Saturday, January 29, 2011

MM Lee on Elitism....

I've written about elitism here. It is actually a series of articles that covers my thoughts on the topic.

MM Lee has been spreading his 'hard truths' with much enthusiasm in the past few weeks. He has been sharing his ideas a lot in public and sometimes too frankly. This week he offended many Muslims by asking them to be 'less strict'. I won't go into too much into that I believe it was careless 'politically incorrect' remark on his part[Link]. He is not helping his party (and his son) by taking center stage and going around reminding of everyone the 'hard truths'. It makes it look like the PAP leadership is still taking directions from him and very often the 'hard truths' look like dogmatic beliefs - he provided little evidence or logic to demonstrate these truths in his interviews.

"People get educated, the bright ones rise, they marry equally well-educated spouses. The result is their children are smarter than those who are gardeners. Not that all the children of gardeners are duds. Occasionally 2 grey horses produce a white horse but very few . If you have 2 white horses, the chances are you breed white horses. It's seldom spoken publicly because those who are NOT white horses say, "You're degrading me". But its a fact of life. You get a good mare, you don't want a dud stallion to breed with your good mare. You get a poor foal.

Your mental capacity and your EQ and the rest of you, 70 to 80% is genetic. "

- MM Lee, Hard Truths interview.

I will explain in the subsequent paras why he is incorrect and his attempts to socially engineer our society has led to harmful outcomes and finally the far better way to get performance from a group of people.

Human intelligence is far more complex compared with a simpler human traits such as height. It is known as a polygenic trait resulting from a combination of genes mixed randomly during reproduction. MM Lee talk about genetics being 70-80% - if that is really the case, the 'nature vs nuture' debate which has gone on for the past 100 years would have been easily settled. Researchers studying population groups that have split up e.g. Africans in Africa and Blacks in America found that nutrition plays a much bigger role than genetics. Breast feeding can result in a average improvement of 7 IQ points for parents with a particular gene[Link] which may be the difference between the mean of a more intelligent race vs a less intelligent race. Suppose you get nutrition and environment out of the way and give every single child the best possible environment and the best possible nutrition - then the main factor would be genetic inheritance. The best research tells us when you do that, the parents account for 50% of the variation....the other 50% is probably random[Link]. It never goes up to the 70-80% MM Lee talks about. The implications is if you give all children the same start and equalise their environment make sure they get good nutrition, more top students will come from parents from the bottom 80% than the top 20%. In Singapore, the start for the poorest students is no preschool or $10 preschool [Link] while the richest parent send their children to $20K pre-school.

4 decades of clinging to this MM Lee's hard truth has led to a self-fulfilling downward spiral in terms of expanding inequality among the people:

1. MM Lee believes intelligence is largely due to genetic inheritance.

2. Because of this so called 'hard truth'. Policies designed to discourage poor and less educated from having more children. These measures including avoiding giving support to the poor when they have children to discourage them. This create a disadvantage and failure to potentiate the abilities of poor children - good nutrition and high quality early education.

3. Policy makers then look at the statistics that find children from educated parents do much better than students from poorer background. Then they wrongly conclude that MM Lee's 'hard truth' is true so better have more of the same type of policies to discourage the poor from reproducing by not supporting them when they have children.

We are losing talents and expanding the inequality in our society on this fallacy MM Lee calls a "hard truth". His attempts to socially engineer our society in the 1960-1970s by asking poorer citizens to delay marriage and have fewer children has led to the severe problems we have today which the PAP now tries to fix by massive immigration. His policies to give minimal help to the poor to discourage them from reproducing affects the children of poor families and creating a underclass. Today, a large part of the incentive for having children is given out as tax rebates than can only be used by parents with high income - it is designed so that nothing goes to poor parents who need the most help to realise the talents of their children. Baby bonus? Poor parents just don't have the extra funds to set aside the money for baby bonus accounts.

Let me ask you where we are today with 40 years of eugenics-based policies? The results are disastrous! The govt now wants to massively import 'talents' ....talent that could have emerge from our own people if not for years of bad policies and one man's desire to socially engineer the population. What the engineering accomplished was the expansion of inequality in our society - the highest in the developed world and a society now badly stratified.

Trying to engineer a better society by selective breeding has gotten us nowhere except to make us reliant on foreign sources of talent. There is a way to get performance and energise a a society that is far better and effective than trying to raise their IQ points by selective breeding. Just look at those 82 men and women, MM Lee himself selected from the best of his elites - not one can come out with a good argument for minimum wage, can't improve the deteriorating quality of life here, can't get elected except by linking votes to upgrading + silencing opponets...can't think of ways to make economic progress except by importing labor and making Singaporeans cheaper, better and faster...can't break out of the groupthink - MM Lee boxed them in with his 'hard truths' creating duds out of men who perhaps have some intelligence. The only way for the duds to be in control is to have sheep below them - denied of information, feed with propaganda. See what shackles our society is not the lack of people with inborn intelligence but an elitist top down semi-authoritarian govt. Elitism as a belief that a select group to which resources and decision making is disproportionately allocated will eventually de-energise the rest of the populace who don't participate, have no stake and ownership of ideas. They are fed propaganda instead of information ...think N. Korea vs S. Korea. One is an elitist regime, the other is a full blown democracy ...same people, different system of government...big difference in outcomes. Instead of socially engineering the people, much more is to gain by making progress in the political system. When there is freedom among the people to express themselves, when they have access to information because the press is free and the govt is fully transparent we can accomplish far more than trying to breed our way to accomplishment or importing "talents" to improve our 'genetic stock' and create an intellectual class - give everyone the freedom to think, participate and speak up....empower the people with information and tap on a diversity of opinion. An open society will ultimately triumph over an elitist semi-authoritarian system of govt.

The more extracts of MM Lee's 'hard truths' I read about, the more convinced that our govt's inability to solve problems is due to these 'hard truths'. They are hard only because one man refuses to accept the views of others and there is little flexibility to do anything different and make further progress. Other countries have since made political progress towards democracy while we are still locked down the the 'hard truths' of one man - many of these truths can be taken apart if we apply logic and the best scientific evidence available.

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most important about "Hard truths" is that PAP is and will remain strong and the opposition remain weak.

And many foreigners still want to come here, whether to work or for the very rich ones, to park their money.

And for a long time to come.

Isn't this the truth and also very hard for some Singaporeans? And this is what really matters.

And I believe MM Lee plays a big role in these hard truths.

The rest may be subjective or even "dogmatic with little evidence or logic to demonstrate these truths", as what Lucky Tan suggested.

But does it really matter?

Anonymous said...

Try putting our white horses in the middle of some african plain (the environment). In no time they will be trampled flat by the grey horses (genetic) - unless the former are able to gain enough knowledge (nurture) to gallop or roam out of their environment (which in the first place may not be conducive for knowledge transfer).

As much as it is genetic (nature), it is also about nurture (opportunities) which feed on one another. While the white horses want to stay white, they may be the very reason the other grey horses stay grey (by denying / "competing" away opportunities).

And of course, white horses would love to perpetuate the current order so that the validity of their genetic magical potion stay potent for self preservation.

DareToAct said...

This is Lucky at his best, yet.

You start with a belief, impose rules to encourage certain behavior and discourage some others. After some years, you doing studies to check on your belief. And true and behold, you are RIGHT!

C H Yak said...

Read "Hard Truths on Climate of Fear" @
http://de-leviathan.blogspot.com/2011/01/election-watch-part-iv-hard-truths-on.html

See what Malaysian Ministers are doing vs ours.

Anonymous said...

Male Singapore Citizens have to serve national service upon reaching the age of 18 years old.

In the event of serving, accidents do happen.
In some of the accidents, the servicemen were injured, and in more serious cases, they lost their life.

I was saddened to read that a full-time national serviceman(NSF), Lance Corporal Eugin Wee Yong Choon, 20 years old, died after being hit by a truck driven by another NSF in Jurong Camp 1 at about 7am January 28 2011 as reported in the Straits Times, Page A3 on 29 January 2011.

This is a clear illustration of how much risk and sacrifice any serviceman is subjected to during the course of serving.

In short, Male Singapore Citizens sacrifice their time, energy and even their life to protect and defend Singapore.

In contrast,

first generation male permanent residents are exempted from national service even though most of them are below 29 years old,

and

second generation male permanent residents try means and ways to skip their obligations to serve national service.

This is shown from a blog of how second generation Singapore ex-PR skipped the obligation to serve national service.

From the blog comments, there are many potential Singapore PRs who have the intention of wanting to skip serving national service.

In short, these ungrateful permanent residents want to enjoy all the benefits Singapore have given them but these ungrateful permanent residents do not want to fulfill their obligations of serving national service.

The blog is here:
http://shih.blogspot.com/2005/02/how-i-ended-up-in-kl_07.html
-----------------------------------------------
Quote from an extract of the blog:

I say with some hesitation as it is a slightly complicated story as to how I am from Singapore but now working in KL.

I was born in KL, Malaysia but then moved down to JB when I was around 6 with my family. When I was about 11, my family then moved down to Singapore where all of us then became Permanent Residents there, but still holding on to our Malaysian passports.

Very soon after my 'A' levels, I was called up to do National Service in Singapore. All 2nd generation PRs (ie. my parents were PRs, so I was a 2nd gen PR) had to serve NS. I promptly made the decision that I would drop my Singapore PR to avoid having to do 2 1/2 yrs of NS and I would pursue my university education in the UK.

I had always planned to return to Singapore to work so after 4 years in the UK, I returned in the summer of '04. I obtained pupillage at a large Singapore law firm and I was about to start my DipSing at the local university in Singapore. All UK law grads had to go through this DipSing conversion course to get us used to Singapore law. It is very much a waste of 1 year but anyway, problems started to arise.
.....

Anonymous said...

Singapore has a small population. We should try to develop everyone to their full potential so that more people can contribute to Singapore society.

Instead the PAP, under Lee's misconceptions, do the opposite. The disadvantaged are further disadvantaged. Why build so many ITEs and Polytechnics when the information age is the future? We should aim to educate as many people as possible to their highest potential. Many Singaporeans waste a lot of money to study at overseas universities to realise their full potential.

Anonymous said...

"Why build so many ITEs and Polytechnics when the information age is the future? We should aim to educate as many people as possible to their highest potential."

As the medieval story goes : -

..... so that the cream can still call themselves the cream with the dividing line (filter) while importing others to dilute your "resources" (e.g capacity & voice) while protecting their own. So that you do not pose to them as a credible "threat" (but remaining on dependent mode looking up upon them as the only "saviors").

Lye Khuen Way said...

Whether these "hard truths" are "half truths" or not, I kept getting that Jack Nickleson's response in the movie -"A Few Good Men". "Can you handle the Truths ?"

I could. Easy. I discount them as a desperate red herring attempt to blur the bigger issues that is hurting Singspore prior to the GE.

Lao Lee Correct said...

No need to argue with Lao Lee. Let's just suppose he is indeed correct (about genetics playing 70-80%).

SO WHAT? That still does not support his policy because:

His 20 years of eugenic policies to encourage grad mothers to give birth more and to coerce non-grad mothers to give birth less HAS NOT WORKED!!!

Human nature is such that:
grad/rich mothers
-> more career-oriented +
more calculating
-> give birth less.

non-grad/poor mothers
-> more housewives +
calculate less abt cost
-> give birth more

This is bore out by statistics not only in Singapore but all over the world (i.e. poor give birth more, rich give birth less). So his eugenics policy failed!

Therefore even if his theory is correct, the consequent policy must still be:

Provide more funding to give children of poor/non-grad mothers better nutrition and pre-school etc, because that is the only way to make the whole population more intelligent.

To repeat: EVEN IF HIS THOERY IS CORRECT, encouraging grad mother to give birth more while coercing non-grad mothers to give birth less does not work!

Anonymous said...

Just to refresh everybody's mind. Everytime such elitism/social engineering issues/talk pop up, I remember the Wee Su Min saga. Our present system creates that kind of mindset/elitism/apathy of that kind of "cultivated"class. Elites who will cause a serious divide/split in Singapore in future.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to point out that you misquoted the article. From the image (thanks for including!),it reads "It's seldom spoken publicly because those who are NOT white horses say, "You're degrading me"."

I couldn't figure out what that sentence meant until I realized it was a typo!

Anonymous said...

I need to point this misconception out as it is seen too often now.

In evolution, it does not mean that if your father has a PhD and your mom is a teacher, that the child will be intelligent. There is a likelihood of that happening if the child is healthy and the environment cultivates that growth. Mutations is a real factor in evolution and it can change the odds out completely. When LKY read about evolution, (and he didn't update his knowledge since), mutation is another driving force of evolution.

Species evolve by incremental changes and mutation. Mutation explains the variety of living things that we see around us.

So LKY has gotten his facts wrong. And no one has pointed to the dying emperor that is indeed the case because there are too many propositions and hardly any oppositions to correct him.

With the advent of the casinos, the PAP party has lost its moral authourity on any matters, so any all cowards do...they'll design the laws to suit them.

Since nurture too play a large part of a child's upbringing, we are not surprise why our PM is our PM. Clearly, nature wasn't in his favour. He wasn't from top schools and back then NJC was the only college available in Singapore before Nanyang JC came into existence.

I am a citizen in this country and I ask myself: what the fuck has this country given me? I don't even feel cared for? Where is my CPF and universal healthcare and minimum wage?

Even the government's registered prostitutes in all their 20-odd Geylang Lorongs have a minimum wage of $50.

Foreign talents such as the Thai and China prostitutes working in the PAP-approved Geylang brothels in this country deserves minimum wage but not Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

He has so much time to write a book. WOW! He's paid $300 000 each month to write a book to tell us? What can't he just give a fucking speech? 'Cos that would be stepping on the toes on his boss, PM Lee.

One hypocrisy after another. It's time for the PM to grow up. I have zero in a leader who needs a mentor. I don't think he needs to be babysit anymore.

Anonymous said...

Hard truths or hard selling in desperation near election?

Truth need no selling, truth will prevails if only majority Singaporean wake up and seek the truth for themselves.

Very sad to read lives of helpless Singaporean in this hard 'fine' country.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, u have hit the nail right at dead centre. Singaporeans are suffering due to the dogmatic and muggy thoughts of LKY. The sooner Singaporeans purged themselves of the papist Leegime, the better it is for them and Singapore.

Anonymous said...

well i guess it is like the story that was told to me that if you go to the poor african counties years back and you saw half of the population not waering shoes, is it a disaster or a business opportunities?

So when interpreting data and statistics, one has to be very careful. there are also many tricks looking at data like using a more favourable base year or drawing conclusion when policy does not work by concluding that if not bacause of the policy, the situation will be worst etc.

Anonymous said...

my father taxi driver, my mother completed her pre-U in chinese. I'm a Masters holder. Looks like the genetic theory doesn't work in me.

Anonymous said...

For all the eugenics theory LKY sprouts, I can equally find as many examples of nobel prize laureates or PHDs/Master holders parents who have also produce abnormal children. I think is time he stop his hitlerian social engineering. Just because he married a a smart wife (btw he's born in the year of PIG) that probably explain his inferiority and overly and wrongly stressing the merits of eugenics that have no basis whatsoever.

Hitler once think the aryan race are superior, and made all out effort to diminish the jews which he considers inferior. Look at where the Jews are today.

Move over LKY. Time to retire your elitist Confucius 18th century thinking. Your entire PAP groupthink has brilliantly turned out to be the yes men. There's a marshall in everyone of us, Singaporeans should have the backbone to speak out and vote the oppressor out of the majority before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Miss Lucky,

U need not write against him. We read and we knew. This generation is different. The more he come out to speak, the more insecure he is. The harder he is trying, the worst it will become... cos the more he spoke, more people are offended. Say what u like, The votes are in our hands! Not urs MM Lee!!

Anonymous said...

Yes LKY is son of the bitches.

Anonymous said...

No one can be correct 100% of the time. But if one is correct most of the time, it's a pretty good record.

LKY stands by his record and it's a good one, although apparently it's not good enough for some.

Rationality, impartiality and a clear mind free of vitrol are sadly missing in this forum.

Anonymous said...

LKY is just plain lucky. he has no foresight nor leadership qualities nor good genes. he goes around offending people and making the wrong policies. my uneducated mom has far more foresight than him. she insisted on having more than two children when stop at two policy was implemented. if his genes theory is correct, then LSL also inherit his not so good genes.

Anonymous said...

he is also very thick skin. he thinks singapore success is due to his good genes. it was God who put in the right people at the right time in the right place to help bring up sg because he took pity for these people who were hardworking but with no resources. unfortunately, the IR has worsen this relationship which means we will see more woes coming.

Anonymous said...

look, LKY and the PAP is ultimately only interested in their own self interests and hold on power. that's the hard truth.

Anonymous said...

If LKY believes in gene supremacy, why is he mentoring his son as minister mentor? Answer: He knows he's right, hence he needs to mentor the prime minister. Also, he has an albino grandchild. So how good is LKY's genes?

Anonymous said...

It is no longer fashionable to be making speeches as LKY is aware that there are a lot of angry Singaporeans (foreigners) on the streets today.

So, he opts to write a book as an election strategy this time as people trusts books more than politicians.

Anonymous said...

Where did the Albinism gene in the royal family come from?
It is recessive, which means both Lee Hsien Loong and the mother also have the gene right?
With such bad genes , are they still elite?

Fox said...

MM Lee is partially right about the heritability of IQ though but he misses the fact that there is something called the regression towards the mean. If your spouse and you have IQ scores of 130, the statistically most likely IQ score of your children is not 130 but 115 or the halfway mark between you and the population average.

CEO said...

" Rationality, impartiality and a clear mind free of vitrol are sadly missing in this forum."

There is NO rationality for Singaporeans to have to put up with social darwinism - putting the minority into extinct, suppressing the poor/disadvantaged with mean testing, while his elitist team are not prepared to open a level playing field for "local" opponents! Why dont PAP with all the smart leaders be willing to compete with local opponents (without suing them to bankruptcies) on the basis of free and fair speech while expecting us to do so?

There is only IMpartiality in all these eugenics that he's proposing. All these comparisons about Mares , graduates/non graduates theory are only putting the people down, not giving them a fair opportunity to grow and thrive. We are no animals but human beings. Show some compassion even if you don't have a religion. Not giving minimal wage in a so-called successful country while its leaders are drawing million dollars is morally shameful. Where have their desires to serve except for the big paycheck?

His mind is no longer clear when he fails to update his science and stay relevance to his people. People increasingly want their voices heard, to be consulted, policies to be debated and Opponents a fair ground to compete. Look at what happened to Egypt. This can also happen to SGP.

Scientist said...

LKY should get off his high horse. Nothing on genetics and its heritability are conclusive despite all these years of nature/nurture debate. He can stop his social engineering, and accept gracefully that people are human, and let nature take its course to shape the human talents of Singapore. Managing a country is both an art and not just science alone.

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/heritability-of-human-intelligence-iq-and-eugenics-796

Pure breed said...

MM Lee is right. Look at the recent sim lim salesman fiasco. i am sure he has defective parents and poor upbringing. If only he wasnt born, our gene pool would have improve a little.

Now what we need is a system to scan out these people who are already defective and exiled them or better still exterminate them.

we will start from SIM LIM SQ, since all the ah bengs are gathered there. These bottom feeders who had whores as mums and pimps as dads should not be allowed to breath the air on earth. every breath they exhale pollute our environment. their aspirations of buying a honda civic on a maximum loan via daily con job in their electronics store disgust me. Instead of bringing problematic kids to visit the prison to scare them off, schools should organise trips to SIM LIM. " dont study hard and this is what you will end up in, this cesspool of human garbage, swimming in their own filth, waiting for extermination"

runroad said...

The old fool's a bloody lawyer and like many of his profession, slick with words and metaphor. But that's about as far as his talent extends. He's no polymath. His understanding of the arts is dismal (he admits to being a Philistine who avoids reading anything not bearing on his obsession, power and politics) and the sum total of his knowledge of the sciences could be written on an ant's balls.

Only a deranged egomaniac would presume to remake an entire society based on his belief in the discredited theory of eugenics. One would have thought that before taking that drastic step, the first thing any intelligent person would do was look at the evidence immediately about him and think, deeply. He clearly never wondered how his own storekeeper father and humble housewife mother, not the most promising start according to his gene theory, managed to produce a Cambridge graduate and PM of S'pore.

And did he think to look at the family background of his favourite civil servant, Lim Siong Guan, who has probably been entrusted by Lee with every important post in the government of S'pore at one time or another? LSG's father was a humble taxi-driver for most of his life and his mum a lowly school teacher at PLMGS.

Bang goes the theory. But why let the hard truth get in the way of a good con trick, eh? LKY is the lynch pin, the keystone of the dam that is backing up the waters and drowning the heartland. He is way past his usefulness to society and has to be removed to allow the nation to progress normally - and the sooner the better.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 29/1/11 20:13
Rationality, impartiality and a clear mind free of vitrol are sadly missing in this forum."

To those who are deaf (or blind), surely it won't do them any harm.

And if you are willing to indulge into some semantical dance over the meaning of "rationality, impartiality and clear mind of vitrol", I guess these words are not only restricted to spoken / written words but encompassing the double-standard actions of those who are deaf (or blind).

Anonymous said...

The old man is senile. Absolutely no proof about his eugenics theory. His own father didn't complete secondary school, AFAIK his mother was illiterate. If a leader in the US or Europe say what he said, they'll be booted out of power.
Those scholars his government sent overseas to study molecular biology have a duty to refute his claims. totally unfounded. I teach and research genetics and genomics at university. Absolutely no proof where he gets his data.

Guohao said...

Your occupation is not indicative of your IQ. The older generation simply did not have the opportunities and the resources we had to develop our potential. Therefore it is not proof to discredit his theory when you say that somebody whose dad is a taxi driver is able to earn a master's.

Moreover, MM Lee has said again and again that singapore has to be meritocratic and offer equal chances to everybody as best as it can. This way it tries not to hinder anybody with the talent. That is why you can earn a master's even though your parents may be a taxi driver (which is actually not a lowly occupation which some of you make them out to be).

His point on eugenics is actually to make his point that despite equal opportunities not everybody achieves the same results.

Anonymous said...

http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/19/the-trouble-with-meritocracy/

"Part of the problem with meritocracy is that it homogenizes in the name of diversity: It skims the cream from every race and class and population, puts all of the best and brightest through the same educational conveyor belt, and comes out with a ruling class that’s cosmetically diverse but intellectually conformist, and that tends to huddle together rather than spreading out to enrich the country as a whole."

Then watch video

http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success.html

To quote the talk:

… if you have talent, and energy and skill, you should get to the top. Nothing should hold you back. It is a beautiful idea. The problem is, if you really believe in a society where those with merit to get to the top, get to the top. You also, by implication, and in a far more nasty way, believe in a society where those who deserved to get to the bottom, also get to the bottom and stay there.
In other words, your position in life comes to seem not accidental, but merited and deserved. And that make failure seem much more crushing.

Notamare said...

To Guo Hao who said "His point on eugenics is actually to make his point that despite equal opportunities not everybody achieves the same results."

Read below and try to GET IT why so:-

http://poorscholar.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/meritocracy-and-its-flaw/

If Singapore truly want to be a more humane, soulful and gracious society, it should ask what it prepares to do for 80% of the people (assuming the 80/20% rule of elites/non elites - before challenging its people to die for each other. No wonder we are losing all the smartest people..because a hamster on a hamster wheel will always be a hamster on a hamster wheel.

Guohao said...

I believe you are right in saying that members of PAP are intellectually conformists to a large extent.

This would probably be the result of the harsh selection process where successful candidates possessed similar ideologies, characters and traits as the current lot of MPs.

However, give thought to this: Perhaps the current direction which the party has taken actually makes sense to the young members who eventually go on to adopt the same direction and hence falling into the " intellectually conforming" group.

Moreover, having a one-party govt actually allows policies to be carried out more efficiently. There is no need to oppose the govt simply because you are THE OPPOSITION. An example in the point would be the partisan politics in the US.

Any opposition or ideas raised must be genuine and responsible as they would affect the MP's personal standing within the govt and party.

dontwant2beahamstermum said...

Agree. That's why we are on the 81st ranking when it comes to happiness. What's the point of having all the GDP without the joy and ease to enjoy one's fruit labors? It is not surprising that singaporeans dont want to give more birth - are you going to tell your children at 6 years old that LIFE is tough, just too bad and suck it up. Nothing will come easy if you dont compete/work hard - do as I say or you'll fail in Singapore. Reminds me of the Battle Hyms by this very scary Tiger Mom called Amy Chua. I mean - did the children ask to be borned in the first place?

http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/14/world-happiest-countries-lifestyle-realestate-gallup-table.html

Guohao said...

To notamare,

You do realize that Singapore is not a central planning govt. There is a limit to the things it can do to ensure equal opportunities. It tries to be fair wherever it can. For example in education which is an important stepping stone in such a cert-hungry society. There can never be perfect flow of info but the govt is trying.

Secodly, i do not think that Singapore is trying to be a humane, soulful, gracious society. The truth is hard. Singapore is only here because there is growth. There is money to be earned. There are opportunities.

Without which nobody would come to Singapore. The elites would emigrate elsewhere leaving the non-elites behind.

You can say this is returning Singapore to its people but will they be truly better off in this situation? We may return to being a fishing village while we await for another lee kuan yew to come along to spur the country forward. And we do not know when (if ever) it will happen. And if the result would be different and better.

Anonymous said...

Hmm..speak like a true blue Singapore-inc CEO contradicting its desires with its demands ;-

Then PAP should stop asking singaporeans to be
1) gracious about foreigners & import talents
2) humane towards each other especially the losers as sprouted by Wee Shu Min should be encouraged?
3) soulful and commit their lives to die for each other.

Why bother going such extreme of committing life and soul if Singapore is nothing BUT a land of opportunities for Opportunists only. So I will pay my tax, do my NS and get out of here once it dries out. Stop all the phony campaigns about nation building too.

Alas the true PAPies are talking.

Anonymous said...

We may return to being a fishing village while we await for another lee kuan yew to come along to spur the country forward. And we do not know when (if ever) it will happen. And if the result would be different and better.

You are the typical KIASI S'porean who again conform to the climate of fear under the authoritarian rule of PAP Leegimes.

What have your elite education taught you? Do you not think you are a capable talented individual who can solve problems creatively and independently from what your Ah Gong say? One man is not the answer to a successful country. If so, then all the appointment of successor planning and talent selection are nothing but just a cosmetic display.

Have faith in your people's talent that elite or non-elite they will do well. IF you keep falling into the thinking trap that ONLY 1 man can save or run Singapore, then we are in real shit !

Guohao said...

To Anonymous,

1)We need foreign talents for economic growth. Without which there would loss of jobs, drop in standards of living etc. We are gracious because we need them. Simple.

2 & 3)The govt wants to move away from the idea that Singapore is just a land of opportunity because it is unhealthy for the local population. Making life better for the not so well-to-do and promoting a national identity makes it a better social environment. Making the population happier, less chances of unrest resulting in stability, economic growth, longer PAP reign. Simple.

They must take into consideration the feelings of the common folks lest they feel that they are being made used of. It's to maintain the harmony and balance in society.

Guohao said...

To anonymous,

I believe that there are many solutions to any single problem. However, the problem is which solution to pick and implement.

It's like how apple stocks get a beating whenever there's negative news regarding steve jobs health.

You always need a leader or a maverick to make the final decision. He needs to be insightful and courageous among many things.

This is something which a group of talented people can never replace. They can come up with all the solutions in the world but how do they decide on which to implement? They may just bicker all day without coming to a consensus. Like how economists do about the issue of how to lift the US from recession.

And i am not saying that LKY is the only man who can do it. However, if you notice, many of the good political leaders have similar traits and characteristics.

Anonymous said...

/ Guohao said...
1)We need foreign talents for economic growth. Without which there would loss of jobs, drop in standards of living etc. We are gracious because we need them. Simple./

Real foreign talents contributing to a country are good. It helps to plug the gap of what may be lacking & missing.

Too many of them begin to spoil the broth by competing away opportunities as foreign talents need to preserve themselves when it will reach a point that it becomes a zero sum game or negative sum for those who are being left out - e.g retrenched middle age locals who have many years of experience behind them.


/2 & 3)The govt wants to move away from the idea that Singapore is just a land of opportunity because it is unhealthy for the local population. Making life better for the not so well-to-do and promoting a national identity makes it a better social environment. Making the population happier, less chances of unrest resulting in stability, economic growth, longer PAP reign. Simple./

Really so simple ? We are seeing you saying so as far as your own interpretation goes. As far as they are concerned, their actions show something very much on the contrary.

As for your last words on the longer reign, that I concur.

Anonymous said...

/This is something which a group of talented people can never replace. They can come up with all the solutions in the world but how do they decide on which to implement? They may just bicker all day without coming to a consensus./

You are judged by the results once it has been decided that others will give the benefits of the doubts by having faith in you to make the decisions.

Bickering occurs because people start to lose faith in the decision taker(s).

If you have consistently proven to be ok in your decisions / results, your trust bank will keep on accumulating. Otherwise, it will slowly get depleted and people will start to bicker if you still want to call the shot.

Guohao said...

The problem is how do you determine if the quota you have set for foreign talent is too high or too low? Especially if you need to foresee the need for such talent and they do need instantly appear as and when you need them. I believe the previous govt stance was for rapid growth thus allowing for the large number of foreign talents. Presently, there is a cut in quota probably due to a combination of grassroots unhappiness and that its unlikely for Singapore to grow in such a rapid manner in the following years.

"As far as they are concerned, their actions show something very much on the contrary."

Maybe you can enlighten me on some of their actions?

Guohao said...

That is precisely why "appointment of successor planning and talent selection are nothing but just a cosmetic display" is totally not true.

The successor needs time to show his capability and to gain the trust from his colleagues that he has the capability to lead the country forward.

hayek said...

How about Ho Ching, the biggest loser in universe?

Isn't she from rich family?

Throughout human history, it was the elite who corrupt and screwed the countries, not the other way round. It was the elite who produce the most idiotic and emasculated children due to inbreeding.

Nation prosper not by absolute elitism, but because it has peasants who adhere to strong moral values.

Anonymous said...

/Guohao said...
The problem is how do you determine if the quota you have set for foreign talent is too high or too low? Especially if you need to foresee the need for such talent and they do need instantly appear as and when you need them./

Good question. Qualitative answer rather than a quantitative one. Ground conditions. Look around you in the shopping malls, in the mrt, in the buses, on the road relatively to the past and the physical / social space.

If more people are starting to get uncomfortable and making noise, it is a sign of telling you this is enough - whether it is 2, 200 or 2m foreigners.

Do you have a good science to determine the "right" quota. I don't and I do not believe you or others have.

"Maybe you can enlighten me on some of their actions?"

The impression given is that the policies are producing the very results that not intended and contrary to what you mentioned.

On your views about land of opportunity, making life better for the not so well-to-do, promoting a national identity, better social environment, making the population happier, less chances of unrest, don't you think that the results are so naturally antithesis to what you have mentioned when a country gets more dense and tight & artificially being flooded by lots of foreigners, when more rules are likely to be required to smoothen friction and tension because of close proximity.

Anonymous said...

A caste system in the making in Singapore. White horses, black horses, grey horses, foals. Very sad society to live in. Better get out as fast as you can.

Anonymous said...

/That is precisely why "appointment of successor planning and talent selection are nothing but just a cosmetic display" is totally not true./

If it is cosmetic, it is cosmetic. If it is not, no amount of denying will change the fact. Deep inside, you, me and many others know the answer even though the spinning game from both sides of the fence are forever going on.

Realistic said...

Wages can go up if for example HDB insists that tenders for flat construction include refuse disposal systems to be automated or use more machines to handle waste and sweeping of floors.

At the same time, increase levies for service workers etc.

This will compell business people to invest or buy products that is efficient.

Wages can then go up to pay for workers who are trained to operate these machines. The Singapore worker will be more than willing to fill these jobs that pay more.

But are we willing to pay conservency charges higher than the current $60 per month? Perhaps as high as $500?

If the answer is "no!" than, the election results will be very predictable.

Guohao said...

There will always be noise. Period.

Competition, unemployment, retraining and then new employment higher along the value chain are all part of creative destruction. The people cannot and should not hold on to their jobs forever. That is the only way for people to move out of poverty and improve their standards of living.

So you tell me that there is enough foreign talent/labour in Singapore. What about the article in yesterday's papers which talks about 50,200 jobs with no takers?

Many Singaporeans are choosy and want managerial jobs in the office. If everybody's a manager then who's the PTEs and LCPs?

Therefore when they make noise, it means that they cannot find the jobs which they want or expect to. It does not mean that there are too many foreign labour/talent.

Unhappiness from the grassroots should hence only be part of the reason for a change in policy and should not form the backbone of the change. Hence your solution still leaves much to guesswork.

Anonymous said...

/So you tell me that there is enough foreign talent/labour in Singapore. What about the article in yesterday's papers which talks about 50,200 jobs with no takers?/

50,200 jobs with no takers ? Before I say anything, breakdown of vacancies & be more elaborate please. So that we shall know whether the retraining and then new employment HIGHER ALONG THE VALUE CHAIN makes any sense.

If you are talking about ST article, I suggest you read it with a pinch of salt.

/Competition, unemployment, retraining and then new employment higher along the value chain are all part of creative destruction. The people cannot and should not hold on to their jobs forever. That is the only way for people to move out of poverty and improve their standards of living./

Standard economic lesson and all the right buzzwords but only true up to a point. About holding to their jobs forever, would you care to propose this to our governing elites and policy makers.

They have recently talked about extending retirement age. Can you believe this if you already know the ground situations.

/Unhappiness from the grassroots should hence only be part of the reason for a change in policy and should not form the backbone of the change. Hence your solution still leaves much to guesswork./

Backbone or not. What difference does it make if it achieves the same purpose.

My solution ? Do you think that it will even get pass you. Hahahahahahaha !!! Let's just say it is an exchange of opinions.

hayek said...

//////
"50,200 jobs with no takers"
//////

Who is still naive to believe in PAP's statistic? Even if the figure is true, we would ask ourselves what kind of jobs is that? Is it a $600 monthly job?

Foreigners are able to survive at $600 because they are subsidize in accommodation, food and transport. (Their employer pay them. Ask any of the bangala here)

Poor Singaporean.

hayek said...

I just return from Germany. Most clerical, cashier, mechanic, electrician job there are paid somewhere around 2000 Euro.

Waiter got paid between 3000-4000 euro including tips.

Bring those salary here, all "low level" jobs will be snapped up in one night.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, fantastic article once again.

The most shocking thing to me, is how much we let MM get by. Its absolutely mindboggling to me how completely insensitive and unfounded MM's comments are, and how easily Singaporeans lap them up! Such hate mongering, eugenics laced speech, is frankly justification for him to be impeached in any other developed nation. Yet we revere him for his wisdom?!

Guohao said...

1)Yes, it's from the ST article ..

There's no breakdown regarding the 50,200 jobs. Only detail is 1/5 is white collar while the rest are rank-and-file which pays about $1,200.

The only detailed breakdown was of the 15,360 jobs vacant for at least 6 months where Professionals,Managers,Executives and Technicians(19%), Clerical(36%) and cleaners & laborers form the rest.

2)I don't really think the extension of retirement age is actually for the ministers. Just look at LKY.

People are always unhappy about the extension of retirement. Now consider the alternatives. FOREIGN LABOR. No. AUTOMATION. Doesn't happen overnight. Requires substantial investment from the company and aid from the government. It also brings about creative destruction which leads to more unhappiness.

Furthermore, Singapore is looking to become a service hub hence there's a limit to the roles which machines can play.

What else can the government come up with if it is to maintain economic growth?

3) The govt cannot and should not change policies because there's unhappiness. There's always unhappiness present if you look hard enough. It's a sign of weakness in the govt and instability in the country. Changes should be based on measurements which are quantifiable as qualitative measures are arguable.

alamak said...

Exactly!

1) Don't believe the job stats. Break it down and I suspect many are what - casino jobs that we didnt even want from the outset. Or the disney/universal studio characters that sing/dance/jump where we have now no choice but to bring in filipinos to fill these jobs.

2) Standard of living rise = cost of living rise. Few years ago taxies are still very affordable. Now, it cost me $30-$36 just to get from Orchard Rd to Sentosa Island. Comparatively - I can get from downtown Central in HKG via ferry to get from HKG island to Kowloon island all for 50cts and in 5 mins!! Talk about efficiency..PAP has so outsmart themselves.

Annoyed said...

Go and read the book Wisdom of crowd and you will learn a thing or two. Then go home and do your homework and come up with better solutions to serve the people instead of lurking here trying to steal ideas. Haven't we paid you enough ?!!

Anonymous said...

To the entire series of comments by "Guohao":

I suggest you start looking properly at other developmental models. And stop quoting pathetic excuses like "return to a fishing village" or "limited resources", as justification for power hoarding by the ruling party. Look at the Nordic countries for example. Denmark has probably even lesser natural resources than Singapore, yet has succeeded with a socialist democratic system that rewards citizens for their citizenship. The same could be said for Sweden. Norway is a little tricky for it does boast outstanding oil resources, but that is arguably recent in discovery. Yet the spirit by which these nations govern, is what we should look towards, and stop running away from. These nations govern, by recognizing first and foremost, that citizenship is a right to be cherished, that above all, the nation exists to further the rights and opportunities of citizens. This is fundamentally different from the model in Singapore, where the nation (or perhaps more accurately, the economy) comes first.

The ruling party loves to use the small size of Singapore, either population or geography wise, as justification for their power hoarding ways, which has resulted in such horrific and unfounded social engineering being forced on the people. Yet I argue that the small size of Singapore is actually the very source of our nation's strength. We can move faster, with alignment of heart and spirit. If only we recognize that the Singapore citizenship is special, that we CAN and SHOULD trust Singaporeans as citizens, not automatons. Welcome foreigners, but don't forget the special place that citizens hold. Cherish them. And citizens will reciprocate with their loyalty and love. Stop treating the NRIC as a shareholder contract. Because it isn't.

Guohao said...

I do hope that you are right. That everybody actually cherish being a Singaporean. Personally I believe that your idea is unbelievably naive.

You think that the citizens actually cherish being a Singapore citizen? You can ask around. If they were given a choice would they emigrate to somewhere else? (if they can bring everything they want along. Job. Family. Friends. Etc.) To those who choose to become a citizen, how many of them chose to do so not because of the benefits?

Singapore being such a young nation has not created a national identity which all Singaporeans actually identify with.

Let me ask you. What does it mean to be a Singaporean? What is it that you have in common with all the chinese, malays, indians and new chinese immigrants here? Ask your friend the same question and he would most definitely give you a different answer. Together as one Singapore? I think we still have a long way to go.

Ask yourself, what would you sacrifice for Singapore? What have you done for Singapore?

Even if you get have all the politically correct answer. Ask yourself, how many people out there actually share the same conviction. Just look at the sheer amount of people complaining or trying to escape NS.

Anonymous said...

/There's no breakdown regarding the 50,200 jobs. Only detail is 1/5 is white collar while the rest are rank-and-file which pays about $1,200./

Wow, almost 10,000 jobs white collar. High up in the value chain. The rest S$1,200, not too bad if you need to put bread on the table. Hahahahahahaha ........


/People are always unhappy about the extension of retirement./

Who is unhappy about extension of retirement age. I hope they can extend it till 90 year old and I can work till 90 if health permits and company willing.

But at the same time, I hope I can totally withdraw my cpf when i reach 55 or 60, if you know what I mean.

People are not unhappy because of retirement age extension but the likely possibility of also extending cpf withdrawal age even if people are not being employed (not wanted) and may need the money at that age range on 60 onwards.

/Changes should be based on measurements which are quantifiable as qualitative measures are arguable./

No wonder the whole world was screwed big time by quants in the financial crisis.

Did not yourself ask about the right quota on foreigners ? Did not one of our budgets result in a actual surplus from budget deficit in one particular year ? Did not our YOG budget get overrun ?

That goes for your total faith in quantitative measurement. It it works in cases, adopt it. If it doesn't work in some other context, dump it.

Anonymous said...

/You think that the citizens actually cherish being a Singapore citizen? You can ask around. If they were given a choice would they emigrate to somewhere else?/

You must ask yourself what has been done in the recent past (or the past 45 years) for you to come with your own conclusion - judging by your own line of questioning. Isn't the answer obvious to you.

/Ask yourself, what would you sacrifice for Singapore? What have you done for Singapore?/

Did not we take the same obedient path crafted out by our great leadership. The problem is that they just carry on and on and on with their "blinkered" business without knowing when to stop.

/Ask yourself, how many people out there actually share the same conviction. Just look at the sheer amount of people complaining or trying to escape NS./

Frankly, while sad, aren't we the product of the system. So don't try to turn table and divert the blames onto others.

sticks&nocarrots said...

What does it mean to be a Singaporean? Gee let me try it this way.

Alot of people wonder how Singapore raise such stereotypically successful citizens. They wonder what Singapore do to produce so many miracles and bombastic GDPs. Well I can tell them because I've lived it. Here are some things we are NEVER allowed to do :

- attend a protest
- have a protest
- vote without a walkover
- eat chewgum
- import chewgum
- get less than 10As in O levels
- openly debate or talked about nepotism
- complain or infer about nepotism
- choose our own HDB flat at our own timing
- opt-out of National Service
- not compete with foreign talents & transient workers
- drive a car until you have bidded the Certificate for the entitlement to drive
- have unemployment benefits
- receive any social welfare if you are sick/old/broke
- take out CPF until retirement age that is subject to revisions over and again

I am using the term "Singaporeans" very loosely here. There are many singaporeans these days that come from India, Phillipine, China, US, UK & pretty much every nationalities who has a work visa with potential to be permanent residents here.

So these are the hard truths. No hard feelings, but I really cannot think of any reasons why I would like to be a Singaporean for too long. The Singapore Inc ride is only as good as it rides. Thanks to the paternalistic legislation by the ruling Father. Thanks but no thanks.

Guohao said...

Precisely why people are unhappy about an extension in retirement age. Some people go to the extent to say that the government saves on CPF and Medisave money if Singaporeans die before their retirement age. Don't know how true that is tho ..

Owell, I realised the jobs aren't too good too. I just skimped the headlines.

Actually they weren't screwed by quants. They were screwed by the selfish financial managers and stupid actuarial science people.

@anonymous2
Actually i think you came to the wrong conclusions, I personally am grateful to the Singapore system. I am where I am because of Singapore. It's just that I am annoyed at how selfish people are. Perhaps it's a tad too pessimistic but i have come to realize that people are selfish. Things work only when they are of common interests.

That Singapore's survival is really a miracle. The fact that we have correctly predicted the rise of certain industries and countries and positioned ourselves to ride the good winds. There is no long term game plan for us to always stay ahead of the pack. A misstep or two and they will catch up, and what will happen to Singapore? The economy will collapse and start a downward spiral and be ridiculed by our neighbors for being so proud of ourselves.

@sticks&amp
I really do understand how you feel. But is that how we really want to identify ourselves as Singaporeans? It's fine if you want to get out at some point in time. But my family and friends are here, I do not think that I'll leave the place and hence I ask what is it that makes us uniquely Singaporeans?

Anonymous said...

@Guohao

That's another favorite tactic of the PAP --> claiming naivete. They do not want to face the truth, that their own policies have much to do with the present circumstances.

You claim that Singaporeans do not cherish their citizenship. You may be right. However, have you considered if this is a result of the government ignoring the very rights of citizenship, thereby leading Singaporeans to become this apathetic lot of people?

Ultimately your fatalistic manner of thinking is exactly what the PAP wants. They feed your apathetic, yet pathetic manner of thought. You are exactly the automatons and defeatists that the PAP thrives on. You are not a son of Singapore. You are merely a festering cancerous wound of an animal, a parasitic lamprey of our society.

Guohao said...

Actually, I do not understand this thought process of yours.

The fact that PAP is overly protective of the people has led to people who take things for granted. The government has gone through racial and religious problems which causes events the likes of riots and protests with severe economic effects.

When you say "Singapore has taken away the basic rights of citizenship" what exactly have they taken away?

Your freedom of speech? What are you saying right now? You are bad-mouthing the government and yet nothing happens.

To protest to show that you are unhappy? Why do that when you can raise your issues at Meet-the-MP sessions. They do take your issues seriously. Ask the many NSFs who have approached their MPs regarding army problems.

Ask yourself, are these really the basic rights to citizenship?

Must Singapore go through turbulent times every generation to remind the people that what the govt has done is for our good? These are the lessons which we have learned from whatever short history we have.

It is like the battle hymm of a tiger mother who ultimately wishes the best for her children.

Anonymous said...

/////////
The fact that PAP is overly protective of the people has led to people who take things for granted. .....Must Singapore go through turbulent times every generation to remind the people that what the govt has done is for our good?
/////////

We Singaporean do not PAP's protection. PAP has did more harm than good to us.

PAP has taken our wealth so that Ho Ching can speculate in casino. PAP minister has no monies on their own except monies taken from us to pay high salary.

Right now, PAP tries to perform a "north korea propaganda" on Singapore, reminding us that we are in heaven.

But for people who went overseas, everyone knows Singaporean are living inside hell.

Anonymous said...

@Guohao

You obviously have no fundamental understanding of the true circumstances. While it is undeniable that Singapore under the PAP's rule is peaceful (at least on the surface) with regards to racial/ethnic tensions, it is unbelievably huge stretch to claim that this situation is solely the result of PAP's good work. Consider the incredibly detailed and numerous pieces of historical evidence that is available on pre-independence Singapore's racial harmony. Go look for it. Its there in academic papers as well as films and other historical documents. Lucky has even referenced it before.

You asked what citizen rights are "taken away". Actually I did not say taken away. I said ignored. But let us just keep to the spirit of your inquiry. And lets stick to the freedom of speech bit first. Sure, the government has not come after me for my "bad mouthing" (the use of the phrase "bad mouthing" already signifies this reverence with which you regard the PAP, which in reality is nothing more than a political party! alas i shall not comment on this for now). Yet.

In the first place, I have merely expressed my opinion, as has all these other users. On platforms like this, as well as others such as the online citizen and the temasek review, to name a few. Yet everyone has chosen to do our commentary under the cloak of anonymity, fearful of the ever watchful eye. Is this fear justified? Perhaps not. Yet incidents such as the gazetting of TOC, and the persecution of Alan Shadrake, cast a long shadow over Singaporeans. And the existence of the Internal Security Act further exacerbates this climate of fear. If indeed there is true freedom of speech, then people would have recognized it. Unless there's something fundamentally wrong or inferior about our people, an assumption I am loathe to make, but which the PAP (and you) seems more than happy to make.

This unnatural, and unnecessary fear, is the direct result of the PAP ignoring the basic rights of citizens. They did so by instilling a patriachial system of governance, whereby criticisms are suppressed and ignored. To the extent that citizens lose their sensibilities and even their own dignity, giving credit to the government for EVERYTHING good and ignoring even their own efforts!

Every citizen has as much claim to the country as each other. And as such, everyone has as much right to criticize the government as any other. Please stop hiding behind the shield of "instability", that criticism unchecked will lead to a collapse of Singaporean society's stability. This is a shoddy, pathetic excuse of inferior governance.

Vengadesh said...

Guohao is parroting PAP's favourite rebuttal line abt freedom of speech- that you say there is no freedom of speech yet you have just criticised the govt and nothing has happened to you- thus you have disproved your own point that there is no freedom of speech. This line of rebuttal is said with particular relish as the rebutter congratulates himself on the cleverness of using the opponent's very criticism to disprove it. In truth it shows how the PAP man still thinks of politics as a version of high school debates. He thinks he's scored a point by his cleverness.

In truth, he lives in a country where there is only one proper newspaper conglomerate controlled by legal and execeutive mechanism by the govt, because all the llegitimate newspapers have been shut down long ago. where opposing politicians have been bankrupted for words they spoke, that any other democracy would consider perfectly reasonable.

Guohao has certainly picked up PAP's debate points, but its time for Guohao, and Singapore, to graduate from high school.

hayek said...

////////
Kuwait is paying its citizens $3,500 plus free food for a year to keep calm.

news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110117/wl_mideast_afp/kuwaiteconomygrant_20110117085151
/////////

SG government can implement similar things by sharing the proceeds from land and HDB sales.

That is all our monies. Kudos to all revolutionaries. I think the first thing the world population need right now is to hang a few of the corrupt elites. The rest will surrender their wealth.

Anonymous said...

/ Guohao said...
Precisely why people are unhappy about an extension in retirement age. Some people go to the extent to say that the government saves on CPF and Medisave money if Singaporeans die before their retirement age. Don't know how true that is tho ../

Many people (maybe not you) are JUST NOT TOO COMFORTABLE with what they have been doing, tweaking time after time the cpf rules, & changing the original understanding that we shall be getting our full cpf money comes 55 or 60.

If what you have said is true, then probably the discomfort (& distrust) of some people get so bad that they begin to "hallucinate". However, this is to be expected given the constant changes.

Well, they have no business to hold on to our cpf money beyond age 60. It is our own money & why we should accept a plan (which is forced onto us by statutory mandate) that it shall be returned to us in regular installments just because they say so that it is for our own good.

Guohao said...

@anonymous

I totally agree with your point on freedom of speech.

I should probably move on from the shoddy, pathetic excuse for inferior governance.

However, everything he has done falls into place when you see PAP and LKY as a stubborn and old grandfather. The actions he took were quite obviously laid out when I put myself into his shoes.

Anonymous said...

@Guohao 31/1/11 00:05

"The actions he took were quite obviously laid out when I put myself into his shoes."

Give yourself a chance. Wear your own shoes. Don't sell yourself short.

Jezebella said...

He neglected this hard truth:
1) Men usually prefers to marry down
2) Women usually prefers to marry up

Ms JFK said...

It's time for Singaporeans to ASK not what its people can do for her country/school/company/family etc - but ASK what Singapore can do for her people!

The 1st generation have weathered hardships from Japanese occupation and turmoil and put their trust and faith in LKY & his party to build a nation. In return he gave us infrastructure, stability and prosperity for the last 40 years. That has been a reciprocal relationship up till now.

During 2nd generational years, the people put up with multiple trials/errors of streaming, rote educational models and policies where some have thrived others failed. They have tolerated and accepted racial integration, foreign MNCs, pro-employers law, economic downturns - They also put up with non-protest and silencing of opposition parties and mass walk-overs due to lack of choices/options for level playing field, while enriching the elites and sidestepping the poor/disadvantaged - all supposedly in name of creating jobs & increased investments. And now foreign workers and professionals who want a slice of what Singaporeans have build with no distinction to non-singaporeans.

During those years the people have also dutifully send their children to compulsory NS, and families have to rely on each other for good/bad time if they're broke/sick/poor with little help whatsoever from the state other than the minimal "subsidizations" amidst the ever increasing inflation cost on transportation, education, healthcare and properties - all in the name of self-reliance and confucius family values and self-preservation.

Now is the tipping point. The 1st & 2nd & 3rd generation skeptical Singaporeans should ask : - What my Country will do for me after we've paid

- for my silence and compliance so that PAP can be more efficient to get their job done
- for my rights & well being of a citizenship to live, before asking me to die for the country when we ourselves have no safety nets in old ages
- for my highest paying MPs in order to hand them the privilege to serve us despite their moral characters
- for my ever-diminishing bank accounts and monies in CPF that belongs to me but not in my hands to manage because we're all nincompoops except the brilliant minds at GIC & Temasek
- for my dreams of being an entreprenuers (other than hawkers & taxi drivers) because Govt & NTUC have a hands in all major unions, industries except its people.

Come 2011 GE elections. When you next hear PAP try to evoke a sense of higher purpose - be aware that it is so easily hijacked to defend power and privilege of the 20% elites and leaders, rather than the common good.

Ask what will State do for the collective freedom of the common people? Let them not bastardize the words so as to suggest that we should put the PAP first before its citizens, or the true spirits of this call will not be honored, but undermined. We are at this tipping point now or we will not reclaim our respectful and dignified rights as Singaporeans who are

1) NOT dumbed down by elites with over simplification of propaganda
2) NOT being put down by climate of fear
3) NOT coerced into silence but speak up regardless of your race, religion and qualifications because our voices no matter rich or poor , no matter your social class deserved to be heard and met.
4) NOT continue to Pay-And-Pay to PAP until they show us their true and sincere desires for our welfares and interest are met

So virtue has to have a reward outside of itself after all. It is just that it need not go to the virtuous PAP ALWAYS. The point of the government is to give people the kind of government we prefer, not the one that is necessarily "best" according to them. We the people need to be able to make mistakes if we are to know our inherent and forgotten strength - and to have true freedom of self-determination. Remember that our politicians should work for us, and not us for them.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say this. Not trying to sound cruel..
If well educated spouses marry each other and they produce smart and good children then why Lee Hsien Loong child is albino and he himself has cancer??

Anonymous said...

Is call gene mutations & regressive genes which Lao Lee has ignored the most important there of. But because he has the means/money , rumor has it that he get to "change" or "transfuse" new blood count so that he eventually put cancer in remission. Kind of like foreign talents - take on the new blood, flush away the old bad blood count, and you'll get renewal of cells! smart huh..darwin will be very pleased.

Worst Singaporean said...

I do not always agree with everything written by Lucky Tan, but I have to agree with his analysis of the Elitism hard truths, that policies were shaped by this belief, and caused negative effects.

Ms JFK said...

“We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two… We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellectually and culturally anaemic.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1967

“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society…So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.”
-Lee Kuan Yew in 1983 National Day Rally

Anonymous said...

Lee's remark is logical - not necessarily right.

Just take a look at our neighbors.

Non-eugenics said...

The elitism in SGP is best summarized by the once Perm Sec, Dr Ngiam:

Q. With all this pessimism surrounding Singapore’s prospects today, what’s your personal prognosis? Will Singapore survive Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew?

A. Unequivocally yes, Singapore will survive SM Lee but provided he leaves the right legacy. What sort of legacy he wants to leave is for him to say, but I, a blooming upstart, dare to suggest to him that we should open up politically and allow talent to be spread throughout our society so that an alternative leadership can emerge.So far, the People’s Action Party’s tactic is to put all the scholars into the civil service because it believes the way to retain political power forever is to have a monopoly on talent. But in my view, that’s a very short term view. It is the law of nature that all things must atrophy. Unless SM allows serious political challenges to emerge from the alternative elite out there, the incumbent elite will just coast along. At the first sign of a grassroots revolt, they will probably collapse just like the incumbent Progressive Party to the left-wing PAP onslaught in the late 1950s. I think our leaders have to accept that Singapore is larger than the PAP. …

I suspect we have started to believe our own propaganda. There is also a particular brand of Singapore elite arrogance creeping in. Some civil servants behave like they have a mandate from the emperor. We think we are little Lee Kuan Yews. SM Lee has earned his spurs, with his fine intellect and international standing. But even Lee Kuan Yew sometimes doesn’t behave like Lee Kuan Yew. There is also a trend of intellectualisation for its own sake, which loses a sense of the pragmatic concerns of the larger world. The Chinese, for example, keep good archives of the Imperial examinations which used to be held at the Temple of Heaven. At the beginning, the scholars were tested on very practical subjects, such as how to control floods in their province. But over time, they were examined on the Confucian Analects and Chinese poetry composition. Hence, they became emasculated by the system, a worrying fate which could befall Singapore.

Utopia said...

Here's my observation. PAP's open FT policy has undermines the intrinsic value of singapore citizenships. They have allowed the market mechanism to become the market norm once it habituate PAP to import talents as a way of increasing GDPs, Jobs, Babies, Talents, Reserves or that will evolve.

One that leads to either
1) less appreciation of our citizenship rather than more ; or
2) more citizens in the short term but for the wrong reasons.

PAPies must be thinking that these young, skilled, hardworking, grateful and best of all unlikely to need or use welfare benefits lots are exactly what they want. Especially those who are coming from a lesser developed countries like Phillippine, china, india, indo etc will appreciate Singapore. On the other hand it helps to crowd out and dilute the home grown Singaporeans that have become critical & vocal in their demands and expectations. So PAP will let market demands or talents (in the name of meritocracy) of these two groups of people to "fight" each other out (may the winner & hungrier takes all), and in the process crowd out the intrinsic good of its own people. After all, the latter group will be known and viewed as "incompetent, losers, lazy, whiny" because of their unwilling or unable to do so. Does it look right to you, people? Look around you and don't forget there will be people amongst us who will always be less advantaged in our families/relatives/friends. Instead of helping them, we in turn demolished their worth and self-esteem.
Remember that for every talent you now possess, don't forget that there will always be other smarter talents than you for a cheaper and hungrier price than you will want --- maybe not now, but later stage of your life. Where has our leaders hearts gone to? And where has that led the emphatetic singaporeans today? A purely utilitarian society?!

That further got me thinking. These same group of FT may not always have graduate parents too. So why would Singapore go the length of accepting these people (except other than for much lower wages) rather than spend more time, programs and effort to help educate and raise the standards of our disadvantaged people? What kinds of evidence can they produce to show me they have done alot of works in these areas?

I also wonder if there is an international refugees "quota" for nations where SGP instead of taking in refugees, instead traded to open its market and accept "white collars talents" so that they meet their international obligations, and on the other hand, get to implement the social eugenics engineering above.

Perhaps these are the hard hidden truths. We have all become a headcount of cost center to manage, and a statistic to the GDP numbers. How sorrowful are we.

Anonymous said...

The Jizz of the great lee is....Success breeds success or money makes more money.

Problem is....we don't like the breed.

kingkong said...

It is not a problem yet.

It must get as big as the midget flies at Bedok Reservoir and then it will be worthy of the attention.

The trigger point has not arrived yet... it must get bigger.
At the moment, it is too insignificant.. and the grumbles come from jobless people..or people born in the 50's and 60's.. and not in finance industry.

Lets wait till we smell burning tyres..

Anonymous said...

When you defend your "safe" state of being, you miss the growth that comes from responding to others.

Anonymous said...

To King Kong

"Sometimes one has to act before the crunch, the crash or the disaster befalls us, forcing us to contend with a more totalizing, and thus more overwhelming bedlam.

If we don't speak our needs before so much time has passed that we've lost our hope of ever being heard, let alone satisfied."

I say "Yes We Can. Less the Clan"

notamare said...

What do you mean by

Are the 50/60s, the jobless and weak not worth defending just because they are minority? They are the ones who have no voices and everyone else who have are too buried with their heads in the sand to chase their material comfort to care. And what has that got to do with people in finance industry anyway.

hayek said...

HK and Singaporean has one of the highest IQ in the world. Both has achieve nothing safe a parasite of money laundering.

Germany on the average has lower IQ. She do not achieve greatness by exploiting her people.

German become the beacon of mankind civilization because her leader truely love the people and take large effort in preserving honest culture and righteous values (sadly its values are eroding as well).

I hope PAP way of system failed miserably.

gu said...

Pure breed said...
Now what we need is a system to scan out these people who are already defective and exiled them or better still exterminate them.

----------------------

Wah, Hitler is alive and still busy doing what he does best!

Too Old said...

German become the beacon of mankind civilization because her leader truely love the people and take large effort in preserving honest culture and righteous values (sadly its values are eroding as well).

//

That is because its past leader had an atrocious history of social engineering that eliminated a part of "stupid" human race off the planet. They went down in history as murderers and consequently its citizens now carry that burden & shame. Its call karma.

Money-laundering through Banks, Brokerage Houses, Hedge Funds, Casinos..is how they make their money now. The question is - up to what point enough is enough. History will tell, and hopefully I wont live to see it.

hayek said...

I really think asshole like Milton Friedman, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers, Bob Rubin...etc set the stage for end-of-world anti semitism that was predicted in Bible.

Honest people who suffered under food inflation may blow up. Though their woes are far and large due to fucking elite of their countries(LKY is one of them), those fucking elites may divert blames to Jewish Banksters (they are not completely free of guilt).

Anonymous said...

Maybe a bit off topic but interesting nonetheless.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/opinion/30friedman.html?_r=1

Anonymous said...

"I really think asshole like Milton Friedman, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers, Bob Rubin...etc set the stage for end-of-world anti semitism that was predicted in Bible."

Failure to understand who this biblical god is has resulted in critical judgment with devastating consequences throughout history.

So long as the religious elites in our midst are holding influential roles in society, we are likely to see past ills revisited.

By then, there may not be a strong non religious presence to counter these delusional forces

Anonymous said...

Somebody ought to do an honest check and hard truths about our local transportation too. On a Cost/kmp basis, I seriously doubt we are anywhere close to be cost efficient.

http://citiscope.org/2010/singapores-transportation-secrets

//Singapore clearly takes us a step further to advance sustainable transport goals. In fact, it could be argued that Singapore demonstrates how a society functions when social policy objectives take a back seat to environmental ones. The name "Certificate of Entitlement" couldn't be more fitting as it clearly delineates drivers on the road by income.

elitemembership said...

haha i have a great idea -
PAP should sell SGP citizenship through a COE pricing. Tag an admission price of say $200k minimal and those who are motivated to pay for its membership, will surely are desirables and "more elite". Over time, it became like a status symbol, and will drive up the prices and in turn, will have a spillover enhancement effect on SGreans citizenship ie = $xx in the market place. And FT will feel less encroaching on our territory but feel that they will have paid for the rights instead. So win -win. And PAP can more elites and $..

I should be on their brainy milllion dollar think thank!

Anonymous said...

I should be on their brainy milllion dollar think thank!

---------------

you have my support whatever that's worth!

Anonymous said...

Check out how much education MM Lee's father received.

I believe intelligent parents will bred intelligent children, but no necessary lower educated parents will not bred intelligent children. They may just be denied the opportunity to have a high education

John Papers said...

This is amazing list like the previous one..
Thank you for this post..

The Pariah said...

Strangely, the intrinsically brilliant genes of Lee Hsien Loong and Wife # 1 produced an albino.

Would his Grandson # 1 be a "dud foal" by LKY's definition?

Grandson # 1 seems to be an earnest young man - I wonder what life is like for him in the elitist eyes of his doting grandfather?

The Pariah
www.singaporeenbloc.blogspot.com

The Pariah said...

There is another vicious cycle triggered by LKY's elitism beliefs translated into public policy.

If two kids (one Rich Kid, one Poor Kid) with the same academic scores vie for, say, President's Scholarship, the interview assessment is given more weightage.

Rich Kid is typically more poised, articulate and confident which tend to result in scholarship award.

Rich Kid wants the scholarship prestige. Rich Kid is NOT interested in public service. But Rich Kid is bonded into public service.

During bondage, Rich Kid is put on the fast track of Administrative Officers, contributing to the crafting of public policies.

However, Rich Kid probably has no idea of the hopes, aspirations, fears and daily grind faced by the average and the under-privilege. VWOs say that some Rich Kids attend ground events and go away shell-shocked at the dire poverty that they never knew existed in Singapore.

At other times, Rich Kid would be so disgusted at the gritty grime that he/she would find some important last-minute meeting to attend and avoid attending ground events.

Because AO pay is so handsome, and they enjoy the thrills of being on the fast track, some of these Rich Kids stay entrenched in public service.

In this way, the divide between Public Servants and the Public they serve can only grow wider (not to mention the risk that even the Poor Kid who makes it may also forget the roots of his/her background after some decades of being little Hitlers in the administration).

Anonymous said...

There is no need to argue about the statement Mr LKY said. What he is saying is THE HARD TRUTH! Chew on it! It happens even in the Animal kingdom. Go watch Animal Kingdom and argue with the lions and dog breeders. They're all doing it! Weak lions are killed by their clan and prized dogs from prized parents? Ever bought dogs? So what is there to debate? Think deeper readers. Its silly to debate about it! We all get his point and we understand where he is coming from! That's all that is needed!

Anonymous said...

The old breeder is right, he is talking from experience. He breed a good mare with his own dud stallion and got a poor foal.

transex roma said...

Really effective data, thanks for this article.

Timoyip said...

Good. I hate elitism due to the same reason as such.