Social studies all in-one notes


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Complete notes for O levels Social Studies (2013). May be used in 2014.
Take note of Bonding Singapore especially****************

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Social studies all in-one notes

  1. 1. Social Studies all-in-one notes Past year SEQ topics and question: 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2(a) Traffic 2(b) Principles of governance 3(a) Sri Lanka cause of conflict 3(b) Northern Ireland Cause of conflict 4(a) Iraq-kuwait cause of relationship 4(b) Impact of operation desert storm 2(a)Ways to manage ethnic diversity 2(b)Threats to Singapore 3(a) Cause of Al-Qaeda’s survival 3(b) Impact of Terrorism 4(a) Cause of globalisation 4(b) Strategy of Singapore 2(a) Reason for support of NHS 2(b) Effectiveness of SG’s healthcare 3(a) Strategy of Singapore 3(b) Impact of globalisation 4(a) Reason for Rise of Venice 4(b) Reason for Decline of Venice 2(a) Reasons for Sri Lanka conflict 2(b) Evaluate Tamil Tigers use violence 3(a) Importance of Total defense strat. 3(b) Evaluate strat. to combat terrorism 4(a) Importance of econ. impact of glob. 4(b) Evaluate environ. impact of glob. 2(a) Principles of governance 2(b) Effectiveness of traffic policies 3(a) Reasons for I-K conflict 3(b) Success of trans. terrorism 4(a) Reasons for Venice good system of governance (reasons for rise) 4(b) Successfulness of Venice in dealing ext. challenges (decline of Venice) 2(a) NI cause of conflict 2(b) Evaluate Civil Rights Movement 3(a) Reasons for Globalisation 3(b) Evaluate econ. Impact of glob. 4(a) Reason to promote Pop. Growth 4(b) Evaluate SG’s pop. policies. Spotted topics: Theme 2: Conflict and Harmony in Multi-Ethnic Societies  Case Study of Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland.  Sri Lanka 1. Reasons for conflict o Citizenship Rights o ‘Sinhala Only” Policy o University Admission Criteria o Resettlement 2. Impact for conflict o Armed Conflict o Foreign Intervention o Economic Impact  Unemployment  Loss of investments from other countries  Tourist decline o Social Impact  Northern Ireland 1. Reasons for conflict o Housing allocations o Interaction between people o Voting rights o Employment opportunities o Divided loyalties 2. Impact for conflict o Political Reform ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 1 27/11/2013
  2. 2. Social Studies all-in-one notes  o Economical decline o Social Segregation Bonding Singapore 1. Threats to Singapore’s social cohesion and harmony o Racial groups o Religious groups o External forces 2. Ways to manage ethnic diversity in Singapore o Building a national identity  Multi racialism  Common practices  Bilingualism o Safeguarding the interests of minority groups  Minority Representation  Self-help groups o Developing common space  Events and programmes organized by grassroots organizations  Opportunities offered by educational institutions  Common living space by public housing  Activities organized by IRCCs and HCs.  Shared experience through NS Theme 4: Globalisation  Globalisation 1. Reasons for globalisation o Developments in transportations o Developments in communications o Transnational Corporations (TNCs) 2. Challenges and opportunities (impact) o Economic  Standard of living (+)  Competition among nations (+)  Talent (+)  Widening income gaps (-) o Social  Awareness of foreign culture (+)  Loss of local culture (-) o Environmental  Environmental management (+)  Environmental degradation (-)  Global warming (-) 3. Singapore’s strategies o Diversifying the economy o Nurture growth of SMEs o Venturing abroad o Expanding market through economic cooperation o Developing Human resources ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 2 27/11/2013
  3. 3. Social Studies all-in-one notes Sri Lanka – Reasons for conflict Citizenship rights: P: Citizenship rights are one of the causes of conflict in Sri Lanka. EL: During the British rule, many Indian Tamils were brought to SL to work in the tea plantations. In 1948, the Sinhalese government in SL granted citizenship to only those who were either born in SL or those whose forefathers were born there. Thus, many Indian Tamils found themselves stateless and remained so even though India tried to help them to solve this problem. EX: These resulted in rise of unhappiness in the Indian Tamils as they were not given citizenship and rights, and were treated as second class citizens by the country they regarded as their home. In addition, the govt’s agreement with India to grant Indian Tamils SL citizenship was interrupted by the outbreak of ethnic violence. As a result, Indian Tamils supported the Tamil Tigers in terrorizing the country and create conflict against the govt, causing tensions to remain high. L: Hence, this contributed to the conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils in SL. ‘Sinhala Only’ Policy: P: ‘Sinhala Only’ Policy is one of the causes of conflict in SL. EL: Under the British rule, Tamils held powerful positions in the government service because of their good command of English while the Sinhalese were at a disadvantage since they could not read or write English well. However under the Sinhalese rule, Sinhala became the official language and is used as the language of administration in SL. Tamils in the government service were given 3 years to learn Sinhala or be dismissed. EX: Tamils were upset since they found difficulty in securing their jobs or get promoted as a result of the change of language that favoured the Sinhalese and caused their poor work performance. Riots occurred as peaceful demonstrations held by Tamils were disrupted by Sinhalese. L: Concluding that peaceful means does not work, they seek to violence to resolve this problem, causing the conflict since the government had to deal with the rioters, which meant dealing with these Tamils. University Admission Criteria: P: University Admission Criteria is one of the causes of the conflict in SL. EL: Under British rule, SL education system was based on merit, benefitting the Englisheducated Tamils. However under the Sinhalese rule, the education system is no longer based on merit. Tamils had to score higher marks than Sinhalese to enter most of the popular courses in University. In addition, there were also fixed number of places reserved for the Sinhalese. Examples of such courses are engineering and medicine. EX: This made the Tamil students feel that the SL govt is biased against them and is an obstacle towards their good job opportunities in the future. Feeling oppressed, many disgruntled youths thus supported and joined the Tamil Tigers against the govt, creating chaos and violence to voice their displeasure. L: Therefore, this contributed to the conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils in SL. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 3 27/11/2013
  4. 4. Social Studies all-in-one notes Resettlement P: Resettlement is one of the causes of the conflict in SL. EL: During the British rule, different races were not evenly distributed throughout SL. The Indian Tamils were heavily concentrated in the highland districts where they live in the Jaffna Peninsula while the Sinhalese occupy everywhere else. However under the Sinhalese rule, a policy was implemented to provide land for the poor and landless Sinhalese peasants to live on and cultivate padi by transferring them to Tamil areas. Furthermore, Buddhist monks and SL army also accompanied these peasants into Tamil areas. EX: This caused unhappiness because the Tamils now have to compete with the Sinhalese peasants for land, as well as jobs and sales of their products. As Tamils are mostly Hindus, there was religious and racial intolerance as they could not stand the presence and practices of Buddhist monks on their land as well as the SL army which threatened their security. The Tamils could not do anything to retaliate, thus resent the govt for allowing such large scale resettlement scheme to take place, leading to tension between Tamils and Sinhalese. L: Thus, this contributed to the conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils in SL. Conclusion: In a nutshell, based on impact, Citizenship rights were the main cause of the TamilSinhalese conflict in SL. It made Indian Tamils lose their sense of belonging to the country, which then made them decide to terrorise SL and cause a conflict with Sinhalese, as they would not care even if the country is terribly affected as a consequence. However, Tamils can still secure their jobs, enter popular course in University, and sell their products as long as they work many times harder than the Sinhalese, as compared to losing their national identity overnight, which may subsequently lead to expulsion from the country. In a nutshell, the University admission criteria were the main cause of the TamilSinhalese conflict in SL. Without a proper education, nobody would be able to secure a good job in any sectors. Even if the discriminatory ‘Sinhala Only’ policy were lifted, it would be pointless without a good education. Although these stateless Tamils could consider migrating to other countries, but no country would accept them as they do not even have a certificate of degree in any course that proves them valuable. This made the University admission criteria the main threat towards Tamils’ survival, which the Tamils would then join the Tamil Tigers hence would cause the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict in SL. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 4 27/11/2013
  5. 5. Social Studies all-in-one notes Sri Lanka – Impact for conflict Economic: Unemployment: EL: As a result of the riots, factories were bombed, causing thousands of factory workers, the self-employed and plantation workers to lose their jobs. Large numbers of Sinhalese started vandalising, looting and burning their places of work. EX: Unemployment was a serious consequence because the social unrest resulted from it deters foreign investors from investing in new businesses and factories. Unemployment also causes Sinhalese and Tamils to suffer as they were unable to earn sufficient money to provide food and other basic necessities for their families. Loss of investments: EL: Because of the fighting, many people were killed and normal life was disrupted. The country’s economy suffered, with industries such as tourism losing a high proportion of their income. EX: This is serious since overseas investors who lost confidence in SL will cause the country’s economy to further decline. This would further affect the economic growth of the country because SL will be unable to generate enough employment and wealth to develop the various sectors of the economy such as education, health and other social services without the flow of foreign investments. Political: Armed conflict: EL: Discrimination against the Tamils eventually led to the emergence of the terrorist organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which uses violence to attack Tamils who were part of the police force, Tamils who supported the ruling party and Tamil politicians who did not support the proposed independent state of Tamil Eelam. In response, Sinhalese held anti-Tamil riots, which took thousands of lives and properties. EX: This was so serious as it meant that for years SL lived with almost a permanent armed conflict, disrupting peace and stability, law and order of the country with Tamils demanding the creation of a separate Tamil state. Furthermore, it was also serious as it resulted in intense hostility, hatred and distrust between the Tamils and the Sinhalese as it resulted in many people leaving the country and the loss of lives during the conflict depleted skill levels of the country. Foreign intervention: EL: Before the conflict, as an independent country after the colonial period, SL was making its own decisions on both internal and external matters. However during the conflict, India tried to be the mediator in response to the July 1983 riots. In 1987, it sent 20 ships to Jaffna to send food and petroleum products to the SL Tamils. EX: SL thus saw active involvement of a stronger neighbour in its internal affairs due to the conflict and lost its free will to make its own decisions. This affected the sovereignty and loss of reputation of SL. Social: Tamils driven out of their homelands: ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 5 27/11/2013
  6. 6. Social Studies all-in-one notes EL: There was a large-scale displacement beyond the borders of SL. Thousands of Tamils had to flee from their homes to make way for the army to take on the LTTE. As a result, they live in overcrowded conditions in refugee camps. EX: This was serious because they had lost their national identity and was stateless, thus had nobody to rely on for taking care of their welfare and providing them with new lands to grow crops and feed themselves. In this way, the young generation of these Tamils would not be well-educated and these Tamils would not be able to escape from the perpetual poverty cycle. Furthermore, these younger generations that grew up harbouring hatred towards the Sinhalese would eventually contribute to worsen the problem as they join the LTTE to fight for their rights. Conclusion: In conclusion, based on origin, armed conflict is the most damaging impact to Sri Lanka, since loss of tourism, foreign investments and subsequently the increase in unemployment rate and Tamils driven out of their homelands, all of these problems originated from armed conflict. In other words, if there is no armed conflict, there would be no such economic and social consequences, and India would not have intervened. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 6 27/11/2013
  7. 7. Social Studies all-in-one notes Northern Ireland – Reasons for conflict Unequal allocation of housing: EL: Housing councils in government comprising largely of Protestants decides on the allocation of houses. As such, Catholics were given low priority which they had to wait a longer time than the Protestants to get their houses. As a result, Catholics lived in slums or converted army huts and many families were housed under one roof. Conversely, Protestants received houses in good conditions. In addition, Protestants live in public housing partly paid by the government. EX: These made the Catholics feel frustrated and discriminated for the Protestant government was unfair to them and favoured the Protestants in the allocation of houses. Thus, ill feelings towards the protestant government build up and the Catholics hoped for a change in the system of housing allocation. Such ill feelings would lead to negative actions by Catholics as they were overwhelmed by their jealousness and subsequently result in negative reactions by the Protestants, causing a conflict to arise. Lack of opportunities for social interaction: EL: Fully funded public schools were catered for Protestants only whereas private school were only catered for Catholics. In public schools, Protestants are taught to be loyal to the British while Catholics in private schools were taught to be loyal to the Republic of Ireland. The Protestants and Catholics lived in separate residential areas, were taught different histories, languages and cultures, and play different sports. EX: As a result, the Protestant and Catholic children rarely got to meet or had little contact with one another, and did not understand each other’s culture and way of life. They each have perceptions of another group that were stereotypical, warped and hostile, causing misunderstandings and a sense of intolerance to arise as generations of children grow up to be distrustful/suspicious of each other and become more hostile, for which any incident could easily spark off a conflict between them. Lack of voting rights: EL: Only those who owned houses and businesses were entitled to vote in the local government elections. Each household was entitled to two votes while companies were entitled to more votes. Since many companies were owned by the richer Protestants, they ended up with more votes as the poorer Catholic population could not afford a company. In addition, the voting districts were also drawn up to include a larger proportion of Protestants. EX: As a result of the Catholics feeling unfair that they had no say in the formation of the government since their votes are minor and are less significant, they find themselves not represented in the government and protested against this. On the other hand, the Protestants that support the government would definitely try to defend the government by retaliating against the Catholics. Furthermore, the Protestant government would also want to preserve their rule over Northern Ireland, and thus would try to suppress the Catholics together with the help of the Protestant citizens, causing a vicious circle where a conflict between Protestants and Catholic arise. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 7 27/11/2013
  8. 8. Social Studies all-in-one notes Unequal employment opportunities: EL: The Catholics believed that they do not enjoy equal opportunities although they may be just as academically qualified as the Protestants, especially in Government jobs. This can be supported by a population survey in 1971 revealing that Catholic males were 2.5 times more likely to be jobless than Protestant males. In addition, the number of Catholic engineers and civil servants were not proportional to their numbers in the country and there were also fewer Catholics in senior positions in the public as well as private sectors. EX: As a result, the Catholics felt unjustly treated and stirred up their feeling of unhappiness and hostility through the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Their lack of employment opportunities also meant that they are less able to afford the things they wanted. Thus, in order to fight for their rights and fair treatment, conflicts occur between the two religions. Divided Loyalties: EL: The Protestants see themselves as British and want NI to be part of the UK. They were very afraid of the union with Republic of Ireland as they believe that the Catholic government would not tolerate their beliefs. However, the Catholics see themselves as Irish and wanted the country to be reunited with the Republic of Ireland. They still resent the massacres and harsh treatments meted by the English as they conquered the country. EX: This divided loyalties meant that they remain intolerant of each other. They are not united and did not see themselves as one. They desire citizenship with different country and still hate each other for past conflicts, which then leads to more conflicts as they regard each other as enemies. Conclusion: In conclusion, based on origin, Divided loyalties was the main cause of the conflict between Protestants and Catholics. In the first place, unity was never present in NI as the two groups fight interminably between themselves, which subsequently resulted in other factors (list the other 2 factors) to arise, intensifying the relations between Protestants and Catholics. This intense relation then evolves into a huge conflict. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 8 27/11/2013
  9. 9. Social Studies all-in-one notes Northern Ireland – Impact for conflict Social segregation: EL: There is a lack of interaction between the Protestants and the Catholics, where both parties were segregated in the way they lived, worked and play. This caused the younger generations to grow up in an atmosphere of tension and violence. From a young age, Protestants and Catholics never had the opportunity to mingle which later attributed to the growing tensions between them. EX: As a result of this social segregation, this led to a lack of understanding between the two groups, causing them to have rooted prejudice, false opinions and views about each other. From generations to generations, heightened distrust, suspicions and hostility developed between them which affected their ability to interact with one another. Declining economy: EL: The open fires between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Protestants had threatened peace in the country, making NI an unattractive and unsafe place for both tourists and manufacturing industries. For example, some foreign-owned factories closed down when violence increased operating costs in NI. EX: As a result, the country experience slowdown in economic growth in the form of investment losses and a large fall in tourism. This also affected the employment rate of the country which has detrimental effects in the economic sustainability of the country. Political reforms: (+): EL: Civil rights marches were held by Catholics and pressure from Britain pushed the NI govt to pass anti-discrimination measures. The govt announced sweeping reforms of local govt. The govt agreed to abolish the unfair voting system, to review the scheme for allocating of govt owned houses and to re-introduce power sharing schemes in 1988. Some efforts were made to bring peace to NI, but not all were successful. EX: These efforts done by the govt to appease the Catholics allowed the Catholics to achieve their cause, which was to seek fairness between Catholics and Protestants. As a result, the Catholics would not stir up more troubles for the country and peace between the Catholics and Protestants would be attained. Attaining peace also meant lightened tensions and friendlier relations between Catholics and Protestants. When a better relation is achieved, there would be social interaction between the two groups which would further bring down the tensions. (-): The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) was formed to bring changes and end discrimination against the Catholics. However, the marches resulted in more fighting between the two parties, causing the intervention of the British army who were given the ‘internment laws’ to arrest any anti-government suspects. EX: this led to an outburst of anger among the Catholics as the British army started to arrest and search their homes. More fighting and chaos occurred as the Catholics’ properties were damaged, forcing them to seek help from the IRA who in turn attacked the British army and the Protestants. This also led to the eventual suspension of the ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 9 27/11/2013
  10. 10. Social Studies all-in-one notes Starmont Parliament where direct ruling from Britain was imposed. Consequently, the country experienced high amount of violence, deaths, as well as political instability. Conclusion: In conclusion, based on solvability, social segregation is the most serious impact of the conflict as policies can be easily changed and the economic problems can also be solved by the government by seeking help and loans from other countries. However, social segregation cannot be resolved by the government as generations of hatred between Protestants and Catholics cannot be dissolved easily. These hatred between the two groups existed for a long time such that it almost became permanent. In conclusion, based on impact, the Political reform is the most serious impact of the conflict. While social segregation is just equivalent to a ‘cold’ conflict, which means conflict without the use of arms, and the economic problems arose could be easily solved with the aid of other countries, the effects of political reform is a real ‘hot’ conflict that caused high death toll and political instability in the country. The effects of political reform also indirectly worsened the social and economic problems experienced by the country. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 10 27/11/2013
  11. 11. Social Studies all-in-one notes Bonding Singapore - Threats to Singapore’s social cohesion and harmony Race: P- It is important to ensure that the different racial groups live harmoniously to avoid friction and conflict due to different views. EL- For example when Singapore was a part of Malaysia in 1969, the Malaysian Malays wanted special rights for both Singapore and Malaysian Malays. They tried to influence Singapore Malays to demand special rights over the Chinese. However, the PAP, seen as a Chinese political party by the Malaysians, wanted equal rights for all races in Malaysia. They were seen as a threat to Malay interests. EX- Fighting that results from different perceptions of different races could lead to racial riots due to unnecessary hatred and anger, resulting in, fear, hostility and suspicion, or even violence between racial groups, causing deaths and destruction to property. It is dangerous for Singapore as we rely on the unity and teamwork of our multi-ethnic workforce to drive our economy as well as our diversity to attract tourists. This may thus lead to undesirable instability of Singapore politics and economy. P- It is important to ensure that the different religious groups live harmoniously to avoid friction and conflict due to different beliefs and practices. EL- For example in 1950, Maria Hertogh riots rose from different perceptions of Muslims and Christians. The Eurasian Christians supported the court’s decision for Maria Hertogh to return to her Christian family. They wanted her to preserve the Christian roots of their community despite her being brought up as a Muslim, which was seen by the Muslims as a display of Christian superiority and an insult to Muslim traditions. They also found Maria’s worship of Christian idols offensive. EX- Fighting that results from different perceptions of different religions could result in deeprooted discrimination and violence at all levels of security. It is dangerous for Singapore having a multi-religious society, as it is more vulnerable to religious issues, causing tensions, which can threaten our survivals and turn into a regional or international problem, especially when Singapore is surrounded by Muslim countries, which meant a possibility of foreign intervention. P- It is important to ensure that the different racial and religious groups live harmoniously to avoid friction and conflict due to the influence of terrorist organizations. EL- Jemah Islamiah (JI) wants to set up an Islamic state in Asia, where Islam is a sole religion. The JI aims to influence Singapore Muslims with an extremist mindset in order to achieve their cause. However, Singapore needs to preserve its solidarity where Islam is one of its major religions. Singapore’s Muslims need to maintain a moderate identity, which is not extremist in nature. Ex- Fighting that results from different ideologies between racial and religious groups could instill fear and tensions between muslims and non-muslims which will result in alienation of Muslims from other regions, causing suspicions, hostility and distrust, or even riots, and a possible retaliation by the Muslims. It is dangerous since it destroys Singapore’s common vision and unity that has been built over the years and makes it vulnerable to ideologies from external forces. In conclusion, based on solvability, threats from external forces posed the greatest challenge as they are more difficult to control as they are at international level, whereas race and religious issues in Singapore are internal vulnerabilities. Furthermore, race and religious issues makes a country vulnerable to terrorism as terrorists resort to using them to stir fear and create conflicts to achieve their interests. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 11 27/11/2013
  12. 12. Social Studies all-in-one notes Bonding Singapore - Ways to manage ethnic diversity in Singapore 1) Building a national identity Multi-racialism: A policy of valuing every race and promoting equality among all races without special rights granted to any particular group. No community is disadvantaged or favoured by any government policy. For example, every child receives the same education in schools, regardless of race. This meant that everyone is seen as a valued member of society and develops a sense of belonging to the nation, contributing to building a national identity. Common Practices: There are many actions that Singaporeans carry out together, such as singing the National anthem and taking the pledge, regardless of race or religion. By carrying out common practices, Singaporeans develops a sense of loyalty and pride to the nation and see themselves as one people, not as representative of their own race and religion. Bilingualism: All students learn English as first language and their own Mother Tongue as second language. English helps to link different ethnic groups together while learning Mother Tongue languages help to connect people with their racial traditions and preserve their cultural roots. English has helped to improve communications as it is a non-native language and all Singaporeans are able to speak a common language with one another, which at the same time encourages cross-communication between racial groups in Singapore, sharing their thoughts and opinions, influencing and understanding one another’s cultural practices and way of life. With these, Singaporeans would build their very own local culture and see themselves as one people with one common vision, that is, to live together harmoniously as a diversified society and keep Singapore moving forward. 2) Safeguarding the interests of minority groups Minority Representation: The Presidential Council of Minority Rights (PCMR) and Group Representation Constituency (GRC) are some organizations to represent the minority groups. Minority groups have a say in the government through these systems. In the PCMR, members are chosen from minority racial and religious groups. In GRCs, at least one candidate in the team is from a non-chinese. By having these, there would be candidates to represent all citizens’ voices, thus ensuring that all minority races in Singapore are also represented in parliament and make sure that the needs of all Singaporeans are met, and that they all have a say in the governance of Singapore. Self-help groups: Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) ; Mendaki; Singapore Indian Development Association; Eurasian Association – These help members of different communities who are less fortunate to get help in industries and jobs. People from minority groups who are less fortunate will be able to improve their positions in society, ending their perpetual poverty cycle and hence will feel valued as a Singaporean regardless of background. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 12 27/11/2013
  13. 13. Social Studies all-in-one notes 3) Developing common space Events and programmes organized by grassroots organisations: Grassroots events organised by RCs or People’s Association (PA) help to bond people across different racial or religious groups, such as celebration of festivals or home visits for students. People who participate in these activities will meet people not from their own ethnic group, and will be familiar and understanding towards other customs. Opportunities offered by educational institutions: Tertiary institutions like polytechnics and ITEs are open to all students on a meritocratic basis and not based on social backgrounds. CCA in schools also help in providing a platform for children and youths from all races to bond as they work together through different school activities. Educational institutions provide opportunities for interaction and friendships to be cultivated and nurtured as there are increased opportunities for social interaction between races on a daily basis. These would then allow students to learn about other cultures and their way of life. By doing so, students would then be more knowledgeable and respect other races’ and religions’ cultures and practices, hence promoting racial harmony among youths. Common living space provided by public housing: The number of people from each racial group is controlled by the HDB to ensure an even distribution of races in all estates. This ensures that the different races have opportunities to interact on a daily basis. Also, these allows the residents to celebrate festivals that are not of their own culture by visiting their neighbours and learn more about their culture and practices. By doing so would allow Singaporeans to understand each other’s cultural practices, and thus learn to respect them. These would forge strong bonds between races and religions so that it would prevent racial conflicts from happening. Activities organised by Inter-Racial Confidence Circles (IRCCs) and Harmony Circles (HCs): IRCCs foster activities like Racial Harmony day and visits places of worship to help expose people in the cultures of other races. HCs are usually found at workplaces that organise cohesive events like game days, where workers can get a taste of each other’s customs. Everyone has many opportunities to experience and learn about the customs and traditions of one another, to make a more tolerant society towards each culture’s practices. This ensures that different races have opportunities to interact on a daily basis. Shared experience through National Service: National Service was introduced in 1967 and requires all males regardless of races to come together for the defence of the country. Bonds are strengthened between male youths through NS as they overcome challenges together despite coming from different races and backgrounds with one united vision. Conclusion: In conclusion, the most effective way of managing ethnic diversity in Singapore is by building a national identity. Without a national identity, the people would not have a sense of belonging to the country and would not feel a sense of unity in themselves, thus the country would fall apart by conflicts even before any other policies and measures such as safeguarding the interests of minority groups and developing common spaces are implemented. However, safeguarding the interests of minority groups and developing common spaces plays an important part towards further providing stability to Singapore, but would only happen when a national identity is built. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 13 27/11/2013
  14. 14. Social Studies all-in-one notes Globalisation - Reasons for globalisation ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 14 27/11/2013
  15. 15. Social Studies all-in-one notes Globalisation - Challenges and opportunities (impact) Economic Impact: Improvement in standards of living (+): Countries trade and open their doors to investments, earning more revenue. Countries globalising have enjoyed increase in income levels and mean family income. The government in turn make use of the revenue for improving standards of education, health, defense, housing and transportation facilities, and spend more money on infrastructure. With more affluence, people can now afford to buy more consumer goods and services, live in comfortable homes with potable water and electricity to enjoy a better quality of life. Hence, globalisation resulted in an increase in lifestyle choices leading to a better quality of life and higher standards of living. Increased competitions among nations (-): TNCs seek out locations for reasons such as lowering the cost of production. It is hard for small nations like Singapore to compete with countries that have abundance of resources. For example, Singapore lost the world’s biggest shipping container line, Maersk Sealand, who decided to shift its transhipment to port in Malaysia as it offered cheaper rates and is more flexible in its operation. Hence with globalisation, competition for investments and markets are intense. Counties like Malaysia that are able to offer incentives and possess more natural resources like land and cheaper labour to foreign investors will be more successful in attracting them as compared to Singapore. This leads to decline of foreign investments that in turn will lead to a decline in government revenue. Talent (+): Governments try to attract top talents to work in their country. People who are highly skilled are in high demands. TNCs locate labour intensive production in developing countries. Globalisation enabled the search of employment from other countries, which helps to create more business opportunities and jobs in Singapore. Foreigners with specialized skills can also make up for lack of such local expertise. This ensures specialized fields in a country lacking manpower has foreign talents to fill in the immediate positions so that such high value added industries can be developed. This would add diversity to cultural landscape for a country and makes it more cosmopolitan. Widening income gaps (-): Globalisation resulted in rapid development in developed countries as they would own many TNCs that draw investments and skilled people from other regions that benefit them. However, developing countries face trade restrictions put up by developed countries. In addition to the shortage of skilled labour, they are not capable of competing with developed countries by producing quality goods to fetch large revenue. In developed countries, the rich prosper from economic opportunities while the poor suffers from retrenchment and loss of income. This poses a serious problem as it may adversely affect social cohesion and poor rate of economic growth in developing countries. If not properly managed, it may lead to other societal problems and increase in crime rate as poor are more prone to economic uncertainties. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 15 27/11/2013
  16. 16. Social Studies all-in-one notes Environmental impact: Deforestation (-): There was a need to make way for development of industries, agriculture, housing and transportation. For example, in Singapore, there was large-scale clearance of mangrove swamps in the 1960s during the period of industrialisation. This was done in order to achieve a higher level of economic development. However, it resulted in loss of biodiversity and possible changes in regional climates related to global warming. Globalisation resulted in many environmental problems such as soil erosions, extinction of flora and fauna, increase in flooding and haze. In addition, resources are being used up at a rate that does not bode well for the future generations as globalisation has resulted in an increase in speed of trade and resources are depleted rapidly as governments are consumed with objective of profit making in mind. Global warming (-): Fast movement of goods around the world using planes and ships as well as setting up of factories due to globalisation produced large quantities of greenhouse gases, which resulted in change in rainfall patterns leading to increase in extremes of temperatures, precipitation and dryness in some areas. As a result of rise in global temperature, the glaciers and icecaps melt and there are rise in global sea levels, destroying beaches, eroding coasts, flooding river deltas, settlements and low-lying areas, and destroying homes. Furthermore, the thawing of ice caps release carbon dioxide gas and methane gas from frozen soil, which are greenhouse gases that in turn worsens the effect and intensity of greenhouse effect and global warming. Social impact: Loss of local culture (-): Big corporations such as MacDonald’s and Starbucks have created a largely homogenous culture across the world while rap music, MTV and Hollywood movies have become a persuasive influence on many people’s lives. It caused youths to lose interest in their local culture. Some people perceive foreign cultures to be forcing their beliefs, cultures and languages upon the rest of the world. This can create social problems and lead to resentment between recipients of foreign cultures and foreign countries. Increased awareness of foreign cultures (+): A person can now learn about the history, culture and way of life of people around the world through travelling, surfing the Internet and watching foreign movies from the comforts of their homes. It broadened the horizons of some people socially. This can in turn foster greater understanding and tolerance between people of different races nationalities. Conclusion: In conclusion, environmental impact is the most disastrous one. The impact of globalisation on the environment is so destructive to the fact that the damages done to the earth is irreversible unless after centuries. On the other hand, economical advantages brought about by globalisation such as increase in standards of living over a short period of time could also be achieved using other alternatives, and the cultural problems brought about is not very significant as compared to economic and environmental impact. Since there is only one earth, the only home we have and cannot afford to lose, unlike the sum of monies and societal effects that can be recovered, the environmental impact naturally becomes the most disastrous of all times, since we all will die if the earth is destroyed due to these damages. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 16 27/11/2013
  17. 17. Social Studies all-in-one notes Globalisation - Singapore’s strategies Diversification of economy: Singapore used to predominantly focus on developing the manufacturing sectors which provided many employments for the people. However, due to changing nature of the global economy, there was a need to move from low value added manufacturing to technology intensive, high value added manufacturing. Organisations like A*STAR has been formed to build up Singapore’s Research and Development (R&D) capabilities. Singapore also focused in developing its tourism sector or industry. Diversifying economy allows Singapore to fall back on the other sectors should any one of them slows down. This prevents her population from being to dependent on one sector and gives her ability to meet the challenges of global economy. Venturing abroad: With limited land, resource and labour, Singapore’s small domestic market is insufficient for her to have continuous economic growth. Regionalisation is required, which meant investments in other countries rich in land, labour and resources. Singapore based companies provide the necessary capital and expertise to develop industrial parks and infrastructures in the hosts countries and in turn receives opportunity to conduct business. This enhances Singapore’s competitiveness as these host countries gives her access to new markets and in return helps to promote economic growth. Developing human resource: Entrepreneurship and technopreneurship is promoted among locals to encourage them to take risks and come up with new products and services so that local companies can compete with foreign companies to get a market share in global economy. Due to globalisation, many traditional sectors and jobs have became obsolete and new sectors have emerged. Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Skills Development Fund (SDF) encourage employers to send workers for regular training and upgrading. This strategy is crucial in enhancing Singapore’s economic competitiveness as it prepares the local population for new demands that may arise from globalisation. Expanding market reach through economic cooperation: Singapore have a small domestic market due to its tiny population, thus requires the need to make trade ties with other countries so that local companies can sell goods to larger market. By Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ), it enables local consumers to have a wider range of goods and services to choose from, increases service standards due to foreign competition and companies can also enjoy cost savings as taxes are removed. This increases productivity, encourages upgrading of labour force and thus, allowing Singapore to be more competitive as well as attractive so as to compete in the global market and meet new challenges of globalisation. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 17 27/11/2013
  18. 18. Social Studies all-in-one notes Nurturing growth of SMEs: SMEs are important providers of jobs and supports operations of Transnational Corporations (TNC) based in Singapore in their production process. SMEs are important as they are local companies which is crucial in building up the pillars of Singapore’s economic might as compared to TNCs which might not be a permanent feature. Thus, the government came out with many policies such as relating bankruptcy laws as well as giving tax intensives for up to 1st 3 years that will enhance growth of SMEs and anchor growth of Singapore. Conclusion: In conculsion, depending on just one strategy alone is not a foolproof strategy to enhance Singapore’s attractiveness and competitiveness in a global economy, in time of a regional crisis, Singapore still needs to rely on its FTA to ensure massive inflow of capital and the value of its products overtime. Lastly, to compete against rising giants like China and India, SEZs need to be set up to offer more choices to potential investors so that Singapore would not fall behind but continue to do well in a globalising economy. All in all, only with a blend of different strategies, Singapore would then be able to enjoy greater growth in the midst of the most dynamic economic region in the planet. ©Wong Yuan Neng Page 18 27/11/2013