themselves. Although this solution does not resuft in the direct transler ofwealth,
it is clearthat a more equitable distribution ofwealth will be made possible in the long run

Lastly, I would like to touch on the importance of the government lf Robert Yes, good that
Mugabe's zi;babwe had not chosen to tet tons of high protein ponidge rot in gtanaries as you examinec
punishment to the people who had voted for the opposition' the people ofzimbabwe might the role ol the
irave had the chance to feed themselves and thus do productive work for the economy government-
lnstead, the country now posts negative growth, and thousands have fled the country' This
group of people continues to be mired in poverty, while the rest of the world becomes
irore amuent. lt is thus imperative for any country to have good govprnance, for they can
either aid greatly in solving the problem of poverty, or result in complete coltapse and a
more unequal distribution of wealth-

To conclude, it is true that more wealth can indeed solve the problem of poverty
However, the deciding factor would depend on how much of the wealth generated actually
ends up in the hands of the poor, and a conffuence of factors including an incoffupt
government will go a long way to achieving the objective of equity. Much -of the power'
6owever, lies in ihe hands of the rich world, and if the majority starts to follow Gordon
Brown and the G8 nations' .ecent quest to solve poverty, I would be optimistic that poverty
can be eliminated-

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The discussion is clear and focused, with a

consistent stand You have linked the
discussion back to the question and the examples are apt Keep up the good work.

It has been asserted that the world economy has grown by leaps and bounds over
the past few decades. l/lany countries have expe enced substantial growth in their
National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) levels. This increase in wealth has been
attributed to the swift spread of technology around the wo d, enhanced by the greater
connectivity th;t globalisation has brought to the globe. Based on such glowing reports of
the world economy, it seems to be a gjven that the perennial problem of poverty would be

resolved with more wealth. Yet, the gap between the rich and poor nations does not seem
to be closing- Perhaps, better distribution of this increasing wealth would be a morc
effective solution than the endless generation of more wealth

A country may prosper, but the poor remain poor without any trickleiown effect of
this wealth. This is best represented by further examination of a country's national income
statistics. ln lndonesia, national GDP has experienced steady growth since the years of
Suharto's dictatorship. Yet, the per capita income of the general population has not Good use of
expedenced a similar trend. Since the 1990s, an average of 30 million Indonesians remain example-
under the United Nations' poverty line while 60% of the country's cuffency is circulated in
Jakarta alone. lt is evident that only the city centre is experiencing the fruits of increased
prosperity, isolating the outer islands from the country's wealth. Wealth has the potential to
pull the impoverished out of the vicious poverty cycle. Instead, only the rich seem to
benefit from the nation's wealth, stifling the potential revival of the poor. As such, better
distribution of wealth can resolve this bottleneck that prevents the poor from gaining
access to the riches.

A beftr :istribution of wealth enables an even allocation amongst the different

classes, allowing'the poor to rise up the social ladder and reduce the gulf that separates
them from the wealthy. Having access to wealth is the fundamental factor lor further
economic development.- Singapore provides an example of how a better distribution of
wealth has enabled the country to reduce the number of people under the United Nations'
poverty line from the high levels of the 1960s to a respectable level ot two to five percent
in recent years. This is one reason for the emergence of the large middle class in society
where the poor have established themselves higher up in the social ladder. The poorer
geneEtion of the 1960s were given equal opportunities and benefits together with the rest
of the population, courtesy ol the government's impartial distribution of wealth. The rise of
the middle class presents a success story of how the better distribution of wealth has
enabled people to step out ofthe poverty line.

lntemational trade has been proclaimed as the solution to poverty ii the third world
by the capitalists of the first world nations. The emergence oftrade has helped to generate
more income for every country in general, helping to boost the development of key
industries in certain countries. lt is interesting to see how the richer nations have
prospered at astronomical levels, almost putting the meagre grolvth levels ol the poor lo
shame- The fact ihat these richer nations continue to grow at a faster and larger rate than
the poorer nations only serves to widen the gulf in the standa.d of laving. Even with weallh
from trade, the poor nations are still less "well-off than their richer counterparts. The flaw
in international trade again highlights the need for a better distribution ofwealth. Trade has
been manipulated by the G8 nations, forcing third world nations like Congo and Ghana to
open up their domestic markets for the G8's exports- Such imposed 'favours" are not
reciprocated by the rich, often applying protectionist measures io keep out the cheaper
exports from these poorer countries- For instance, the Eurcpean Union restricts flower
imports from Zimbabwe, limiting the growth potential of these exporters to protect
domestic flower industries. There is no doubt that trade has helped to generate wealth for
these poorer nations. Yet, this wealth is restricted to such a limited extent that poverty
remains endemic in theia societies as the rest of the wor'd continues to prosper. By
removing such protectionist measures, the poorer counties will have the opportunity to
bring themselves out of poverty, with the advantage of lower production costs. At the same
time, wealth is not "harvested" by the richer nations alone. ln the long run, truly Convincing
unrestricted trade will .edoce the .ich-poo. divide as wealth is more evenly distributed arguments here,
among countries. The bridging of this divide will naturally bring about a similar reduction of well-supported
poverty. with examples.

The very nature of poverty is so complex that in reality, jt is aclually caused by a

combination and interplay of factors. Having said so, having a better distribution of wealth
may not be sufficient to solve the poverty crisis- Governance also comes into the ftame
where deep-rooted corruption c€rn be a cause of poverty. ln the current wodd, better
distribution would seem idealistic as the presence of conupt authoritadan regimes or
governments will undermine efforts to reduce poverty. This is evident from the general

O $ Ounnns'mnnsrrr,onnsm {,1
failure of economic aid to boost economic development in the countries in question,
despite the richer nations' willingness to 'share and distribute' their wealth- ln the
Philippines, economic aid from the United States of America (USA) simply did not reach
the poor masses during Marcos' martial law. lnstead, these funds were sapped away by
the corrupt patron-client relatlonship with the ilustrado elite class that remains even in
present-day circumstances. Better distribution of wealth has to be accompanied by
efleclive governance to steer the people away from poverty. Poverty can also be How about
associated with environmental factors, where certain countries are often hit by policies to
catastrophes, hampe.ing economic development. ln such cases, there is little that can be reduce the
done, except for the richer nations to provide aid. threat of
ln reality, it is difficuft to pin-point a perfect solution to poverty as it can be multi- disaste6?
causal. The complicated interplay of factors requires a multi-pronged approach to deal
with poverty. Even thorigh a better distribution of wealth serves as a more effective
mechanism than the generation of more wealth, it may not be su{icient in current

Content 24130
Total Mark: 40/50

Tommy, this is ti/ell-wiften and an enjoyable rcad. However, more could be done to
actually compare and d)ntrast the concepts of morc wealth and beftet distibution. One
way this can be dono b through the evaluation of the meits of each againsl the other in
the same discussion.

Poverty has always been considered one of the most debilitating vices plaguing
mankind. Over the years, it has gradually worsened due to several factors, to the extent
that it has assumed terrifying proportions. Ioday, despite numerous counter-measures to
curb poverty, we stand at the threshold of poverty irreversibly establishing itself in the core
fabric of our society. Considering the cunent state of helplessness the world finds itself in
when faced with poverty, I believe that poverty, on the whole, can never be eradicated. As
such, it remains to be seen whether conditions can actually be ameliorated with a yawning
income gap and a proliferating global population making the eradication of poverty an
even more daonting task.

A sustained widening of the income gap with the rich becoming wealthier and the
poor suffering its consequences is a maior reason for the eGdication of poveaty not even
being a vague possibility. ln 2005, an analysis of the USA'S income tax data revealed that
although the total estimated income had risen by 9% over the year, the average income of
the bottom 90% of earneG had dropped substantially with only the top 10% reaping rich
dividends. An increase in the percentage of corporate profits as a share of the GDP
woridwide at the expense of wages has been explained as the cause. This can be further Persuasive dat;
attributed to the advent of China, lndia and the ex'Soviet Union into the global economy quoted to
which, according to Professor Freeman of Harvard University, escalated the global support
workforce from 1.46 billion to approximately 3 billion, consequently providing the aagument.
alternative of low-wage labour. This trend of rock-bottom wages has hit the developing
world especially hard, plunging hordes of people further into abject poverty-

Another reason for the ubiquity of poverty is the inequity of distribution of.esources
by incapable and cor.upt politicians and ineffectjve gtobal organisations. ln the case of the
latter, sanctions for aid issued by the World Bank or other organisations to developing
countries are ultimately handed to the local political structure for further distribution. Many
a time, this aid does not even reach the grass-roots level as venal politicians reap the


O $ C vrnnos'annns urorus o {3
Drofits at the expense of the needy. The United Nations 'Food-for-oil' scam uncovered in
ioM illustrates the truth in this statement. After the Gulf War in 1991, the UN had
sanctioned food-aid for refugees displaced by the war in the Middle-East. However, most
of this aid never reached the affecled and if it did, was exchanged for voluptuous amounts
of petroleum by corrupt middlemen consisting ofwealthy Middleeastern businessmen and
even American bureaucrats. The lact that the UN was blisstully unaware of this blatantly
massive scam illustrates the ineflicacy ol such organisations Moreover, this pilfering should this
tendency exhibited by adminiskators in several developing oountries proves ihat even dream be given
alleviating poverty is but a dream in numerous pockets of the world. up then?

It is also seen that several inherently noble-minded schemes seemingly crafted to

aid the needy may, in reality, turn out to be exacerbating their misery. ln recent years,
various grants issued by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the UN' have
backfired and created economic maelstroms in several developing countries like lndia,
thus aggravating the situation of poverty. A country with a high growth rate of population,
lndia has a predominantly agrarian economy with more than 80% of the population living
in villaqes. Thus, cheaper food rates offered by the FAO wrecked the rural economy ofthe
country, with thousands of farmers going bankrupt. This trend has also been observed in
several otherAfrican and Asian countries. Thus, in several cases, foreign aid not only fails
to solve the problem of pove.ty but actually escalates it.

Ihe world has seen a meteoric.ise in the incidence of poverty due to a

continuously widening income gap, high population growth rates and unbelievably
incapable and corrupt administrative systems atl over the world. Judging by the current
trend, the eradication of poverty seems to be utterly impossible. However, several
measures may be emptoyed to improve the situation Administrative systems al, around
the world need to be completely revamped with selfless politicians elected to the higher
offices. Moreover, instead of proffering cheaper rates for food, organisations like the FAO
could supply essentiai utilities like seeds and fertilisers at cheaper rates to farmers in Effective
developing countries. The eradication of poverty may seem unachievable at the moment conciusion.
but if the correct measures aretaken, its effects may actually be undernlined.

Language: '14120
Total Mark: 35/50

Anish, youressay is an enjoyable read, and you have exhibited good insight

O $ O unnos'annos r,rnnos oe {'

ln the past, the main concem about food was the insufficient supply for the worid
population. However, the advancement in technology over the years has made possible
effective larming and thus, increasing the yields and reducing tho problem of insufficienl
supply ol food greatly. Despite this, food still remains a matter of g.eat concern today. ln
some less developed countries, people suffer fiom famines while in the more developed
countries, people are facing the problem of obesity. Furthermore, people are also more
concemed about the nutrition ol the food they consume. Therefore, food is a matter that
people are greatly concerned with today.

Flrst and foremost, in the less developed countries, people are not benefiting from
the increased- production ot food as they are still suffering from starvation. For instance, Citation of a
famines hit African countdes most severely and many Africans sufier ftom malnutrition. moae concrete
Persisling stawation is largely due to inefficient governance and poverty in many African piece of
countries like Mugabe's Zimbabwe. With poor leadership, unequal distribution of food evidence (e.9.
supplies limits the pflople's access to continued foreign aid. lf the peopie continue to statistics) will
starve, the country as a whole will be unable to progress and develop because of push your
unemployment, stifling economic growth and further wo.sening the ability of citizens to content to a
afford basic tood supplies. much higher
On the other hand, people in developed countries a.e equally concerned about
food but for reasons associated with excess supply - obesity. Countries like America have It would be good
been experiencing steady economic g.owth which has allowed for greater affluence ol the to consider that
people. With higher spending power in developed cities, people are more than able to the cost of living
afford necessiiies like rice, and are able to enioy more exquisite and expensive cuisines in developed
on top of daily staples. Contrary to lood shortages in third world countries, an abundance countries such
of food and overeating has contributed to obesity in developed countdes. ln America, a as UK and
large proportion of the population js obese due to the many "supersized" meals consumed. Japan is also
Obesity is also on the rise in Singapore and the govemment has been introducing much higher.
measures to reduce its escalating numllets- For example, obese students have to go for
physical exercise during recess to ensure that they reduce their weight. The measures Do you mean
implemented imply that food, when over-consumed and leading to obesity, is an issue that the Trim and Fit
people in the more developed countries are concerned about- (TAF)
As the world population progresses, people are more educated and hence, they
become more eager to find out the nutritjona' facts of the food they consume- The nutrition
facts now stated on every food package inform consumers about the nutrients in the food.
The.e is also a "Healthier Choice" label on the packages of food and beverages that
contain less fat, sugar, or even no paeservatives to allow consumers to differentiate and
choose the healthier food- ln addition, an incrcase in the sales of organic food also
indicates the greater concern of consumers over the types of food they eat. Organic food How about food
is grown without chemicals or any artificial methods, making it healthier to consume grown through
without the worry of any side effects from possible harmful chemicals added. Hence, the aeroponics and
knowledge people receive from education has made them more conscious about the hydroponics?
nutrients in the food they consume.

Food has also become a matter of great concem in some countries as

businessmen use unelhical methods to improve theia sales. For example, in China,
businessmen inject chemicals and artificial colouring into the watermelons to make them
look juicer. This has created a tear in people as they are unsure of whether the food
available for sale is safe for consumpiion. ln this case, food is indeed a matter of great
concean in countries as it concerns the health of the people and thus, there is a need for
the government to conduct stricter checks on the food sold.

Another major concern regarding food is the diseases that result from food- An

O (} O unnns r,rnnmwonos m S
example wolld be the t\.4ad cow Disease. The consumption ol beef may result in the Where is such
soread ol the disease. A more recent example is the H5Nl bird flu virus which stirred up a diseased beef
dlobal pandemic. lf chickens and ducks lhat we consume are infected with the virus, we from? Cite
;av also contract the virus. This recent outbreak caused the sale of poultry from affected example(s).
cor-rntries to be greatly reduced. Therefore, it is impoatant that we are aware of how the Please give
diseases spread and how to choose the right food to eat. Evidently, with the help of news more specific
coverage and health warnings, people have become more aware of, and concerned with details in your
the food they consume description here.

Undoubtedly, food is indeed a matter of great concem today. The only difference
is that in less developed countries, their concern about food is staNation while in the more Though different
developed countries they arc more concerned with obesity. Education has also made countries face
more people aware of the nutrients in their food. However, food is definitely a matter of different
great concern for the general world population when it is associated with diseases concerns over
spreading through food. supply and
access, as the
Content 19/30 - world
Language: 14120 progresses with
Total Mark: 3350' globalisation
and trading of
Paragraph 4: Apaft hotusupply of food and consumption habits being of concem to food, more
people arcund the wodd, global citizens arc also paying more attention to nutritional facts general and
of what they consume thanks to a more progressive, educated society. shared concerns
make food all
Paragnph 5: It would be good to cite the Melamine and pestbide 6carc in food produced the more
frcm china and Japan, rcspectively- Again, citing more concrete examples would push important to the
you atgumenl lo a hiqher level. world co4lmunity
Thete is a good range of ideas with sensible development. lf you had a befter nnge of
currcnt examples to show off your geneal knowledge as opposed to the llsual mundane
ones, this woulcl be an 'A essay.

American celebrity chef James Beard once said that "Food is our common ground, Apt quote to use
a universal experience.' Food is indeed a matter of great concern today in our modern for this essay
society. There lies an irony in this statement as much of mankind still suffers from question.
malnutrition and starvation even with great advances in technology in our modern times
The issue of food shortages was in the limelight recently when United Nations Sec.etary-
Genera, Ban Ki-Moon told world leaders that food production must increase by fifty
percent by 2030 to meet the growing demand in the recent United Nations Food Summit
held in Davos- The substance which we consume to provide us with energy for life is
gaining greate. world-wide attention as it is no longer only a basic necessity but also an
internationally traded commodity.

Food scarcity is a matter of great concern today as many are unable to obtain it
due to its runaway prices. The World Bank repods that global food p.ices rose 83% over
the last three yeaF and the Food and Agriculture Orcanization (FAO) cites that a 45o/" Good research.
increase in world food prices is expected in the next nine months. The rjse in food prices is
due to drought conditions in Australia and growing demand from China and lndia led by
rising affuence. The rise in food prices has significant devastating effect on poverty. The
expenditure on iood takes up a higher proportion of household income in poorer
developing countries gompared to their richer counterparts. The sky-rocketing food prices
are expected to push tlvo more million people into poverty whereas the cost of food aid is
expected to rise by 5O%. This exacerbates the povedy situation as aid will be more

O (? O',rnnns \^ffi murcRDs c {}
expensive to provide. lt also further hampers efforts to eradicate poverty by 2050, a goal
fo; mankind, itated in the Millennium Development Goals. Hence, rising food p ces are of
great concem as they affects peoples ability to feed themselves and push more people
into the cycle of poverty. Furthermore, the dse in food prices has turther implications on
social security as food riots have erupted across the wofld in developing countries such as
Haiti and lnd;nesia as people face the threat ot hunger, poverty and starvation. Therefore,
increases in food prices undermine the peace in the world and the lives of 80o/" of the
world population in the developing countries.

ln addition, food is a matter of great concern today as the changes in its uses have
undermined many peoples ability to purchase this basic necessity. When one dwells
deeper into the c;uses of the exponential jumps in food prices' one may findlhat biofuel is
the devil ofthis evil. According to the FAO, there was a record grain harvest in 2007 which
was expected to meet one and a half times of world demand. The argument that poor
weather conditions are to be blamed is not entirely true The recent trends towa.ds the use Examine the
of biofuels to feed our cars and increasing support by the governments ot Brazil and the developed
United States.of America (USA) towards this alternative fuel is estimated to have forced countries more
global tood prices to rise by 75%. Grain has been diverted away from food to fuel' This carefully - how
leads to a suptly c.unch in corn and wheat. Furthermore, the rise in biofuel consumption is food of great
has also sparked financial speculation which teads to higher prices. Hence' the changes in concern to
the use of food have-affected the supply and prices of this basic commodity. This is of them?
great concern today as it will continue to drive people ftom the developing South into

However, food shortages may not pose a major threat to mankind as Danish Effective appeal
economist and writer Ester Bose.up suggested that technology will solve the world's to authority here.
€souace shortages. Yet, this inevitably raises concerns for the safety of consuming
engineered tood. Proponents of technology will support the use of genetically-modified
(GM) food as a solution to food shortages and runaway food prices Genetic engineering
promises higher quality and quantity yie'ds with changes in a crop orlanimal's genome
composition. Advances in trans-genetics technology have led to the production of cows
with higher masses and duaians which can be grown all year around. However, the
consumption of GM food is received with much apprehension and suspicion People are
afraid of the lonq{e.m health effects on consuming engineered food as well as the ethical
issue surounding the tampering of an animal's genes- Hence, food is of great concern to
the world community today as it is no longer a simple commodity but one that has
ventured into laboratories which may produce harmful resufts in those who consume it
The furore surrounding the use of GM food stems from the lack of knowledge on the
technology and the uncertainty which comes from the lack of testing on a human over a
long period of time. The fear of such food sources are turther exemplified when one is
unable to ascertain whether the food one consumes is genetically modifred. There is a
need to label such food to better inform consumels- ln response, the European
Commission has made GM food labelling mandatory. By fa., there have not been any
cases of food poisoning or illnesses related to the consumption of genetically modified
food in Singapore where 80% of ail food is genetically modified- Yet, the debate on
genetically modified food will continue lo receive much lnternational attention arising from
conslant doubts over its safety.

It is of no doubt that advances in technology will help improve the supply of food,
yet it does not solve the lack of equity in food distribution. Food is a matter of great
concern as it usually goes to the plates ol those in the economic North and manipulated
for political gains. 80% of the world's production is consumed by the wealthiest 20% This
inequity is a moral dilemma as subsistence farmers are unable to feed themselves whilst
the rich continue to enjoy food. The burden of food and agricultural debt in developing
countdes has led to farmers committing suicide- Farmer suicide is one of the top ten
causes of death in Ethiopia. A recent research concluded that a farmer in Australia has
But is this the
30% higher probability of committing suicide compared to the average Australian- Hence,
only facto
the unequal distribution of food has spa.ked humanitarian concerns. lt is morally binding
for developed nations to provide aid to the developing countries. However, with every
dollar given to a developing country, the developing country has to retum five dollars in the

$ $ lr,rnnns\^,ffi \ /oRDsG *
{^rm of trade reforms which may be detrimentalto the country- The donation of food aid is
n-o lonqer an allruistic act of kindness but one of vested
interest. lnstead of donating food
irimldiately to Nortn xorea afte. outcries of food shortages' the United States of America
nesitated to consider trer own national interests- This shows how food is now used as an
tol. political advances Hence, food is a matter of great concern as it wields
in"t um"nt
political power, forsaking humanitarian concerns.

For the eight hundred million people living below US$1 a day, food is a form of
salvation and a means for suryival. For those in the economic North, food has
;anipulated for political advantages, to feed the car one drives and treated as a sphere of
research. The changes in perception and uses of food have undermined the unive6al
eioerience sugqested by James Beard. Food will continue to take centre-stage in the
Effective use of
internalional arena as long as the aim announced in the Food Summit held in Davos is not quote; you
met and poverty is not eradicated. On the basis that our need for food is our "common p.ovided a nice
oround' as mentioned by James Beard, it is time that the world addresses these touch to the end
;isparities politically and rectfies lrade tmbalances which tip the scale. of the essay by
going back to
Content: 19/30 -
the quote
employed at the
Total Mark: 33/50
You covercd brcadth inlout points and some depth. Work on development of ideas by
linking sentences and points so that the transition within each pamgmph is smooth The
topic-sentences of eadier body paragraphs also need to be more f(frused.

With the world providing increasing avenues from which people can acqulre
knowledge, such as the lntemet and documentary proglammes' it is of no.surprise that the
value oibooks in mode.n society is being questioned. Advocates of the lnternet may
argue that with the online dictionary and countless websites which people can access with
th; dick of a mouse, books are now redundant While it is true that acquidng resources
from the lnternet is much more convenient than flipping through volumes of fragile, dog- Effective
eared pages, one cannot deny that books do hold a substantial and irreplaceable position introduction and
that other forms of media have yet to overthrow. stend.

The value of books can be seen on a huge scale in the educational system' where
the use of textbooks in schools is widespread across the wodd- With books used as a tool
ol knowledge, teachers are able to keep track of whether a student is paying aftention in
class as cimpared to the use of e-books, where students are able to access other sites
with less chance of being discovered. Although the introduction of Wikipedia and Google
has left many books on shelves untouched when it comes to research work' many
university lecturers and professional aesearches have questioned the reliability ol online
sources. A professional lecturer in a renowned university has even baffed his students Give specifics
from using information follnd in Wikipedia not only because of its possible unreliability' but for credibility.
because itrangers are able to make up their own article and put it up on Wikipedia'
claiming it to 6e true- ln comparison, books have clear publication dates and are only
publish;d after many years of research, serving as a more stable and reliable source of
information ln such' cases. the value of books is clearly evoked, where books play an
important role in the educational system, especially in research. despite the presence of
the lnternet.

Next, books play a significant part in providing entertainment to the public lmages
and stoies in booksenable readers to escape to a ditferent realm away from lheir hectic
presentiay lifestyles. While many may argue lhat such luxunes are avallable online' it is

O (} O unnos unnos unnos m fu"l
undeniable that there is a more personal feel that comes packaged together with the
contents of a book. Compare the warm scenario of a parent cuddled up to his or her child
in bed, reading a bed-time story in the comfort of a dim-lit room' to a parent and child
staring blankly at the computer screen, the glare of the screen on their faces. The fo'mer
definiGly holds a friendlier image. Fu(hermore, television programmes and e-books
cannot provide a child with the delights and experience ol reading a thteedimensional
pogup took, which explains why many people still prefer the convenlional way of reading How about the
iatiler than squinting at computer screens, trying to make out the increasingly tiny words interaclivity
as the eyes iiru tn" key pad gets hotter' The entertainment factor of a book is provided by the
obviously stjll recognised by the public as can be seen by the mass preordeJing of the lnternet?
final instilment of'Harry Potted by J.K. Rowling in June, before it was officially ready to
the public. Books are no doubt valuable in that they provide ente.tainment lor people of all

Yet another value of books is that it allows people to express themselves - to voice
their thoughts and to share their talent with others which comes in the form of ercellent
literary works.-The expression of an individual is extremely important' especially in todals
society, where more attention is being put on freedom of expression and censorship'
Despiie society's supposed open-mindedness when it comes to racial and religious
differences, discrimination is still prevatent in many parts of the world, even in democratic
United States of Arqerica. Through writing, an autho. is able to put across such
controversial issues in a somewhat softer tone - through a story' By touching a person's
feelings and pulling at the strings of the heart, an author is more likely to succeed in
winning over a reade. rather than in the form of outright complaints of a certain group
being treated unfairly by society. Through a story, people are more likely to undeGtand
another person's plight and see the sufferings of others One such story that drew the
public's attention io the issue of discrimination is'To Kill a Mockingbird' where a black
man is put through many tribulations and emotional sufiedngs as he tries to remove a
false charge placed on him. Such books aid in bringing an issue which has been neglected
for many years to light. The book serves as an avenue and form of expression for people Good point.
to vent their grievances and help society see what they inilially refuse to see conveying
moral values to the public.

Still, it is impossible to neglect the obvious decrease in branches of booksto.es How ebout the
across the world which stems from increasingly more people choosing other forms of increase in
entertainment, mainly the lnternet and ihe television. Yet, to disregard the value of books large, coaporate
just because of this would be reasonable and to an extent, extreme. Books remain as a style book stores
source of information, entertainment and an avenue for expression for at least half the e.g. Borders?
world's population- The convenience of carrying a book around compared with carrying a
bulky laptop or mini-television, together with the mentioned values of a book keeps the You covered the
book in the running along with otherforms of media. valid point of
portability; how
To sum it up, books today still hold an important role in society despite the rising aboul eccess?
popularity of the lnternet. There may have been a decline of the use of books but that
does not make books any less valuable than they were initially The world has not yet
learnt to live without them.

Content: 23130
Language: 15/20
Total Marki 38/50

This is a very good pieca of wo*, and a pleasura to read.


To see a wold in a gmin of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower,
Lovely quote -
but you need to
Hold infinity in the palm of you hand,
make relerence
And etemw in an hour.
to it in your
^'Augudes of Innacenca'by Wi iam Blake
essay to make it
Albert Einstein once said that imagination is more important than knowledge. He
beiieved that imagination knows no limit or boundaries. On the other hand, knowledge is
very limited and applies only to our daily mundane life. lmagination expands our This is a good,
perspective and understanding about the world and hence, some people argue that relevant piece of
imagination plays a bigger role than knowledge. reasoning.
ln todays society, we cannot deny that we live in a world where science and
technology are almost integral to our lives. ln tuct much oI the advancement and new
technologies a.e based on the imagination of famous scientists in the past Many
scientists, ranging from Leonardo da Vinci to Albert Einstein believed in imagination more
than knowledge. ln f?ct, specific theories such as E= mc'?, Heisenberg's uncertainty
principles and so on are derived from imagination. Although it seems that knowledge
comes from human minds, discoveries and inventions, there is no doubt that imagination
aids in developing and expanding the limits of human minds to the creation of knowledge.
ln todays world, much of our understanding about the space explorations, planets and
qataxies are based on an artists impression- ln other words. we are using our imagination
rather than knowledge to understand some parts of our lives. Although Hubble telescopes,
the Apollo missions and other imaging devices have provided us with many images of the
moon and planets, many of the images are basically infrared or X-ray renditions, which
appear as dots and pixels in human's eyes. These scientists then use certain programmes
to process these images and present t_hem in a more visually appealino manner- Hence,
imagination is essential in helping us understand the uncerta'n and the'unknowns of our Good point here.
society today.

Similarly our social spheres have been overwhelmed by imagination for centuries.
There are some people who argue that society has very little distinction with the
imagination it creates. For example the advert of new technology has provided rrs wilh a
'shortcuf to the imaginary world: television. The television has undoubtedly expanded our
vision and imagination with motion pictures, surround sound and real-life experience lt is
argued that the 'reel' world and the 'real'world are very similar and there have been
blurring of distinctions between these tlvo worlds- lndeed, in our society today, the
television plays an important role in disseminating knowledge and information, through
pictures and sounds that inspire, and are inspired by, our imagination. Hence, knowledge
itsell does not have the power to be unde6tood except with the help of imagination.

lndeed, education is inextricably tied to the notions of imagination. For example,

science subjects such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics requi.e a vast, limitless and Discuss
creative imagination to understand. Many of the theories and principles require oua brain to imagination in
exercise our imagination to visualise the concepts in our minds- lt is practically impossible contaast with
to see a single electron, the arrangement of some organic material and identify the details knowledge and
of genes wath bare eyes- Mictoscopes have their limitations but imagination does not. reasoning.
Thus, it is not surprising that certain subjects such as Art and Literature are focused in
imaginary worlds to help us understand the events in the world better- For instance,
Literature in the A-level examinations deals with the topic of "imagining other worlds".
Such a creation of imaginary worlds, the relationship between the real and the unreal' and
the blurring of lines between appearance and reality are intended to convey cedaio
conceans or views of the authors. Thus, it can be said that imagination gives us
perspectives to understand what we know in the real world or that knowledge is shaped by
the aid of imagination.

lmagination also plays a significant part in politics Barack.Obama'
inhis book'The
Audacitv oi Hope", illustraies hii hope or imagination to be the first black American
f*"ii.irt-rni" i. p.rhaps an echo oi Mar.tin Lulh"' King Jr''s famous speech 'l have a
br!I.; *iti"rt *tir"t iy changed the face of racial discdmination in the land of the ftee
as a A noteworthy
toa*. ft r". *. .ai<e a conneclion between 'dream' and 'hope' with imaginaiion
small almost argument here.
;;; ;';;;;i ""n
;h""s". lt is true that great changes sometimes come from
i*l"u"ni iii"ginition] However, thesJpeople, with the power of their imagination' have
the United States of America Although imagination sometimes help
"u"ces"i"ffy ""nungeO the horror of severity of war and destruclion in certain parts ol the
i-" i"J.'."t""oiig
"" t
i"rr'i, -"s"i Lportage, and inform;tion provided by various media are not enough
i;;il;; " a"lout tit" o"ittt", fear and level of destruclion Hence, scme artists have
oriniJ ffeat Aepiaions of war, such as Picasso's "Guernica'' that effeclively arouse our the
i.r"i""tio" it",ri *"r. ln fact, imagination is argued to be an etfecllve tool to remind "
qlobal warming. 'l;agine the North Pole withoul icebergs Such an
!"ol"tiue "O"rt cat;h our attention because we can imagine the danger
prtoie *rr immedi;iely'sometimes,
ot gtoo"t warming. kno$/edge lacks the po\irer to stimulate our Sharp
"no to ttre'exteit ot a shock o; a fea.' as it is seen as a mere piece of information'
observation -
very good.
ln his fafrous song "lmagine', John Lennon reminds the people to be aware of the
cnaotic wortO, imagination-is a p;werfultoolto create satirical comments about society
" suggests that there
o"fi"uJ Gt "lff"it"ytte a d;eamer but lhel is not the only one He
ire ir"o peopr! *'t o about the situalion of the world and he urges people lo create a
better world. Hence, such a social commentary' based on imagination, is an effective
changes' in order lo create a betlet.place for us to
-outplays social
io mate important or significant
help to move the
iue. iure, it"sinarion knowledge-as it does not necessarily-
p"opi"- ini" l" of ihe-fact that knbwledge comes from the word 'kno"f which has
iu tittf" irnpfi""tlon in our life To know something is good, but then we lend to keep it to
f'om the
our'selves oishare it without any action lmagination' on the other hand, comes
perhaps indicates a Rather vague
word'imagine, which reflects; certain contemplative attitude and
a€rtain action.

ln its advertisements, Samsunq, a famous leading electronics brand, atways ends

with a catchy phrase With Samsung, it's not hard to imagine " This perhaps indicates
oossiOilitv oituture technologies due to imaginatron today lt is cerlain that robols future
iars, aniroios, future leleco-mmunication davices are based on our imagination today
ience, imagination, not knowledge, is more important in fuelling innovation and new
invention lor the future woid-

Nevertheless. we must not forget the fact that we live in a very practical and
p.agmatic world indeed. For example; although education sometimes emphasises the
imaiinative approach in certain concepts, it is ultimately knowiedge that we require to
eqr"ip orts"fu!! tor life- Knoliedge is p.actical and applicable whereas imagination only
eiisis in our dreams. ln fact, at the end of the day' I have to sit down and do my Alevel
papers in the real world, to get a good grade and get into a good unive-rsity All of these
just imagine
Lxist in the real world and not the unreai world Hence, the.e is no use if we
Oay-dream or drown in our imagination. The real world compels us to be practical and
prigmatic in our approaches. imagination is merety a complement that aids in our
knowledge-acquiring process-

ln the Bible, the Book of Genesis tells the story of Adam who falls prey to original
sin because he partakes of the fruit of knowledge ln today's complex society where lhe
future is in a constant flux, we would be better positioned if we realise that knowledge and
imagination must go hand in hand. However, it is up to the philosophers and scientists to
argue whether imaginalion is mote important than knowledge

Content: 20130
Total Mark: 36/50

Jeffrcy, your essay is an interesting read and has an appealing, porsonal sye'

Judging by the numerous sensational newspaper reports about the rising food When did the
shortages, mass murders in Japan and environmental disasters in Myanmar and China, 'mass murders
the world does seem to have gloomy luture prospects. Our hopes and optimism are in Japan'
dampened by environmental reports of catastrophic disasters on the brink of occuning. lt happen?
is true that the wor'd today is facing daunting challenges and pressing problems, and
doomsayers are predicting an imminent apocalypse. However, if Man faces reality and
takes effective preventive measures, the world's future might not turn out as terrible as the
cynics foresee.

One of the reasons for a possible gloomy future is the many environmental
concerns that are being €ised. lvlan's insatiable appetite for progress and indust.ialisation
has had an adverse effect on the Earth- Our foolish and dangerous assumptions that
Nature's bounty is timitless have proven wrong. Fuel-guzzling industries and polluting
automobiles have caused the air quality to drop- This has resulted in a whole host of
ailments and afflidtions to mankind. ln st.iving to raise our standards of living and to seek
comforts, we have ironically ruined the environment and are poisoning ourselves with the
emission of toxic gases. ln today's consume.ist, throw-away society, we generate millions
of tonnes of waster. lt is estimated that two-thirds of the waste we throw away can be
recycled. Ou. uncaring attitude has resulted in excessive consumption and wastage, State clearly
covering lvlother Earth with a mantle of rubbish. Nature is retaliating, threatening global whether you are
warming and the extinction of species offlora and fauna. arguing for a
better or
However, the negative p.ospect can be erased if mankind takes immediate actions gloomierfuture-
to ameliorate the situation. Scientists and environmentalists have given scientific proof ol
the dire ecological and environmental situation and u.ged the world to take up
conservation measures. Politicians, such as Al Gore, are also advocating paotection ofthe
Earth. The medaa has joined the force and many celebrities from all over the world
participated in the Saving Gaia concerts to raise public awareness of envircnmental
conservation- Gaeen is the new black. sustainable living is the new buzzword for
gove.nments all over the world- Developing giants like China and lndia have also started
New York has
to place more importance on environmental concerns. States like New York and London never made
have pledged to cut carbon emissions by certain deadlines. Singapore is famed for being
such a pledge.
a garden city, greening up places to provide a liveable city envkonment. Thus, with the
increased emphasis on environmental conservation, the world is well on its way lo I do not see
overcoming this environmental hurdle. evidence to
agree that we
The threat of nuclear warfare is still present and the scuffles and tensions have progressed
happening all over the world present a grim prospect for the future generations. Warfare this far.
has taken a more sinister and foreboding front as the detonation of a single bomb can
annihilate the entire country. A famous physicist said that mankind now has the means of
wiping itself out. The Cuban Missile Crisis is proof of how close we came to a nuclear
Third World War. With the rapid advancement of military science and technology,
increasingly dangerous weapons like lasers that can blind people and long-range missiles
are being produced. Disputes over territory, resources and ideology could be fatal to Do not neglec{
millions of civilians- Theworld is at the mercy of these killing rnachines. the fact that
actions have
Countries now begin to rcalise the absurdity of inventing weapons to kill been taken to
themselves. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks have already begun a while ago. lnternational address this.
organisations like the United Nations (UN) and ASEAN serve as platforms for the evening
out of disputes. For example, Singapore and Malaysia's long-standing dispute over Pedra This was not
Branca was resolved peacefully by the UN. Treaties between countries have been signed related to a
to reduce military spending and stockpiling of nuclear arms. Although these treaties are nuclear war. Use
riddled with p.oblems, they are a first step lo mankind's survival. the examples of
Nodh Korea and
ln recent months, there have been many protests all ovet the world over soaring lran.
food prices ln developing countries, industries, shopping centres, residentia! estates and

O (} O'/\0RDsu,0RDs\ nRDSm *
golf couGes have taken over the land traditionally used to grow rice. Countries eager for
economic grofih have shifted funds from agriculture to industry. Coupled with bad
weather, harvests have been poor, resuliing in massive food shortages and inflation. ln the
United States ofAmerica, farmers are tuming to crops like soy bean which can be used to Explain
produce ethanol instead ol planting rice and wheat. This is due to the sea.ch for alternatives are
pinch of rising food prices have necessary.
altemative supplies of fuel like ethanol. Citizens feeling the
taken to the streets to protest. ln many third world countries, the people live off garbage
There is inequity of food distribution in the world. lt is estimated that there is enough food
to feed the global population, but due to unequal distribution, iich countries waste food
while poor countries do not get enough of it. The burgeoning world population requires
increased rice production. 700 million tonnes per year need to be produced by 2015. This
is compared to the 645 million tonnes produced this year. Food is necessary for survival
and if there is not enough being produced, the world will see mass starvation occurring
first in the third world countries.

The nerves of {ood producers have been jangled by the recent and ongoing food
crisis. This has resulted in many agricultural countdes placing increasing tood p.oduction
on the ftont burner. UN Chief 8an Ki Moon also tecently stressed the importance of
ensuring a staue food supply in the long term. The lnternational Rice Research lnstitute
(lRRl) has issued suggested measures to counkies on how to deal with the lood crisis.
Govemments are tunding more rcsearch of rice varieties, some of which hold the genetic
key to increasing wodd supplies. High-yield food crop varieties would be introduced and
adopted. Better crop management techniques are being shared with farmers to maximise
crop output and better storage of buffer stocks is being introduced to reduce wastage
Thus, the international community is well on its way to solving the important food problem
There may be hiccups along the way but a vital first step has been taken with Again, conclude
governments and international organisations' acknowledgements of the problem. this paragraph
Another imminent problem is water. Water is imperativd to life and a clean water support your
supply is a basic need that has yet to be tulfilled. 1.1 billion people still do not have access stand, with
to clean water supplies. with global warming and climate volatility, the'water resources regard to the
available are expected to dec.ease. Water-borne diseases threaten to wipe out millions of question.
people and a country is in an extremely vulnerable position if it does not have a clean
water supply. Some years back, a mutant, chlodne-resistant E. coli bug entered the water
supply of a Japanese state and killed many people. Clean sanitation systems are needed
for the health and well-being of a country- Water sources like the oceans and lakes and
rivers a.e increasingly polluted by the industrial chemicals, oil spills, and leaking of
herbicides from agricultural practices. Uncertainty over lhe standards and continuous
supply of water paints a gloomy prospect for ourfuture.

However, the world recognises this imminent problem and solutions are being Check
sought. For example, Singapore is hosting the inaugural lnternational Water Summit next paragraphing of
week. We pride ourselves on developing cheap water treating membrane technology that ideas.
supplies mo.e than 207o of our water needs. Countries can share their water technologies
to solve this water p.oblem. These efforts go a long way in ensudng mankind's survival.

I do not agree that the world's future is getting gloomier. With man's ingenuity and
innovation, we should be able to adequately address the problems that present a gloomy
future. Active measures have been taken and people should not be pessimistic and
concede defeat to the cha'lenges but play a part in creating a bright firture fo. themselves
and future generations-

Content: 20/30
Languagei 15/20
Total N4ark: 35/50

Iho essay ls well-witten, persuasive and well-aryued. lt would be even better if you
renanbet that at the end af each paragmph, you should conclude convincingly by linking
back to your stand.

O (? O vrnnos unnnswonns m $

ln this day and age, the modern educaiion system focuses on bringing out the best
in every child. ln its quest to realise the hidden and dormant potential that resides in each
individual o{ the next generation, the education system has to separate the good from the
not-so-good, and the best from those even better. Such judgments of value and worth are
thus unwittingly placed on each of these children, distilling them into different levels of
ability. Social dynamics ensure that each child or individual will later realise where they
stand reiative to others, but the pass-fail method separates the entire group into two or
more groups, and increasingly, this method has been used to quantify and qualify the
worth of a person- While the word "failure" is inherently not derogatory, it carries with it a
damning connotation, and is attached to the stigma that criminalises the not{ood-enough,
as the education system sees iit. As such, I believe that the word "failure'should not be
used in education.

It is apparently in the interest of those learning in the education system to be

classified as suck if they do well beyond a cedain level, then they have passed, but if not,
they have failed. tn order to allow for students to grasp their own standards and abilities, it
is definitely necessary fo( students to be able to gauge their capabilities against the rest of
the cohort, or others. ln order to improve, they must know where they stand. However, I
believe that by using the word "failure" and inviting negativity into the education system, a
Good point on
self-fulfilling prophecy is created. lnstead of the renewed drive to achieve g.eater heights
in one's leaming, being labelled a failure instead adds to the burden and stress to perform
prophec/ raised
befter. This may be seen in the pressure cooker education systems seen in many Asian
countries like China, South Korea and even Singapo@, where being categorised as a
failure is often frowned upon by the general society including one's family, given that
education is often seen as the key to a more prospelous future. Such students thus adopt
a defeatist mentality that further stunts lheir intellectual and cognitNe development,
resigned t6
rA.idnA.l the fr.i
to thF fact th2r they a.e
that thew "fa;lrrFs" lt is thus seen that the word 'failure" in the
are "failures".
education system not only does not aid in self-improvement and realisation of their Provide specific
potential, but creates in students, labelled as such, a defeatist mentality that instead examples for
worsens and depresses their self_esteem. stronger
ln more serious cases, the social stigma attached to the word "failure" may be so
strong that it goes on to haunt students labelled as Tailu.es" later in life. lt is known, that
during their formative years, children are impressionable and easily absorb and internalise
whatever they are exposed to. With the constant imposition of harsh judgements oI value
and worth on them in the education system, labelling them as failures or not, students will
sooner or later identify themselves permanently with either, deeming their worth in
accordance wjth what was said of them. As such, the word tailure", with all of its negativity
and stigma thai incriminates the not-good-enough, will inevitably adversely affect their self-
worth, weakeninq their emotionat state and possibly create in them inferiority complexes
These repercussions continue into adulthood, affecting their self-esteem, and creating a
greater vulnerability to enter into a life of crime and vice. lt is noted by the American Yes - an
Psychiatric Association that nearly half of all United States criminals had bad learning appeal to
experiences during their schooling years and strained aelations with their parents and authority here in
teachers. This very much could be the result of an over emphasis on students' level of the example
ability, determined by the pass-fail method, and the cause of labelling students as failures given.
when they do not fare as well academ'cally. ln their minds, this valuation of their worth'
once undertaken one time too many, sees them branding themselves as failures for life
who would possibly turn to cdme.

Furthermore, it has to be noted that the word lailure" encompasses many aspects'
while the mainstream education system simply does not. "Failure", besides inadequacy in
academic proficiency, can include the,ack of capability in many oon-academic fields and
pursuits, such as spqds, talent in the fine or performing arts, and even business acumen
The mainskeam education system, however, while striving to encompass all these
pursuits as well, admittedly manages only to be a decent barometer for academic

O {? O vrnms u,msu,onos m {
achievements. As such. because the focus of the education system is largely academic,
which in itseff is only but a mere aspect of a percon's abilities' the word'failure'is too
broad to fully define a person's capabilities in the context of the mainstream educetion
system. Theie have been many examples of luminaries in society that were once deemed
"f;ilures'in school. These include Bill Gates, the former chairman of Microsoft, the largest
computer software firm in the world, and once top on the list of Forbes' Richesl People in
the World list, as well as Albert Einstein, the famous physicist who contributed invaluably
to his field. Both were school dropouts, but both evidently do not fit the mould of lvhat
society deems a 'failure". The entire idea ot a 'failure' is thus too force-fitting in the
education system, and thus should not be used to quantify a person's worth.

Nonetheless, it is often stated that within the education system' there is a need lor
some sort of measure of a studenfs level o{ ability, to allow them to have an idea ol how
The grading
they perform or fare compared to others ln this case, I believe that the pass-fail method
system has to
should not be used, and while a grading system can still be in place' more emphasis
be based on the
should be placed on the learning experience and less oil the outcome or end-result of it process rathet
While there is still a need to valuale a student's achievements' the education system
than product.
should first and foremost instil a spirit ot positive learning and exploration into students,
However, a
and this will iFevitably encourage them to have greater levels of self-confidence and to be process-
more engaged and independent in leaming and acquiring knowledge. Later valuations and
measurements of their abilities would thus not instll in them a sense offailure, so to speak, grading system
as sludents have akeady in them self-esteem and an optimistic outlook.
also means the
possibility of
As such, the world "failure' is thus too loaded and force-fitting within the context of
failure. Point on
the education system to be used. While it is acknowledged that some sort of measurement
students having
of one's abilities within the education system needs to be undertaken, the repercussions
an optimistic
and consequences of using it with impunity are fa.-reaching and insidious. lt carries too
outlook is an
much stigma and negative connotation for it lo be more useful and beneficial than harmful
and detrimental, and in the context of the education system, may not even be an accurate
measure of one's worth, as it was intended to be. Iherefore, I believe that the word
"failure" should never be used in education.

Content: 23130
Language: 16/20
Total Mark: 39/50

Tho major itony here may be that an education system ot policy can lail"' as well

There are those who fervently believe that life is a game of Russian roulette, where
luck is the sole factor in determining success or failure. And theae are those who
persistently insist that life is fair, and that luck plays an insignificant role on the whole
Personally, I believe that people largely determine their own lives through their hard work
and diligence. but it would be misguided to completely deny that luck plays a role as well,
and there are many who flnd that all they need is a single 'lucky break" to make it big-
Therefore, I am inclined to believe that a combination of both luck and effort is required to
Balanced stand
be successful.

The notion of "being lucky" has been applied to many instances, with some going
so far as to say luck plays an important role immediately from bj.th. lndeed, the privileged
children born into wealthy families can be said to have been much luckier than an infant
born in waa-torn Sudan. Those born with a silver spoon in their mouth never have to
endure the suffering and fighting for mere survival, and are instead immersed in a life of
comfort and luxury right from the start. Paris Hilton is heir apparent to the Hilton chain of

$$ Qunnns\ /oRDS\ nRmG q}
"high life". Compared to an
hotels, with a net worth of US$300 million, and epitomises the
imooveflshed Aids-stricken child in Africa, Paris Hilton can be considered to have been
extremely lucky. However, does this necessarily mean that the poor and the destitute are
unable to determine their lives to even a small extent? lt would be a fallacy to think that
consideration of
wav, as one's destiny is not determined by whom one's parents are; it is what we do in life
thai plays a maior part in determining our future. The countless "rags-to-riches' sto.ies countet-
further add credence to this argument, and one need only think of former CEO of
Microsoft, Bill Gates, who was not born into a rich family and yet at one point managed to
amass over US$70 billion in wealth, visibly greater than Paris Hilton's lucky inheritance.
The ha.d work put in by Bill Gates in his career is certainly not associated with pure luck,
and he has proved that any normal pe.son has his life in his hands. ln contrast, Paris
Hilton is clearly not making much out of her life due to her woeful lack of effort, and has
even seen her enormous "luck/ inheritance eclipsed by the wealth generated through Bill
cates' diligence. Therefore, I believe it is generally possible for people to determine their
own lives.

Furthermore, the concept of meritocracy is gaining worldwide populadty, and in a

world that determines one's success through one's effort and ability, it would be hard to
attribute many* things to luck. singapore provides an invaluable example with its
meitocratic education system- The students who attain prestigious scholarships yearly
can be said to have done so mainly through their own effort and diligence, and never
through any criteria such as race or the pulling of strings. lssues of nepotism and cronyism
are few and far between, ensuring a level playing field for everyone. While there is an
argument for how such students come from more well_off families, which blesses them
with a bette. life and arguably better genes, it suffices to say that natural endowment alone Point on better
would not have entitled these students to a scholarship. The element of hard work and genes is
diligence is still crucial, and it is reasonable to conclude that the "luckier" children ale only controversial
born with a slight headstart in life, and the rest of the journey depends mainly on grit and and not
determination- supported here

of course, I must acknowledge that there are an unfortunate feiv who are really
caught in the wrong turn of the Russian roulette, and it is immensely difficolt for them to
decide their own fate. Luck can be said to be the main controller of their lives. An obviorls
example is evident in the people of Ethiopia, who can only blame their ill fate for their
country's poor geographical location. With little rainfall, Ethiopians find even growing crops
for subsistence an onerous task, and with the country mainly entrenched in a fultering
agriculture system, little progress is made yearly. Singapore, on the other hand, can be
said to have been extremely lucky to be at the centte of many trade routes, which led to
the flourishing of its ports and brought about prosperity to the people. Thetefore, a While natural
country's natural endowment can only be associated with rotten luck, and the people of geography and
Ethiopia can only blame their country's poor fate lor their predicament. climate play a
part in
At the end of the day, however, it is prudent to note that having dumb luck is not determining
enough to ensure success; one must be able to utilise their "lucky breaR'to the fullest. On one's luck,
the example of Singapore again, it would be ridiculous to attribute the country's success consider the role
entirely to its fortunate geographical location. lf its founder Sir Stamford Raffles had not ofgovernance in
had the foresight to recognise Singapore's potential and utitised its'luck/ advantage, the managing one's
country would have not come into existence. Likewise, while the many Arab nations are environment.
indeed blessed with hordes of oil reserves, these counkies would not be making the
astronomical p.ofits today if they had not had the guile to form OPEC and restrict the Good use of
supply of oil. On a more personal level, we see cases of Isaac Newton discovering the law specific
of gravity from an apple dropping onto his head. While this moment of inspiration was supporting
certainly lucky, Newton would not have discovered this law had he not taken the incident examples.
as a leaming point and proceeded to enquire turther. interestingly, we can also associate
this viewpoint to gambling and speculation, as George Soros showed when he "broke the
Bank of England." He was indeed lucky to experience a dramatic decrease in the value of
the Brilish pound, but again, he would not have made the billions if he was not prudent in
realising the grossly overvalued exchange rate and seized the opportunity. Thus' luck cen
only get one so far; it is ultjmately up to the individual to seize the opportunity.

O q,3 O'a,oms\,cDs\filRm@ q}
a further tool which Avoid this writinq
Lastly, t would like to point out the emergence of technology as
oeoote can Lse to dete.mine their lives- ln terms of physical appearance'
one can only style.
iLrI" n" fr"f forless-than-desirable features But the advent of plastic surgery can
;;;i.;;;;" i" achieve a virtuallv flawless appearance chinese national Hua
lu Lu
makeover' and thousands ot people nave gone
recenitv made headlines for her extreme
"unlucky" people born with physicai defects.can also
,"0", ti'ti, i"-i6 i"G"ome beautiful little weight
ir"" tii.i, iril,ur"." thus the bad luck born with bad looks holds
will not solve every kind of physical ailment' and it would be
i"a'"-"lol J"i"", te;hnologv
;;'."ii;;i;ih;i th"Luii t ina ot o.autv is in fact inner beautv - acquired through hard
i"J* lrriii"i"r-uuilding.-he
lf a person could cultivate himsell to be amicable and
.oilffv-,iSht""r", I believe would have attained a 'beauq/ that would easily overwrite Good point.
any unplelsant features which nature has given him'

To conclude, hard work certainly comes before luck, and the many compulsive
.r-tr".. *ouio oo well to remember that. On the whole, most people have the power to
i"t"i.-i"" in"ii lives, with technology turther epitomising this fact But fullest Lady
when Luck
;;;;k;;; ;;;;";d, it is up to the i;dividual to seize the chance to the
ahhough I must emphasise again
i must alsaoree witn ihe notion that luck does not
that hard w;rk isttrll the more crucial factor in determining one s life'

Content 1 9/30
Language: 14/20
Total Mark: 33/50

Your argumenls arc sensible and each point is well-made

Singapore, as a country' has always been ralhel acceptlng of change and

With the
oevetopme'nt,'especially in termi of economic and rnfrastructurat improvement
*""*,jO push in marketing itself as an attraclive tourist destination' there have
ou""-'i"iiori on lhe parts of-both the government and private seclorin revamping
ot Slngapore's image: its nightlife, its famrlyJriendliness as well aslhe ideal
"a,;or" Urci lMEeings, tnce-ntives, Convent'ons and Exhibitions) events Yet'that with
these multifarious initiativls, one has to question the authenticity of this image is
locals perspective of Singapore: that is' do tourists
fr"""nt"o to torri"t" in relation to the
ieitty see tne reatity of Singapore, that of its uncoordrnated colour and awkward vibrancy Great use of
ritfrir tnan merety ihe polis-hed sophistication and cultured sights? lt is a problem inherent language here-
in'riny where many tou.ists are often prevented from experiencing th€ less-
tnan-fljwless reality of the h;st country's socrely and environment Howeve'' while
"ountti"i, A great
ofintroduciion - it
concerted efforts toievamp Singapore's image may impede lounsts true understanding
singapore, the latter mighi just see the country the way we do too' due to other efforts toaddresses the
inculcate the true Singaporean experience in travel and tourism. scope of the
question well
The many efforts to give Singapore a major "fac€lift in terms of image' amenities and it is
life that inie.estingly
and attractions may have wilt resulted in tourists being blinded from the reality of
Sinl"por""n" undertake each day- The "Uniquely Singapore" campaign has induced a writtenl
f.oiiferation of images that assoiiate our sunny island with orchids,
a vibrant nightlife
great attractions But even
iwhat with the Formula One night race in September 2008) and
ihese images and experiences many lourists tend to imbibe and recognise as
because Are such
Singaporea-n may be va;fly different from the Singapore we know This is largely
population' but "authentic"
of t;e fact that m;ny touriit experiences are not closely linked to the home
is largely centred o; specially constructed attractions The result in that tourism becomes experiences
un.ip.iiun"" wtriifr ieets gratification and satisfaction in being entertained solely' and possible then?
not an experience which loois forward to getting to know the country better through the

pves of inhabitants. What further divides the tourist view and local view of Singapore is the
iJnOency to disassociate Singapore from local images like
public housing' in tourist
A good
information and the such, but the association with internationally accepted modes
entertainment, the nightlife, themed attractions and even
gambling (and thus the argument here.
introduction of the lntegrated Resorts) Therefore, it is this image revamp Singapore is
given that is distinctively not iocal in flavour, that results in tourists not seeing what we But these do
fulfil the
might know SingaPore to be
But there have also been efforts to integrate our local perspectives into tourism agenda.
ventures as well. Various local tour agencies were experimented with heartlands tours'
invitino tou.ists to take a peek into the life of the average Singaporean HD dweller Why would you
(Housing Development Board). Though with limited success, it is such initlatives that
conclude it is
would provide precedents for other local-themed tourist experiences to be conceived 'limited"?
There have also been an increasing number of backpackers in Singapore preferring home
stays over hotel lodging, and this provides the ul$mate local experience for many tourists'
livi;g similar rodines with already naturalised dwellers: us. Though proponents might
comhent on thc etficacy of such ideas in providing mass tourist expe.iences, greatly
A well-argued
needed to caterjo the growing number of tourists, it should not be justification enough to paragraph- But
abandon such initiatives. lnstead, these provide the potentialfor Singapore to provide truly
ho!,/ many
unique experiences to tou.ists, unlike any other in the world. The endorsement of such
tourists really do
initiatives by many tourists does show that some of them do have the opportunity to sha.e
opt for this?'l'he
the local perspective of Singapore.
majority still
choose the tried
And while the government may be endeavouring to construct a cosmopolitan
and tested,
image for Singapore, there have been concerted efforts to preserve the remnants of the
routine itinerary.
diveEe cultures in Singapore, to enable both tourists and locals to look back and be in
touch with our cultural roots and identity and to conserve an important part of our heritage,
such as the opening of the Peranakan Heritage Museum However' even if local
inhabitants do identify themselves strongly with their respective cultures and beliefs, Or worse, they
tourists are unable to see that. The extent of commercialisation has radichlly transfomed are "staged" just
what were once connections to our past into mere money-spinners. The local Chinatown for tourists.
has been revamped to the extent where cultural expression seems farce' and authentic
trades have vanished due to their unprofitable nature Even Littte lndia, which is said to be An insightful
most authentic out o{ the few enclaves, has its cultural atmosphere diluted by various point on "cultural
unrelated businesses in that area, like mattress shops and sportswear boutiques As seen, expression" in
even in efforts to showcase a Singapore ol the past, to present the true Singaporcan
exp€.ience, therc have been substantial difficulties in providing tourists an untainted view
Chinatown -
could be further
ot the country lhrough local perspectNes. explored-

Ihen again, our local pe6pectives might not be as culturally rooted or even
relevant to what is perceived as local. What this means is that what we see and .ecognise
in Singapore may largely stem from the very same things tourist may see: the glitzy
nigh if;, good food in both fine dining restaurants and hawker cenkes alike' and the And in essence,
efficient p=ublic traosportation netlvo.k. Because of the fast and untelenting pace of this may be
modernisation that Singapore unde.goes, both tourists and locals alike might not be able considered an
to truly appreciate Singapore for what it has been, but for what it will become ln this authentic
sense: the orientation i-owards the future that both tourists and many locals share might experience
result in both groups showing similar knowledge and views of Singapore- sha.ed by all-

Ultimately though, the difference in levels of familiarity with the country' betlveen
tourist and locai, will ensure that most locats see and know more of the country that
tourists would ever see. Even with rapid development, residents and inhabitants that have
stayed in the country for an extended period of time are able to track the entire (or most of
thei process of cha;ge, while tourists only get a snapshot of this change or happening
during their short stay. The run-up to the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 for.example, has
sernhany sectors in society getting involved, and efforts put into ensuring that there
would be ;nough support from lhe people and the ground for this major sporting event
While residend would have experienced first-hand this build-up in atmosphere and
fanfare, the average tourist wouli only be able to see and experience this atmospherc
during the Gamesln future, not necessaaily having full knowledge of how the entire event

$ q? $\ nRDswonosvrnnosm ()
betlveen the locals' and tourists' And what it
on the national calendar had started. Thus, thls conkasl
L""i" oit"rnlli"rity and involvement with the country determines what each group sees means to us
i]ii iri*" Ji sii'dp;re, and inhabitants are usualiv the people-\'lho know.the countrv
not see Wdl-crafted
i"]j, ]"""';ir.ij, lili""i;*"se iourist, wiin onry a passing interest in sinsapore, does argument-
it the way we do.
As such, given Singapore's rapid development' lhe average tourist culture.
Lniu rr"as an eph-emeral fondness in exploring singaporean society and
",,. "r,.rr..
;il;;i;;i;;;;;ciJ""inslv att been attraclins tourisls who either come here
ii"s;p-."n experiences is very much limited compared to the loc-als' Even with
aiio prlvate efforti to ensure deeper tourist interest in finding out
-rt.. slno"oor" tiir,. it more tkely than not that due to less familiarity with the country
t"o iL""r", rourisls do not ;ee Singapore the way
we locals do
Content 24130
Language: 16/20
Total Mark: 40/i0

Anolher wetl-witfen essayi you have consistenlly come up wilh

lisiir""r"ftiut" "* qiestions you have selected' on top of that' yout choice of wotds
things or
nii oon" ui another noicn. you coutd exptote theso tufther ate thercpleces
"i"ii"i" i.-rli i"it
it{i""i" tounsls to know? what ate some 'carefully manburcd" or
things? Considet atso the changing protile of touists'

that has spanned

Th.oughout history, religion and science have warred in a battle
tlrouoh the a"oes. from before the time Galileo's view of the position ot the Earth in the
..rli".*i".1-o,'ni"t"O with the Church's, until now. At this present time, the war may be
"rhe the relativelv
;;;ili;;;,;;;;*. uv Richard Dawkin's book God Derusion' and
"religion is
ori.i i"o# in"t rorrowed, but the war rs ongoing nonetheless. The
and when so many
rirelevant in the age ot science implies that in today s work
religion no longer plays a
i"i""iini'ur"ittni"""gns have been ;chieved in so short a time, is not
pli i" iri"p'"g iL;;ioild as it used to in lhe davs of Galileo, or even.Adam,God rely on God or a
ieeded, soto-speak, as science can now do everything that man used to
this statement as I feel that
d"ntn"on of gods to do. However, I disagree with cood qualifier,
"rfroiu h"i not totJlly drowned out the influen;e of religion yet and it still cannot do and a coherent.
enouqh to claim itself to be the new God of ourworld- well-presented
ln the old days, to some cultures like the Aztecs, sickness' disease and birth generally.
relrgions Iike
oefects weie 4."."i'"" the wrath of an angry God Also' ntlmetous
few, believe rn the healing power.ot God or a
cnriJ"nitv, lslam and Hinduism, to name a
ooa ana simolv rrusted Him to heal the sick and protect them against undesirable things
ir" J,j;a""ii"o oi,th defects. over lime, science has advanced by leaps and bounds'
no* has claimed ownelship and responsibility for our own lives Medicines
"nO O"i"g-t"""t"4 and are continuously being lmproved, a famous example being the
druo pan-adol. which used to be taken iu;t for headaches but has now been extended to
.ui"r" menstrual cramps. The Genome Project which aimed to map out
tt" gun" ""r'". "nd of the human body and extensive reseatch inlo stem cells a'e
"ntir"gi,"ro ug"i*t
i"p"Jio birth defects in the near future by genetically modifyrng the unbom
foetus. lf-all elsi fails, there is always cryogenics, which involves freezing a body lo
piu"".. ii ,ntir science has advanced far enough to cure its aiimenls There, is a whole
plethora ofways to improve the physical condition now because of science' and some now
ieet tnat retigion and calling on God's divine healing is not in the least bit needed: hence

religion is inelevant in the lace of modern medical technology-

I\ran also used to rely on God to solve prcblems that were out of our control-
God to
Howevef, because of science, gone are the days when man would call upon
seoarate the Red Sea to escape from persecutors Science now endeavours to solve the
world s problems. Globalwarming is belng addressed by the world now and technology to
reduce iarbon emissions is akeady in mass production' more so after the signing of the
kvoto Protocol. With the advancement of instruments and-apparatus that predict
di;ast.ous weather and other natural disasters, earlhquakes a.e predicted before they hit'
and in an issue of the ne\,lspaper "The Borneo Bulletin" just last \4/eek, the Meteorological
Institute of Brunei expects at least 20 cyclones to hit the Philippines over the next half a
vear, eight or more of which could develop into full blown typhoons. Science has already
plaved J great part in saving people's tives from the wrath of nature' and things that used
io irinder us, like the sea and sky, with submadnes and airplanes, bother us no more
Some might even say man does not need God to take care of himself, and if there is no
Phrase this and
need to iall on God, then there is, consequentially, no need for religion and an
the previous
"antediluvian' safety net.
paragraphs in a
way that more
Despite all these advances in science, religion is far from dying out. Religion still
the explicitly shows
shapes the wo.td, even in this age of technological advances Religioo still shapes
three them to be
values of a great fraction of the wo.ld. For example, in only Singapore' there are your
Christian mega churches, the largest one having a membership of almost thirty thousand
people, not to mention the multiple smaller ones. Religion has absolutely not died out in
brunei, where the entire constitution is based on the teachings of lslam lt need not even
be limited to Asia. The monastery is still an option for some in Europe who are wondering
what to do with their future. There are at least a hundred thousand Buddhist monks who
have propagated primarily from lndia and china and started reasonably populated
monasieries outside o{ Asia, according to a past-yea/s issue of Time magazine The Dalai
Lama is recognised as the spiritual head of Tibet, by the whole world, and the
determination df his reincarnation according to the religion and custom of the Tibetans is
accepted, even if not believed to be true- From all this, it is evident that ? large portion, if
not majority, of the world's population are still dependent on religion for a value system' What exactly are
somethingihat science does not teach as much. Religion remains relevant in the scientific these values
reasoning of today. that religion
aims to
It is also inaccurate to claim that .eligion no longer plays a part in shaping the world preach/instil?
in the face of science as wars ate still fought using religion as justification The Lebanon
War, for example, a few years back, was a prime example oI the never_ending clash of
creeds and ideologies in-the Middle East, notably between tslam and Christianity The
world remains on tie lookout for people who could be covert agents ofJemaah lslamiah' a
terrorist organisation ofjihadists. Even Singapore and Southeast Asia are not spared from
this, being-on the look;ut fo. one of the more prominent members of Jemaah lslam;ah'
Mas Selimat bin Kastari. lt is not just literal wars that are fought with religion as
justification, but also wars of literacy The two bestsellers by Dan Brown"'The Da Vinci
bode" as well as "Angels and Demons' have sparked a worldwide controvercial debate as
Dan Brown's self-cla"imed "histo.ical evidence" contradicts the teachings of the Bible and
the Vatican, the epitome of Roman catholicism Wars of literacy have also been fought to
put down religion, both via non-fictjon, like Phillip Pullman's "His Dark l'4aterials" trilogy'
which lashes-out against religion, specifically God Himself- Both are-still hotly debated Good examples
across the world, aJman takes either side and a.gues with the other' Religion is far from in this
irrelevant or insignificant. lf so, Richard Dawkins or Phillip Pullman would not have paragraph.
published books against it. Neithe. would have Dan Brown.

ln conclusion, the war between religion and science still goes on, and religion remains a
major force in shaping minds and vilues, even in this age of science Religion may have
losi some of its bite o,'ver the years, but an omnipotent God losing a trickle of inffuence is
hardly a victory for science, or even science gaining the upper hand Science may have lronic but how
p.edi;ted the tianda Aceh tsunami on that fateful Boxing Day of 2006' but the tsunami still truel
€me anylvay, and there was nothing science could do to prevent it'

$$$ r,r,onns u,onns r,rnnos m

Content: 21l30
Language: 1 5/20
Total.Mark: 36/50

Mafthew, this is an insightfu! and matu(e essay that is well-paagmphed. and well-
iro"t"rtut"a with a gaid range ot examples You could wotk on how to better bing
across counter-argum6nts and io tease them apatt within the same pangmph

Science and religion - two radically different means by which we seek to-interpret
the wodd around us. co;$ruct knowledge and hunt down 'truth" Despite lhe differences
between these two svstems of thouqht, an examination of the nature and means to
attaining the tu1h" thjy expound as well as the b.oad categories falling under the domain
oi ""ue"ry ting to be ixpiaineo' - the physical realm of everyday phenomena,larger the
interpers'onal-realm of retationships and communrcation and the abstract realm; the
Yes, depending
coniext within which to locate these experiences - will reveal that science and religion are
to explore on which
each more suited lo. explaining different 'things" and are equally well-equipped
the world as we know it.

Firstly. it must be established that both science and religion are viable means to
understand 'iiings' in general. Only then c€n thei. respective efiicacies be o(plored Both
methods exist to-consfuct knowledge of our world, differing only in terms of what type of
knowledge is constaucted and what means aae used to obtain knowledge On the former
point, science denotes a faith in the empi.ical, seeking to establish facts that can be
verified by all - overt truths, in other words, that are shared in the same-form-by all who
subsc beto the scientific doctrine. Religion' on the other hand, is rather more focused on
faiths held without need for proof, or inner truth; scripturcs can be interpreted as the Scripture
individual pleases, and religious anecdotes have different meanjngs for each person who interpretation
reads them. On the second point, science rejects lhe transcendental and places the onus has to be within
upon man himselt to discover truth and knowledge, whereas religion often emphasises the accepted
role ol the transcendental in governing people's lives' with a focus on discerning divine boundaies.
truth. Regardless, man constructs knowledge and attempts to ardve at truth'so as to
convince-himself that there is a meaningful context, within which to place his otheMise Would this then
"qualify" as an
minute and insignificant existence, that he as an individual can understand and relate to
Hence, whethei the knowledge held is empirical-based or faith-based, as long as it existential
convinces the individualthat he actually understands something of value, it is knowledge question - and
worth having. lt also lollows thai whether 't.uth' is discovered using human capabilities or thus the need
by discerning immutable principles cast in divine stone does not affect how valuable this for religion to
truth is to th; individual. Hence. both science and religion are viable means of constructing provide the
knowledge. "answefs"? And
what about
Illoving on to compa.e the efficacy of science and religion at 'explaining those who
everything", we can begin with the most basic of problems - understanding the physical subscribe to the
surroundings in which we live. When it comes to explaining everyday phenomena - be it notion that
the trajectory of a football of the dropping of an apple - the empirical knolvledge amassed science and
by the scientific method allows us to conskuct general theories into which large categories religion are
oi phenomena fall, providing neady universal explanations Numbers are reliable and mutually
formulae rarely fail; where they do, science provides avenues for re-evaluating data and exclusive
arriving at new conclusions- The ptecision of the empirical tradition is necessary to make entities?
.eproducible generalisations about physical phenomena; on this poant, science trumps
reiigion because it can more precisely explain why that ball falls' how that organism
brelthes or how that land formation came about, whereas religion rarely focuses on Religion quite
not have
detailed explanations of physical phenomena. ln addition, science's "overt truths" are more
the capability to,
suited to explain physical phenomena because these phenomena are experienced and

thousands of individuals in the same way - a pinch will hurt an Asian the nor attempts to.
^h.erved bv
Iiil way ii witt_an ntrican - and thus can be understood by them in the same way, with
pnnclples These are
the same sclenllllc
Yet whe.e the .ealm of the interpersonal - that other huge component that makes
,,. hrman existen@ - is concerned, religion becomes much more meaningful and relevant
oenaviour and relationships and why certain conduct is more desirable The
aii'r"n"ion to religion is indispensable when it comes to justifying the nature of
int"ru"tion. For example, thou shall not kill" is a divine commandment that very
iiriotv explains now narmonious relationships are to be maintained, and because it is the
ietiiidus imputse to aOopt these divine truths as inner truths rather than to question them,
iie"iiatement in itser nas meaning and is a valuable piece of moral knolvledge- Science's What about
attempts to explain human interaction' whether through psychology or evolutionary sociology and
itoioqv, at uesi scratch at the surface of deep reservoirs of ethics and principles that the like?
unJ"ifi"t tt'" spirit of the age. Becallse of its urge to quantify and construct general'
orovaOle theories, science drives itselt into a corner when dealing with the
Yes, focus on
oo,irain 6f tn" interpersonal, failing to measure up the human soul in Standard
"-niricattv the "human soul"
lnternational u;its and ultimately failing to provide useful moral k'nowledge relevant to
- dealing with
maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships our conscience-
Science cannot
The third. and oerhaDs most important area is the domain of context' an abskact explain this.
idea of a larger picture within which to locate our expeiences l\,l!3n is a foJwardlooking
the task The'domain of
cieature, obslessed with what the future hotds, continually occupying himself with
nt i.orovement and imorovisation for the sake of hls luture self or future descendants context" is
promising an optimistic future for vague.
Both science and reliqion provide emotlonal comfort by
each of their believeri, thus making the present worth living Religion often comes a
oetiet in an afterlife or otherworldly realm which will reward the good and punish the evil'
spurring believers to do good so as to earn a beautiful future ln the fo'm of divine entities
oi neaienty beings it aiso provides the individual with a confidence that he or she is
iigniRcant io, is rialued by, his or her god' providing a larger meaningtul context
wiich he or she trudges t;iumphantly through the afflictions of everyday life Scrence also
provides such comfo'rt and context, albeit in a very djfferent way; its emphasis on the
;bilitv of the human beinq lo dlscern natural or scientrflc truth based on his own
Hrs loqical min; and sound deductive reasoning allows the adherenl of the
scientiflc school oi thought lo picture his own small contributions as bold strokes on
picture upon which grows clearer with each nugget of
oi ftutun discov-ery, the i'.licely
""nuui oi""ou"ry added io it. Thtls both science and religion can create a meaningtul expressed here.
greater context thit explains whywe ate here, what we are doing and where we are going
It would seem that science and religion are tied on the issue of which can
physical and concrete, religion is better at
everything". Science is better at explaining the
oiscernin! tne moral and interpe.sonal, and both are viable means of-arriving at
contexts A good and
knowledg-e, perhaps "truth", that provide two different but equally meaninglul sensible
*f,i"n .i'pfuil *nV *.
exist. And an appreciation and understanding of both is likely to be
the best of both worlds unique in their respective beauty.

Content 20/30
Language: l6/20
Total N,lark: 36/50
good phtases
A sound understanding of the question - some really insightful ideas and
You could also look-at the aspects of the supematunl, of mimcles' and exislential
qii"li-i iru^i" tne interytay of both - vthere religious beliefs have been debunked bv
whatever one chooses to believe
iii"rru, Aftet all, religion i; about faith and thercfore
"t" truth for him or het.
in. becomes

C q? O' nffi \4,0FDS\l/0Fm m t "

The view given by Albus Dumbledore on curiosity is not beneficial to scientific

progress, but should be used as a guideline when scientific progress is being made
Curiosity has led to much scientific advancement in history. lf it was not for the fact ihat
man wai curious about the unknown, we would not have the luxuries that we have today
However, while scientific progress is mostly seen as bedeficial' by not using Dumbledore's
view as a guideline, there wilt be many reperq$sions and consequences for us. This has
been clearly shown in the book "Frankenstein" and the short story'The Machine Stops'

By suggesting that we exercise caution with our curiosity, Dumbledore has

suggested thai we should not cross the moral or ethical line when we progress in scientific
knowledge. ln this way, scientific progress is hindered. Ahhough we may be able to make
further discoveries in science, we have hindered our prcgress by following the "moral
code". ln "Frankenstein', by being curious, Victor Frankenstein makes huge
advancements in science by creating his creature- His clriosity about the professors in his
university and about tife led him to study inlensively about the philosophers and their work.
He admits that'partly from curiosity", he entered the lecturing room which M Waldman
was teaching in. This meeting led to his creation of the creature Frankenstein often asked
himself when 'did the principle of life proceed?' From this question, he became
"determined thenceforth to apply (himsetf)... to those branches of natuEl philosophy" He
had hesitated when he acquired the knowledge of making the creature,and thought about
"the manner in which (he) should employ it'. lf he had given in to this hesitation and
caution, he would not have made progress in his studies- Similady, in "The Machine
Stops", if Kuno had exerted caution when he was curious about life on the surface of the
Earth, he would not have been able to make it to the surface and would not have
discovered that "man is the measure"- Caution prevents man from going full out in his
quest for scientilic knowledge. Dumbledore's view, though restricting scientific progress,
should be used as a quideline when dealing with advancements in science. Scientific
progress resulting from curiosity is not always benelicial and may have horrible
consequences- By exercising caution, we avoid making mistakes which may lead to the
downfall of man; or ourselves. ln 'The Machine Stops', scientific progress had been made
without much caution or thought about the effect it would have on man. The creation ofthe
machine ultimately led to the downfall of mankind. Vashti claims that she is not'most
advanced' and "well-bred" and fails to exert caution when the machine was changing, all
for the sake of the machine, "that the machine may progress eternall/. By using the
Machine as a metaphor for science, it can be seen that honible consequences, such as
the Machine stopping and killing everyone, may happen if we are not cautious in our
scientiflc progress.

similarly, in "Frankenstein", Victor Frankenstein's creatuae wecked havoc for his

family because Frankenstein did not exercise caution in his creation of the 'monstei' He
deeply regretted his decision and it ended up destroying him- The quest for knowledge
caused both Frankenstein and Walton to sacrifice their health for the sake of progress.
Walton admitted that he lrould sacrifice (his) fortune, (his) existence, his every hope, lo
the furtherance of (his) enterprise". Frankenstein had also spent many sleepless nights
exhausting himseff in research. Their curiosity could have led to great discoveies, but
without caution, their moral values, as well as their health and safety, had been hindered

Curiosity has led to many discoveries such as the light bulb, telephone and other
devices. The statement 'curiosity is not a sin" is true. ln fact, curiosity has often been the

O(3Ounnos\ nRm\i\ruffim{}
).iti^^ progress lt made Einstein continually try to create the electrical
force of scienhfic
i*j i,,'i ,^a in The l\4achine Stops", it made Kuno realise that the machine was
lYil^i.,-^-i' tr. case of recent stem cell research, caution over moral issues has been
i'""#i.* rh" hesitatron to continue with cloning and embryo use may have prevented
liliinq oiscoveries and cures from being made today. However, this caution is valid as
researcn can also destroy lives. The advancement of this science lowers our
sanOaros in the sense that we are deslroying embryos; the result ofthis experiment
may atso prove to be non-beneficial.
Therefore, curiosity without caiution is dangerous'

Curiosity will continue to be the driving force behind scientific progress and it has'
not beneflt
and will lead to many new discoveries. Though Dumbledore's statement does
scientific progress generally, by exercising caution and using it as a guideline, we are
man from making remarkable discoveries but man is ln what way do
u-neRting moiatty. Caution may stop
,ao orevented from making terible mistakes by exercising caution with curiosity' we indeed
inereiore, while the statement is not beneficialto scientific progress. it is overall beneficial benefit
'morally"? You
to mankind.
are rather vague
in your
Total Mark: 30/50-
good start with here.
You have made a good aftempt in grappling with the question, as well as a
the texts in your first twb paragmphs, but you have not given it due discussion when it
cones to modem daY issues. A PitY!

Science is basically the study of how objects, regardless of its state, dead or alive,
function. Without such a powerful concept, the world would not be in its technologically
advanced state today. Had humans not found out how fire was created or how it was
ignited, we, the inhabitants of the world, might still be in the Stone Age without any sou'ce
o1 light or warmth. This, hence, proves that science and the technology it brings
plays a
majir role in the life of a being, for example, humans. Over the years' science has
inc;eased its role in the life of modem man and has left man much more dependent on his
creations- The future and path it follows of something, is basically dependent on the
creator. Similar to the duality of man, science has a duality too and its path would be
decided by humans. These humans, being imperfect often cause an inheritance to theit This is a
product, ;hich is science, and brings about negative inffuences in the wodd. today The beautifully-
creativity of science indeed has resulted in such devastating effects to mankind, however it phrased
also pushed new frcntiers which could beneflt man introduction.

Despite such negative effects, benefits to humankind can be obtained when

science comes into the picture. Every scientific concept requires an aim, a motive ln this An interesting
case, science could be used to right the wrongs of the negative effects which were initially point birt it
produced due to the misuse of science- With aeference to'Frankenstein', Victor needs to be
Frankenstein's molive of creating a being was to conquea the diseases which would cause bettei phrased.
pain to mankind. As quoted "...but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish Use simpler,
disease from the human frame, and renaer man invulnerable to any but a violent death!" shorter
This shows that he had a sole purpose of improving the nahlre of humans because of a sentences to
negative effect, which is the disease. His method of conquering this was to create another explain such
which was more perfect than humans. Today, a similar problem has been identified
be;g"scientists complex ideas.
and have ta]ken many steps of different approaches in an attempt to cure
diseases. especially genetic ones. Cloning has made the headlines a-s it was an Science has not
unprecedented mov; by the scientists. Basically, cloning uses the embryo of humans and caused the
rerlficates it, to form a new being which has exacl same phenotypes as the host lt 'disease" in this
produces a copy of oneself which share the same fingerprints, eye colour and other context.

O $ O imnos unnm'a,onos e (?
this embryo could be seen as a separate
oeneticallv inherited traits scientists argue that an unethical move as
ffiil;ih.en;;'iltd ue atlowea However' it can also be seen as
tui"t tt'i" "on""pt is against religion and human
rhe scientists play the role of God,
side, a tiver or""a dysfu;ctionat runs of a
patient could be replaced bv
Il,'r,il iiii'in-" of that
ii',H #w ff;il;i,-t-# ana irence couto inclrease the life expectancv
Are you saying
oerson. The method
""i,tii. and upp'o""n ttilntty wrong however it may well lead to the
'" that the good
removal ol all disease from the human trame' and ill are
efiec{s are seen as a
advance;;;;f scie;ce wilt never prosper. tn this case, the negative
illffi":il;; 6- i;iiiit" it" or new scientific technolosies lo be.used as a
illiirjrii"ij"J flrJ piljii".. rni,"'"itiorr
i, rn" concepr as rearnins ftom the mistakes made
bv others to improve one's tite ns quoieO in the
passage Frankenstein recounts hrs
Ii.i.i."L.-"r trom me. if not ry my precepts ai least by my example how
'ano how much happier that .'nan is who
IliiJi"liJ " ,t"!t" "
of tnowLot6.
which had railed Frankenstein
;:lil;;;: ;i""";;;"1;;; to ue ttre world:Such ofa product
scientific knowledge and change the
illi;. ;tJ;i others' with the application
go"t" ioi example in todavs life' cars are.thepetrol' main
;".?"J"J;#d'il" ""t" anywnJre iowever' the cais move.on diesel This or
kansDorlation Mich are available
ffii:ffiiili;;;;;;;;.t i ov-p,oouti t"irte environment' such as carbon.monoxide
manufacturers and scientists review the Very good use
lli""iir" .nili "" tt. env,,onment has madeToday a new method that.is cars which are of an example;
$#ffi t'#il;i;rrina tne cars tunaionas the ecefriendly cars are being researched well-linked to the
run on hydrogen gas or even water'-xnofr text.
knows' tnls new icientiRc creations might remove the negative
and imoroved uoon. Who
eftects brought about by transportation today'
effects- if the. methods it uses
The creativity of science will not bring about negative
negatiue effects.fron^ hurting and
t" **n'itt" gJ;r;''"* monitored This woJto preveni had-turned to e)dreme meens like
ir,.i* n".i"li"* ln the text victor Fiankenstein
u such a method
liill#dilue: dffi n".""o"ov partsro used in his experiments:
as quoied' " but now that I had
resulted in the grotesque appearance. oJ hi" rnon"t"t and drsgust filled my Very good
breathless horror
finished, the beauty of the dream vanrshed' and irrational method to analysis of
h^^*' Tha 'hnla.c2ni en.l oroduct was;aused by the extreme and
:::i' ll"":;J;:'*l'i lii' '*i'rJi"aiu nucrear technolosv is a kev rorm
ire run bv nuiiear reactors This rorm
or power'
nuances in the
:'':ffi# i;ffi"""i'i""",i"'- """"ti"
effearve as it cor-rld pioduce large amounts ot energv-unlike othe'
;;"tif;;i"ffi;i"gi " -pollution
However for method of
:il;; ili;;;i"#"" melhods which
Very good use
ii,niiii"g'ti;" nuclear technologv when the substances whrch -a.re-radioactiveis of a current
ere dumoed at crucial norn""'i or nvers or even land near such landmarks
;:;iio;ili;;;;:il;iadiation "u"n ""contamination would spread' contaminatins rood' crops
l"i"i""i".l t,t"n"
i-""iiti"utinj Th; che'nobyl disaster' which is an example of an
contaminated and increased
rtii,itii.iii tit"tt"J li"sed- 56 deaths togJher with 600000monitored
l';';;;;;;;i in them The i'"tt'oo t"t not and hence brousht
negative efiects. "";";,
rn"nrini.-io*"*i, it nu" jt"o
brought new and useful areas of science'which
as a destructive element of nature rhe
;;;;;; ;";;"-llf" scence coutd noi be seen positive consequences lr il was
:::1";"ffi;';;i;t." i,i-J"in of eilher nesalive or
th; be what it is todav - a
ffi f.; il;;d;; acceptante of science, world would not
technologicallY advanced hub.

Total Mark: 41l50

when you do apply
am oleased lhal you have shown me whal you are capable ot
piZ"i iitii"ininis standard ot wntins and continue to do so with sood instght
and control ovet Your atgument


Since the beginning of recorded history, nature has alway-s seemed to be a topic
'18' century' as well as lhe
16r debate and discussion, such as the Romantic period in the
woAO, which places much emphasis on the environment and nature as a whole'
;Jhib nature used to be a great part of our lives, it seemed to lose this importance by the
perioO, and even more today. Hence' I agree only to a small extent that nature This would also
present mean that you
nu" n"uui to"t its importance tor man, not in the past and certainly not-in the
*oifO. fni" is due to the neglect and exploration of naturc, the loss of harmony and disaqree,
sniritual connection with nature, and in general' malerialism and decadence However,
itiere is stilt a small number of people today who see nature as a source of beauty and

Firstly, nature has been subjected to neglect and exploration since-the Romantic
oeriod. and ;ven today, we are still exploing nature- ln "The Wortd is Too N4uch With Us"'
;ritten by Wi ia"m W;rdsworth in 1807, the poet laments the loss of nature to man'
;Getting ind spending, we lay waste our powers.'This reflects Wordsworth's unhappiness
vin'" commerc-ial {raniactions and consumerist concems, which lead us to exploit
nature for our own needs and desiaes This shows that even in the Romantic
period, not
long after the lndustrial Revolution, poets had already sensed that progress had a
deistating effect on nature, as it was less important to us compared to what we could
yield from it.

Today, Man still has not learnt his lesson, continuing to destroy nature for his
oersonal oarns- Fot examgle. environmental degradation has become a maior problem in
ine wortajoday, with issues such as the depletion of the ozone layer, global warming and
the greenhou;e effect coming into the picture A hole in the ozone Jayer.has been
discJvered over the Arctic circie in recent years, and as the ozone layer loses its abilities
to shietd us from the powerful ultla violet (UV) rays of the sun, there are now higher rates
of skin diseases and cancer, which pose a serious threat to l\,4an s survival Air' sea and
land polluiion are also worsening the situation, with oil tankers leaking the oil they are
carrying every time they load or unload the oil, as well as the dangerous carbon monoxide Every time?
anO nit"rous oxides ttrat we are releasing into the atmosphere every time we drive our cars'
Refrain from
Despite all these tell-tale signs, Man seems unabte to comprehend the importance of making such
nature to our survival. lt alio shows how Man sees nature today' as an unirnportant exaggerated
element ofou.lives, which can be exploited any time we need to. claims.

Secondly, Man's materialism and decadence have also blinded us from the
importance of nature in our daily lives. As seen from "The World is Too Much With Us",
"We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!" The poet refers to the increasing
emphasis th"at Man has come to piace on materialism and @mmodity fetishism' instead of
prtiing oul. focus on nature. This also shows the lack of importance of natu'e to us'
compireo to how hard we work towards our goals of commodity fetishism and
materialism. 'So.did boon" also reflects that we have dirtied the good fortune that nature
has provided us with by supporting mankind since the beginning of history' lt also serves
as a reminder that we have not been placing enough attention on nahrre

Even in the current world today, we are still preoccupied with material wealth and
possession, even at the cost of naiure- For example, crocodile skin. and.snakeskin You should also
products are still bestsellers in the fashion arena' and countless exotic animals have b€en include other
poached and eaten. The above examples reiterate the fact that Man has -not been examples like
mink/fox fur
reflecting on his mistakes, and instead conlinuing to undermlne the imporlance of nature in
our lives.
harvesting them
can only be
Thirdly, there has been a loss ot harmony and spiritual connection with. natLl'e in
done in a cruel
our lives and-nature is also no longer an important source of beauty and inspiration to us'
A; ir;. 'tines in Early Spriig" which was written in 1798 by William Wordsworth'
t$Qrrrnnns\ 'GmwoRsm(}
lruhat man has made ot man'illy^:::ii.":fi1"1::T:f.,$'tt#,"#;",r:T[:,11,:!i
'"li;fl lill:lif, :';#ff1""T,1"#:l:j}J*;iHi:i.,1[ii%i*".1ii#i$iT
of Nature to Man As seen',
im rtance ::Y'::..":.,:;;;
valuable *" can learn

#rr"'il.r"fi ffi i[qi1;fi

no siqn of siving up the belieJs
h" 1"" tll,l]:.:": ll'1i."^',i"1"* a.t ,tined he is to
snet' nor varn
,Fiterated in "Nor fear' nor gneT' """' L"""*"i:'f;ll1ouru
-T.P'11"-Y: are noi
many who wotild no'
a relationship o{ love with nature' !'"1[i:j".]1,i"g-fit1h;re
agree with his oplnions
with-naftrre as I
also seemed to lose his affnity
ln the cunent world today' Man has
* *oJl'li-*?" i'oo'tun"' di n"tu," l'"'"*"ooi,;:S":ijU* :tt[:*:i*::'zu
tn rhe scienrific gnd high-tech
world_rooav jT;;il; ;il;;i"re is ;fren usedrerety ro I

Check accuracy
and service apartments,. €tennva
rt is atways
peoplJ still vrew nature 9" h'"1"s.,T^ ";;'ie"t
tj'',"i,i,1!]i-"tt and inspire.
everyday needs, reflecting its
considered secondary to the modernislrc iriii*Jiri".-i i,i-"""i"t es such as the Aborigines
diminishing importance in our.lives ou'ilill,iJ'"ii" i" i"",i"" spirituality with n;ture
or Native Americans' p"9pt" b9"v,.ll3 1i"" ."""'r*il"i ,"*r,"0 at in this age ot science
particularly because pantherstic bellels-
men-ale.iii,] i."n"J"iuif.lo n"uig*e by the stars or foretell
and technblogv For example,
the comrng of rain bv being
"t t:l".-l:i; "til;;"'iil;;;u"noins". rh'i. is iust one of
we. place too
*iir, due to thelact rha_t
mani srgns that l','tan is no tonSer rn,:ol';;:;'l': m" o",i"o by the scieitific principles of
lw;;';;-"J'i no tons"' t"'usarded as masicar
l',:5"'Jg:iil"ir:i:i',:''";J,i?*1i", leadi to tne ftrrlher underminrnq
mvstrcal aooearanc" rni" t""x or o"'iti""'liitit"- "si
^, aspect of otlt lrves'
it naiure as an 'mportant
Inconclusion'naturesdiminishlnqimportancehasbeenevdentlnoul-socielies in this
sin.€ rhe Romantic period more tn- ,ni."'ir"Ji"J V.iis ago' and even.today marn
scientific prin"'pt"" ilt'"ni on tecirnology This is due to three
world ouided by "no ('n-rnur"rialiim and commodfy-fetishism
frctors. the exploitation of nature' tn" "tp'nl"L
;, spiritua, connea#
the earth lrom our.4"'*:l:
lhe oeoDle ,::":::::.1.
in the world ;^d""
ooes. do not how nature
2hout ho\
today aboul
in uroent task to raise awareness amono ilvrtii" ti'"'" are many environmental agencles
is es;ential to our survival on lhts ptanei tn" wodo wtatifu Fund much more
that seek to preseNe and
"on""t" "uln "t
realise the importance of natule to
ili i"ii"! i,l."*" people

Total Mark
: 35i 50

Some good exam?tes em?loved

Francis Bacon's statement that

the power to control people and to
$q3$\ nffivrmmrarorusm$
I .h. cmartest will survive as it is they who have the knowledge and ways of manipulating This should be
l.l^^r" tlore often than not, knowledge gives people a false sense of bravado lt allows refined, and
lfli i" it'int to, a moment that they hold lhe screts to the universe and therefore are used as a
I l-ii"rir,an ottrer.. gxamples of how powerful knowledge is found in Frankenstein and The proper thesis
iriinin" stop". ln Frankenstein it also shows how the oftoo pursuit of knowledge can ruin statement.
reflects the repercussions much knowledge'
frolle, and Tne vacnine Stops
I A senior in what
A person with more knowledge is seen as a senior' and this instantly gives them a context?
sense of authority that allows them io affect others. ln l,ary Shelley's
novel, Victor Consider
professor's words replacing "affect'
iiantenstein respects his professor' M Waldman, greatly such that the
"destroy" Victor himself Victor also with a more
are t"k n in as the "words of late' and then let on to
iLtes that the day ne saw the books that introduced him to natural philosophy, 'it decided effective word.
itrist tuture fate." This shows how powerful knowledge is, that in the hands of an individual,
iican dictate a person's fate and self Also, Victois discoveries at the university "procured
itrimt oreat esteem and admiration " Victor also takes "cowardice" as a factor against the
'n"rusil of knowledqe. lt is aoain seen that to have more knowledge is to mean that one is
{ lowerful and desefues respect This is also seen in E.lM Foste''s "The lvlachine stops",
where there is fear and .espect for the Machine Vashti is afraid to say anything against
tne Machine, esiecially when the Machine can and has lobbed lthem] of the sense of
space and of the sense of touch." The Machine has caused the loss of
personality by
aoolvinq the knowledge lt has in controlling the people. ln reality, this is also seen between
t.ac-neristudent and Darenlchild relationships, reflective of the sense of seniority that
knowledge brings- A teacher could make all the difference to a student's life iust by
-his in Singapore, for a good
grading testi and exams alone. G.ades are key, especially
inivedity education and lurther on, a good iob. Also, when parents bring up their child'
they impart the knowledge that they have to them. This shapes how a child thinks and
behaves from the time ihat they are young. A real-life example of how teache's and
pa.ents a{fect a child can be seen in the sLlicide of a boy He killed himself due to
immense pressure and stress after getting scolded by his coach and mother' lt is amazing
what knowledge brings to harm or benefit a person.

Knowledge also gives people the power to play God. By "discovering the cause of
generation and life", Victor was capable of "bestowing animation upon lifeless matter'"
I Much like the power of God, who creates life. This knowledge is also seen as power by
Victor, "when I found so astonishing a power placed within my hafids", which to his
that "A new species would bless 'efers
[him] as its
discovery. He is awed by the thought
I creator... and owe their being to [him].'Just his discovery alone allowed him to believe
that he could act as God, to be respected and depended on- ln "The Machine Stops", the
Machine is seen as a higher authority and is worshipped much like a divine being The You have made
Machine, possessing thtknowledge of all the smartest scientists lvho created it slowly, a good, clear
becomes iespected-as a God. The people believed in it, depended on it and called it link here.
"omnipotent, eternal -arelandl blessed', reflecling words oflen used to describe God- ln
todayb society, there lxamples of scientists, with the knowledge they have, trelieve
I themselves to 6e God. For example, stem cell research has been a highly controversial
topac as it may lead to the creation of life. Scientists are looking to stem cells to replace
iniured or wom out cells in the body as stem cells can be engineered to fit the work of
otier types of cells. This causes people to question if this might lead to scientists to fu'ther
their research and then ctone a human being. ln this sense' they are playing God and
create life that is unnatural and not meant to be.
You should
Not only can knowledge affect people, the seeking of knowledge can.also ruin a further define
person- Victor himself admitJthat "dangerous is the acqukement of knowledge " ln the 'ruin a person'
process of building his crcation, Victor confined himsetf and neglected his health His own and refine its
morals were forgo'tten as he 'tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay' He expression.
wamed that to irogress beyond your ability, to become 'g'eater than. lyour] nature ',l/i'l
allo'i/' is destruciivJand he G a living example. His ambition alienated him from society as
his secret work caused him to 'forg;t those fiends who were so many miles absent " His
pursuit of knowledge also made hi; forget all that had been important to him before' such
as the "charms of iature'. Even the monster claims that knowledge clings to the mind' and
f that 'sorrow only increased with knowledge"- The creature's own journey of self-

O $ Or,rnnosvrnrusuromm {}
What was I?"
realization. as he questioned himself. ryVhere were myl'iends and relatiois?
;fi;ili; ;;"i,Lu"ng. on his c'eator- what was once a "kind' benevoleni' Please
i"itlrl iijl ii,ri"a i"io u tonitut on the *"r the Machine
path ln 'The Machine stops"' Kuno who
is criticised for his actions' as
elaborate on
what happened
io ino* tot" about the world outside
irrJ, t"ent aoainst ttre natural order of that time. He was threatened with homelessness' here - "natural
lead to death if one order of ... time'.
*r-i,crr'ir"""i a""tn. ihi; reflects how the perusal of knowledge can
go beyond their
o'"." noi;o", n" iitits. Today, athletes who want to push theirlimits and "Taking steroids'
i"in i" t"ii"o lfis the advancement ol medical science that leads to conupt
is not relaled to
"uiri-v eri",l" iain more knowtedge than others' we are forced to find
"teroids. alternative'
unorthodox means which might not be morally right Give instances
pursuit of 'alternative,
ln conclusion, knowtedge and allthat comes with it is powerful Even in.the
of knowledoe. we are in danqei of being affected This is why knowledge must
be handled unorthodox
to better
*iirt n..o to realise the power of knowledge is power itself and this should be means' what
used""r" "ia ",r" illustrate
carefully and wisely.
you mean.

Total Mark 31i50

ln your conclusion, to repeat an exprcssion you have used only slightly eadiar ('the
try not
powet ol knowledqe is-power itself).

The 21e century is characte.ised by a parade of scientific and technological

innovations that have b€nefited manklnd on different levels However' even though
tecnnologically advanced society woutd mean the ubiquity of technological -advances
can brinj about material benefit; to society, it can also have lhe unintended con-sequence
oia"gr;ing hut* fife, resutting in the ioas of true humanity and the inherent diversity
r"nli"O. ni tn" societ;l ,evel, ii can also lead to a depreciation of values and
hufpinu"", causing society lo be empty of meaning -beyond thal of an unbridled
technologicai and econoiric progress lndeed' a scientiflcally and technologically-
"u"fr ""
io"i"ty rn"V appear giorious and alluring on the outside, but it is not necessarily
one lvhich is ideal and civilised when looked into at gteater depths'
Make your topic
sentence more
Even though technology seems to have improved societal conditions' opening up
possibilitie; for th; eradicatio; of social ills such as those derived from social instability' concise.
luitr iechnotogy-delive.ed harmony is synthetic and more often that not a mere faqade'
What lies be;;th the verisimilitude of an apparently harmonious society may be one This is vague
*t'ictr is tacting in qualiiies that paint humanity in a positive light This paradox is clearly and needs
i" Xldous Huxley's 'Brave New World"' where a technologically advanced further
soliety is glorious and too good to be true. The director claims that science and explanatron.
i""hn6fogv ir" 'major detrime;ts ot socral stabilrv 'can'l you see? Can't you see?' he
asts- itrliepetition of the question asked lays emphasis on the superficialrty ot lhe
stability brought about by science and technology clearly highiighting the pervasive nature
of technologf and its afparent benefits on society These are indeed "grand words'
express the- allure of a scientifically advanced society However' 'Brave New World" is
witten by Aldous Huxley as a satiri;al piece of fiction that seeks to warn humanity against
tt'e oanders of the indi;criminate embmce of science' clearly indicating that the "Brave
New Wo-rld' is in facl a world opposite to the "ideal'society that is ostensibly proiected lt
is one wtrich lacks the inhe.ent individuality of man "Ninety-six identical twins working
ninety-six identical machines!" The inhereni meantng of exactly the same sug-gested by
I the;ords'twin" and "identical" coupled with the precise genetic srmilarity of "identical
a twins; fias nighliEl'teO and even amplified to the reader the intrinsic problem of a lack of
;dividuality. ihe- motto of the "Brave New World" is "planetao/, further highlighting how
many susieAs ot me society have been homogenised' inevitably leading to a loss in the

inherent diversity and individuality ofmankind. Indeed, while a scientifically and Your ideas in
technologically advanced society may seem desirable and alluring on the outside, it does this paragraph
not necessarily mean 'a more civilised one". What lies beneath the fa9ade of the glory of are well-argued,
an advanced society may be the loss of valuable qualities - such as the individuality and though
inherent diversity of mankind as shown in Brave New World. expression could
have been more
ln the realworld, a similar situation is observed. While the greatet productivity and precise.
elficiency of technology seems beneficial to society on the surface, reality suggests
otherwise. This can be seen in the growing advancement of social networking tools that
aim to foster and improve interpersonal skills. ln a recent survey conducted by'The Straits
Times', it has been found that a normal indivldual with an average of 200 friends in social This observation
networking websites such as "Friendster" and "Facebook" and 100 l\4SN contacts are only does not seem
really actively communicating with fewer than 15 of their 'friends". This seems to suggest to follow the
that despite the many claims of netwo*ing tools bring about greater conveniences to preceding study
interpersonal communication, what actually happens behind the "glorious" faqade of such that you cited.
claims are individuals who are unable to communicate beyond their laptop screens.
Socialites have cbnceded that such social nehvorking tools have in tu.n instilled negative It is not clear
attitudes in teenegers who effectively use such technology. lt induces a wailand-see what you mean
approach in youths because the increased networking options have made these youths by lrl/ait-and,
overly confident that these technologies would make socialising easier. lndeed, although a see".
technoloqically advanced society would mean the pervasiveness of technologies that
seem beneficial and alluring because of its instant gratification, what lies behind such No strong case
ciaims may be social trends that are often masked and overlooked due to man's made for your
indiscriminate faith in science. Hence, it is not always true that a scientifically and argument here.
technologically advanced society always equates to a better and more civilised world.

Secondly, if technology is used in ways which do not confo.m to the collective complex
precepts of suitable scientific ethics, the already existing implicatjons of technology may sentence here.
be further aggravated and new problems can be brought about to society. This further
destabilises and debases the society on the whole. In Sarah Baylis' "Dead Woman', it can
be seen that despite the fact that technology can imitate and even supersede life
processes, and as such make up for some of the inevitable losses of deaths, there are
those who contend the use of technology for such purposes- At the start of "Dead
Woman", it is cleady indicated that Nurse Moonie is 'pissed off' with he. job. She
describes the job as 'a ghoulish mixture" of maternity and intensive ca.e, further hinting to
the readers the negative attitude that technology has induced in he.. Through the strong,
odd use of adjectives such as "ghoulish" which intrinsically suggest the meaning of
"monskous" and 'diabolical", and disturbing imagery that convey a sense of sadism such
as that of "pounded the delicate folds of her brain into a pulp', and "drowned them in a tide
ol crimson", it is further emphasised that technology may induce feelings of animosity in
people. As the individual is the building block of society, and the stability of the whole
inextricably linked to ihe stability of the parts, security and civilisation at the individual level
thus needs to be ensured before an ideal Society can become reality. On a separate note,
the constant personification of "death' and the feeling of "gloominess" such as "death
hurries in and hurries out", gives the general feeling of hopelessness that arises as a result
of a scientific approach in an area that may disrupt the sanctity of life, thus fu.the.
accentuating the presence of the negative consequences of technology. Such repeated
emphasis on the undesirability of a technologically advanced society does not necessarily
mean a better one. in fact, the consistent use of ahetorical questions in the story seem to
convey to its reader a sense of unceatainty, that such utilisations of technology may have
the .everse effect of causing society to land itself into grey areas and a state of ambiguity
when it comes to issues regarding the notions of life and death. lndeed, a technologically
advanced society that challenges widely accepted opinions to the question of how fa.
technology should go may as a re$lt stir the feelings of specific groups of people who
base thelr beliefs on a more conse.vative orthodox- As stability is not ensured at the basic
level, a civilised society which is made up of these basic tenets willthus be unrealisable.

ln the real wolld, it can be seen that technology is sometimes used in ways that
may raise ethicat concerns or devalue human life, tudher emptying society of higher
meanings. French commentator Herve Jurich extolled a new attitude towards the humen

OQOranmu,oRDs\ nffios$
;:.i"- ;" ;;ir.-;iln otbio"ttip" pi"tcing iave all emblazoned the belief that the
"no is one that is valid as can be seen pervasively in
'.Jrffi .#'" ;f ;"tt".inoeeo,
nis ctalm
Man is increasingly engrossed in finding ways to improve life
ffi'Y;il;i";;J. A;'example of such att6mpt could be the kick-startins of the entire
;;;-;i ';e;is;r baoies"" a colloquial term used to describe the altering and
possible combination of genotvpe lor
iir#ii"'lii"i-"'i"p"triiJgenes to outain the best
ii"'-.if,"r.i"iTf,is has iaised widespread concerns from rbligious groups and the You could have
ethics The conboversies caused huge tensions
i."rl""i i"".irt"i." oi Bioengineeringgroups
;;;;;ilil;;hrr;.t differeni social similar to "Dead woman''.a technologically pushed the
are argument a little
uJu"nceO Oo"s not necessarily mean a more civilised one as eth'cal concems
"ociaty furlher.
jmproves lives and
All in all, it is indeed an unwise claim that technology always civilised'
trut i"cnnio6i""rrv anJicientincalty advanced society is one which is. more requrres
it. "i-orovemint a'l*"ys at a price and the value of this exchange
one must recognise that there is always an opportunity cost to
iii.,rlii* ii r*p."r-"f iire euen tttough an advanced society seems alluring' one needs
i" r""ii""1rt"t u,!"."tn tt'is fagade may be the greater loss ofqualities and values'
i Iotal Mark: 38/50
generally very clear'
Chu Minq, sone clumsi(,r moments in analysis and evaluation but

flue ana well'develoDed Good woth!



l| $ lv,,m raromu,onos (' m


We wish to thank our Principal, Mrs Loke-Yeo Teck Yong, and Vice-
Principals, Mrs Lim Kia Huan and Mr Aziz Tyebally, for their invaluable

We also thank Mr Daniel Chung, Head of English Department, and Ms Faye

Tan, Deputy Head for General Paper, for their unwavering encouragement.

Many thanks go to all General Paper and Language Arts tutors who kindly
contributed their students' essays. Much appreciation also goes to the
students who generously shared their essays.

A big thank you to Mr Michael Ee of CG 28/08, for designing the cover and
new publication format, as well as his leam for helping to put the essays

Finally, heartfelt thanks to all who have worked hard to make this
publication possible.

Ms Angeline Quek
Mr Hsu Soon Koon
Mr Tan Yong Li
Temasek Junior College
English Department
General Paper Enrichment Committee