The Disadvantages of The Internet

In 1990, Tim Bernes-Lee booted up a computer and connected it to a server abroad using the World Wide Web, also known as the Internet. With that successful connection, the Internet was born. Since its inception, the Internet has cemented itself into our current generation, providing an instant gateway to limitless information and entertainment, all in a few clicks or taps. It is no wonder that the slogan, ‘the Internet of Things (IoT)’ has become popularised among the society of today.  However, despite all of its pros, the Internet also has its downsides and disadvantages. What are they you may ask? Well, allow me to explain.

Firstly, the Internet comes off as a privacy risk. Whenever we visit a website, a “cookie” will be sent by the website’s server to you. This cookie is unique, it is like an identification card, it stores your information in it and sends it back to the server. That way, whenever you revisit this website, it will know exactly who you are. The information collected ranges from the name of your computer, your Internet provider, your location, your Internet Protocol address and so on. If someone manages to get ahold of one of these cookies, the Internet user’s privacy will be at risk. The information obtained can be used to do a whole myriad of unlawful acts. Impersonation, cyberstalking, all fall under the possibilities if this information is to land in the wrong hands.

Secondly, the development of an addiction to the Internet is also plausible. Research shows that society nowadays, especially teenagers, tend to use up to almost 8 hours of their day online. Whether it is just chatting with friends or doing research on a school assignment, they still fall under the category of using the Internet. As this goes on, people may develop an addiction and dependency on the Internet to satisfy their needs for knowledge and entertainment. As a result, television and books are being slowly phased out by society, with Internet taking their place as the primary source of entertainment and information. A worrying sight indeed.

Thirdly, the Internet encourages a passive lifestyle. A passive lifestyle is defined as a lazy, unproductive lifestyle. Before the days of the Internet, we would go out, have fun with friends, play games or even go for the occasional game of sports. All of this is done outside. However, with the arrival of the Internet, these things are starting to dwindle in number. Why? Because of the existence of the perception of how “the Internet has all that you need”. This produces a false sense of satisfaction, thus eliminating the urge to go out. It cannot be denied, that how everything can be done at the touch of your fingertips, is extremely convenient, especially during emergencies. But with this feature, humans have become lazy, to the point where they would rather stay at home and go online instead of outside with friends.  

Finally, the Internet is a health risk. Whenever we go online, we are most likely facing a screen of some sort. Whether it is the screen of our phones or our computers, these screens will still emit radiation. The smaller the screen is, the more damaging the rays get. When exposed to these rays for a long time, our eyes will start to become tired. Without suitable breaks, it will then start to damage the eyes, potentially causing eye deficiencies such as myopia and presbyopia, also known as short and long-sightedness. It could also cause back and spinal problems, especially when we are online for a very long time. For example, imagine sitting in front of the computer for 6 hours, you would feel tired, your body will slug, thus adding pressure on your bones. If this goes on, problems such as scoliosis may start to develop.

In a nutshell, the Internet can be both great and bad. However, I personally believe that it will still boil down to how the user uses it. Whether good or bad, it cannot be argued that the Internet is a wonderful way to obtain information and entertain ourselves, but we must realise that these disadvantages must not be overlooked, as they could bring devastating effects on those who choose to disregard them. The Internet is a treacherous place, but by navigating through it and using it the right way, I am confident that the Internet will be a very welcome addition to our generation of future leaders.    

Co-educational schools, or same-sex schools?

Are co-educational schools better than same-sex schools? Ever since the introduction of same-sex schools in our country, society has debated upon this topic, and a conclusive answer to it has never been found. Nevertheless, it cannot be overlooked that both types of schools have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, what are these pros and cons? Which school is truly the better one?

Personally, I feel that co-educational schools have the upper hand against same-sex schools. Why? Well firstly, it prepares the student to face the real world. In a same-sex school, they are only exposed to an environment where their peers are of the same gender, with similar interests, similar perspectives and so on. However, in a co-educational school, the student will be exposed to a diversified environment, with both boys and girls. In this environment, the student must learn to accept and adjust himself to the varying perspectives and interests. This is similar to when a student graduates, when they step into the working world and must learn to tolerate others, regardless of race, religion or gender.

Secondly, students in co-educational schools are able to develop the ability to interact with the opposite gender quickly. In a co-educational school, students are exposed to people who have different thoughts, different perspectives, the way that they see things may not be necessarily the same as they themselves. When opportunities to work together arrive, for example in a group project, the student will be trained to work with each other, to use each other’s ideas to achieve an objective. A mutual understanding between genders will also be established. This contrasts with a same-sex school. The students lack exposure to the opposite gender. If the opportunity to work together arrives, it will be a very awkward situation for both parties due to the lack of experience in interaction.

Thirdly, it develops confidence. By being in a co-educational school, students are presented with the opportunity to lead a group of boys and girls. This will encourage them to step up and have the courage to interact and talk to their group members, thus building confidence. By being confident, even when grouped with other genders, this will help them develop leadership skills, which will be essential when they step into the working life. In contrast, in a same-sex school, the students would only be seeing familiar faces, people whom they already understand and know how to interact with. As a result, they will only get used to working with the people they know, and may falter when interacting with others once they step into the adult life.  

Finally, co-educational school students will allow students to develop a deeper understanding of the opposite gender. The people and friends whom they meet at school will stay with them for at least the next 5 years of their lives. In those 5 years, by interacting with peers of contrasting genders, a sense of understanding will be developed among the students. As a result, a sense of respect will exist among the students. Stereotypes and objectification of each other’s genders will cease to exist and tolerating each other’s differences will become the key to companionship, thus creating a harmonious environment to study and interact. What about in a same-sex school? Sadly, the exact opposite happens. The opposite gender is stereotyped and objectified as “below the men”. It even reaches a point where sexist thoughts will linger among the students, causing the opposite gender to be quickly dismissed.  

As you can see, co-educational schools have notable advantages over a same-sex school. Of course, these points are merely my two cents on this topic. No matter what you may choose, a co-educational school or a same-sex school as your institution of choice, both have advantages and disadvantages that may or may not suit your needs. The ball is in your court. So, what will it be? The diversified co-educational school? Or the academically high-achieving same-sex school?

Report: Reasons for the lack of interest in the use of public transportation

To: The Principal, Methodist Boys’ Secondary School

Date: 8th August 2018

Title: Reasons for the lack of interest in the use of public transportation

A survey was conducted among 200 students of Methodist Boys’ Secondary School to determine the reason why not many students were keen nor interested in using the public transportation services provided in Malaysia. Based on the findings of the survey, there are 3 main reasons as to why these students lack interest in doing so.

The first reason given is the punctuality of the public transportation. Services such as the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the bus network, provided by the government-owned company Prasarana Group under the brand of RapidKL, frequently arrive behind schedule. This is caused by the company’s inability to deploy the services according to the stipulated schedule and its failure to adjust it based on demand. This has caused many problems among the users of public transport, especially students. If the public transportation is late, students who count on public transport to send them to school every day are punished for being late to school, despite it being not their fault. Because of this, students are forced to rely on their parents to send them to school before the bell rings. This reliance however, in turn, troubles the parents because they are forced to wake up earlier than usual to send their child to school to prevent him from being punished again. Quite simply, one problem leads to another.

The next reason given by the students is the expensive fares. Students complained that the fares charged to use services such as buses and the Kuala Lumpur Monorail are much too expensive, especially those who do not come from wealthy families.  These fares are downright ridiculous and have become a burden to them as the pocket money they receive from their parents are barely enough to cover the cost of transport, and yet students are forced to use these services on an almost daily basis. As a result, some students are forced to starve just to make sure they have enough money to go home after school. A prime example of the outrageous fares charged by concession companies is the fare to take the monorail from Imbi station to Hang Tuah station. This journey alone costs more than RM1 one way, despite the fact that the stations are barely 600 meters apart.

The third reason given is the condition of the cars and trains. The vehicles used for the purpose of public transportation are in terrible condition and are in dire need of servicing. The respondents pointed out that some common sights in these decade-old machines are damaged and torn seats, broken or downright missing safety belts, windows with holes, rusted beams and torn straps. Despite all this, the companies in charge of these services seem to be in no hurry to replace them. The condition of these vehicles not only affects the reputation of the company but also pose a safety risk to its passengers. For example, missing safety belts could cause serious injuries and even death in a case where the vehicle is involved in a collision.

Some suggestions should be pitched forward to encourage more students to use public transportation. Firstly, the existing scheduling system for public transportation like buses and trains must be revamped to be more flexible when adjustments need to be made. This will greatly improve the timeliness and efficiency of the existing system and prevent delays from happening. Secondly, operational costs must be reduced. The government can offer subsidies for the purchase of petrol or locally made spare parts for vehicles. The savings earned from these subsidies can then be passed on to the consumer, this leads to a much more affordable fare, much to the relief of students that come from poor families. In fact, the concept of passing on savings has been adopted worldwide by numerous companies as a way to reduce operational costs and increase customer satisfaction. A good example of a company that has done so IKEA, a Swedish furniture company.

Relevant authorities must also take action on the vehicles mentioned above that are in desperate need of repair.  The government should utilise the national budget to fix or replace the ageing vehicles currently in use to carry passengers. The safety of the passenger must always be the number one priority, continuing to use these vehicles in their current condition would put the lives of the passengers at risk.  By fixing or replacing these vehicles, the passenger would be saved from potential danger.

It is hoped that the above suggestions will be able to convince students to use the public transportation in Malaysia more frequently.

Prepared by,

(Gordon Tai, School Captain)

The current government is working towards the improvement of the existing transportation system. Initiatives to replace the existing buses with the new Enviro500 have been in progress since 2015, and have been picked up by the new government smoothly. Meanwhile, we have also saw the reintroduction of the monthly fare pass, priced at RM100. Indeed, it is hoped that this momentum will continue on for years to come.


LitQuiz: Sing to the Dawn

1)Who authored the “Sing to the Dawn?”
Ho Ming Fo
Ming Fong Ho
Close, but nope.
Minfong Ho
Well done!

2)Where did the story take place in?
Wrong. Better start reading.
Wrong. Better start reading.

3)What was Dawan’s ticket out of her village?
A government scholarship after becoming her village’s top scorer.
A place in the Thai military forces as a novice spy after becoming her village’s top scorer.
There was never any mention of espionage in the story.. Save the fan fiction for part B of Paper 1 would ya! XD
Replacing her brother as the government scholarship winner.
How do you replace someone’s post if it wasn’t even theirs to begin with?!

i and ii only.
There’s more to Kwai than what meets the eye.
i, ii and iii.
There’s more to Kwai than what meets the eye.
ii and iii.
Note that in chapter 1, Kwai had revealed the following to Dawan.
All the above.
Better reread chapter 1.

5)What was Dawan’s father’s reaction after finding out about Dawan’s offer to study at the city?
He started weeping and dancing in joy to celebrate his eldest daughter’s success.
Kwai and Dawan’s father is not known to show any warmness towards them.
He instantly threw a fit and stalked off to console Kwai.
Kwai and Dawan’s father is not known to show any warmness towards them.
He instantly threw his hammer down in anger and stalked off.
Dawan’s father then accused Dawan of robbing her brother’s chance of claiming the scholarship.

6)Dawan’s proud grandmother congratulated and helped Dawan there and then by:
Coming up with a plan to get Noi to persuade Dawan’s father.
Dawan’s grandmother wanted Dawan to get a chance at something that neither she nor Dawan’s mother were blessed with.
Walking Dawan to her cousin’s house for a celebration.
There weren’t any celebrations as it was a very tense period for Dawan’s family, remember?
Paying for Dawan’s bus ticket to the city.
According to the story, Dawan has yet to acquire her father’s approval and hence, is still forbidden to leave for the city.

i, ii and iii.
Nope, Dawan’s father as the sole breadwinner of his family, cannot afford to spare any help for others when his own family is struggling in poverty too.
i, iii and iv.
Right! Dawan’s father as the sole breadwinner of his family, cannot afford to spare any help for others when his own family is struggling in poverty too.
All of the above.
Nope, Dawan’s father as the sole breadwinner of his family, cannot afford to spare any help for others when his own family is struggling in poverty too.

8)Which of the following clearly shows that Noi cares deeply about her family?
Coming back to her family in the village.
There’s more to Noi than what meets the eye.
She feels wrong having to serve someone other than her family.
Noi needed the money to support her family.
Lying to her family and trying to discourage Dawan and her dreams to study at the city.
Noi only lied to prevent her family from worrying about her safety at the city. Other than that, she wanted to protect her cousin from being hurt.

9)Why were Noi and Ghan deep in debt?
They have yet to completely pay off Noi’s ex employer for her freedom.
They have yet to settle their home’s construction loans.
The villagers built their own homes remember. Plus, Ghan was a construction worker.
They are struggling to pay a government officer for their protection in the village.
Noi and Ghan kept relapsing on their usual payments to a corrupt military officer named Mr Phaspras, who claims to be able to protect Ghan from being drafted into the army. As a result, he keeps increasing their amount for every time they fail to pay up.

10)Which of the below was the main factor of Dawan’s reluctance and inability to claim the scholarship in the beginning of the story?
Her strict father’s threat of disowning her if she does.
Nope, he was too busy sulking and throwing a tantrum in the beginning of the story. The rest was just him living in denial that his daughter was even capable of beating his son. Plus, he would’ve lost a good bargaining chip and be forced to live longer  in denial of never being able to receive Dawan’s dowry.. (Who’s marrying who again?) XD.
Her wish to keep her overly doting grandmother who fears for Dawan’s safety at the city, happy.
Nope, Dawan’s grandmother wants Dawan to succeed and prove to the other villagers her worth as a girl and believes that Dawan will be able to do exactly that at the city. 
Her village’s majority worrying that such education and investment would be wasteful on a girl.
Pay attention kids.. prejudice against the women and young girls in Dawan’s village is constantly being repeated in the story. Enough to make it one of the themes. 😉

ii & iv
Close but not there yet.
ii, iii & iv.
Kwai has good intentions and throughout the story faces a silent dilemma of choosing whether to please his father and himself by claiming the scholarship, or to consider his sister’s efforts and give up his personal pursuits over something that would harm his relationship with his sister.
All the above.
Dawan and Kwai’s school teacher is a fair scholar who believes in the capabilities of both his students, regardless of their class in society.

12) Why was Bao reluctant to accept payment for the lotus from Dawan?
She already plucked so many and needed to get rid of them quick before her brother finds out and reports her back to her family.
Nope, there’s more to Bao’s character than that.
She insists that because she played no part in tending to those lotuses.
According to her, it was the mud that supported the roots, water that flowed life into it and the sun that shined beauty onto it. She compelled Dawan to give back to the river what it deserves if she is true grateful for the lotus bud. Clearly, Bao is a non-materialistic person. Good Job!
She wanted to get on Dawan’s good side.
Nope, there’s more to Bao’s character than that. She didn’t even recognize Dawan as the village scholarship’s winner. 

13) Why didn’t the head abbot agree to helping Dawan persuade her father?
The head abbot is good friends with Dawan’s father and relates to his pain in sending his daughter to the city in the place of his son.
No.The monk is unbiased and is naturally compliant to the course of nature. In this case, he just doesn’t believe in the Dawan’s success in changing something that can’t completely be changed. Plus, the story never said Dawan’s father is particularly chummy buddies with the head abbot. He just highly respects the religious leader.
The head abbot sees more potential in Kwai, to change the flaws of the villagers’ sinful ways.
No. The monk is unbiased and naturally compliant to the course of nature. In this case, he just doesn’t believe in the Dawan’s success in changing something that can’t completely be changed. Other than that, he would also actually prefer Kwai to just further his studies on the temple’s scriptures with Dawan than be off to the city. But the gentle monk will never try to force anything.
He wanted to protect Dawan from chasing whatever he thinks will never change and only make Dawan miserable.
The head abbot believes that everything will inevitably fade away into nothingness and urges Dawan to forget about her materialistic ideals as her efforts for something temporary is futile.

14) What was it that showed Dawan’s determination in proving the head abbot’s statement otherwise?
Her stand that silent self-studying the temple scriptures just doesn’t appeal to really help people in the future.
Just because Dawan pushes for the modernization of her fellow villagers’ views, it doesn’t mean she’s wants them to abandon basic principles for that.  
Her stand to fight and witness changes to her society’s flaws than to just sit back and hope for it to someday change.
Good job! You remembered a theme of this story. Make sure about the rest too.
Her stand against the head abbot and her father as a sign of blooming female dominance and influence.
Dawan is a humble student who will strive for her village’s change of perspective in terms of gender equality. Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes, according to good ol’ dictionary. Try again.

15) What did Bao do to cheer up Dawan after her discouraging meeting with the head abbot?
She started sharing her even more tragic story about how unfair her family was to her by forcing her to spend most of the time being a peddler at the market when she could’ve been at school learning like Dawan.
Chatty Bao already did so in chapter 7. What about chapter 9?  
She allowed Dawan to free a sparrow from its cage for free.
This an important detail in in this story as Dawan opens those birdcage doors. She realizes that she doesn’t need to wait for someone to stand up for her or give her permission to claim her own freedom when she could just do so herself as her brother’s equal.
She told Dawan a story of freeing a sparrow from its cage for free.
Nope. Read the story.

16)What happened after the fight at the market place between Dawan and Kwai?
They both met again on their favourite bridge .
Kwai had been pondering over his actions when Dawan, who wanted to avoid questions from her elders about her cut, stumbles upon him sitting alone in the rain.  
They both went to sulk on their separate ways.
This an important detail in in this story as Dawan opens those birdcage doors. She realizes that she doesn’t need to wait for someone to stand up for her or give her permission to claim her own freedom when she could just do so herself as her brother’s equal.
They both went off to lament at the bridge of the unfairness of their lives.
They didn’t plan to meet there. Try rereading chapter 10.

17)What made Kwai change his mind about pursuing the scholarship?
The sight of his sister throwing an umbrella at him before limping off, pitifully alone in the rain.
Kwai had been touched by his sister’s efforts to keep him safe in the rain despite being hurt by him in their earlier fight.  
The thought of him having to give up his own freedom to study.
Not everyone hates studying.. Kwai genuinely wanted to for the sake of his family and village. Shame shame.. 😥
His sister threatening to rally the whole village against him.
Come on.. there’s more to Dawan and Kwai than that..

1,2,3 &5
Careful.. Be sure to read the whole question. Kwai never really did support Dawan ‘throughout’the whole story. It was hard on him to give up his own ambitions  and dreams for his sister at the expense of his own happiness at the beginning of the story
2,3 & 5
Right-o. Good Job!
All the above.
Careful.. Be sure to read the whole question. Kwai never really did support Dawan ‘throughout’the whole story. It was hard on him to give up his own ambitions  and dreams for his sister at the expense of his own happiness at the beginning of the story

i,ii & iii.
Try again.. it’s close but not there yet.
ii, iii & iv.
So close…
All the above.
Chapter 8, Dawan presented the lotus to the head monk as a sign of respect and a plea to help her convince her father. In Chapter 12, the floating lotus petals were a sign of Kwai’s unseen prospects in the future he has yet to realize. In Chapter 13, Dawan grandmother tries to cheer Dawan up by reminding her that despite being shy and timid in the beginning, she is still capable of blooming and achieving great things given the right attention. This also shows the transition of Dawan’s character throughout the story and hence her kinship to it.

20)How did the story end?
With Kwai dancing to Dawan’s morning song on their favourite bridge, as the first lotus petals start to unfold..
Funny as it is, not quite.. Read the story..  
With the whole village singing Dawan’s morning song to see her off, as the first lotus petals start to unfold..
This isn’t Disney… Plus the song is meant to be personal for Dawan and Kwai.
Kwai singing Dawan’s morning song on their favourite bridge, as the first lotus petals start to unfold..
Good job!