Disclaimer : This AQ response (from AJC Prelim 2013) was constructed under timed conditions. It is far from perfect.
Note : I have highlighted (in red) important parts of the AQ body paragraphs which are sensible connections with specific traits of your society.
Lesson / Reminder :
– Do not just describe WHAT you observe in your society or your personal life.
– Explain WHY you think whatever you see takes place
“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice,” America’s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr once said. This is also the view of Peter Jamius which I find true and reflective of my society. However, King continued by saying that when law and order “fail in this purpose they become a dangerously structured dam that block the flow of social progress.” Jamius does not actively consider this opinion, and unfortunately, neither does my society, in specific areas where change and flexibility could make a positive difference.
When Jamius discusses how family rules are so subjective that these can turn into domestic violence, he presents how the long-reaching arm of the law can override the family’s practices and bring justice to the aggrieved victims. My society’s practices corroborate this view. Common laws are necessary in a multi-racial and multi-religious society like Singapore where each cultural group may set differing standards on how to treat others. For example, laws to protect vulnerable women, children and even elderly parents from family violence set the tone with regards to what is permissible and what is unacceptable for such a diverse society as a whole. However, I think that in some specific areas, rules have indeed blocked progress when the justification for the rules is tenuous. Certain seemingly inconsequential school rules, for instance the colour of shoes or hair, or hair styles, actual instill unquestioning conformity. This is potentially detrimental to independent or creative thought in the long run, especially for a country that is trying to be more vibrant and innovative.
Yet, I also empathise with Jamius when he writes about the energy expended to check on sportsmen to ensure rules are adhered to. In my society, I think that organisations and even the civil service have ballooned because of the monitoring that needs to be done. Many problems are associated with the rule-breaking surrounding Singapore’s open immigration policies. Do the workers have the right employment passes ? Are their marriages to locals legitimate or a sham ? Are their credentials authentic ? It is , as Jamius says, ‘a great pity’ that checking and punishing has become another level of unproductive work. However, this is a necessary evil because the attractiveness of working in Singapore leads to many cases of immigrants cheating in order to qualify to work or stay here. This has actually triggered anger among citizens who are quick to point out if their rights as citizens are ever undermined. This could lead to other threats to Singapore’s stability as a whole.
In conclusion, I agree greatly to Jamius’ view that rules are vital for order in society. Yet I would be concerned if rules go unquestioned, as they are in some cases in my society, because of the herd mentality that does not help Singapore’s aim of being competitive and staying again.