One Giant Leap for Singapore

A march was recently organized to promote breastfeeding among Singapore mothers. This is a step forward for Singapore. Despite its modernity, Singapore still observes fairly conservative social values. I applaud the authorities for allowing the march to proceed. It’ll be ironic for the government to openly employ gays in the civil service while denying mothers of their right to breastfeed their babies in public.

In an article on the International Youth Conference for Democracy organized by SDP, 30 teenagers reportedly turned up to listen to opposition voices and aired their opinions.

These 2 seemingly unrelated events have something in common: a group of Singaporeans voicing their views and challenging the status quo. The signals sent out by the government are encouraging. It allowed the march and the conference to be held, a move unlikely to be taken a decade ago.

Remaking Singapore is more than just restructuring our economy or revamping our education system. We need to change our mindset and take a more proactive role in national affairs if we want to survive as a nation.

Breastfeeding in public may not be widely practised as a result of the march; those teenagers who attended the conference will probably not enter politics in the future. But to paraphrase Neil Armstrong’s famous words:

That’s one small step for breastfeeding mothers, one giant leap for Singapore.

28 July 2003 · Politics

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