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The WEATHER on FRIDAY (27 Dec 2002): Windy and cloudy with periods of showers over many areas, heavy at times.  WEATHER OUTLOOK:  SATURDAY: Windy and cloudy with periods of showers. SUNDAY: Showers with thunder in the late morning and afternoon.     WATER TIDES (this month)  High tide   5.00am  2.5m   4.22am  2.6m  SUN Sunrise  7.05am    Sunset  7.07pm   MOON  Moonrise  12.55am   Moonset  1.19pm    PSI: 29 (good)   TEMPERATURE: 23-29 degrees Celsius (The weather is updated daily before 8am Singapore time) For more information, call Meteorological Service Singapore Tel: (65) 6542 7788.

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Monday with the Editor: Of the young and the old

Hi everyone

It's that time of the year when we reflect on what we have done for the whole year and then contemplate our resolutions for the coming new year.

Yes, tomorrow's New Year's Eve! Before we are even finished with the twelve days of Christmas and the new English year, we are bombarded with reminders out there in the neighbourhood shops and shopping centres that Chinese New Year is also just round the corner, for the Year of the Goat new year greeting cards and decorations have come out in full force in these places.

As a Late Baby Boomer*, I have been privileged to witness and to experience what Chinese New Year has been like through the years - from the 60s to the 70s, then the 80s and 90s and in the debuting years of the new millennium. I particularly relish the fact that I was able to play with firecrackers in the 60s right through to 1972 when the ban came into effect.

Now that's a privilege youngsters nowadays are not privy to. But, as I begin to feel sorry for these youngsters, I suddenly remember that in my time as a youngster, I didn't quite have the trappings that modern-day lifestyle has provided for youngsters of today - things like, jeans, T-shirts, PCs, handphones, McDonald's, Play Station, etc. The list goes on and on.

Yes! Indeed, I should envy these youngsters, for they are born in the right time - of peace, prosperity and progress here in Singapore - and need not see or experience the sufferings of those born in an earlier timespace - people who had to live life in a different world - of world wars, and civil unrest.

Do the youngsters think they are pretty lucky, then? I doubt so. Many of them do not have time for such thoughts. They are caught up in the struggle for ownership of handphones and other whatnots. They are busy comparing what others have that they do not have and yearn for more buying power, much to the chagrin of their parents. 

So what's the future for Singapore when our young are more interested in their own gains than pondering about our island's future? Is the competition for material benefits just a passing fad in that tumultuous teenage period or is it a symptom of a disease that will plague our youngsters of today in Singapore when they come of age?

Only time will tell, but we simply do not have that privilege of waiting, for statistics are against us. In the 1970s, when I was a teenager, for every one (1)** old person over 60 years old in Singapore, there were more than eight (8) economically active people - thanks to the post-war baby boom from 1947 to 1964. 

And in 2030, when I will be in my 70s, for every one (1)** old person over 60 years old, there will only be 2 economically active persons supporting that person. Now that's a heavy burden for the youngsters of today to shoulder when they join the employment market.

We certainly can't stop time. But, we can change the perceptions of our young - before it's too late. Already, the Government is making it compulsory for those at school to do project work. Now, that spells good news for the Baby Boomers. With exposure to the community, these young minds stand a chance of being broadened. Think of it not as a brainwashing of their minds, but rather, as a nurturing of the correct attitudes so that they will more than spare a thought for others, especially the elderly. 

That's certainly a step in the right direction. But, we, as parents, need to let go of our instinctive urge (yes, we do want them to have what we didn't have before) to spoil our kids. We should not give in to their every whim and fancy but stand firm. This way, we will not do harm to the Government's efforts at imbuing our young with the correct mindset to take care of us when we grow old - for we will grow old. 

So my new year resolution is pretty straightforward. I hope to see our young thinking of others first before they think of themselves. It's another 30 years or so before the 2030s; I believe our young can come around.

Have a wonderful end of the year!

*Pre-War/War-time cohort: 1935 - 1946

*Early baby boom cohort: 1947 - 1954

*Late baby boom cohort: 1955 - 1964

*Statistics quoted from The Baby Boomers in Singapore (June 2000)

**Statistics quoted from The Elderly in Singapore (June 1988)

Ex-Classmates Directory

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NEW WEB SITES   is a cyber platform, set up by the Ministry of Law, to keep Singaopore's overseas lawyers informed of developments in the local legal scene, gather feedback on legal reform and developments in other countries and to assist the local legal fraternity to network with those working overseas.  is a new one-stop portal set up by the Ministry of Law. It provides answers to frequently asked questions on legal matters by the man on the street such as whether you need to engage a lawyer to draft your will, can you still pay your traffic fine without going to court after the offer for composition has expired, or how to apply for custody of your children.  is the Web site of a new online monitoring system launched by the Supreme Court on 28 Nov 2002. It allows subscribers to be automatically alerted via e-mail whenever there is any legal action involving a specified list of companies. The information is drawn directly from the databases of the Supreme Court.

Click New Web sites for the rest of the list.

Eye on Singapore

It's about people!

Current Issues Affecting Our Community

StarHub launches residential Digital Voice service

Changi Airport's Performance - excerpt of speech by Minister YEO

New look for Singapore Tatler magazine

Singapore Cemetery Online Memorials Revamped

Christmas Open House at Singapore Art Museum

The Best of Comgraph Animation Screening

2002 GCE N Level Results

New Events Calendar on this Web site

Education: Performance by ethnic group 1992 - 2001

Extension of 2001 Off-Budget Measures - Property Tax Rebate and Petrol Excise Duty Reduction

Subscribe to online English lessons here

United Airlines leads airline performance ranking

Ministry of Law launches Law Town and LawConnect Web sites

Hari Raya Puasa Open Day at Singapore Art Museum

Salsa New Year's Eve Party at CHIJMES

Singapore's first D-I-Y library opens in Sengkang

Eye č City - A Visual Account of the Last 24 Hours of 2002

Singapore's current population trends 1971-2001

Book Review: Heart Work

Ah Boy & Ah Girl Groups - seeking ex-schoolmates

The Teacher's Dilemma

Has the National Library got to go?


BANKmates: Get a Personal Assistant to do your errands in Singapore.

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Public Holidays NEW YEAR'S DAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 1 Jan 2003.


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30 December 2002

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