Download 2009 Issue 2.pdf PDF

Title2009 Issue 2.pdf
File Size457.8 KB
Total Pages79
Document Text Contents
Page 1

message f rom the pr incipal

ksbull volume 2 2009
Raffl es Institution (Junior College)

I hope all of you are familiar with C. S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia which
has been serialised and made into movies. C. S. Lewis was a contemporary of Tolkien author
of Lord of the Rings and both were fellows at Oxford University. Being dons and professors of
Literature and the Classics did not mean that they wrote in highfalutin language and complex
sentences. In fact, what makes Lewis’ novels bestsellers is precisely the simplicity of the
language used and the clarity of his meaning.

Some of you may have come across Lewis’ tips on good writing:

1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure
your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.

2. Always prefer the clean direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises,
but keep them.

3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died”,
don’t say “Mortality rose.”

4. In writing, don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the
things you are describing… instead of telling us the thing is “terrible,” describe it so
that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve
read the description.

5. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”;
otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

Perhaps this advice is worth mulling over as you read through this volume of KS Bull. Enjoy!

Lim Lai Cheng
Principal, Raffles Institution

Page 2

c o n t e n t s
Message From the Principal 1

GP – 2009 JC2 Common Test 1

“Celebrities make the worst role models for today’s youth.” Comment. [Claire Goh, 09A03A] 4

“Celebrities make the worst role models for today’s youth.” Comment. [Zhang Hongchuan, 09S03L] 6

Is investing in the arts ever worthwhile? Discuss the question with reference to your country.
[Lin Tong, 09A03A]

8

“To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to ensure bad government.” (Mark Twain)
Do you agree? [Gan Yu Neng, 09A03A]

10

“To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to ensure bad government.” (Mark Twain)
Do you agree? [Quek Xin Er, 09S06U]

12

“Globalisation makes the world a better place.” To what extent is this true today? [Lee Jia Wei ,09A01A] 14

“Globalisation makes the world a better place.” To what extent is this true today?
[Rishabh Srivastava, 09S06S]

17

Is ambition always to be encouraged? [Ngai Kuo Ying, 09A03A] 19

Should euthanasia be legalised in Singapore? [Anish Kumar Hazra, 09A01B] 21

Should euthanasia be legalised in Singapore? [Wang Zhemin, 09S03L] 23

“More government intervention, not less.” Is this the best way to solve the problems we face in the
world today? [Yong Xin Tian, 09A01C]

25

“Countries have every right to respond with aggression when provoked.” Do you agree?
[Lee Di Wei 09A01C]

27

In your opinion, is your country doing enough to protect the environment? [Wee Zongwen, 09S03E] 29

GP – 2009 JC2 Common Test 2

“Foreign aid is ineffective and wasteful.” Is this true? [Mak Shin Yi, 09A01A] 32

“Foreign aid is ineffective and wasteful.” Is this true? [Teo Ee Nah Vivien, 09SO3M] 34

What is wrong with organ trading? [Klaxton Kok, 09S06T] 36

What is wrong with organ trading? [Rachel Phoa Huiling, 09S03L] 38

‘Popular culture has destroyed the true meaning of love and marriage.’ Do you agree?
[Seow Ai Lin, 09S06K]

40

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”
– Winston Churchill. To what extent do you agree? [Jesulyn Lim, 09S03F]

42

“The book is dead. Long live the Internet.” Discuss. [Brian Soh, 09A01A] 44

“The book is dead. Long live the Internet.” Discuss. [Gan Yu Neng, 09A03A] 46

“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.” Comment.
[Nicole Thio, 09S06W]

48

“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.” Comment.
[Paul Tern, 09S03M]

50

ksbull volume 2 2009
Raffl es Institution (Junior College)

Page 39

ksbull volume 2 2009
Raffl es Institution (Junior College)

39

In addition, organ trading may worsen the inequality in the world as well as increase tensions between
these two groups. It must be taken into account that in reality, the typical buyer would be wealthy while the
typical seller would be mired in poverty. How else would the buyer pay for the organ and why else would
someone be willing to give up a part of his body for money? Thus, this may lead to a situation where a
significant proportion of the poor may be pressured by economic circumstances to sell their organs to
the rich. Ultimately, this could lead to a situation where proportionately more rich people would be able
to receive life-saving organ transplants, increasing resentment among the poor who would not have this
option. Furthermore, in essence, this would seem to imply that the rich are more deserving of life than the
poor, a prospect that is frankly, immoral.

It is proposed by some that a centralised organ trading committee overseen by the government could
eliminate the problems of organ trading and make it viable. This central body would be the sole buyer
and seller of all organs in a country, thus eliminating problems where the rich pressure the poor to sell
their organs. Furthermore, the state would be able to subsidise the poor in need of organ transplants,
thus eliminating the problem where only the rich can afford to buy organs. However, significant problems
remain, such as the issue of appropriate compensation and unseen persuasion from family members or
even personal guilt pressuring the poor to sell their organs.

In conclusion, the basic premise of organ trading of offering monetary compensation in order to increase
the number of available organs for transplant is valid as it saves more lives than if organ trading did
not exist. The main problems are then due to the difficulties in ensuring that organ trading is so carried
out in a fair and egalitarian manner that is free from abuse and exploitation of the poor. In addition, the
most feasible proposed solution currently of a centralised, state-controlled organ trading committee does
not manage to completely eliminate these implementation problems. Thus, although in theory organ
trading is attractive, in reality it is still far from being an appropriate solution to the current problem of long
transplant waiting lists.

Comments:
Valid and sound reasoning. Certain insight and fair knowledge of issues shown. Well-organised,
balanced and fluent. Most key issues addressed.

Page 40

ksbull volume 2 2009
Raffl es Institution (Junior College)

40

gp-2009 JC2 Common Test 2

GP
essay 5

‘Popular culture has destroyed the true meaning of love and marriage.’
Do you agree?
Seow Ai Lin (09S06K)

Traditionally, marriage has been seen as the holy matrimony of a loving couple. However, a cursory glance
at entertainment magazines or tabloids would suggest that the sanctity of this union has been devalued
by the callous attitudes of those in the entertainment industry. Proponents of this view might go further to
conclude that popular culture has eroded the true meaning of love and marriage.

At this point, it is essential for one to take a step back and consider the evolution of attitudes towards love
and marriage. It is evident from societal trends that one simply cannot put all the blame on popular culture.
Indubitably, popular culture has influenced society’s, especially the younger generation’s, perceptions
of love and marriage, but taking into account other factors like modernisation which is coupled with
inevitable shifts in mindsets, it would be a hasty generalisation to insist that popular culture single-handedly
eroded the true meaning of love and marriage, although it has played a major role in this degradation of
matrimonial values.

Firstly, it is necessary for us to evaluate the so-called “true” meaning of love and marriage. A random check
on an online dictionary turns up the following definition of marriage: the legal union between a male and
a female. Some dictionaries even add on that the purpose of the union is to start a family, thus bridging a
close link between marriage and child-bearing. If the true meaning of marriage is to be based on traditional
views of this union, this “true meaning” could very well have been “destroyed” by modernisation. The
Industrial Revolution, which encompassed rapid urbanisation and displacement of traditional intensive
farming methods, has made the notion of a big family with many offspring, a typical agrarian family,
unnecessary in today’s urbanised society. The typical family today is shrinking in size, with some married
couples even deciding not to have children, simply because the need for a family, implied as the purpose
of a marriage in traditional perceptions, is no longer present as it was in the past.

The gradual omission of the notion of child-bearing in the traditional meaning of marriage has also been
mainly spurred on by women’s rights activists and the evolution of lifestyles. In fighting for women’s
emancipation from chauvinistic branding such as that of “child-bearer”, women’s rights activists have also,
whether intentionally or not, instigated a paradigm shift in the meaning of marriage. Traditionally, marriage
was viewed as an institution for the founding of a family, with the man as the breadwinner and the woman
as a “child-bearer” and housewife. However, in today’s modernised societies, this meaning of marriage is
obsolete, although conservative opponents view this as the true meaning of marriage. In fact, the “true”
meaning of marriage varies from era to era and what society observes is not necessarily a destruction
of the “true meaning”, but rather an evolution in the definition of love and marriage to keep up with the
demands and changing lifestyles of a rapidly modernising world.

The “true meaning” of love, like marriage, cannot be easily defined. In the past, many marriages were
decided by parents and were more of tactical moves for economic or social betterment in the sense
of moving up the social hierarchy or to foster business relations. Love was hardly construed as strong
affection for each other and it was of little relevance, if not entirely neglected, in decisions of matrimonial
union. In fact, it is to the credit of the mass media that love became increasingly valued as a deciding
factor in marriage. The passionate feelings and other characteristics of true love such as willingness to
sacrifice for a loved one were all made increasingly popular by Hollywood films, soap operas and drama
serials. The aspect of undying love in romance or marriage is highly sought after today probably due to
its intensive coverage and emphasis in the media. This evolution propagated by the media and popular
culture, which brought the notion of true love from obscurity to a highly sought after emotion, can hardly be
termed a destruction of the true meaning of love.

On the other hand, one has to acknowledge that the nonchalant attitudes of some celebrities towards love
and marriage have tainted the meaning or value of love and marriage. In the popular series “Desperate
Housewives”, the characters are seen exploiting relationships and undermining the value of love and

Page 78

Design and Layout
Lisa Chan Shin Ying 10S06F

Editorial
Audrey Tan
Christina Ho
Eunice Low
Grace Ong

ksbull volume 2 2009
Raffl es Institution (Junior College)

editor ia l team

Page 79

ksbull volume 2 2009
Raffl es Institution (Junior College)

n o t e s

Similer Documents