Aug 5, 2008

How Many Years of Your Life Do You Want to Work?

More on babies and mummies. From the TODAY newspaper:
Baby Woes Not Just Bosses' Fault
By Neo Chai Chin

CHANGE the workplace culture to allow for more family time, some have been saying — but would this truly boost the sagging birthrate?

Out of 1,000 mums surveyed in April by the Working Mothers Forum (WMF), 3 in 5 would say “no, thanks” to having a new bundle of joy in their households, even if they could resolve domestic and work issues. Yet, 86 per cent of these mums agreed that having children was “a bliss”.

What could explain this conundrum?

To mothers like Madam Noroonnessa Begam, 38, factors such as the high cost of raising a child and Singapore’s competitive environment count. “Finances are very important. As you know, there are rising costs and the challenging education system. And if you have one problem child, that will take up a lot of your time,” said Mdm Noroonessa, a childcare teacher with three sons aged 9 to 12.

But the experts say, all is not lost in the push for more babies – after all, the survey (done by research firm Connecting Insights Consultants) found that a quarter of the mums would agree to more kids if work-life balance is achieved.

“I think that’s a good start,” said Associate Professor Daniel Goh, a pediatrician and chair of WMF’s panel of experts. The survey aims to understand the concerns of working and job-seeking mothers, and if it leads to increased flexibility at the workplace, perhaps “some of these people will change their minds”.

The survey also found that one-third of the mothers felt it was impossible to give 100 per cent to both motherhood and career, while 37 per cent felt they could.

About half the mums surveyed said employers play the biggest role – more so than the Government – in helping them manage work-family challenges. Flexible policies would do much to ease their load.
This year, Mrs Wang went part-time. She now works three days a week. Furthermore, for each of those three days, she can work half a day at home, and it's up to her whether she works from home in the morning, or in the afternoon.

This is great for our kids, but logically speaking, a setback for her career. Over the next few years, most likely Mrs Wang is not going to make as much career progress as she would have, if she were working full-time.

I do have two important points to make. Firstly, kids grow up. Secondly, the average lifespan of a modern career is much longer than the time it takes for kids to grow up.

Currently, the official retirement age in Singapore is 62 years. If you are a female graduate, you probably started working around age 21 or 22. That means your career lifespan is about 40 years.

Even if you took, say, five years off to raise your little kids, you still have 35 years left to work. That's a very long time. I think that there must be very few people in the world who can honestly say that 35 years is too short a period for them to pursue their career aspirations.

On the other hand, devoting five years to your kids when they are still very young and need a lot of care will make a very big and valuable difference. When they're older and more independent, they won't need that much attention anyway.

By going part-time (as opposed to quitting work completely), Mrs Wang has more time for the kids, yet at the same time retains enough connection to the working world to know what's happening. When the time comes, and if she wants to, she can make a smooth transition back into a full-time career.

Think about it this way - if she is 40 years old by then, she will still have 22 years left to work, before hitting retirement age. If you can't mentally grasp what a very long time that is, just ask yourself where you were and what you were doing, back in 1986. That was 22 years ago. What a very different world that was, and how very faaaaar you've come since then.

Life isn't a 100-metre race. It's actually a marathon, a slow jog on a long winding road. And its final destination is death. If people actually realised that, then they would be more careful about what they decide to chase. Along the way, they would stop to smell the roses, admire the scenery and try out various interesting experiences that life does offer. Like, raising kids.


Anonymous said...

It would be of great assistance in realising this vision if housework and child-rearing were seen as shared responsibilities for a household rather than "women's work". That way, the benefits of "slowing down" and enjoying a career at the same time, which you laud, could be enjoyed by all. Juggling the competing demands of work and home should not be seen solely as the burden of women. There is a danger of losing this point amongst all the articles about babies which focus solely on women's work-life balance, and not also men's.

- Jolene (

Anonymous said...

For many women the "setback" to career, depending on age and area of skills, can be so big that it may not be worth to work again due to type of job and pay available, if at all. Nowadays graduates are a dime a dozen, more so with the free flowing FT policy. Even men, who work without a break face problems in their mid career, what more for women who returned after a break. And unlike women, men must be the breadwinner by custom, otherwise it is a shame. For well educated women it is perfectly OK to be housewife or even tai tai, as long as hubby has the means, and can be proud of it.
That's why women choose to have careers over babies to maintain and enhance their earning power and independence, because a hubby with the means may not be easy to come by, or it may change with time.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"For many women the "setback" to career, depending on age and area of skills, can be so big that it may not be worth to work again due to type of job and pay available, if at all"

Really? You mean if they tried for the next 35 years they still wouldn't get anywhere?

"Even men, who work without a break face problems in their mid career, what more for women who returned after a break."

Again, this is where it might be interesting to try to see it from a bigger perspective.

Over a 40-year period, even if a man had five very bad career years or was unemployed for an aggregate of five years, it doesn't necessarily work out to be a disaster.

After all, 5 years would only work out to be one-eighth of his career lifespan.

Just by way of analogy, suppose you are a stock market investor and on average, you had seven good years, and 1 bad year, out of every eight years. You would be filthy rich ...

Or suppose you take eight O-level subjects and you did disastrously in one exams. Seven A1s is still a great result.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Yes, Jolene, the men definitely have a role to play too, and if they weren't interested in it, then in the first place, they shouldn't get into the parenthood thing.

Any man can be a father, but being a dad is something else.

Here is an excerpt from an old post of mine, where I describe the personal career adjustments I made, when I first became a dad:

"I used to be in private practice in one of Singapore's top law firms. It paid very well and the work was very interesting. In fact, for my particular area of practice, no other firm in Singapore offered more challenging work. A year of experience there was worth two or three in other law firms. However, due to a chronic shortage of lawyers, the hours were very long.

Then my first child was born. Six months later, I quit the job. Mrs Wang quit private practice too. The kind of work/family balance we wanted was not going to happen, in a law firm environment.

I had absolutely no regrets. If I thought only in terms of the cost to my career, I would have had regrets. But the wiser thing to do was to consider life as a total package. I looked at my life as a whole, and the correct decision became quite clear to me. So I left private practice without hesitation, quite happily, and much to the dismay of my then-bosses. And I haven't looked back ..."

Anonymous said...

I can't agree with you more about prioratising things in life with the knowledge that our life is impermanent and unpredictable. By 5 or 6, kids will be off to school. So when you're consideirng whether to stay in the workforce or take time off after having a baby (if finance allows), think- If you know you've 5 years to live, will you spend it at work or at home looking after him/her?

Anonymous said...

Career progress - whatever that means, not everyone experiences progress in their jobs. A majority of blue collars don't get career progress. A bus driver is a bus driver. There are many jobs that will remain the same no matter how senior you become.

I think we forget the luxury we call career progress is not enjoyed by everyone.

Then again I suppose only the smarter women enjoy career progress and they are the target of child bearing.

And if the smart women were to take 5 years off, some of them just don't get to work again, they just find it very difficult to get employed. Their jobs can be given to others more easily, if you know what I mean.

Mr Wang, although this was a nice piece, I think it strikes too close to your heart and that makes it a little biased.

I think 40 years of working may not be enough to retire on. Best to work till the very last day in case we get a huge medical bill.

Anonymous said...

While it is true that in the grand scheme of things, taking the foot off the accelerator pedal for 5 years in a 40 year career lifespan doesn't seem very much, in today's world pursuing career aspirations also means achieving your goals as fast as possible.

For many people, their career aspirations include achieving certain targets by certain deadlines (be a millionaire by 40, for example). The child-raising years is exactly the period when their careers require the most devotion, so as to achieve their goals by the pre-set deadline.

This deadline is unfortunately not arbitrarily determined. The definition of success is partially determined by social norms, and we become sub-consciously indoctrinated so as to conform to it. Besides, success is also a relative thing. While we have 40 years to reach where we want to be, it sucks when your peers took half the time you did to get there, and is driving a BMW while you're stuck with a Toyota.

We can be zen about it and say there are more important things in life than that. But we've been indoctrinated from young to be competitive, to do better than the person next to you. It takes a real paradigm shift to say, "You may be richer, but it's ok."

Jimmy Mun said...

As a father of an infant and a toddler, I agree it is stupid to postpone to the future the only time I can spend with my children, while they are still cute little babies.

But I feel Mr Wang does not grasp the issues the average Singaporean couple faces.

1) Income level. Mr Wang's pay is at least well over 10k a month, well more than an average Singaporean couples' combined pay. If I earn somewhere in the ballpark, I am going to have problems making my wife work. In fact, among her friends who are moms, those with high income husbands are all SAHM. OTOH, many Singaporean couples will plunge into financial hardship with a few percent pay cut. It doesnt help that the government is very committed in keeping the wages of average Singaporeans suppressed in the foreseeable years if not decades with the flood of foreign labour.

2) Career momentum. There are a lot of job opportunities that are available only for the very young. Take sports for example. You peak at 25 and retire at 30. For many jobs, if you fail to shine when you are young, you will fall off the radar. You will never be groomed to go into top management. For certain jobs, the social network you have must be continually nurtured. For some sales job, the plum territory you cover will never come back again if you give it up -- I have an ex-colleague who was forced to give up fat commission yielding territories to cover literally dry deserts after just a short maternity break. With the Singapore government looking the other way, women and sometimes even men, get shafted by their employers all the time.

3) Dearth of quality middle income jobs. While I believe the current employment problems of Singaporeans over the age of 40 is partly due to the population bulge in the baby boomer bracket, it is wishful thinking to assume everybody can work well pass 62. There are plenty of exceptions in the extremes. Plenty of seniors working, either at the top of the food chain as senior management, or at the bottom working as cleaners. But there is a dearth of established jobs in the middle, where most of us will end up. Even for the same wage, I seriously doubt any company will want to hire a senior over a teenager for a temp or intern job, for example. The potential for future development is simply not there, and there will be a severe penalty to compensate.

And, ironically, seniors are patient enough to be served by teenagers, good luck to the service industries who try to employ seniors to serve teenagers.

4) Wealth compounding. The early you have money to save, the early you can invest them. And as the returns compound, the difference 4-5 years of missing income can be whopping. You want to be provide the children's college needs, wont you? The Singapore government would rather throw money at foreign talents and sinking foreign banks than give Singaporeans a life line, we can forget about the government helping with our children's education needs.

5) Ego. As your peers gallop away with wealth accumulation, can you handle falling behind? Can your children, envious of their friend's lavish lifestyle, refrain from hating you for being so incompetent? Of course, I am not talking about someone raking in big bucks like Mr Wang.

For most people, slowing down is not an option, because everyone else continues to run. While our parents were competing with other single income families, competing with double income families is the norm now. The cost of scarce resources like childcare facilities and education opportunities will always be bid up to the level comfortable only for the double income families.

While there is little doubt that our generation will probably need to work till we die, there is little evidence to show that there will be jobs available. We could very well be collecting drink cans to stay alive.

Which reminds me. If you plan to migrate, you cannot afford to wait either.

Anonymous said...

a few things to share, imho:-

1. overall world and society environment pose more complex challenges for children and adults alike nowadays, so it helps to hv more parenting presence. remote control is more difficult.

2. not everyone can do it, so it must be done with 'eyes open'; at least the effort counts.

3. do not be saddled with a heavy mortgage to start with.

4. success in life is how well the children have been brought up. by that i do not mean, from start to finish, the kids are angels, A graders all the way that kind of thing. in other words, even with career and material success, the children are still 'messed up' into their young adulthood, then there is no success and there will be more problems down the road.

Anonymous said...

Very right in terms of putting into perspective life's priorities. I suppose what people fear is dicrimination when they want to re-enter the workforce after having taken a couple of years off to care for their kids. And then finding out that their preferred jobs are going to younger or more experienced ones. These people just aren't that willing to start from the lower rungs all over again.

family man said...

I think the govt is seriously on the wrong track. Please consider the following :
1) Taiwan is considering removing National Service for its citizens under the new premier. That would be a one big incentive for people with sons not to migrate and boost local population.
2) I came from a holiday in turkey. Over there university education is FREE. Why can't we, a first world nation provide free education to all her children and develop them to the best potential. All this talk of 'targetted help' is just BS - we have billions invested in water dams at Marina south, what is wrong with this govt where such monies are pisplaced?
3) Free insurance for all kids. Again Govt holds out much incentives for people to have children. And all babies will be automatically insured, but the parents need to pay with their CPF. But if your kid is born with congenital illness, sorry, friend, no insuarance and you are all on your own. My view, no body wants to purposefully give birth to a 'defective' child and be a burden to the government, but you get the train of thoughts that our PAP govt has - good baby, good economic digit, good citizen. Defective baby, it has nothing to do with the govt and you are out on your own.
Govt with its billions should pay and insure all children.
Imagine, if a Ganga and Jamuna were in our midst - our citizens will be moved to donate too, but i think our govt should recognise its role in wanting more babes and footing the bill as well.
4) Compulsory subsidised kindergarten fees. All kids should also have compulsory kindergarten schooling, as least up to PAP fees level. How many people complain about the exhorbitant pre school fees? $50 at least, compared to $4 in primary school? Why this big difference?
Many more things that PAP can do.
And this kiam siap (stingy) govt will roll out these goodies only to 'new babies' born 9 months after the pro-baby announcement on his National Day speech, again showing how insincere they are to the citizens at large....really calculative govt, breeding a similarly calculative kiasu collective citizens mentality, which again drives other citizens to give up their citizenship...sigh.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"But I feel Mr Wang does not grasp the issues the average Singaporean couple faces."

Well, Jimmy, you already know my Big Secret method for solving issues in my life.

I shared it with you quite some time ago and it's up to you to believe it or not. As the old song from Queen goes, "It's a kind of maaaagic ....!". :P

CK said...

"I think 40 years of working may not be enough to retire on. Best to work till the very last day in case we get a huge medical bill."

If you get a huge medical bill at the end stage of your life, isn't it better to spend the money to enjoy yourself and then die, rather then spend the money to treat yourself and then live the rest of whatever years you have left penniless. In Singapore that can be a fate worse than death.

I used to be a nurse. I asked every dying patient one question: "What were their regrets in life?" All of them said not taking the time to smell the roses. None of them ever said they regretted not spending more time to work harder.

Because even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat.

And then you die.

Anonymous said...

No offence Mr Wang but the only way you will know what the ordinary couples are facing is if eg u run for office and face powerful forces AGAINST you for possibly the first time in your perfect life.

However I come with begging bowl in hand.

Can Mrs Wang setup a blog to help other mothers to find meaningful\viable part-time work?


Anonymous said...

For those who are in the middle class segment, one can make your financial choice. To live simply on a smaller income, drop out of the career rat race temporarily, and take the time to become a parent., spend time with your kids in their formative years.

Alternatively you can choose to live a high life, be the envy of your friends, compete in material possessions, send your kids to expensive enrichment classes and kindergartens but have very little time to spend with them in their formative years, working hard to earn money to give your kids the ‘best’ education so that they can stay competitive.

It’s not an easy choice, but educated women can make the choice. I know the dilemma as I finally choose to focus on having a family after devoting the best of my youth to the pursuit of a career. There is never a good time to take a career break, and I run the risk of not getting back into the workforce earning the pay which I used to. It is a choice that I want to make and financial sacrifices have to be made

It is human nature to envy those with a nice BMW, condo etc when you can't afford.. But imagine the number of Singaporeans who are highly leveraged so that they can enjoy the high life and is the envy of their friends/colleagues and have made the choice to the slave to their career choice because of the financial decisions they choose to make. Is this the example you want to set for your kids?
Is the key to happiness owning material possessions, being richer than your neighbor?

Many Singaporeans have given their best years to their career/job/corporation. The irony is that when it is time for the corporation to downsize, those who have given their best years will be asked to go as if they have not managed to reached a senior mgmt level with decision making powers and have become expensive compared to foreign talent over the years.

Anonymous said...

unfortunately, i feel for the average singaporean woman, the 5 year break will likely end up as a nail in the career coffin.
I have no doubts that Mrs Wong is well qualified and educated to the extent that she is able to work with with a part time program. The same cannot be said for the rest of the average plebeians. One need to only see the typically "hard to find meaningful employment group" of 40-50 years old to see the impact of what a 5 year break can cause. Why would any SME owner want to employ a woman who has been out of the rat race for 5 years with the expectation that her first priority for her time is her family and children when there are available better alternative like FTs and migrant workers who are, in the parlance of of a particular idiot "have higher hungriness index", are willing to work for a lower pay?

Anonymous said...

Singapore exemplifies the case of people running to stand still.

Anonymous said...

When I quit my teaching job after the birth of my firstborn, my ex-colleagues lauded me for sacrificing my career for my child. After 4 1/2 years at home and another kid, I think it was my ex-colleagues who had made sacrifice- their kids.

I do agree that in Singapore, it is uncommon and challenging to take time off work to look after kids because of social norms and mindset. However, it is still one's choice.

I disagree with some of the comments that it is mostly wealthy parents who can afford having one parent stay at home. Whether you can afford to do that has to do with how much you desire to have materially. If keeping up with the Jones is paramount, then you can't afford time out from the rat race. However if you decide that time with your kids is priceless, then you will be able to "afford" the lost income.

Anonymous said...

Both my wife and I love kids and wife has been SAHM for more than 5 yrs. She is a graduate and is definitely in the higher income range.

However, the bliss of kid (we are blessed with one) and child raising is something $ cannot buy. We may not be staying in Condo, going for long holidays, resturant dinner, however, we do enjoy the simpler side of life (simple dinner at home, watching TV, playing with kid).

IMHO, it is all about the wants and what are your priorities in life.


Mockingbird said...

It's so nice to be able to retire from work at around 55 to 60 years old. But how many Singaporeans can actually afford to do that?

Average salaried workers who make around $2k or less per month probably have no choice but to work until their dying day.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang

Regarding babies, there is this Harpoon guy who more or less sums it up. Perhaps better than you have.

To suggest the dismal baby births can be arrested or even reversed by “more education, day care centers, monetary incentives, parental holidays and medical provisions without first addressing the root cause: fear brought forth by an age of uncertainty is to miss the point entirely.

The cost of living in fear is huge, people don’t start businesses, they don’t speak out, preferring to tow the line, they look down when others challenge them, they don’t make eye contact preferring to avoid conflict. Above all is it such a wonder when people fear as they often do – they don’t make babies.

To quote Thoreau:

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Like Batman, you have no fear. You are always optimistic. good for you. Ok. I guess you aren't going to be the messiah. But perhaps you can help by getting Mrs Wang to dish out practical advice? Seriously, that would really really help your readers.


Anonymous said...

Of course Mr Wang, what is 1 bad score when you have 7 A1s.

BTW, do you know how it feels like to live from hand-to-mouth?

Of course no!

What a stupid question to ask when we can only 'D'ce.

Anonymous said...

How Many Years of Your Life Must You Work till?

a. 65
b. 75
c. 85
d. 95

So you see, nanny does give you a choice after all.

veii said...

I think people who do not work when they are still able to i.e. when they are older - could actually be less happy than the senior citizen who is engaged in a job that is creative, challenging but at the same time not too stressful. Many of us will likely be fairly fit 60 year olds who need to stay active in all respects. Total retirement may not be all that fun even if you can afford it.

Anonymous said...

The past few posts seem to have a theme.. focus on what is important - family or money/career.
So basically we cant have both - well, most of us minions.
Perhaps there are some among us who have our priorities wrong. We spend unnecessarily on material things instead of staying at home, taking that pay cut and taking care of the kids.
But what I see around me (friends/family) are regular people trying to have a decent lifestyle. Nothing frivalous, just trying to save up for kids future, paying for daily expenses. You can preach all you want but you really have to understand why some couples chose to work. It is possible for one parent to stay at home if the other has a high income. They will not have an extravagant lifestyle but it is do-able. For regular folks, its quite impossible without a drastic lifestyle change.
In my household, we've got aged parents to take care of. And since both husband and I dont come from large families, the expenses cant be split very much.
My sibling chose to stay at home to care for her 2 kids. Guess who is picking up the tab for our parent's medical bills? Medisave and all that crap is a joke once you've got a parent with cancer. My point is this - there are so many factors involved as to why people dont take time off from career to stay at home with the kids. I wish I could and one day I hope to but not now.

Anonymous said...

@ mr wang

I think Jimmy did bring up several relevant points, and yet your response was

Well, Jimmy, you already know my Big Secret method for solving issues in my life.

I shared it with you quite some time ago and it's up to you to believe it or not. As the old song from Queen goes, "It's a kind of maaaagic ....!". :P

Care to elaborate on what your "big secret" is?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Oh, the "big secret" is very simple, or very hard, depending on how you look at it.

It is the deliberate alteration of your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes such that the reality you perceive is altered into a more favourable and pleasing form.

(And note: the only reality you have ever had is the one you perceived).

Of course there are practical limits to this approach - chiefly, they are the limits to your ability to alter your thoughts. But perhaps it is easier for me to illustrate with an actual example. Earlier, a reader commented as follows:

"The definition of success is partially determined by social norms, and we become sub-consciously indoctrinated so as to conform to it. Besides, success is also a relative thing. While we have 40 years to reach where we want to be, it sucks when your peers took half the time you did to get there, and is driving a BMW while you're stuck with a Toyota.

We can be zen about it and say there are more important things in life than that. But we've been indoctrinated from young to be competitive, to do better than the person next to you. It takes a real paradigm shift to say, "You may be richer, but it's ok.""

You see, the reader has correctly pointed out that the problem lies in the person's own head - notice words like "sub-consciously indoctrinated"; "indoctrinated from young"; "it takes a real paradigm shift" etc.

But paradigm shifts etc are not that difficult to achieve, if you do the kinds of things that I do. Meditation, creative visualisation, self-hypnosis etc etc.

Anonymous said...

it's just determination .. if u want it back enuf.

Think of those days of poverty when parents or grandparents had to simply work hard to put food on the table. My father did it, my mother-in-law did it.

It has to be better than 'quiet desperation' or 'learned helplessness'. If it's like this, then how about 'Do also die, dun do sure die' therefore might as well try to do and keep trying, right?

btw, for a stay home mom or even dad, and without a maid, let's just not romanticize the idea - it's hard work.

Anonymous said...

Strip away the hocus pocus ... 3 words. Faith (God). Goal. Focus.

(Otherwise the Christians/Muslims/Jewish readers cannot follow your advice. How can u be so selfish!)

Cool. But Mr Wang, I am not interested in BMW. U should know. In your world BMWs are no different from Kia. Besides, my colleague drives a Maserati and my boss lives on landed property in Bukit timah.

I only want to know how I can meditate the singapore education system into something like the Finnish one.

Maybe visualizing inflation-linked SGD bonds into existence would be nice too.

Or recommend some non-religious meditation books\classes for children under 12? Can you help?


Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...


Well, personally I am not a big fan of determination. I prefer Yoda's approach: "Do, or do not do. There is no `try'."

Determination implies the existence of an obstacle. However, if you succeed in altering your perceptions, say, such that you perceive that all obstacles as opportunities ... well, then there is no need for determination.

Or you could alter your perception such that you see the obstacle as fun. For example, determination is often said to be important for endeavours such as, say, studies or sports. Yet if you thoroughly enjoyed your studies or your game, then it really takes no determination for you to happily sit down to study, or to go play your sport.

These are just two examples. In fact, minds can be altered in an infinite number of different ways.

YOUR mind is being altered every day, by what you see people do; what you hear people say; what you watch on TV; what you read. Your mind has been altered by personal experiences dating all the way back to your early childhood.

The problem is that in general, people do not understand how their minds work. Essentially they unconsciously absorb from their environment, and what they absorb may be good or bad; helpful or unhelpful.

And they fall into the grand illusion - they think that they are "here", and there is a separate external reality out "there" ... without realising that that external reality is completely MEANINGLESS, except for the meanings that they have attached to it themselves.

And the process of attaching meanings to all the different aspects of your reality is, of course, simply your mind at work. It's your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, brain synapses firing etc. Unfortunately the process is largely unconscious, which in turn means that without even knowing it, you will often be automatically attaching meanings to your life situation that are unhelpful, non-constructive, difficult or unnecessarily painful.

Now with the mind techniques, you can deliberately alter the ways you think. You can consciously guide your mind in directions that create a more pleasing reality for yourself. Chances are that you won't become a Jesus or Buddha overnight - but certainly for just about everyone, it is possible to improve your life situation quite significantly, by working directly on your thought processes.

The more direct methods include meditation; self-hypnosis; prayer; and neuro-linguistics programming.

There are less-direct methods too, you probably use some of them without knowing that you are using them.

Anonymous said...

tx, push-pull approaches. i dun to beg to differ, totally agree :)

Anonymous said...

Actually it is because of the NS policy. They were given a head start over their male peers that made them think that they can achieve more.Well The cake is a lie (Bosses do mind maternity leave (just like NS reservist ICT ,who cares if you are training to protect my SME assets or who can leave anytime MNC)in a country that is pro business but lost money in major investment using Concentrated People Fun).
That's why one would notice 2 trend here ,Well most part of the world too, but mainly here.
1:- Lower educated ladies(yes the main one being you know which import group and yes the ProPAPganda can find the rare example where she is Permanent Head damage one) get married more easily.
2:- They get married easier during or just after University(hence for some the regrets of making the wrong choice machiam bet wrong horse) aka The idealist period. Therefore the period where ideal is not realized or broken/"OMG thy want to De vorce the uncompetitive guy who cannot live up to thy (reasonable???) expectations of him becoming a millionaire minister,etc" But to be fair not everyone is born with a silver spoon and run some KKK hospital and stuff, or own a opaque company that lost a lot of money due to unlimited funds.
And I haven't scratch the surface of the imported wife importing her whole Clan here divorce the "useless after getting Citizenship" husband who is usually less educated. But some thing are left unsaid as people need to work overtime to support the elite bum system.kdoux

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"Or recommend some non-religious meditation books\classes for children under 12?"

Kinokuniya at Bugis has a meditation book written by a few Australian children, for children in general.

Just saw it two weeks ago, I forgot the title, as I only took a quick look. Very bright and cheerful.

I think their approach tends towards pathworking. Google, if you want to know more about what "pathworking" is.

Anonymous said...

George says:

Mr Wang,

You would be surprised to know that the first 5 years, isn't the only time a couple need to be on full time with their children.

Let me assure you that when your child starts schooling, the challenge to you and your wife would be as demanding -schooling nowadays is unlike those of yesteryears.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

I can certainly see your point, George.

On the other hand, whether you are talking about self-care; play; studies; decisions in life or whatever else,

the parents must gradually, gradually let go over time. And the kids must gradually, gradually learn to become independent.

That's natural, and healthy. At the very first stage, when the child is a baby, he depends entirely on you to feed him; wash him; change his clothes; carry him around etc.

As he grows older, you gradually let him do more and more things on his own ... first he stands on his own; then he walks on his own; later he runs on his own.

First you brush his teeth; then you help him brush his teeth, and finally he must brush his own teeth.

And eventually he must learn to do everything on his own, like decide how to live his own adult life.

This, as I said, is a natural progression. It makes sense to me that the younger the kid is, the more time the parents should spend with the kid. The older the kid is, the less time the parents would need to spend with him.

If a kid is sixteen years old and Mummy still feels that she can't go to work because she's needed at home to look after the kid, then something is likely to have gone wrong somewhere. It could be an overly-clingy parent; or it could be a juvenile delinquent, whatever.

Anonymous said...

George says:

Mr Wang,

Sure, theoretically.

All the best! ;)

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, found a funny take if you are free to read.!26F399664A850E81!622.entry

Anonymous said...

No lah Mr Wang. It is the conservative values of the Society at fault. When you can have sex only after marriage, you cannot explore if you are compatible in that area. Then, you have to make sure you don't hold hands in the first 5 dates. And you cannot sit too close or kiss in the first month.

No no no, it's the size of our country. Because if you do something and one person sees it, you sure ganna TOTO and whole world knows it soon because this person know someone who knows you.

Mr Wang, what age is this that having babies needs a marriage cert?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang, You don't have to publish this. Just FYI, I think you've been satired.

Extracted from Talking Cock:
Meanwhile Singapore netizens hope the spat between Xiasuay and Yawn will be resolved soon and in a more constructive manner.

“Lawsuits this kind of thing is not so good,” said blogger Mr. Wank. “I’d really like to see them settle this over a game or something. Like, oh, strip poker.”

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it is not over-clingy parents, but rather the responsibility of parents to make sure that difficult teens, between 13 to 16 years, and especially those seeking too much independence, are not led astray because at that age they create the most problems for parents. Teens of that age are the most difficult to understand and manage. Those who have gone through that stage as parents will know. Blessed are those whose kids grow up without problems.

Yes, natural progression would be and should be the ideal approach to raising a child.

As George says: sure, theoratically. I think George has gone through that stage

Anonymous said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

However, My God is a jealous God and does not approve of pagan practices like pathworking.

You know, with your mensa IQ and networking skills, you could ditch zen for dancing *au naturel* in the moonlight and still be as successful.

Just a thought. think of what it could do to birthrates if it catches on :-p

PS: these days kids becomes difficult as early as 9 or 10.


Anonymous said...

Took 2 years out from high-flying career for cancer treatment at 30 years old. Now in heavy debt and getting many slaps on the face just trying to get back some kind of career.

Asked to consider something less competitive (aka deadend uninteresting job) and to work on a contract with no benefits and no future. And if possible, can doctor guarantee that I wouldn't fall sick again?

Still no promise of a job.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, I have always been reading your blog, because i think you sometimes have a certain insights that many people (like me) don't see, until it appears on your blog.

But i kinda don't agree with your scope about 40 years of working and taking 5 years off.

To get married, we usually have to be financially stable first. ie we work 5 years. so I would have been 27 by then. After we get married, say we spend 2 years alone, and plan to have kid or kids by 30, which is rather fair.

by the time the baby comes out, i will be 30 touching 31. I take 6 years off (until the kid reaches primary 1) I would be 36 or 37.

Fair enough, i will still have another 23 to 24 years to work.

But if i am an employer, i would be thinking:-

1) this woman has been out for 5 to 6 years. does she really still understand the market?

2) she is 36 years old. maybe it might be cheaper for me to hire younger ones and train them up.

Unfortunately it is a undisputed fact that women (or men) who takes time of work, will be penalised.

Unfortunately it is a undisputed fact that women (or man) who reaches the mid or late 30s and still not in a managerial position will not have a bargaining power anymore...

Not to mention the wellknown fact that people reaching the mid to late 30s, if they are not in a managerial position, the likelihood of them getting retrench int he next down turn is extremely high.

I believe that as human, the right to have kids as part of our lives, or the right to have kids over work, is really what we are comfortable with. Once decided, everything else is just an excuse. I am not going to have kids, because govt gives me 3k more... of a 30k tax rebate... or a 12 months leave....

my 2 cents worth

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

So you will be "penalised". And you will "fall behind" .... who?

Whoever. You will have another 22 or 23 years to catch up with that imaginary person in your mind whom you think you need to catch up with. And isn't 22 or 23 years quite enough?

Anyway, if you prize your career so much, then don't have kids. As a matter of fact, don't have any irrelevant hobbies, don't take a holiday, don't waste time on any activity not related to your career. Devote yourself 100% to your career.

Who knows? If you really have a passion for your job, that could be the optimal route for your life.

But it will be sad to devote 40 years of your life to something that you don't love. 40 years later, you wonder where all the time went and why there were so many other experiences you never had.


If I may offer another way to look at it. If you choose:

(1) not to have kids, for the sake of your career; OR

(2) to have kids, but to spend little time with them, for the sake of your career,

then you have also been penalised. You have been penalised by your career.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"However, My God is a jealous God and does not approve of pagan practices like pathworking."

Actually, IMO, your God is complete unto itself. It is everywhere, all-knowing, all-powerful, omniscient, the alpha and the omega ...

... and therefore it cannot be jealous. One can only be jealous if there is lack, and when you are everything, there can be no lack.

Your God does not even want anything from you. That which is all-encompassing, omniscient, everywhere, simply cannot want anything. It already is everything.

What you are, is separated. You too are God, but simply separated and unaware of your true nature. More precisely you are under an illusion of separation, but it is a very powerful illusion. A few of us break through the illusion occasionally and sporadically, and a much, much smaller number break through the illusion permanently (eg Buddha and Jesus). But the vast majority of the human race are almost permanently bound in it.

In Christianity, the separation begins with Adam and Eve being cast out of a metaphorical Eden, after eating from the tree of knowledge. In Buddhism, the separation - the perception of self as separate from everything else - is referred to as an illusion. Since God is in everything, therefore it follows that the perception of self as separate from everything else is, in effect, a perception from self from God. And that is the fall from grace.

In the Christian version, the fall from grace commences with eating from the tree of knowledge. What is knowledge? How does it arise? There is a heavy price. For knowledge to arise, there must be an observer, and a thing observed. By observing, you gain knowledge. However, the necessity of an observer leads to separation. And there's your "cast out from Eden" problem again.

Knowledge is expressed in words. There is a voice in your head. It speaks, it uses words. Most likely you regard that voice in your head as "you". It's not. It's a storyteller, and you generally have little control over it. The untrained person is simply a puppet of his own mind. All day long, as he goes from one place to another place and does different things, the voice natters on and on in his head, telling its stories, expressing opinions, views, judgments, attitudes, descriptions, assessments. This voice creates the person's personal "reality". Or more precisely, his "illusion".

In meditation, one of the first steps the meditator takes is to understand that that "voice" is not him. The meditator will watch his own thoughts. He will sit still, be silent, and observe each thought in his mind as it arises from the depths of consciousness. That is all. But it is a key beginning. Through this, he experiences that his thoughts are NOT him. The thoughts are merely the storyteller at work. Realising this, not intellectually but experientially, is of vital importance. From that point, you have the potential to reshape your own reality and tell your own story ...

And before I scare off all my readers, I shall simply have to stop here, haha. ;)

Anonymous said...

Really ... when can we hear from Mrs Wang?

(A little joke below)

一鳴驚人,一瀉千里,真的是一夕纏綿,一夜風流是也! "
唉!真是一場春夢,一事無成! "


CK said...

Now, don't hang on
nothing lasts forever
but the earth and sky
it slips away
And all your money
won't another minute buy

You can't save people if they're not willing to be saved, Mr Wang.

Anonymous said...

Christians meditate too but on the grace of God instead of attempting to play God.

Religion is a *touchy* subject. Esp the part about "Adam & Eve" Shared by several major religions. I dun want u to lose any readers. :-p


Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

What is there to say about Mrs Wang?

Mrs Wang has worked in several different jobs and places. In each place that she went to, there had been no such thing as "part-time job" or "flexible working arrangements" for working mothers.

Yet every time that Mrs Wang wants flexible working arrangements, she has managed to get them.

See this post that I wrote last year:

Getting Women Back in the Workforce"

In that post, I had said that Mrs Wang was on part-time working arrangements. Her arrangement then was that she could work 1 day from home.

This year (she is still with the same employer) her arrangement is as I have mentioned in my current post - she works three days a week, and for each of those three days, she can work half a day at home. Thus she can be in office for no more than 1.5 days per week.

Guess what? Her pay cut was only $30, compared to last year.

The other cutbacks:

(1) she has no more paid annual leave (but who needs leave when you only need to go to office for 1.5 days per week); and

(2) she has no more medical benefits (but she doesn't need this either, since MY employer's medical benefits cover my entire family).

How does Mrs Wang get what she wants?

The "rational" answer is that Mrs Wang is highly effective (she really is). When she wants to move quickly, she really moves quickly, and in 1.5 days in the office she can do almost as much as the average employee working 5 days.

The REAL answer is what I have already alluded to. Mrs Wang is quite skilled in the mind techniques too. In fact, she meditates herself to sleep every night. I myself am not that disciplined.

By adjusting your thoughts and mind appropriately, you always maximise your chances of getting what you want.

Mrs Wang adjusted her mind so that she believed that she could still perform very well, despite her shorter working schedule. Since Mrs Wang believed it completely, her boss believed it too. And since Mrs Wang believed it completely, indeed she can do it, and her personal productivity has multipled to compensate from her time away from office.

In fact, click on the above link and read my earlier post, and you'll see that even then, I had alluded to the way thought affects reality.

As for all of you ...

If you insist on believing that you will be penalised for doing X, then you will indeed be penalised for doing X.

If you insist on believing that if you don't reach a managerial position by a certain age, you won't have any more bargaining power, then this will be true for you, for at that age, if you are not a manager, you will subconsciously behave in a way such that no one will treat you as if you had any bargaining power.

If you strongly believe that you are in a dead-end, uninteresting job with no future, then your job will transform into a dead-end, uninteresting job with no future; for you are unable to see it in any other way, even if interesting opportunities were right in front of your face at work.

If you believe that your God is a jealous God, then your God will behave jealously as far as your reality is concerned.

If you believe that your teenage children will give you trouble because they are teenagers, then indeed they will tend to give you teenager types of trouble. For subconsciously they SENSE what you expect them to be like, and THEREFORE they will behave that way, and YOU will be inclined to perceive them that way.

..... Now, let me tell you all something about Jimmy Mun, who commented earlier (hope you don't mind, Jimmy). Since he was the one who first provoked me into talking about this mind stuff, in this post.

Once upon a time, Jimmy was jobless. He was retrenched, and jobless, for a long time, and he had been looking hard for a long time, without success. He was really feeling very sad. He was depressed. The poor man was broke.

And very briefly, I introduced Jimmy to mind-altering techniques. I did a little mind thing for him, and he did a little mind thing for himself ... and in my own subtle way, I influenced him to believe "It is possible, it is possible ...", and I said, "It will happen very, very soon, Jimmy"

and then SUDDENLY some odd coincidences happened, and a potential employer who had ALREADY rejected him suddenly offered him a job. A very good one!

(I hope my recollection is accurate, Jimmy, feel free to correct the details).

And of course most of you will dismiss this as a mere coincidence. I expect most of you to dismiss this as a mere coincidence, THEREFORE most of you will. ;)

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Not that relevant, but I thought I would share this with you. It's quite interesting.

It is an incident that happened earlier this year, and was widely reported internationally. It is particularly compelling because it was very well-recorded, very well-documented, and took place under quite clinical conditions - in fact, in a hospital, in the presence of doctors and nurses.

This man used a 30-second mind technique to alter his thoughts, to not feel pain.

He then underwent hand surgery which lasted 83 minutes. During this time, surgeons cut open the flesh of his palm and sawed off a piece of bone in his hand. A hammer and a chisel was also used.

This man was conscious all the time. He was given no anaesthetia or painkiller of any kind.

And he ... simply ... did ... not ... feel ... pain


This is just one example of the many weird & wonderful things that can happen, when you learn to tweak your own mind from deep inside.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mr Wang

Your genes + SAHM Mrs Wang + her genes + best education $$$ can buy = your kids will have no problem in whatever education system.

but for the average parent(s),it is very different. and parents are hardly the sole influence in teenagers' life. Or pre-teens.

Anyway, meditation obviously has its benefits (Christians and Muslims do it too!). But there are subtle differences.

There are also many Christians who found a lease of new life, overcome cancer through prayer and belief too. Who is to say that Jimmy would not have found a decent job had he been praying to the Christian God (if he had converted - volumes of such articles have been written about such experiences).

Not saying that you did not help (to Jimmy it must have been priceless) but "My God is better than your God" type of discussion makes me uncomfortable and in this case downplaying Jimmy's own efforts.

Re "Jealous", I am not sure why you are mis-interpreting the meaning. You are well aware of the Christian belief in ONE God.

There are also Christian monks who have displayed incredible feats of endurance and the other way to look at it is to marvel at God's creations (and give praise. Amen!).

Peace :-)

It was funny what CK said. Mr Wang ... Investment Banker\Lawyer to New Age Messiah.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang, what mind techniques are you talking about? NLP? I am intrigued.


Jimmy Mun said...

Apologies for not keeping up. I had a tough exam to take today.

I dont think I practised Mr Wang's suggestion very hard...not directly anyway. Rather, I was convinced that he was the one trying to bend reality for me...somehow that's easier for me to digest.

Of course, it is very easy to explain away as a coincidence, as most IT workers will agree that we are somewhat in a mini dotcom boom 2.0 and the financial mess has yet to bite us. I seriously believed I was hired because my employer was bottom scraping desperate, I do realise now what a unique blend I am as a bilingual techie in a very niche field. (It's one thing to speak Mandarin, OTOH, it's amazingly hard to translate English technical info, often realtime in my head, to customers in China. In fact, my PRC colleagues often have to prep their countrymen to how weak I am in the language, despite my SAP background)

Knowing what now know, I strongly agree that the mind plays a big role in one's fortune. Mine anyway. The job opportunities were always there, and while I wont describe myself as depressed (save me some face lah), I had a lot of mental hangups that kept me from reaching out and see the opportunities exist. In essence, I willed the jobs out of my perceptible world.

Getting back on topic, I do boast of having been a stay at home dad for a prolonged period, albeit involuntarily. And while I still think I'd rather be working than staying at home, I feel a marked difference in my relationship with my elder son, whom I spent a lot of time with, compared to my younger son, whom I hardly spend time with, since he arrived after I started work.

And my wife just ended her second round of multi month no pay leave to rejoin the workforce thanks to a very understanding employer (MOE), so as far as officially taking time off, the Muns have done much more than, say, the Wangs...maybe.

And when my wife was nagging me to buy a car, I did suggest to her that she can be SAHM instead. She picked the car, so here we are, shackled to our jobs, by our own choosing.

BTW, Mr Wang, apologies for not replying, but I was voting for you at home AND at work initially, but I burnt out soon after. :P

Anonymous said...

I think you will like this book.

But I like to think that I am not a calafare in your dream :-)

Happy holidays.


Ser Ming said...


Your mind-altering techniques do work. I often tell people nowadays that:
You live in the reality that you believe
However, the problem that I discover is that often our subconscious thoughts would have influence our individual realitis easily.
A conscious effort to alter that is possible, however I find it not easily achieved. As it is very much attributed by the individual's emotion, mental state, etc.

Anonymous said...

Mind altering techniques opens up the mind to possibilities. Change reality?

Even Mr Wang cant change, eg TOTO result. (Maybe he is just not telling)

Consider his fren Mr Mun who is from a SAP school(potential in top 20%, with valuable network of contacts), married with young kids (unlikely to look like the guy from Notre Dame, cant be too many years past 40).

Yet, Mr Mun was so afraid that it closed his mind until Mr Wang stepped in. Remember this guy is top 20% potential. And we wonder why the general pop is afraid to have kids?

Ok, maybe Mr Wang can change reality one at a time. Well, he is going to be real busy cos much of the bottom 80% could use his help. :-)

Side track a little. Dun you think that bottom 80% sounds a bit strange? A average car thats going to shackle down the Muns for the next 5 to 10 years would barely threaten eg Mr Wang's bonus. Is Mr Wang so much better than Mr Mun? Not saying its anything wrong but seriously our great leap forward is going to create a real big gap between the winners and losers and redefine the meaning of gini. And Mr Wang is probably still at middle mgt. Now imagine hows its like for say the top 1%.

Mr Wang ganbatte!
pls dun forget us when u have reached the top.


Anonymous said...

Ah you see Mr Wang, that's where choosing where you are makes a big difference.

The long winding road packed with flowers and helping hands allows you to enjoy your leisure of take a side path once in a while, or sitting on the garden chair for a socialising chat.

But ours is one packed with gantries, and highway taxes. Without continual picking flowers to pay for your journey, you will be relegated to the lowest of the low, no matter how talented you may be. And the gantries and highway taxes keep increasing at exponential rates. Which means, not collecting 1 flower now, will leave you with a gaping 20 flower tax in 5 years' time.

Some times, it's not what it is supposed to be, but how some idiots hijack the system and make you a slave to it.

Then they opt out of it, and run to other places.

I do remember a PAP MP (Augustine or something) has a son who "ran away" to the States or UK without serving NS. And PM Lee (check the hansard) replying to Steve Chia saying he has no idea how many senior civil servants have migrated from Singapore. Statistics which is very telling on how confident the designers of the systems are of it being good and enjoyable to stay in.

Anonymous said...

And PM Lee (check the hansard) replying to Steve Chia saying he has no idea how many senior civil servants have migrated from Singapore.

All he has to do is ask ICA. Unless Minister Cannot Sing screws up and loses records of people leaving our beloved nation and people taking up the red passport.

This shows how sad the real statistics are. Even the PM don't dare to show. As usual, it's what they don't (dare to) tell you that is more critical than what they tell you.

Anonymous said...

Bob says -

Thought-provoking article. Check this out from the Guardian:-

Anonymous said...

Clearly the issue of whether to have a baby or not is for quite a number of people a political act. It is an act that responds to a perceived political context. In the same way we can say that apathy is not a mere matter of opting out but a choice, a course of action, in the face of a political and social context. Is it not true that having a baby is more than a matter if conception, it is an awareness and committment to a way of life and a pattern of behaviour that will last at least oh shall we say 15 to 18 years until the child is capable of earning a living and of being independent. And then there is the relationship of the child to the parents now and in the future. How can one plan and conceive of all these in the face of a political and social context that is so destabilizing, so unwilling to put citizens at the centre of its world view? And so we have the next thing: immigration and then conception, birth and future generations? Is the government aware that it has lost its social bearing?

Anonymous said...

Interesting USA (Sharing)

Alabama Judge

Some of you may be wondering what Judge Roy Moore has been doing since he was removed from the bench for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom wall. Please read the poem he wrote.

The following is a poem written by Judge Roy Moore from Alabama .. Judge Moore was sued by the ACLU for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom foyer. He has been stripped of his judgeship and now they are trying to strip his right to practice law in Alabama ! The judge's poem sums it up quite well.

"America the beautiful,
or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride;
I'm glad they'll never see.

Babies piled in dumpsters,
Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty;
your house is on the sand.

Our children wander aimlessly
poisoned by cocaine
choosing to indulge their lusts,
when God has said to abstain

From sea to shining sea,
our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God's love
and a need to always pray

We've kept God in our
temples, how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool,
and Heaven is His throne.

We've voted in a government
that' s rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges;
who throw reason out the door,

Too soft to place a killer
in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby
before he leaves the womb.

You think that God's not
angry,that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait
before His judgment comes?

How are we to face our God,
from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do,
but stem this evil tide?

If we who are His children,
will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face
and mend our evil way:

Then God will hear from Heaven;
and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land
and those who live within.

But, America the Beautiful,
If you don't - then you will see,
A sad but Holy God
withdraw His hand from Thee."

~~Judge Roy Moore ~~

This says it all. May we all forward this message and offer our prayers for Judge Moore to be blessed and for America to wake up and realize what we need to do to keep OUR America the Beautiful.


-ben said...

RE: Judge Roy Moore

Which part of the separation of Church and State do you NOT comprehend?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

(First Amendment to the United States Constitution)


Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet, 512 U.S. 687 (1994)

government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion. (U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice David Hackett Souter)

So, how does former judge Roy Moore sentence witches to death in his courtroom?

Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (King James Version)

You shall not permit a sorceress to live. (New King James Version)

Do not allow a sorceress to live. (New International Version)

You shall not permit a sorceress to live. (English Standard Version)

You must not allow a sorceress to live. (New Living Translation)


If you have enjoyed this post, please pray for good vibrations to come to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (Jars of expired pasta sauce are appreciated too!)

Anonymous said...

O yes, and surely America and those believing what you believe approves of lifetime/hereditary slavery. With preferencial treatment given to male Jews.

Exodus 21:1-4: "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing."

Exodus 21:7 (NAB) "When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go free as male slaves do."

Leviticus 25:44-46 (NAB) "44: "Slaves, male and female, you may indeed possess, provided you buy them from among the neighboring nations.
45: You may also buy them from among the aliens who reside with you and from their children who are born and reared in your land. Such slaves you may own as chattels,
46: and leave to your sons as their hereditary property, making them perpetual slaves."

Now let's talk Singapore and secular society.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang

I am not sure you are enjoying the various posters quoting Bible texts out of context.

Leviticus serves a purpose but please see Jeremiah 31, 31-32.

"Now let's talk Singapore and secular society."


Jon said...

There are those who rise to the "defense" of their religion by
- force (war, crusade, jihad)
- laws (mandated rites, etc)

Essentially a series of "Bow down before my God or eat my stick".

Proponents of the various religions should learn from the saints of the past, who did not preach their religion, but rather, practised their religion.

The erosion of religious affiliation corresponds to a decline in the perceived relevance of such views. No amount of legislation/promotion/marketing will change that. This decline corresponds to the actions of the religious, which has seen a greater emphasis on short-term KPIs such as the number of converts, congregation size, size of building, number of branches.

One is defined by one's actions, not labels.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Thread has deviated too far from the main topic. Comments are closed.