I have always believed in the maxim: Rules are made to be broken. To some, this may be a bit of a cliche�!? However, this should not be viewed in a negative fashion. I am not suggesting, for example, either a total disregard for rules, or that there are always loopholes so we just have to accept and live with that. Instead, I think we can regard the situation more positively, i.e. as an incentive for all of us to try understand the same thing in more meaningful ways. Or, in the words of one of my lecturers, “To see new things with an pair of old glasses and see old things with a pair of new glasses”. After all, it is through understanding that we can effectively ‘break’ the rules, and yet be ‘correct’ at the same time, no?

Over lunch today, a thought suddenly came to me. In a politically correct society we all would like to live in, it is dangerous and perhaps illegal to discriminate against someone by race or religion. Surely this is as clear-cut as black and white? Well, maybe not so fast!

In Singapore, though not as multicultural as the government would like to think, the community consists of three dominant races: Indian, Malay and Chinese. Now, each of these sub-communities has its own set of festivals, some of which are mutually exclusive. As I understand, when one group takes the time off, then the other groups tries to cover for the time. However, just imagine if the workforce in the public transport system consists almost entirely of one group or another, and the potential disruption if the public transport system is paralysed because of festivities in one sub-community? Is this sufficient ground for ‘discrimination’ in order to maintain a certain diversity? Food for thought, maybe?

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