Top schools to remain closed circles

It was only a speech made by the Education Minister speech during HCI's 40th anniversary dinner. In the end, it was also a speech not to be taken too seriously, because the mentioned primary cause of concern was something alumni of top schools and the government do not want rectified badly enough. Such closed circles are cozy corners for winners. They don't know and really do not want everyone to become winners, however it is not politically correct to say so in public.

So I wished Heng Swee Keat never made this speech. There are so many other topics he could choose to expand upon, why this one when your government never had sufficient political will nor courage to fix? This is yet another credibility losing speech, to think this guy is a potential Prime Minister candidate. How can we not feel a little sad for the future of this country?

But this problem will be somewhat "fixed" when it is too late, when the painful loss of a significant numbers of votes during the GE is experienced. Even then, what we can expect of the solutions themselves? Bad band aid measures at best. Nothing more than an insincere imitation of policies practiced by 'good' governments elsewhere in other countries. In future, I imagine some of them visiting us will say in private to our leaders, "I thought you had it all sewn up, what happened? Why did you ape us? To think for a long time we were the ones trying to copy you with limited success!"

What is the hard truth here? I am sorry it had to come from former Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew again.

As I understand it from LKY, such closed circles are inevitable and there is nothing you can do about them. If you don't want them then don't even let them happen. We would also have to accept a materially poor society and on top of it we will also have little control over our fate as we get pushed around by others. Politics is the art of the possible.

Unfortunately people cannot think in counterfactuals and the present leaders lack the confidence and courage to even try. Yet on the other hand they at times foolishly publicly chastise us when they never actually earned the respect and right to do so.

Can we stop these closed circles? Yes, but only very slowly with results most likely achieved over decades, not unlike our bilingual policy. Sadly today's government are actually too myopic and only care about the short term benefits instead of looking to the horizon out far. Long term thinking is increasingly turning into a punchline year by year as the PAP only worry more and more about how to win elections.

Yet the truly Singaporean way to win elections is not to worry too much about them but to do what really matters for the long term. We are probably the only electorate in the world that is smart enough to understand this. If we did not, would we have supported LKY from the beginning? We would turned Communist.

This post first appeared on Blogging For Myself. It is reproduced with permission.


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