Monday, April 1, 2013

Lesson From The Good Book

In his Peking University HSBC Business School lecture on Monday 25 March 2013 Tan Jee Say makes use of this verse from the bible: “In the multitude of people is the king’s honour, but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.” - Proverbs 14:28, King James Version (KJV).

While rulers of the ancient past raise large armies out of huge populations to subjugate their enemies and forage for food and other resources from foreign territories, some see the modern use of the multitudes of new citizens as potential voters, for the preservation of their power and prevention of their destruction.

The King James Bible uses antiquated English that is difficult to understand. Sometimes words are inserted, like the italicised "is", to make the passage clearer. As it was unlikely Proverbs 14:28 was covered during Sunday School class, a search of the online bibles yielded interesting perspectives. The English Standard Version (ESV) translates the same verse from the original Greek this way:
"In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
    but without people a prince is ruined."

Our curiosity about kingly intention is whetted. Then there is this exposition from the Matthew Henry Commentary about the "two maxims in politics":
"1. That it is much for the honour of a king to have a populous kingdom; it is a sign that he rules well, since strangers are hereby invited to come and settle under his protection and his own subjects live comfortably; it is a sign that he and his kingdom are under the blessing of God, the effect of which is being fruitful and multiplying.
2. That when the people are lessened the prince is weakened; trade lies dead, the ground lies untilled, the army wants to be recruited, the navy to be manned, and all because there are not hands sufficient."

Aiyah, what a long winded way to remind us that, under a lousy ruler, we are cursed, people will not reproduce, i.e. opposite of "being fruitful and multiplying". With the total fertility rate driven south, economy tanks, no one wants to serve National Service. So, die-die, the population figure must be 6.9 million.


  1. Pao Kao Liau4/01/2013 3:47 AM

    ha ha ha...well done...cut to the chase and say it like it is..

  2. Definitely one of you better pieces. Of course you must never forget the social, economic, and political circumstances in which such "proverbs" originate.Their antiquity makes you wonder at LKY and his chosen successors` lack of foresight and imgination in relying on such crude ancient formulae.

  3. “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
    ― Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Just once in your life.
    Just once.
    Wouldn't you want to vote Opposition to screw up the PAPigs before you die?

    GE 2016.
    This is your chance.
    Possibly your last chance before death comes calling.

  4. Aiyah, he can't say it directly because he not anonymous like you mah.. Hehehe LOL

  5. Why not the Pro Alien Millionaires win elections the old fashion way?

    Making sure Singaporeans do well so Singapore will do well.

    Singapore (the GDP number) doing well is not enough.
    Singaporeans must also do well.

    If not;
    Vote Opposition.

  6. But you see hor, these scholar doctors they practise western medicien ma, tackle the symptom and get paid rich bonuses! Who cares if the patient is dying leh, more pain killers can suppress fever, more retrovirus cocktail delays AIDs, and if patient really died, just pump in more benzaldehyde and apply some cosmetics he will look like just sleeping ma! So easy to create GDP growth, just import more FT, more hot money, more housing bubbles, get baks to lend more, all will look good. After US collapse comes Europe, after Europe comes who ha.... ? Better don't think so much, just withdraw all my money first.

  7. This is how PAP addresses the issue of dwindling Singaporeans as a sign of their failure as leaders - they import more foreigners into Singapore to make it more populous - then voila, they are good leaders by that benchmark. Nevermind whether the residents in Singapore are Singaporeans or not.

    Dumbassed PAP.

  8. As long as the old-LKY-era voters and new-foreign-era voters keep coming in, they will continue to be on the good book of PAP. That's the only "good book" that truly matters.

  9. But Tattler, have we asked ourselves, why 6.9 million?

  10. The real question one should be asking PAP is whether our ageing problems will ever be solved with a 6.9m population later on ?

    Or is PAP going to leave this shit for the future generations to solve ?

  11. When in doubt, consult the Loony Prince's playbook

    1. TFR is now the new Total Foreign-Talent Replacement.

    2. Aging Population is replaced with Raging Population.

    3. Diversity - almost always of the racial kind - is a positive end in itself and is always an unquestionably good thing.

    4. Immigration - the Third World kind - is a positive end in itself and is always an unquestionably good thing.

    5. Any doubts about # 1/3/4 means you're a racist or xenophobe

  12. "In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
    but without people a prince is ruined."

    Running your grandfather's INC, doesn't matter by whatever methods "hor-jinx" or "hop-ping", keep multiplying the number lor. Be sure to reward the ball-lickers and extend their consultancy contracts forever lor. No balls oso can c------lingus lor.