Monday, August 15, 2011

Where's The Beef, Mr Prime Minister?

Even when he was handling out the Kool-aid - such as the graduate mother policy - his father used to do it with panache. Who can forget the gee-whiz graphs, the tables of statistics, the powerpoint slides. Critic or supporter, each one in the audience would have carried away an indelible imprint of the message's keynote. In contrast, last night's messenger fired lots of rounds but none seem to hit the target. Just like the time he embarrassed himself on the Brunei range in 1987, when  the prime minister had scored direct hits with the weapons whereas his soldier-son had "washouts" (page 117, Seow, F. (1998), "The Media Enthralled: Singapore revisited")

The one graph he did show is a real downer. University places for Singaporeans increased from 9,000 in 2001 to 12,000 in 2011. That's 3,000 in a decade. He promised to bump the number up to 14,000 by 2015. That's 2,000 more in 4 years' time. At least we have a set goal to measure his performance. Problem is, a huge 18% of the cohort is set aside for foreigners. Assuming the 12,000 is all Singaporean, PRs excluded, and constitutes 82 percent of the pie, the foreign student population is about 2,600. Why not half the alien enrolment now and do away with the wait for 2015? Does he even know how many families have had to sell their houses to finance an overseas education because places at home are taken away by outsiders? Notice the numbers for 2002 through 2010 are missing. Surely the universities have the data, what is the guy hiding? That progress for Singaporeans comes about only when the opposition dig a spur into their hides?

Let us see empirical confirmation of how foreign students contribute to the nation. Who will you be proud of most, a startup comprised of all Singaporeans, or two fifths diluted by foreign content? Surely he must have gotten the message by now, no one roots for the ping pong players because the team members are China's leftovers.

While reiterating a "Singaporean First " approach, he conveniently avoided mention of a President Scholarship recently awarded to a dual citizenship holder. Meanwhile Singaporean males are deemed flight risks, and have to post a hefty bond before heading for Changi airport.

The ISD plant in the mainstream media, namely Chua Mui Hoong, found the tone of the National Day Rally speech too conciliatory. Her younger colleague went further to deem it condescending. Showing video clips of a Transformer Bumblebee instead of the BBC footage of fiery London says it all - the driver definitely needs to wake up. BTW his excuse for the bad marksmanship at Burnei was he had "tried for a more difficult target behind the target in question."


  1. Hameson Chow8/15/2011 9:45 AM

    "Does he even know how many families have had to sell their houses to finance an overseas education because places at home are taken away by outsiders"?

    We Singaporeans need to learn how to protest passionately and lobby our politicians in order for them to change policies which favor our kids studying in the local universities.

    We expect the govt to always do the right thing...and when they dont...we just look to the skies and simply dont care. Govts dont get it right all the time. Thats why a healthy democracy has pressure groups, signature campaigns etc...

    We prefer to sell our houses and send our kids elsewhere. I dont know what it will take to collectively wake us up from this consumer driven stupor to demand the right of a 2 year NS citizen TO STUDY IN THE COUNTRY OF HIS BIRTH.

  2. "BTW his excuse for the bad marksmanship at Burnei was he had "tried for a more difficult target behind the target in question."

    - Nothing has changed.
    - Still aiming for difficult targets
    - still got no results

    - witness our fast running away investments in cancer research
    - our fast shrinking "investments" in foreign bank shares

    Hey stupid!
    The best investment the Singapore government ever made in 1965 was investing and trusting ordinary Singaporeans.

  3. "Singaporeans have to keep upgrading themselves in education standards and increase their productivity." So how? The same words have been uttered upteenth times already. So they have no idea how...

    They are caught in a dilemma. have to cap the FT intake and increase growth, which requires increased productivity, which they don't know how...

  4. By raising the entry level for Employment pass holders, isn't he now admitting that many Singaporean jobs had previously been taken away by foreigners?
    Ha Ha Gotcha.

  5. Good spot, and great for bringing that up!
    I am fed up with the MSM trying to call a bluff on that you all the great stats of present-future without all the context, and telling a half-ass story with stats like that.
    Clearly they have something to hide. And if you think about it, the 3000 more seats are nothing when you have an influx of 2million new residents who have their own children who are university attending kids. Plus how many singaporean kids are actually deprived from the above numbers are what we need to get to bottom. His sister-in-law who heads MOE clearly has something to hide.

  6. 2,000 applicants vying for 300 places for medical school - isn't this a repeat of the short sighted HDB building program? Instead of opening up new places for the aspiring Singaporean doctors, they bring in imports with iffy qualifications. And guys like Puthucheary who broke his father's heart by sleeping with the enemy.

  7. same old, same old.

    Plain, ultimate reason to import FT en-mass - import their voters for 2016.
    According to what i heard fm my Malaysian relative, this is happening in Malaysia.

    Don't see any sincerity to change.

    FT or no FT, one thing that really cheese me off is that the government has "educated" them to look down on us instead of integrating or respect us. Very SAD indeed...

  8. re upgrading skills: i have wondered for a long time how useful all the govt upgrading courses are. are pple who go thru these courses really getting better and higher-paying jobs? have their prospects and pay improved? in what way have these courses actually helped them, if at all?

    anyway improving skills or getting new ones seems pointless when pple don't want to hire you and plump for a foreigner instead. or when it doesn't improve pay and prospects. or when u'r deemed too old to be hired anyway, which seems to be the moment you hit 40.

    this makes working till you die pretty difficult. it makes paying for those incredibly pricey public flats a pipe dream. it makes saving up for retirement impossible. it would seem we are kicking the can down the road, just like the west.

  9. Why choose 2015, already started the battle to fix the opposition for next GE ?

    Talking about credibility, it will sure augur well for PAP if they dares to publish the family income stats of scholarship holders as well, especially those earning at Ministers' level.

  10. "That progress for Singaporeans comes about only when the opposition dig a spur into their hides?"

    Can't agree more!

    Also, tell me I am wrong...

    This ND rally speech sounds a lot like the "I am sorry" fake talk right before GE2011.

  11. Talk cock sing song.
    Asking Singaporeans to rise above the tsunami "After" they open the floodgates is like PUB asking me to rise above the Orchard flood "after" it has happened. WTF...
    So he made it clear..there're 7m of chinese graduates out there for grabs..that's what our PM is interested in. Two (foreign) birds out there in the bush is better than the one (local) bird in his hand.
    Where EU & US are having doldrums, we in Asia openly tell these "foreigners" to come and compete and snatch jobs away from SG..
    There's always a guarantee you will get better job and pay..
    He can't even fucking guarantee the local singaporeans will HAVE a job to begin with, talk about "better"!
    If I want competition I will go outside SG to "cheong". I don't need him to give me more "cheong" when PAP themselves don't like to compete with our own local opposition talents!!!
    Make sure we give the new President a blank cheque that he can cash on behalf of us before the GIC/TH squandered it all off.

  12. He loves to say that he is working harder along with the party. Well, I am more inclined to believe that he is trying hard to "fix the opposition" as he promised to, and to also "fix" Singaporeans' minds.

  13. He did say he has to get two things right. Policies & Politics.

  14. Does anyone believe that to reduce the number of Singaporeans who got qualifying grades, especially "A" level students whose papers are supposedly marked in UK, to enter local university, the students grades were doctored? i.e adjusted/changed to lower grades so that they will not be able to qualify for local university places and thus foreigner can be given the places and also to keep out anti-govt elements?

    Why is Cambridge UK examining body who is the authority in the marking, certification and appeal not allowed to comment, respond or contact the students directly even if the students strongly suspect errors in the grades released by SEAB. Why can't the grades be released by Cambridge UK if they are exactly the same? SEAB refuses to provide contact details for Cambridge UK examining body. There is no other course of appeal for the students and their parents.

    Students and parents, I believe some results are not correct. So please do not blame yourself or your children; it is not yours or your children's fault.

    All those who are responsible for these suspicious "results" that will destroyed the students future- do you believe in retribution? Do you have any conscience? The students and their parents will curse you and your family to infinity.