Monday, December 1, 2014

The Scholar System Is Broke

On 24 January 2009 at about 11pm, a scholar gained notoriety by strolling down Lorong Mambong in Holland Village on a crowded Saturday evening with nothing on but her birthday suit.

An alumni of the University of Cambridge at which she studied in 2003, she was sent on an A*STAR National Science Scholarship (NSS) to study infection biology in Sweden's Karolinska Institutet  in 2007. A MENSA member with an IQ of over 148, she was also a champion skater who had represented Singapore at Skate Asia, the largest ice-skating competition outside the US.

Together with Jan Philip, 21, a Swedish student on an exchange programme, the attention getter was charged in court for appearing nude in public. Philip was offered bail of $5,000 and his passport was impounded. But the Singaporean did not have to post bail and her passport was not confiscated. Being a scholar has its privileges.

Despite being fined $2000 for breaking the law, A*Star in its infinite wisdom, chose to give her a warning only, and allowed her to keep the full scholarship. Now in 2014, the streaker makes it plain she is not interested in her bonded employment at all, but is merely marking time to serve out her bond instead of having to face paying, as of 30 September 2014, around $741,657 in order to quit.

Instead of working hard towards a cure for an infectious disease, say Ebola, she decided to go into song and dance and fund art projects "in all genres, including (but) not limited to fine art, visual art, dance, music, circus, theatre, film and literature” with a $1,000 a month grant. Money deducted from a salary that is paid by honest taxpayers, meant to finance a professional obligation she has no intention to fulfil.

The people who vetted and selected her for the umpteen years of expensive overseas education - we assume it must be the Public Service Commission or similar - are caught between a rock and a very hard place. In the private sector, such a maverick will be shown the door in a jiffy - with penalties to match. But to kick her out means admitting they made a bad mistake and committed serious error of judgment. The same judgment with which they have appointed other scholars to high office in various statutory boards and government linked companies, or even into parliament. Come hell or high water, they will never admit the emperor is not wearing any clothes.

16 comments:

  1. Who is responsible? Some selection committee of course, which means no one in particular will ever be responsible. They built a bureaucracy, very entrenched, ever sucking on the taxpayers tits.

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    1. It is The Committee , stupid ! See, all hiding . Just as we have a coverment instead of A Government .
      No one in particular is responsible . As usual.

      Delete
  2. Same as scholars. They picked them from young, mati mati must make sure they are given high posts. Whether they can handle or not is not an issue. Cannot lose face. End up we are the only who suffer.

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  3. Singaporean scholar walked naked with angmo in Holland Village. China scholar get impregnated by China Professor in China.
    Since women are emotionally so unstable why Singapore Govt want to give the fairer sex scholarship ?

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    1. Stop being sexist...

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  4. The scholar system provides the PAP with a source for their mandarinate. In this system where they boast of being the best and the brightest, no one can be seen to have failed no matter what mistakes are committed. Or the system will collapse. In the Soviet Union the same creed prevailed. Read Solshenitsyn's We Never Make Mistakes and you will understand the underpinnings of our malaise. Time for change.

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  5. The idea of being in 'bonded" or indentured to the government in exchange for scholarship money is an idea peculiar to the PAP government.
    American scholarships are given out freely without any strings attached.

    Why?
    American companies do not want workers or scholars who are not 100% dedicated.

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  6. I believe her gripe is against shitty PHD work that she terms "useless" versus artist works that are seem as "useless". The former is paid thousand $ more and the latter is paid peanuts.

    Is a question of Value - academic vs non-academic.
    Clap clap
    --

    Dr Eng Kai Er: "I don’t like it when people make policy and then my life gets turned into shit because of their policy. Therefore, I will make my own policies from now on." "I don’t agree that basic research scientists should be paid so much more than artists, when they do a very similar type of narcissistic, masturbatory work (while all the time having to justify that it’s good for society as if it’s not already obvious that it is). "Come on, both scientists and artists do their work ultimately because it gives them a kick. "My PhD project resulted in a thesis that less than 5 people read, and that not more than these 5 people actually want to read, about a very obscure virus that no normal people even know the name of, and my findings related to this obscure virus are nowhere near useful. "So how come I was paid so well for my PhD by the Singapore government, to do something “useless,” and paid so little for art, to do something “useless”?"

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    1. Dr Eng Kai Er: "I don’t like it when people make policy and then my life gets turned into shit because of their policy."

      I thought she was talking about CPF.

      Delete
  7. I believe setting her free is best.

    Keeping her bonded will make my life miserable with certainty.
    She will chair a committee, council or some other creation to implement procedures or policies that I do not enjoy.

    Set her free... after all what is $750K to very rich and wealthy Singapore? ( my money?... never was)

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  8. She finally understands:

    A drone to crunch numbers... only difference is an elite drone.

    Leave dear, leave the damned system.. time is on your side.

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  9. Singapore produces an interesting and unusual girl! Let's give her a chance to contribute in her own ways. Who has the gut and right mind to walk naked down the street except her. Likely, her brain is very different from those traditional scholars!

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  10. Is that ugly attention seeking girl "connected" in some ways? Is that why she was offered a 2nd scholarship? Anybody CSI? If not, she must have the thickest hide.

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  11. She should be freed and not be enslaved by the system.

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  12. Her bohemian streak reveals her character - she was charged for walking naked in Holland V(Sick!). How did ASTAR select her? The many episodes of our scholars breaking or refusing to serve their bonds reveal the "selfishness" of these stupid so called "elites". PHD - Permanent Head Damage.

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    1. /// How did ASTAR select her? ///

      For her attributes as a porn star?

      Delete