Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Root Causes

Several years ago, before I left the work force, I learnt about Root Cause Analysis.  I learnt about its use specifically in health care & adverse events & medical errors, and how, by doing this analysis, we can recommend system-wide changes & improvements to minimize risk of adverse events.

A couple of days ago, there were riots in Singapore, my home country.  I never thought I would use the words "riot" & "Singapore" in the same sentence in my lifetime.  These riots were triggered by the death of an Indian national as a result of a road traffic accident in Little India, on a Sunday which is the day off for the thousands of foreign workers who work in Singapore.

Much is being said on the social media about why it happened & what should be done & along with it, the trolls & racists & xenophobics are all at it too, denouncing specific racial groups.   Sad, really.  This is not the Singapore I grew up in.  We were told in school that we were a multiracial, multicultural country.  It is even in our pledge -  "...regardless of race, language or religion..."

It was drilled into us that we should be tolerant of each other, color blind, respectful of our differences.  But in recent years, I have noted with sadness that there are signs of racism and xenophobia becoming more & more apparent.  Perhaps in the past, this was hidden, but with social media, it becomes more obvious.  In any case, it's sad.

With these riots, I am hoping that the government & Singapore society will wake up & see that making money is not all that counts.  Do a root cause analysis of why this happened.  I would not be surprised if they found that some of the issues faced by these foreign workers were part of the fuel that resulted in the riots.  

We have to learn to be human again.  Respect each other as humans.  Treat each other right, no matter if you're a top level executive, politician, blue collar worker.  

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