Monday, March 26, 2012

Priority For Singaporeans

In what must be seen as another "populist move" Education Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that Singapore citizens will be given "absolute priority" over permanent residents (PRs) when balloting is required during the Primary 1 registration exercise. In the event that the number of applicants exceeds the number of vacancies in a specific phase of the exercise, citizens will be admitted first, regardless of how far they live from the school. This will address the tactics of some PRs who buy property from the new or resale market to be within that critical 1 km distance of a popular school.

The last time the scheme was changed in 2010, Singaporean children were given two ballot slips, compared to one for a PR registrant. That apparently had failed to placate the ire of parents anxious to have their wards placed in a "good school".

The end of this month will also see A-level graduands competing for limited places in the local universities. It remains to be seen if another vote gathering gesture will hatched to soothe the tempers of another set of doting guardians. Ideally, foreigners will be granted access only after Singaporeans have secured their admission.  And reduce the number of the ungrateful free-loader type foreign scholars.

A Taiwanese agent advising an American businessman about the amount needed to grease some palms for a multi-million dollar project (American firms are strict about bribes, but "guanxi" is okay) explained the Chinese strategy that if one needs to make a killing, the knife better had better be sharp. If one uses a uses a blunt instrument, one can stab and stab, there will be lots of splattered blood, but the intended target may refuse to die i.e. be prepared to pay big. Whether the Ministry of Education is utilising the correct set of tools will remain to be seen, but we look forward to more goodies as the politicians scheme to improve their diminished mandate.


  1. Priority in P1 registration for Singapore citizens- as if the PAP government is doing us a favour

  2. If you look at Singapore's aging population and based on Japan's experience, quite a number of schools may have to close down due to insufficient intakes as a result of the low birth rates. So, you can see our education system and our teachers' jobs are to a certain extent supported by new immigrants.

    With or without new immigrants, certain favored schools always have problem of accommodating the overwhelming applications. This kind of situation will be aggravated in certain years by kids who are born in those favored years (such as this year's Dragon Year). In fact, in order to squeeze into these favored schools, many parents volunteer to do social work for these schools in order to be ahead of others.

    This announcement is probably more of a symbolic gesture that is packaged to look as if the government is listening to the people!

    1. Don't you find it ironic? That many parents can find the time to volunteer long hours to do social work at the 'school of their choice' for their children just to get a foot in, but MCYS cannot find enough 'volunteers' to do social works for the aged and needy? What does it say? This society put different value when there is only 'gain' for them. How to expect unselfish new generation? If you do a resource allocation, the same group of people who can help in shcool and put them to help in much needed society groups, there would be so lopsided when it comes to productivity! Maybe MCYs can offer priority place for nursing homes when they are old, see what you get for results?!! Singaporeans need to be incentivized before they will 'act for the good'.

    2. Oiii! Teachers in Singapore are already overloaded. A typical class has about 37 students. If 15% of these are PRs and they all get lost, the down sizing is right sizing.

      Special privileges, just like obligations, is a must

  3. It's quite funny how 'corruption' is treated differently by our Singapore Authorities & GLCs.

    While that low level LTA engineer/supervisor are not permitted to sit at the same table with the contractor at the hawker centre even though nobody is buying them any lunch, our PAP Minister can be openly invited to any free annual D&D sharing tables with bigshot developers or contractors.

    When it comes to our GLCs like some of our international shipyards, plying ship owner representatives with weekly Friday night parties with free flow of booze & satay, free tickets to concerts and whatever you name it, etc. seems to be the order of the day.

    Just wonder when we keep increasing our budget for purchasing never-to-be-used defence weapons, do they likewise come with extra fringe benefits like that special rare diamond that some Asean 1st Lady took a fancy ?

    1. When HK CE Donald Tsang went on millionaire's yatch cruise to macau, he was being summoned and investigated by the CPIB and reprimanded for misconduct, amidst public outcry and shame.
      Fat hope that would happen in SG.
      Anyway, our GIC just sold off a Tokyo Baseball Stadium for 80billion yen, when it was bought for 100billion yen. ST headline didn't even utter the word 'loss' anywhere in the script. Just reported like a normal press release.
      What else is surprising here? Ring of truth when GY says 'the loss of faith in govt'.

    2. Bloody fu#@$%@#$king government can even has the audacity to remark that they increase GST in 2006 due to potential budget deficit.

      Take a read at this post

      turn out that much money that are useful for national development are channelled to TH and GIC for oversea loss-making investment, and in turn these very same clowns tell us that they need more money to help the poor...

      fu3@$king bastards.

    3. You forget ministers and MPs are invited by property developers to soft launches where they can snap up choice units at special discount. That's where the real money is, not some freebie meals.

  4. This is a scheme-in-disguise with the political spin that PAP is now giving citizens priority over PRs and foreigners and thus quell the anger and show that PAP is listening to the ground. However, the REAL intent is to now make it very painful for those PRs who cannot afford private school for their kids to remain as PRs and "force" them to become citizens so that their kids can get a place in good local schools. And, of course, the biggest prize for PAP is these newly minted citizens will very likely vote PAP in the next election in order to minimize the vote power of local born citizens so that PAP keeps power!

    A wolf in sheep's clothing policy for sure! Think and then think again!

    1. When will lesser mortals ever wakeup from illusion that leopard will ever change its spot ?

    2. so now our children can get into the schools we want because they are singaporeans?! gee, thanks for reminding us huh, PAP. Oh wait, you mean we reminded you...?!!

  5. You mean all these time singaporeans NEVER have the priority? All these time the PRs are here on the same par, same level playing field to compete for seats and our school resources? Oh I see. So after spending more money building more international schools for the canadians, americans, indians & chinese, germans etc and depriving singaporeans their equality, we can finally give back the original rights to them. So now I look forward to hdb doing the same and companies doing the same for employment.

  6. If those rich PRs have the means to buy property near top schools, they should use that same means to send their kids to intl schools instead.
    Is a nice spin to give singaporeans impressions that we are given priority. When they have abused that citizen's rights to start with. Righting a wrong without having to say sorry, and still make singaporeans happy...slicker by the day!

  7. so whatever happens to the case of sun xu? what is the disciplinary action taken against him if any? Is NUS condoning him - no news?

  8. Dear Singaporeans.
    PRs and foreigners are not the cause of your Primary 1 school registration woes.

    Poor planning guided by a lousy set of values by the Proud Arrogant People is the real cause.

    Firstly, classroom sizes should be no larger than 20 pupils to a class.
    More schools should have been built 20 years ago.
    More teachers should have been trained 20 years ago.

    This should have done before the mass immigration started.

    Where is the money going to come from?
    Stop buying fighter jets that cost US$68 million dollars per plane.
    How many Brigadier-Generals and Admirals do we need on a per capita basis of soldiers?

    "What if all the foreign talents threaten to leave the country?"
    They will have to ask the Pro Alien Party to get the answers.

    Were they seduced into coming to Singapore under false pretenses?
    Or did they come to Singapore with their eyes wide opened?

    The solution is to build more schools and train more teachers.
    Something that should have been done 20 years ago.
    The problem is not the demand.
    The problem lies with the inadequate supply for a 5.5 million population.

    Money invested in foreign bank shares are useless.
    A government is not a hedge fund manager.
    A government's job is to look after its citizens and inspire the next generation to greater heights of achievement.

  9. This policy change is long overdue. Nothing to be "steady poon pee pee "

    Shameful !

    Agree with the above anon,

    class size should be 20 some 20 years ago and so on. Well said !

  10. Try telling our NSmen that they are defending our citizen from threat of attack and you will get the middle finger. In reality, half of the people here are foreigners who by their PR status, compete with our own sons and daughters without the need to serve NS. They get all the advantages at our expense. Scholarship, school enrolment, housing etc.

    It is certainly not a gift from the government. Priority to Singaporeans should be the given to all Singaporeans in the first place. Otherwise, why call us citizen.

    1. This is an example of government trying to 'fix' the issue they created.
      Firstly, the problem is caused by 'elite' schools and who created those schools at the first place.

      In my opinion, forget the registration exercise and let MOE assign base on home location vs school and let Singaporean citizen fill up the vacancies before PR and then foreigners. For those alumni, or ppl prefer to 'choose', the current scheme applies till Phase 2B and apply thru MOE.