We’ve become a more gracious society: ESM Goh

Over the years, the level of graciousness among Singaporeans has improved, said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on Sunday.

Speaking as the guest of honour at the first Singapore Kindness Movement conference, Goh noted that the habit of spitting in public is not as widely visible and common as compared to the past years.

He also observed that Singaporeans have grown more polite when speaking on their mobile phones at the public places, albeit there are still cases of people being inconsiderate.

“In my view, I think we have become more gracious,” said the former prime minister.

The Member of Parliament also mooted the idea of creating a “4G Home” which stands for “Great, Gracious, Generous and Green home” for the whole of the Marine Parade group representation constituency, which he represents.

This movement could later on be extended to the other parts of the country, he added.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also MP for the GRC, said that Singaporeans can choose to be kind and gracious or not to those around them.

“We all make those choices every day. How we treat our family members, how we treat our neighbours. When we walk out and we see them, do we smile? Do we greet them? When we know they’re rushing, do we hold the lift for them,” he asked.

“All these little actions doesn’t cost you anything,” he pointed out, adding that doing such acts of kindness would eventually become second nature in people if done regularly.

Tan also reminded parents that they also had a role to play in instilling positive values in their children. For instance, he said that the way parents interact in public could have an influence on the behaviour of their children.

“Do we as parents pay attention to the way we talk in front of our children, the comments we pass about the neighbours, about people out there. We are sometimes very loose in the way we way talk,” he said.

William Wan, general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement Council, also stressed that the kindness movement is not a top-down but more of a bottom-up approach.

“This is a movement; this is not a government thing. This should be a people thing,” he said.

And this year’s campaign theme “Say Thanks, Make Someone’s Day” aims to ensure that Singaporeans are able to participate even through the simplest act of kindness, he said.

The conference was held in conjunction with the World Kindness Day which will kick off at Orchard Road on Sunday. Around 30,000 yellow gerbera daisies will be given out to the public and they are encouraged to spread the idea and pass it whenever they witness any act of kindness.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more 17 hours ago
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future 19 hours ago
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • 919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day 20 hours ago
    919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day

    We've brought you the drive video of the $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder -- an 887-hp hybrid supercar with two electric motors working in harmony with a big 4.6-liter V-8. But how about this? Porsche's hybrid Le Mans racer -- the 919 Hybrid, sent to us by Kevin Leech. Get on board with electrification, folks. Because it's taking over the world.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers
    Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Singaporeans on social media reacted angrily to news that tissue sellers at hawker centres and street corners are being required to pay for an annual licence.

  • Arrest warrant sought for S. Korea ferry captain
    Arrest warrant sought for S. Korea ferry captain

    South Korean prosecutors sought arrest warrants Friday for the captain and two crew members of the ferry that capsized two days before with hundreds of children on board, a coastguard official said. The captain and most of his 28 crew managed to escape the ferry, and have been criticised for abandoning the ship when so many were still trapped on board. Tracking data from the Maritime Ministry showed the ferry made a sharp turn just before sending its first distress signal on Wednesday morning. Prosecutors said Friday that preliminary investigations showed that captain Lee Joon-Seok had handed the helm to his third officer before the ferry capsized.