No need for so many universities

We used to have Singapore University and Nantah. Now we have University of Singapore, Nanyang Technology University, Singapore Management University, USIM, SUTD, SIT, Yale Singapore Joint Campus and many others in the private sector joining here and there. What is the purpose of so many universities? Is it not the official view telling students there is no need for a university education when such a thought goes against the need for more and more universities?

There is also readily available graduates from the best in the world and the best from the village universities of 3rd World coming here for our choosing, the so called cheap and good. And there are millions of fakes and those genuine degrees from quality degree mills to choose from. There is thus no need to provide universities for our young when we can get them free from the whole world.

There is another reason why there is no need for so many expensive universities. Why spend so much money building universities with the best facilities money can buy to be filled with foreign as lecturers and non academic staff, practically the whole university staff are foreigners except for the clerical jobs and cleaners. Maybe the cleaners are also foreigners. Where are the job opportunities for the citizens? Oops, we our policy is to hire the best from the world, regardless of nationalities. I remember.

And why build universities staffed by foreigners and to be filled by foreign students and paid by tax payers’ money as well in the form of generous scholarship? Is there a need to spend so much public money doing this? Wait a minute, if the foreign students return home, they will have fond memories of Singapore and when and if they are in positions of authority, they will be kinder and look at Singapore more favourably. There are so many whens and ifs to happen to benefit from this huge expense. Just hope they don’t return with a lot of hate for Singapore and Singaporeans.  

If the universities are built as business concerns to generate economic growth, for more revenue for the state, that is a different matter. If the universities are self sufficient financially, making money from the foreign students and providing good jobs for our citizens, that is a good proposition and is most welcomed.

But if the universities are built with tax payers’ money to feed foreigners as lecturers and staff and to finance foreign students to get their education and we pay for it, what is the point? Do we need to spend this type of money, so much money to hope for some good will and kindness?

Are we really doing these kinds of things with our taxpayer’s money? I hope not. If it is, there better be a rethink and use the money more wisely to invest in our very own children. We are not the Santa Clause to the whole world. We are not slaves and servants to the whole world. We don’t owe the world an obligation to provide jobs and university places for them. We are a small little dot with limited resources. We are not a super power with super power ambition and interests.

Anyone got any figures to confirm that this is or not the case? Anyone knows how much we have spent annually on this inexplicable myth?

Singaporean core in banking and finance

Tharman said this at the Association of Banks annual dinner, ‘Our vision is to be a financial centre that is among the leaders globally in workforce skills and expertise, and one with a strong core of Singaporeans at every level.’ This statement prompts a lot of questions as to why the need for such a statement and what happened that resulted in this statement.

Singapore as a financial centre has always been our mission since the 70s and we have been the top financial centre in the league of Tokyo and Hongkong. And for two decades, Singaporeans were in charge, the top financial talents were Singaporeans. What happened after that? What happened to all the Singaporean finance talents that today we are faced with a dearth of Singaporean finance talents that almost every top finance and banking jobs must go to a foreigner? And when a job is vacant there will be a mad rush to look for a foreigner as they could not find a Singapore to fill it? To the people responsible to fill these positions, Singaporeans are misfits in the finance industry.

Some may take this lightly like a non issue, but is a very serious issue. It is mismanagement of our human resource in the finance and banking sector. It is negligence, dunno on whose part, that we have reached such a dire strait. Is there anyone who is supposed to oversee this manpower need? It cannot be that such an important function was left to chance. Under Goh Keng Swee, his fingers were on the pulse of the finance industry and Koh Beng Seng was clearly instructed and given the task to ensure that Singaporeans would be groomed to take over the top jobs in the banking and finance industry.

What happened? No body knows I guess. No body cares? Was this policy abandoned, dropped like a coconut and not to be remembered? Or was there a change in policy to let foreigners to take over the banking and finance industry and Singaporeans were left out of the picture? Would anyone want to take responsibility for this fiasco, a sell out of Singaporeans in a very important industry that is now controlled and dominated by foreigners?

You mean no one knows what is happening? Sure no one knows or else someone’s head will be on the chopping block for such a gross mistake. Are we back to square one, to want Singaporeans to be in charge in the banking industry?

Now that Tharman is talking about the next 10 years to salvage a bad situation by ‘a string of programmes and initiatives, paving the way forward for Singapore with less emphasis on academic qualifications and more focus on the mastery of professional and technical skills,’ I am puzzled, very puzzled. What did he mean by less emphasis on academic qualifications? Did he mean that top banking and finance jobs do not need academic qualifications? Or did he mean that our tertiary institutions are not teaching the mastery of professional and technical skills and only the industry could teach the mastery of professional and technical skills? Then what is the point of going to the universities? O and A levels will do, and let the industry train the top managers needed?

Whatever magic that Tharman is going to pull out from his bag, we have 10 years to watch and see if the damage in the last 20 years can be redeemed. Let’s hope in 10 years time we will not be hunting around the world for finance talents and Singaporeans are still blur like sotong in the mastery of professional and technical skills in the industry. 

Today we are a laughing stock as a financial centre that has no finance talents. It would not be funny if after another 10 years we will still be in the same state of nothingness. By the look of it, by the programmes suggested, it is going to be the same.

There must be a detailed plan of affirmative and positive actions and training to ensure that the Singaporean core exists in the banking and finance industry, and not the type of core from issuing pink ICs to foreigners and called them Singaporean core. Someone must be named to be responsible for this important task and be held accountable if nothing happens again. And tell him he will be hanged if he fails.

A financial centre that has no local finance talents and has no programme to ensure that this is being done for the last 20 years!  What, everyone gone to hibernation? This must be another Uniquely Singapore thing. Or someone finds it more expedient to depend on the instant tree formula, so no need to grow our own timber? Hire the best regardless of nationalities, the parrots are heard squawking. Should someone take a shotgun and shoot the silly parrots?

Did anyone say we are always planning ahead? Did anyone notice the big hole in the banking and finance industry?  What kind of brilliant planning is that? And the best part, it’s over, let’s move on. No one is responsible for it.


GE 2015/16 issues for the voters to consider – Issue 6 – Is CPF your money?

What is happening to your life time savings in the CPF? Is it your money? Are you happy with the shifting goal posts, the minimum sums, the Medishield life and Medisave Life? Do you want to take it back earlier at 55 or 62 or dunno when?

You can decide what you want to do with your CPF savings by your votes in the GE. The GE is the time to change the fate of your life savings, to take it back.

Another patronizing western view on what is good for Asians

‘Asia must rebalance not build banks’, an article by a Jonathan Holslag, a professor of international politics sat the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in the ST telling China/Asia not to build new banks to challenge the western dominated banks like IMF/World Banks and Asian Development Bank but to change them. Reading his other book titled, ‘China’s coming war with Asia’ you can tell where he is coming from. He would not know that he is speaking from the point of what is good for the West must be good for the Asians.

It is not right and not a good thing to build a new Asian bank like the AIIB. China is doing it for its self interests and at the disadvantage of other Asian countries for influence and creating more demands for Chinese goods. What he is saying is that the IMF and World Bank and the ADB were created not for the interests of the Americans/West and Japan but for altruistic goals, to give money to Asia and the world.  They are so selfless and generous. The AIIB is not like that?

Really, why is it necessary for China and other Asian countries to want another bank if the IMF, World Bank and ADB were out there to serve them and not western interests? Why is it necessary to work with these old western establishments to rebalance them and not to create new banks? Have not the Asian countries been trying to work with these establishments for change for the last 5 decades and not making any headway and forced to build their own banks?

This is the admission by Holslag, ‘The AIIB is a master stroke of economic diplomacy. The debate about its possible benefits distracts from the imbalanced economic partnerships to the  vague benefits of influencing it from inside and the bad habit of the United States and Japan to cling to their privileges in the World Bank, the IMF and the ADB.’ Despite this admission that the Americans and Japan would not yield an inch to accommodate the rise and interests of Asian countries, despite saying that they looked pathetic and China looking magnanimous with the AIIB initiative, he must sneaked in another blow that China is ‘seeking to advance its own selfish interests’.

And he wanted Asian countries to work harder to reform the IMF, World Bank and ADB? After 50 years of working from within, from a position of weakness, the Asian countries were totally ignored. And this is the exact reason why Asian countries have given up on trying to work with them and wanting their own banks, and with a bigger voice to serve their own interests, not the interests of the West and Japan. It is too late. Why didn’t the IMF, World Bank and ADB agree to reform and change to accommodate Asia earlier?

They are willing to change, to serve Asian countries and not their own interests? Please remove your tinted lens and look at yourself and how the American and the West in collusion with Japan have been exploiting these old establishments to serve their own interests first and foremost and Asian countries are there for show and to be exploited.

Now Asian countries have their own banks and their own voice. The loudest voice is Asian and Asians are calling the shot in their own banks to serve Asian interests. Is that not acceptable, bad? You want the IMF, World Bank and ADB to continue to exploit the Asian countries at your terms? If they don’t change, they would be history. And the change must come from them, voluntarily. The world has changed and Asian countries are rising and want a say in these organizations serving western interests.

Can the professor see this?

Did Roy damage Hsien Loong’s reputation?

Roy said no, ‘that his blog’s reach was too low to hurt Mr Lee’s reputation….Mr Lee did not suffer a lower standing in the eyes of the public as a result of the defamation’. It is interesting to know if Hsien Loong’s reputation did take a plunge, that in the eyes of the people, he is no good or not as good as before. The question is how to determine this point. Should someone conduct a straw poll or a survey to check on Hsien Loong’s reputation before and after Roy’s article? If not, how is one to know the effects of the article? And if these cannot be determined, how then to decide on the compensation for damages?

A second point is the allegation by Davinder Singh, ‘that Roy’s allegation of “misappropriation” undermines Mr Lee’s ability to “lead the country, sustain the confidence of the electorate and discharge his functions as Prime Minister and Chairman of GIC’. Must this allegation be proven, that after Roy’s article, Hsien Loong’s ability to lead the country is undermined, affected, losing confidence of the electorate and unable to discharge his functions as a Prime Minister? These are very broad allegations and claims but how to prove that these are happening?

I have heard of accident victims claiming all kinds of sickness, fainting spell, dizziness, cannot eat and sleep, cannot shit, pain here and there, nightmares, hallucination, fear, bouts of frightening flashbacks that affected their lives as a result of the accident to claim for more damages. Some even walked with crutches and put on neck support.  A lot of drama. This kind of things can be supported by medical and psychiatrist reports. In the case of undermining ability to rule, confidence of voters etc etc, medical psychiatrists reports would not be applicable.

It would be interesting to see how Davinder proves that Hsien Loong’s reputation has taken a hit and how his confidence and ability to perform as a PM are affected. Would Hsien Loong be walking around with his head hanged low, afraid to look people in the eye, would the people be distancing themselves from him, giving him dirty glances, would he be trembling in fear, wetting his pants and afraid to go to work?

How would Davinder prove that Hsien Loong is no longer the man he was and a lesser man as a result of Roy’s article? How would he prove that the article has a sweeping impact on the people that they no longer trust Hsien Loong?  No, no need to prove anything, just allege, assert and claim to be so?

Like dat can or not?


GE 2015/16 issues for the voters to consider – Issue 5 – Do you want to give your country to foreigners?

Maybe there are now 50% new citizens among the Singaporeans and with many more as PRs or Employment Pass holders. This is as good as giving away half of the country to foreigners who are now new citizens. And if the population goes to 6.9m or 10m, we are as good as giving our country away, have been occupied by foreigners, now holding pink ICs.

Is this what you want to happen to your country? We own this country. Our parents and grandparents built and willed this country to us and our children. Why are we giving our country away to foreigners for free and giving them additional rebates, subsidies, national bonuses and financial incentives to occupy our country?

Amos Yee – Heckling special needs children

When special needs children were in the wrong place, many cried outrage, vile, vile, vile. How can people heckled children with special needs? That was the kind of reactions from caring and righteous people out to protect special needs children. What a show of nobility and compassion.

Would a boy suffering form Autism Spectrum Disease be called a special needs child?  Would such a child need the protection of caring adults from wicked people out to do harm to him? Got diminished responsibility or not? Any clever lawyer wants to comment?

What if such a child is snatched away from his mother, pronounced mad and thrown into a mental hospital where serious mental patients are locked up? Is it vile? Is it the right thing to do? Is this to help the child, to protect the child, to save the child? What would a child affected by ASD ended up in the company of mental patients?

And the child is screaming for justice. Would anyone listen and offer a helping hand? While the child’s plea gone unnoticed, abandoned by the caring and righteous men and women with halos above their heads, a lonely mother cries. The world turned to look the other way.

First World or Third World?  What happens to human decency? Where are the people of kindness, the people of God or Gods, the angels and immortals?

After this shameful ordeal, would anyone dare to talk about moral high grounds, about righteousness, about kindness, about compassion, about a caring society?

And a mother cries.