Friday, June 22, 2007

Human rights and other issues...

One thing that strucks me when I read the local newspapers or watch the news on tv is the difference in concerns between the British and Singaporeans. Perhaps it is due to the difference in history, size, cultural and size of economy between the two islands (sic).

For one, British are big on human rights and environmental issues. Over here, there's the Council Housing (CH) which is heavily subsidised by the Government for the underpreviledged. Now, the umbrella of underpreviledge covers non-citizen as well as non-PR. So there was some debate as to why CH is made available to non-British whereas some British working class citizens are languishing away. One Member of Parliament (MP) made a passionate plea about non British (most of whom are economic refugees) as humans as well thus should be treated decently. Perhaps we should really treat each other more humanly and not just an economic unit. Oh well...

Another thing that was glaring is that invariably, all construction works, besides having the regular signs of inconvinences' apologies, there will be posters explaining the nature of works going on and why is it necessary. For example, there's this sewage works in front of St. Paul's Cathedral. It gives the background of London's sewage system and a rather light hearted manner and explain what is going on down the surface of the road. Another example in the tube station (their MRT) where the escalator is being repaired. As the one walk down the stairs, one can see the history of tube escalator, the number of passengers it carrys per day and within its lifetime. It's a small touch but such trivias does lighten the inconvenience caused.

Recycling is one big thing here. Perhaps it is so in all major European countries, but I've only been to London so I see it fit to comment on it. All boroughs (their constituencies) are allocated recycle bins. Like Singapore, different waste are allocated to different bins. The only difference is that people here actually use them. Within walking distance to my flat, there are already three sets of bins. Well, somehow I am affected by the locals. Now I see myself shifting through my rubbish and seperate them for proper disposal.

Hmm.... food for thought...

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