Friday, March 30, 2012

Importance of Expectations in Education and at the Workplace....

I will tell you a story first before I highlight the actual issue here.

One day a university student got up late and missed his morning maths lecture on statistics. He went to the lecture theater anyway because the professor would write the homework that the students need to submit on the board. When he got to the lecture theater, he found a few maths problems on the blackboard. He copied the problem and worked on it over the weekend. He found the problems more difficult than usual but worked very hard on it because he wanted a good grade and homework was counted towards that. He missed the deadline but managed to solve the problem a few days later. He slipped his solution under the door of the professor with a note apologizing for missing the deadline. When the professor read the solution, he was shocked because what he wrote on the blackboard wasn't homework but  unsolved problems that had baffled mathematicians for decades and this student managed to solved them. You may think that this story is fictional and I've created it or it but it is a real story and the student's name is George Bernard Dantzig  This story is often told to illustrate the power of positive thinking and how performance can be shaped by what people expect of you and what you expect of yourself.

Remember this viral video from 2006?

I tell you why I put it up. When I saw the video, what struck me wasn't the ferocity of the teacher who really "took it out" on the student - I had a few teachers like that. What struck was what the teacher said 2:17 minutes into the video:

"All the good PRC students have never disappointed me from day one. You're the first student I met who did this sort of thing to me..."

I take it that this is one angry teacher because she had high expectations of students from PRC. I wonder what happened to the Singaporeans in her class? Expectations shape outcome in the classroom[High Expectations in the Classroom].

The elitist PAP has carried their obsession of sorting, selecting and labeling to the extreme in the education system. The whole education system is now a big sieving machine[my posting on this] to figure out which student is better than the other...and this is done at a young age. The system starts dividing the people early - gifted, non-gifted and sends them out to secondary schools based on 10 bands so there is uniformly low academic expectations for those in the sorted to the lower end. Low expectations coupled with poor outcomes put those at the lower end of the system into a vicious cycle - very often these are students from poorer families or poor family background and the education system lock in and worsen the social inequalities. One regular commenter on my blog, who previously worked as teacher but  became disillusioned with the system, explained that many poor students from non-English speaking homes are disadvantaged because even for maths, the questions are so convoluted for the purpose of sorting the students, they are more like English comprehension tests.

Because many Singaporeans are pushed into and became part of this education system, they are not aware other systems of education that work well- like the egalitarian system in Finland:

"The Fins adamantly oppose any form of divisions or ranking, and 'advanced'
or 'elite' divisions are major taboos.
" -
Secrets to
Finland's World Topping Education System

There are no "gifted" programs, and the more able children are expected to help those who are slower to catch on."  - Wikipedia, Finland's Education System[Link]

Imagine that, instead of trying to beat each other by paying for the best tuition to get into various streams and secondary schools of different bands - students help each other do that will be a game changer for Singapore society.

But in Singapore, the elitist PAP govt have to do this division, sorting and turn children into winners and losers in this high stakes education board game:

Here is a petition[Link] created by parents who have gathered at the Kiasu Parents Forum - these are hands on parents but many of them are frustrated the system as it is today...they are fedup:

"This petition aims to get MOE to review the following system features of our education system in order to bring the system back into equilibrium.

(1) Bell curve grading in the extreme
(2) Student pigeonholing into good/bad classes & good/bad schools
(3) Too large classes"

- Extract from Kiasu parents petition.
Mind you, these are "kiasu" parents and they find their children can't cope. What happens to children of hands off parents - steadily falling downwards in the checkerboard vicious cycle without a kiasu parent to rescue them. One of the major objections of these parents is the "pigeon-holing" of students these pigeon holes are also pigeon holes of expectations and these parents are terrified that their children are trapped in one with low expectations leading to poor outcomes.

The education system looks like a mirror image of the PAP elitist ideology to divide people into different classes based on their intellectual ability measured by exam scores then allocate resources and opportunity based on these divisions. For the talented people at the top $1M pay is not too much and those less talent at the bottom $1000 a month is not too little - can still own HDB flat so they claim. Their former mentor goes as far as to say these divisions are genetically linked and children from non-university graduates ..we should have lower expectations of them going to university:

"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" - Lee Kuan Yew

In the 1980s right up the early 90s, the Singapore workforce was number 1 in the world. Productivity growth was high and there was pride in being a Singaporean worker. Employers and foreign investors who came to setup businesses were impressed by the high quality of our workforce. There was a "can-do" spirit that permeated among workers who were ranked number one in the world.  When the PAP started introducing foreign workers into the workforce, they justified it by saying Singaporean workers lack talent, do not want long hours, do not strive hard enough, do not want certain jobs etc pushing down employers' expectations of Singaporean workers in order to justify more foreigners in the workforce. Over time, the Singaporean workers' branding is destroyed along with it the high productivity growth of our workforce. Today, Singaporeans find it hard to stand out in a workforce  dominated by foreigners from various developing countries. It is hard for Singaporeans to recreated the workforce branding that is destroyed as we have entered the vicious cycle of competing with cheaper foreign labor.

You think about it ...does it make sense to put our children through this intense competition in education only to have them lose out when it comes to university places and jobs to foreigners later on? The whole system puts Singaporeans on a treadmill to no where. The intense competition in the school system merely serve to push down our own children into pigeon holes of declining expectations to enter a workforce in which they have little edge over some one from Philippines, China or India. This whole system is not about making the Singaporeans better than everyone else but making the Singaporean as bad as everyone else. 2 decades of PAP policies have left Singaporeans with little to cheer about. We again find ourselves struggling  in a system that puts so many hurdles against us - while hundreds(( if not thousands?) of Singaporeans have to go overseas for further education because they cannot get a place in our universities, the PAP govt educates the children of foreigners for free by giving out scholarships. What good is this system for Singaporeans if it does not elevate Singaporeans but instead depress them, deny them and disadvantage them?


Anonymous said...

there is no proof that sorting and selecting the way pap does, improves educational outcome. the gifted programme is a case in point.

Anonymous said...

It is the quality of Singaporean that make Singapore Successful. Not the MOE.

Since begining until now, MOE never do a good job.

Move the whole MOE into one of the Africa countries, say Mali, you think MOE can turn Mali become like a Singapore?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr Lucky for the comprehensive article about our education and situation.

I have 2 primary school kids. I am a Sahm who help my kids in the school work so that hopefully they get into the best classes so that they will have good teachers.

I am not trying to generalized the situation, but from my experience, good teachers are limited and they are
normally deployed to the better classes.

Before they were sorted by results from primary 3. As p 1 and 2 are randomly arranged, teachers are also randomly assigned. We encountered teachers who can not managed the class, who can not managed their temper. As a results, my kids were terrorized in schools. One of the male teacher was throwing the
kids' bags and kicking the table in the classroom!

All this was only stabilized after they are sorted from p3 onwards. As far as we experienced, the better class are
assigned with good teachers.

Yes, Mr Lucky, u summed up aptly. We are caught in a senseless treadmill !

As for work, yes, I still remember vividly, we were such good workers that I was proud to be one of them.

Today, all the talks about foreign talent has berated our
local talents. Everywhere I go, I am served by foreigners. I heard so many foreign tongues everywhere too.

I am not xenophobia. But in everything there must be
moderation. Too much of anything is NOT good.

Thanks again for your articles, don't laugh, reading it almost bring tears to my eyes. I feel sad for my beloved country and fellow singaporeans.


小红点 said...

Just started reading your blog 2 weeks ago and going back to your articles in 2005 so that I will not miss any good stuff. Gathered you are an Indian :) Nandri!

Anonymous said...

"... they justified it by saying Singaporean workers lack talent, do not want long hours, do not strive hard enough, do not want certain jobs etc pushing down employers' expectations of Singaporean workers in order to justify more foreigners in the workforce."

Isn't this what our government is about?

They, themselves, do not want to work certain jobs and long hours. The same applies to them.

Interesting note about workers' banding.

Anonymous said...

The best classes do not necessarily have the best teachers.

Most often, teacher deployment to classes has more to do with whether the departments head (HOD)likes to work with you in his or her team.

If a HOD doesn't like you, then they'll relegate you to other non-express or non-graduating N or O-level classes.

There are many issues in MOE schools. To quote a few, bad leadership among principals, male teachers are marginalised from promotion from theirfemale counterparts, politicking for ranking and performance bonuses, fault-finding culture, overworked teachers, using tribunals to pressure teachers, teachers going IMH for depression and workplace bullying...

Ask Veritas. He'd know better.

Anonymous said...

I will only have faith in our education system if the ministers & MPS send their children to N(T) or ITE classes voluntarily. If not, please do not keeping harping on the efficiencies of the system. Everyone knows that the system labels a young child at an early age, brusing their ego and confidence while overinflating those at the other extreme, leading to elitism. We are indeed at a social recession.

HOW said...

Universally the 5W+1H works..




In Singapore, from home to school to work and even when sick... the famous question that we face and are stuck with:

Why are you late coming home?

Why have you not done the homework?

Why is the report not completed?

Why is my hospital bill so high?

Why is the Gov doing this?

There is no encouragement to use HOW from the home,school,work or politics.

The reason is the person being asked HOW... cannot, will not or dont even know how.
So, in return , the response is:

Why you ask me that? Its your problem what!

Singapore = why

Snark said...

Well, we all know that the talents from up north have 'spurs in their hides', right?

Two or three decades ago, their people were personae non grata here. Guess money does boost your reputation and make you popular. I mean I knew it, but I didn't know it would be that effective.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky
You will understand our education system better if you would only take the time to understand fascist ideology.

1. Historical Origins of the lightning logo
Observe the colour scheme of red, white and blue.

2. What is fascism?

Fascism is a kind of government. In fascism, the country is considered more important than any one person, group, or liberty.

A country under this kind of government is always run by a person called a dictator, who has the right of total control over the government and people.

It is always a big crime in fascist countries to speak against the leader or ruling party. Fascist leaders almost always give themselves a high military rank, or appear in public in an army or navy uniform, because fascist countries consider the army the most important part of the government.

In countries led by fascist governments, the government tries to control all areas of life, including work, school, and family life.


Anonymous said...

"The limits of tyrants are defined by the endurance of the people they oppress"

Frederick Douglass

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan,

What say you on the few specialised schools that are now available? Such as the sports school and SOTA?


fed up singaporean said...

It is about time that all citizens recognise the values that has shaped Spore society ie those of the tyrant emperor LKY. His elitist, geneticentric perspective builds a class oriented framework which classifies and pigeons hole everyone. Everyone who voted PAP thinks he is god and can do no wrong. When in actual fact, his attitude and thuggery has inflicted misery on the people of the last 2 generations. We are now a ungracious society driven by the self interest mantra and distinct class mentality. MOE is just one of the instruments which perpetuate this sad situation.

Anonymous said...

"What good is this system for Singaporeans if it does not elevate Singaporeans but instead depress them, deny them and disadvantage them?"
Lucky Tan

Maybe the PAP think in this way.

Suppose there are 10 scholarships to be given.

If given only to Singaporeans, 10 best Singaporeans will get it.

If given also to foreigners, suppose 6 best Singaporeans and 4 best foreigners will get it.

And PAP considers 6 best Singaporeans and 4 best foreigners a better talent combination than 10 best Singaporeans! This is their logic. Get it?

But unfortunately, in real life, this is not so simple as the PAP think lah.

That's why, perhaps also due to imperfections (PAP is also human) in screening and also what is best available, you sometimes encounter some weird foreign talents being let in.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to relate a recent experience of mine:

My Pri 2 son has never had problems with his school work. Though I've never sent him to any prep or enrichment classes except for abacus classes conducted by the school, he manages good grades.

His English language mastery is pretty good, thanks to unlimited supply of books that he devours and the tendency for our family members to converse in English.

Which made the consent form from the school to allow him to attend "enrichment" English language classes all the more baffling when it arrived. On a hunch, I decided to call up the teacher to find out more, specifically if my son was appraised to be 'weak' and needed additional lessons. As it turned out, he was selected to attend because he did very well in his English language class!

Which begs the question: Why put a strong student in an enrichment class while the weaker ones are ignored? Though I'm happy to be in this situation, there is still that uneasy feeling that the system is not quite right.

Another example is CCA. Shouldnt schools, especially primary schools, provide CCA as a means for kids to try out the sports that they might like? And if after a couple of sessions, the sport is not to the kids liking, shouldnt he/she be allowed to try and pick up another sport?

I ask this because my son was 'tested' during PE and subsequently allocated to Volleyball. A sport he had no interest in whatsoever. Even in play, our kids are graded and filtered, it seems...

Veritas said...

In the engineering industries, the engineers especially young Singaporean graduates are destroyed by FT policies. The most direct harm of FT policy on young graduate is the destruction of "training system" within the Industries.

Before the FT policies, companies would need to train engineers. That create lots of jobs for fresh grad. To retained fully-trained engineers, company would need to raise their salary.

Hence there is a positive self-sustaining engineering ecology. With the crazy FT policy, everything is in ruin.

When PAP open the flood gate, companies are able to hire from a pool of 7 billions in the world. They do not need to train. This has prevent fresh grad for obtaining the necessary skills set.

And with so many FTs, salary are depress. Companies do not need to raise wages commensurate with skills. Companies do not need to promote capable engineers.

With poor pay, and lack of job opportunities, few good students want to do engineering. When there are few good graduates, companies rely more on FT.

When more and more FT come here, salary are so depressed that few actually know many PRC engineerings actually went back home full of despise against Singapore.

And so, the vicious cycle to hell.

Today, we just need to see SMRT breakdown, flooding, and we can have a feel of our technical capabilities. I am not surprise the most engineering teams in SMRT are foreigners, with extremely low standards.

Countries like HK, Taiwan, Japanese with more complicated metro network than us do not have breakdown problems.

I am not anti-FT or having siege mindset. We only gain when we bring in someone who win Nobel prize. But PAP's policy of screwing workers by bringing in junk FT only send us to hell.

Over the years in engineering, so many nice culture are destroyed. So many skills and technical capability lost.

Anonymous said...

This happens when a small country tries to be big.

'Necessary' sacrifices need to be made (like giving university places to overseas students), and guess what? 60% of Singaporeans are perfectly ok with it.

Ng Eng Hou said...

According to Confucius, when comes to education you should not discriminate against who should have education - You Jiao Wu Lei !

What we have in Singapore is not education, just like some kind of a factory operation, mass producing some parts according to a mold, after producing the parts, you grade them accordingly and attach a quality and value to them. This is really far far away from what education should be.

Education should be a force for social mobility, a way to close social inequality or income` gap. What we have here is just accentuating or promoting inequality based on LKY concept that only smart parents produce smart kids. I'm not sure about this. Are our batch of leaders who come from elite families really that smart?

For years, we are being mentally abused by our leaders who keep reminding us we are inferiors because our ancestors who are at the low rung of the society in China, we are no good so we have to open the flood gates to let 'foreign talents' in. I on my own don't really need the government to tell me this.

How dare they talk to us this way! We feed them, pay them high salaries through our taxes. Shouldn't we deserve decent treatment?

Are you all not fed up with this?

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece, Lucky. U have hit the nail right on the head of the disgusting way in which the pap has belittled and undermined the welfare and future of Singaporeans. I am amazed Singaporeans tolerated the pap rubbishs for so long. Will we see a Singaporean explosion to blowup the pap ?

Anonymous said...

Before, we hoped
After, we thought
Later, we hoped.. again
After, we thought
Later, we thought again
Now, we return to hope..

We are a very forgiving people

Anonymous said...

“Where are the creative people? Where are the great artists? Where are the great musicians? Where are the great writers?”

Steve Wozniak

One of the fallacy is is early selection is that it assumes that all creative people can be picked
from at early age and groomed in these elite programs. Culture of learning is of relevance. Just send some of these hand picked students to business study trips to Israel and instantly they will absorbed the flat hierarchy culture of Israel and become an inventor. Just keep the existing culture at Status quo, and send some elites to silicon valley overseas for study trips hoping for change..

Anonymous said...

list of famous Finns

List of famous Danes

Singapore has Gifted Programmes and University Scholar Programme
lots of Scholars, but where are the peaks :)) Maybe further selection and elite funding is needed. Using the same strategy that hasnt worked for decades again helps alot

Lots of research paper, but who has heard before of a Singapore invention? ( other than Creative Sound card :) )

Anonymous said...

my son is now in sec 1 or Year 7 (Australia). He absolutely hated the time he had in Singapore. While in one of the good neighborhood school in Bukit Timah, He was made to sit away from his friends..problem is that he loves to day dream, and talk. But all else, he is okay with his school work - what to do he is left handed - when we eventually left singapore when he was p4 (end of p4), he had no friends because of the segregation...when we return to visit singapore, he has no friends that he can actually call friends. fast forward, the past 2 years in Australia, he made lot of friends of all races ..Aussies bla bla he just returned from camp, and told me he had discovered his leadership skill..that is the skill we need to help our children develop, not jam them with tonnes and tonnes of work and yet all our job been given to so-called FTs

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this piece, I share your sentiments entirely. I am no child psychologist, but I know that what you learn and experience in your tender years will carry through into adulthood. To stream anyone too young can be demoralising, destroying one's sense of self-worth.

Years ago in the 50's I passed my PSLE, but learned through a relative that my result was poor. I was devastated, and I was maybe only 12 years old. I am now 66, the memory still lingers.

Can you imagine what a young kid is going through emotionally and psychologically now, especially those pigeon-holed into bad classes or the technical stream? Are we mere digits now, being segregated so as to produce the top few scholars to feed the wheels of the ruling party, and pander to the amature eugenics of the octogenerian mp? Shouldn't the policy be to leave no child behind? Will the current system realise the true potential of every child?

Anonymous said...


Are those in the express stream and integrated program together form the majority of students, say 60%?

If yes, then majority of students are academically good lah, right or not?

So by the same proportion based on statistics, majority of voters, say 60%, are also very good and happy lah, right or not?

So any surprise why 60% always voted PAP?

If not, then why those "not so good" majority voters also voted PAP?

Anonymous said...

would Singaporeans be ready to accept through train from Pr1 to Sec4 without PSLE? I believe not, as the top 50% Singaporeans with the money to throw at Tuition will not see the need to be more egalitarian than what it is now. Unless the govt see the need and push for it, our kids will continue to suffer.

Anonymous said...

The video is indeed shocking. I wuold not send my child to a school with teacher with behaved with such bad attitude. Nope, the student is innocent but not the teacher. I prefer my child to have his own mind and than we guide him along in a calm and consultative manner. This teacher has obviously gone overboard in a very athoritative manner to expect students to follow her rules, her thoughts whether right or wrong, in short, to be xtremely obedient to her. Going by her lead, Singapore has no hope and our creativity, entrepreneurship and thinking cap will be diluted beyond return. I am sad, very very sad.

Veritas said...

The video is indeed shocking. I wuold not send my child to a school with teacher with behaved with such bad attitude.

There is problem in the system. I tried to be a nice man in class. One student late, I smile at him. He then boast to his friends.

Next day, 2 person are late. But the next week students started to skip lesson.

I let one guy sleep in class. A few weeks later, I found myself increasingly violent and curse here curse there because now, I found a bunch of trouble maker sleep.

There are circumstances where give a choice I would like to be gentle. But I realizes all students are watching me and many of them will take advantage when one lucky chap get off-hook for his disruptive behavior.

I think the best place to remedy the problem is to reduce class size. But then, I give you a ideal how much we are screwed. A 5 years male experience average teacher salary could be 5k++.

Over the years, the civil service is so despised that PAP resort to raising their pay to maintain their dignity. Guess how much tax payer must be to reduce class size to 18.

Anonymous said...

Eventually in one's life it is time to take full responsibility for whether or not your reach your full potential.

Yes, teachers, schools, education systems, and governments all have a contributing factor IF people are not truly free, to determine an array of societal expectations.

Human freedom is not a carefree indulgence - it is a serious responsibility that requires one to assume full ownership of their actions and destiny.

The "elitist" PAP could be replaced tomorrow, but as long as Singaporeans have this mindset where it is the system's responsibility, not their own individual responsibility to determine such expectations, for good or for bad the new government will still end up being minority-arbiters of societal norms.

And while the author's opening anecdote is relevant and revealing of certain aspects of human nature, it excludes stories of people who knew entirely the odds stacked against them, the disadvantages they were dealt in life, the low expectations others had of them, and STILL prevailed.

Singaporean education is world class, and while everything stands to be improved upon, I believe the most important next step for Singapore is for the people themselves to begin examining their own personal attitudes, expectations, and responsibilities - for themselves, their children, and each other.

Anonymous said...

There are many important aspects to a child's education; classroom lessons, CCA, character development. All are important.

The problem then? They are all carried out by the same teacher!

The teacher has to spend time to prepare lessons, grade assignments, set exam papers, devote 6-10 hours a week for CCA, 2 hours a week for remedials, 6 hours a week for remedial, 4 hours a week for rehearsal for school events.

So in the end, your teacher will cut corners from everywhere to avoid overwork.

There are serious loopholes in the system. The alarm bells should be ringing when even after getting in to a branded school, the kid still needs tuition to keep up.

If a kid still needs tuition despite being in a very good school, then it clearly means your kid is either dumb, or the education system is failing.

However, I am an ex-teacher who turned private tutor. As such, I have a vested interest to keep the system screwed up. If the system actually gets better, then private tutors like myself will find ourselves out of work.

Anonymous said...

" Eventually in one's life it is time to take full responsibility for whether or not your reach your full potential. "

The first step in taking full responsibility for oneself is to remove the obstacles in one's life.

Vote Opposition.
The Pro Alien Party is an obstacle to all Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Since our MOE, SAF, ETC are so inefficent and spent so much money. Singaporeans should wised up and asked for reallocation of their budgets to Health's Ministry so that free health services is provided to all Singaporeans. At least it is value like gold and maintain their dignity and pride. Younger people can really practised their filial piety to their elders at a lower cost.

Anonymous said...

Kiasu Parents' Petition.
No use right?
Deaf frogs cannot hear.

How about;
Kiasu Parents' Voting Bloc
Give us what we want or we vote Opposition.

Now that will certainly get some attention.
A million dollar salary will be at stake.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

2 words.
Ho Peng.

Anonymous said...

Over the past 15 years, PAP has been offering SIngaporeans a very very bad policies. Making young Singaporeans work so hard in their younger days and when they are out to look for a job, PAP flood Singapore with cheap labour to press down Singaporean wage.

These policies are seem alter to make the rich richer while the lower and middle class struggle harder and harder.

Anonymous said...

Not only are the students graded, the teachers are too!

So now it becomes this big grading game, trying to impress and fawn over HODs and principles, being overly obsess who will get a D for the next year, being on your toes just in case you make a stupid mistake and get graded poorly, meaning your bonus and promotion will be gone. Causing distress for teacher who got a bad grade for the year.

All these mind games and unneccessary pressure, where all these energy could have been used to help students.

I really hope there is an overhaul of the education system in Singapore

Anonymous said...

well said piece. I have previously wrote to the press editors to comment on our "world class" education system.

I see the joy of childhood disappearing from my children - being "dolby mark" so early in life. we try to fight the system and sad to say we failed. now we are looking for alternative place to raise our children.

Anonymous said...

"I really hope there is an overhaul of the education system in Singapore."
Anon 31/3/12 03:17

Before you hope for this, you should first really hope that the opposition will win 60% votes and 93% seats in GE 2016. And Lucky Tan become Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

HOPE is a 4 letter word.

That who can, do.
That who can't, hope(or blog and blog well).

I think PAP also know this very well.

Anonymous said...

"You think about it ...does it make sense to put our children through this intense competition in education only to have them lose out when it comes to university places and jobs to foreigners later on?"


Anonymous said...

Anon 31/3/12 10:38

Maybe you should start helping opposition in Hougang now, so that the voters there will be united to vote in opposition again with more than 80 or even 90% votes in coming by election.

But also be prepared for PAP to win with only 35% votes!

Anonymous said...

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, teach.

Or blog.

Or post comments in blog.

Or talk.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe you should start helping opposition in Hougang now, so that the voters there will be united to vote in opposition again with more than 80 or even 90% votes in coming by election."


Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous said...31/3/12 11:33

How would you classify yourself. Those who do and those who teach or comment or blog or talk ? Since one can only get to know your comment and talk from this blog.

Anonymous said...

If Singaporeans are but subjects to the kings and dukes of Lanfang, and Lanfang Kingdom desires to attract others to be subjects to this little red dot, then the disadvantages of the system to Singaporeans makes sense.
Singaporeans think they should be special, without realising that they do not own this little red dot anymore. To the royals, sinkies are just daft serfs at their disposal although every 5 years the serfs are given an opportunity to free themselves with a 'freak election result' but they consistently voted for status quo overwhelmingly. There may be little to cheer under serfdom but they fear that freedom may engender chaos.

Anonymous said...

Some of us dont even know how to calculate our own CPF, bank interests and even car loan amounts.

Either too lazy or very trusting..either way, we allow others to dictate terms.

So, despite an opportunity to learn & grow, we cannot even recognise the opportunity! Thus, every 5 years, we fume & vent and are too chicken to understand truth and freedom.

The system wins each time.
Wanna bet?

Anonymous said...

How can Singapore system be bad? Australia and US are learning from Singapore!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article, but I find the comments are more interesting. From the class room, to concern parents about their children development with our education system, to moving to another country for the sake of their children for those who have the means to do so, and many interesting comments because in one way or other it effect you and your family with regards to FT flooded in this once great nation, Singapore.
Allow me to share with you a little story far; far way…all the people in this little island were happy going about their usual daily lives. Then one day a great leader came, with a vision to make the island great with the helps of the islanders. Everybody called him tuan then, yes it was Sir Stamford Raffles, ha! ha! got you. After he left, leaving all the system in place in harmony, then another great leader and his team emerged; we are not longer called islanders but citizens.
For any nation to be great you will need the people (citizens) to charge together with the great leader and his lieutenants to victory. Yes, the little island was then in greatness with his leadership. But unfortunately over time, the once great leader have flawed and stumble with the wrong commands and orders for its citizens and over time the lifestyle of the citizens keep on regressing, for the once so called islanders for not keeping with the needs and aspirations for its citizens and future generations. But the citizens are rational, one that will not revolt but will come to their senses to listen to all the murmuring in the workplace, marketplace, parks, especially the internet media, etc.
The BIG QUESTION is what you are going to do about it when you are allowed to choose and elect a new leader of your choice. I am always dismayed when I hear people say, what to do? No choice what?
The misery faces shown by the citizens will not change if you do not change a new leader with new ideas that will bring the citizens together and protect the interest of your children and future generations. Of course, you will then say how will we know the new leader will be better then the last? It's the same question like asking yourself how do you know that my children will no fair better when given a chance or opportunity in school from primary to university or how do you know that, you as a job seeker will not do better as compared to a FT given the same job scope if given the opportunity to do. Did we not brand ourselves once as mentioned in the article that brought us to where we were, until policies replace not for the citizens interest. Remember, only the leader will be change or replace but the entire infrastructure, the civil service and administration will still be there, waiting for new polices from a new leader as commanded. With any new leader at helm, and if that leader failed us, the citizens still has the right to change until we have one that will lead the nation together with the citizens in tow to greatness.
For all the citizens out there reading this comments and don’t wish for any change in leadership, then just lick you wounds and don't cry like a child and say it not fair as to why he can have it and I can't?
In short, all citizens of any great nation should be made equal in the eyes of a great leader; the only difference is the cope of responsibility that one attends to. You cannot have a beautiful garden in the palace if you don’t have gardeners to attend to it, or a mere soldier simply guarding the palace gate against any bad elements, and I would say that one day his or her child may be a great leader that will lead the nation and its people to greatness.

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