Making cents..

Well, it’s been an interesting week in SG politics. With the Budget debate settled, it ends with the announcement of a By-Election at Hougang. Even though a date has not been set just yet, the excitement has surely been felt. In fact the excitement was already there when Yaw Shin Leong starts exercising his other ‘duties’.

Then of course there’s NCMP Yee Jenn Jong’s view on Foreign scholarship..

“I am uncomfortable to learn that only 67% of foreign scholars graduate with high honours. Any scholar, local or foreign, should aim to graduate with at least second upper. I am sure PSC set high standards for our local scholars. If we cannot attract enough good foreign scholars, we should immediately cut intake by 33% to admit only those with potential for high honours.” – Yee Jenn Jong

I mean seriuosly?..If  parents have 5 children and 3 of them are graduates and the other 2 are ITE students, should they tell their 3 graduate kids to have 3 children because 5 could not make it, only 3 can do it?

How in the world can we guarantee that every cohort will attain 100% high honours? What exactly are these scholarships main objectives?

Look..if we are to spend every single cent of scholarships on Singaporeans, what guarantee  will we have them spend their time and life in Singapore itself? What makes us think that they won’t take this as a stepping stone to greener pastures as well?

The misconsception that people have is that with education, people can think better and behave as well. Unfortunately, our education system is academically results based and does not look at building a broad based society, a thinking citizen. And more unfortunately there is a dire need for good leaders, people who are willing to sacrifice their time and life to serve the people.

The PAP has to go through extensive search for talents.  Opposition parties are trying their very best to get the best mind with good educational background and profession. But then we do have a very talented Singaporean in their ranks who has accumulated great experienced overseas (30 years in fact) to add credibilty to our political scene. But even he has to succumb to copying notes in making speeches and maintain an intelligent look about him…

Foreign scholarships are investment, with returns we will not see in 1, 2 or even 10 years.It is an invisible return but of significant impact for the future of our survival.

Here I qoute an exchange of views back in 2008…

It could be a  reality many may not have considered . How does any oligarchy propose to control the future?

It can only do so by controlling the present and if possible the past.

Let me put it another way, how did the Romans or for that matter the British or French perpetuate their empire?

They did so by leveraging on the locals, that’s to say they saw the long term value of inducting them into their institutions of higher learning and what did they do after that? They allowed them to return home and start turning the wheel of life.

What many failed to realize is these empire trained technocrats carried with them a very specific understanding of how to define both personal and organization success along the same lines which made possible the whole idea of sustaining empire as a concept – they were in effect proxies which extended the raison of empire.

This is a very subtle way for any government to extend not only their strategic reach, by ensuring the elites of tomorrow regionally at least share a common set of values which are consistent with those who propose to control the future.

To me these are very long term strategies and one simply needs to understand the pay outs may not even be direct.

The question we need to ask is this; what is the most efficient way for any govt, not only the Singapore govt to control the social, economic and political outcome of lets say country A, B and C?

Let me put it this way, did you know Pontius Pilate, was not a Roman citizen? He aspired to his position as pro-consul of Judea by way of sponsorship through a Roman scholarship program.

When Claudius the commander of the Legio VIII sailed into Caesarea Maritima to quell the Jewish uprising in Judea, he did not need to present his credentials to Pilate, they went to the same school. Neither was his gift unusual, a chalice with the words inscribed, “ora et labora,” a souvenir from their alma mater – you see historians have since speculated why Pilate bowed so easily to the will of Rome / as pro-consul, he had a right to even veto the Roman senate – he was after all trained as a diplomat, he had his own ideas of how to quell the Jewish insurrection, but till then none of them included violence – but in the greater scheme of things, even he would have realized how futile it would have been to resist the will of Rome, you see he realized this at the very moment when Claudius reminded him of his roots, “are we not cut from the same cloth Brother?”

He was after all one of them ; no man can turn against it’s own kind.

I wonder how much is that worth ?How much?”

How much indeed…


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