Thursday, February 22, 2007

ST (22-2-07)

Thanks Vegancat for sending this letter in.

Keeping animals : How to handle a pet peeve

As Vegancat pointed out, it's interesting that a response to an online forum letter was printed in the print edition this time around.

The actual letter (which I had missed) was a very interesting article on how some graduate students from Darwin Australia came to Singapore to do a survey and found that most Singaporeans were responsible pet owners and that they took their responsibilities seriously. In addition, they found animals to be an intergral part of their lives.

While we don't know how large the sample size was, I think Mr Heng misses the point when he says that he can only seek to know a fraction of the Chinese soul though he visits China for a few months a year. The sample size here isn't of one (ie Mr Heng) but presumably the students actually interviewed a number of people, including people who DO live in three-roomed HDB flats.

I also think it'll be a very sad day when we decide to round up animals and put them in a zoo. It's like saying that we should pull down all our historic landmarks and buildings and telling people to go to a museum and see them. A child can learn so much more from daily experience - and not from a once or twice yearly visit to the zoo. If you walk around Rome for example, the culture of Rome is exemplified by not just by the beautiful ancient buildings, but the many cats cared for by the Romans. In a young country striving to learn just whom we are, I think it would be a huge shame if we decided to become an arid, soul-less place without animals.

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14 Comments:

Blogger vegancat said...

Based on his logic or the lack of it, we might as well watch the big screen to experience what a vacation in an overeas country is like!
It is because Zoo's have been so impersonal that they are now providing more interacting programs to allow visitors to touch the animals.
And what has living above a bird shop got to do with living with animal companions at home. I would be glad if he has filed a complaint of overcrowding in the birdshop.

22/2/07 10:50 AM  
Anonymous autumnpiglet said...

Actually, I don't understand what this Mr Heng is trying to say.

Doesn't seem to make much sense.

22/2/07 11:00 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I agree!

22/2/07 11:02 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Mr Heng also vocalised his opinion of "old people in their mid 60s" who "have only themselves to blame if they incur pain through their own foolishness"
Read Senior citizens have a moral and social obligation to take care of themselves

22/2/07 11:28 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

If Mr Heng has his "vision" of Singaore realised, it will be totally void of community cats and dogs, no pets at home and anyone who is above the age of 60 will have to declare himself or herself totally invalid or else you will kanna blamed!

22/2/07 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the letter is very disjointed and the logic doesn't flow. what has keeping pets such as a dog or cat or bird got to do with goat farms and flying foxes in pulau ubin? how can one be a substitute for the other? we are not even comparing like with like.

to be fair to Mr Heng though, his original letter may have been edited till it makes no sense at all.

22/2/07 11:35 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes Anonymous that's what I wondered as well since it doesn't make sense.

22/2/07 11:41 AM  
Anonymous ck said...

After re-reading Mr. Heng's letter again, I still have no idea what he was trying to say. If the letter seems disjointed due to the editing done by the Straits Times, someone at the editorial desk needs to go back to journalism school. Furthermore, if Mr Heng's letter was a rebuttal to a letter which was originally published in the online forum, why publish it in hardcopy and not in the online forum? Anyone reading Mr Heng's letter today would have no idea what he is talking about if they had not followed the thread from the online forum. Must have been a slow-letter-day at the Straits Times yesterday.

22/2/07 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting read here Holland Village Voice

22/2/07 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Straight Times Forum

Have you ever felt so passionately about an issue that you took the time to compose a well-thought out letter to the Press, only to receive the following reply?
"Thank you for writing to us. We do appreciate your making the effort.

We receive 70 letters on average each day. Limited space means we can publish only about a dozen every weekday. This means having to make often-difficult editorial judgments on which letters to publish.

We regret we are unable to publish your letter, and hope you will appreciate the constraints on space we face every day. We hope you will continue taking an interest in the Forum Page."

Inspired by Derek Wee and fueled by our own frustrations of having countless well-written letters on critical issues rejected and never seeing the light of day, we have set up this page especially for you.

Email your letters to sgtforum@gmail.com today!

22/2/07 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that the STForum always likes to publish letters by the same people(you know who they are) regardless of the actual merit of the contents...

23/2/07 12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read this How far off on a tangent can this guy get? If this was an Application Question response to Roberts' letter, it shows very poor comprehension skills, a high level of bias and prejudice, hijacking the question and running his own agenda, and little coherence in how his ideas flow from para to para. Fail, lor. And embarrass himself in public some more.

25/2/07 10:25 PM  
Blogger Hai~Ren said...

I've noticed this guy's letters get published all the time, and mostt of the time, they are barely coherent and usually quite bizarre - you don't really quite get his argument. It's like reading a primary or secondary school kid trying to write an essay. Of course, there are schoolchildren who write much better essays than that.

Oh, didn't he write to the Forum a few weeks ago asking that dogs be banned as well, and implying that dog defecation in public areas was due to foreign domestic workers?

26/2/07 4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bikes in trains could lead to problems (July 5, 2006)

I think there may be some problems if SMRT were to implement the suggestions of Jenson Chen Zhirong, ''Provide more MRT trains and let bikes onboard'' (ST, June 30).

Foldable bikes and prams take up little space but to push an ordinary bike through the turnstile, up the escalator and into a train may be a hassle and slow down human traffic. Increasing the number of trains is also not feasible as the influx of bikes during the school holidays is a seasonable trend and to cater just to the bikers may not be economically worthwhile for the SMRT.

Cyclists who take their bikes to Pulau Ubin are charged $2 by the bumboat operators. Would people be prepared to pay, say, $2 to transport their bikes to their destination? Space on board MRT trains is not free and bikers should be prepared to pay for the extra space they occupy if they want to take their bikes along.

The more immediate problem which the SMRT should tackle is eating and drinking on the trains. Also school kids who sit near the exits are a nuisance as they obstruct commuters getting in and out of the trains. SMRT should send inspectors to nab those who flout the no-eating rule and litter in the trains.

Heng Cho Choon

26/2/07 7:24 AM  

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