[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

[total defence day]
15 february was total defence day.... and today during our co parade, we were reminded that prevention is better than cure.... which leads me to the point of waiting for things to happen...

Recently lots of bad stuff has been going on. Though the going has been tough for the Government, this series of events has certainly shed more light on what goes on behind the scenes.

Not too long ago, we read about fish tank oxygen motors exploding killing expensive fish which wasn’t that bad.

Then after the spate of Sars, there were some serious safety lapses which were unveiled in microbiology laboratories that conducts research on dangerous viruses. But it was only when a researcher caught the Sars virus did the lapses in our labs’ safety measures come to light.

And recently, the death of an NSman shed some light on unauthorised training methods that were dangerous and could have been used for some time unknown to everyone. Only when a young man died then did Singaporeans have a glimpse of what was going on in the military camps.

Which leads me to an important straight-in-the-face question. Why did these events happen in the first place? Why did we have to wait for such events to happen then react to them? Why weren’t there any preventive measures taken before the fateful event happens?

I know that no one expected these to happen. But there could have been safety checks and inspections inherent to make sure that everything is in order. It would not have cost too much time and effort just to implement these checks too.

I just can't understand why we have to wait for things to happen then we take action. Why do we have to let people get hurt then say sorry? Why didn't we prevent them from happening in the first place? Why live to regret?

Dr Tan Chong Kee, a member of the Remaking Singapore committee said: “We don’t question safety measures because we are not experts in that area. We’re all trained from young not to question but to obey. We assume that if it comes from the authorities it has to be right.”

Are we taking it for granted that life is such a smooth ride? If that is the kind of thinking that we have, I beg to differ. Life is short and anything can happen anytime.

At least we don’t just stand there and point fingers. At least we are taking extra time to review what has happened recently and made decisive steps to put the things that have gone wrong right. Then again, some things can be brought back to life. But at least we are making an effort to learn from our mistakes. And it is this that really matters.


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