Notwithstanding Lee Wei Ling's privileged position to comment on just about anything, her forthrightness has earned her a weekly column in the Sunday Times. But unfortunately, except for the occasional pearls that fall out, most of her comments fall short of being wise in any way.
Her comments today on empathy was somewhat scary and unreal in its coldness and lack of logic.
Looking out for oneself and one's own is a reality of life which probably applies to most animal species. This is how packs, herds and tribes survive. Without this empathy, it becomes everyone for his/her own and everything unravels. She seemed somewhat surprised by her own empathy for people around her that she could identify with. But what really surprised and scared me was her confession of an obvious lack of empathy beyond what she could identify as family, friends or fellow tribesman. Did she not consider that a fellow human being in Darfur or further, was worthy of consideration or assistance? Was that distant being not a fellow citizen of our race, and a fellow passenger here on planet earth?
She excused herself in the end by the almost flippant remark that this lack of empathy beyond our shores kinda indicates that we have a "Singapore identify that transcends race and religion". And that somehow seems noble to her.
I would have been ashamed to discover that my compatriots cared little for people and suffering beyond our tiny prosperous little island where poverty was represented by not owning an HDB flat.
5 years ago