must RI join the crowd

Letter from Elias Tan posted in Today Online. I refer to Raffles Institution's (RI) letter (Feb 1) in response to Today's article "Are the 'brains' unwilling to face defeat" (Jan 25). .It seems its communications head has, in a roundabout and verbose manner, admitted "yes". Why else would a school as rich in resources as RI say they do not have enough resources to dedicate to competitive soccer when neighbourhood schools can? .Why else would a football field (albeit only one, as RI stresses) be used for everything else under the sun — rugby, track and field, cricket — except football? Perhaps, RI should check its history books for the reason it stopped playing soccer at a competitive level. Was it because they started losing to neighbourhood schools, which was when returns on investments proved no longer viable? .Enough debating — either you play or you'll never win. And the best of luck to RI's boys who enjoy playing ball with the school staff and among themselves. why should ri play football if it chooses not to? if everyone goes to the casinos, does it mean that the rest must also do so or be censured as not team players, not one of them? there is no shame not to play football. do what you are good at and do them best. ri should continue to produce their champions in academics and in the sports that they excelled in. let those who have their brians embedded in their feet to excel and marvel in football or whatever foot related sports. let them be the maradonna or the ronaldhino. why shall the twains meet?


Matilah_Singapura said...

This school has always been an overated waste of time. It is a GOVERNMENT school, and thus trains GOVERNMENT minds.

Anglo-Chinese School OTOH is a Pte. Ltd. It trains independent, anti-authority minds.

ACS, Forever more

The Best Is Yet To Be!

As far as I'm concerned, everyone else can kiss our arses. :-)

Matilah_Singapura said...





Now, how cool is that? ;-)

Elfred said...

There is no shame not to play football. But it is such a shame if an institute as RI can't be mature enough to promote football should there be students who wanna have it which is a game with no shame playing and no shame not playing.

redbean said...

no lah elfred,

in our pursuit for excellence, meritocracy, to be the best, one just have to conserve resources to excel in areas which one can excel. football in ri is just for socialising among themselves, for fun. i think that is acceptable.

know your enemy know yourself.
don't try to be everything. multi tasking is a silly thing. only people who can afford to make other people do the donkey work and they come in and say yes or no, then multi tasking is possible,

but when one has to do the gruelling work, one has limited time and energy to do so. don't ask a chef to be a footballer or vice versa.

redbean said...

acs and ri both have a long history of track records and both develop differently. that is good for free enterprise. no need to be the same in all things.

to each his own and from each his best.

Elfred said...

Hahahaha... If you are not trying to be sarcastic, I'd be surprised.

What is RI's problem?

redbean said...

no, serious,

ri has no problem. it is the rest who demand that ri plays ball with them is having problem.

if i am ri, i will simply tell them, you want to take me on, play my game. if i want to take you on, i will play your game.

i choose my time, my place and my game. no sarcasm elfred.

when you are good, you do whatever you want. the rest can only be envious of you.

bulikyre said...

Redbean, if the only objective of organized sport was to "win-it-all", then you would of course be correct.

However, I think you (and RI) are missing the point of sport. You play because you love the game and you want to better yourself. Maybe you can't win everything, but you appreciate the little victories that come your way. In "My Losing Season", Pat Conroy talks about the experience of defeat in college basketball that sustained him in life's darkest despair.

So maybe RI doesn't excel in football, but there's more to sport than winning.

If not, why should Singapore even play in the World Cup qualifiers? Why bother sending no-hopers to the Asian Games?

Or let's try the reverse. Why should any school, other than the top two, play rugby at all? Why don't we just have an annual play-off for RI and ACS?

Elfred said...

OIC... You mean those who demand of RI.

I see your point then. If no one in RI wanna play football with other schools, it's up to RI definitely. Yeah, I agree with you on this.

redbean said...

hi bulikyre,
i am starting to miss your posting. as for ri, i have no misgivings if they play or don't play football. i can't disagree with you either on playing to enjoy the game and the competition.

my point, just for argument basis, is that the schools be allowed to make their own choices. we have too many forced choices and regulations. we under regulate, over regulate, and want free and creative spirits.

it will be sad if ri or any school is coerced to play whatever games they chose not to when they are given the freedom to decide.

on the other hand if it is a policy matter, that all schools would have to take part in all sports, that will be a different issue.

redbean said...


elfred finally agree with me. that calls for a celebration. this is a very tough guy who will agree with anyone. maybe a bit weird : )

bulikyre said...

"my point, just for argument basis, is that the schools be allowed to make their own choices."

My disagreements:
1. RI is allowed to make its own decision to compete or not. There may be public pressure right now, but ultimately the decision is theirs.

2. Even if someone has the right to make a decision, it doesn't automatically mean that the decision is above rebuke. The current debate over the merits (or lack thereof) of football participation is quite healthy in that respect. If RI management changes its mind subsequently, it won't be through conformism or coercion, but informed choice.

3. Soccer is perhaps the most popular sport in Singapore. In the original report, some RI students wanted to form a team. If you argue that RI should be allowed to make its decision, then I can also argue: Shouldn't the students be allowed to make the decision? You talk about "rules and regulations". I agree and disagree. I think the overregulation right now is coming from RI.

redbean said...

hi bulikyre,

the issue now boils down to a school decision versus the interest of the students. i think the school will have problem if the students insist on representing the school in football.

it will thus be an issue that ri will have to find an answer, and stand by its decision.

no doubt with the popularity of football, ri will be under pressure to give a good reason if it still wants to say no.

Elfred said...

Weird? Nay... If things can be agreeable on, why disagree?

If disagree just for the sake of disagreeing needs be, it's same as agreeing for the sake of agreeing... aka bootlicking.

I am too outspoken for that... which is why I have a problem in a messed-up environment. It's almost always the case... a litmus test on the state of society somehow.

redbean said...


agreeing or disagreeing depends on the context and issues involved. when things affect you directly or indirectly, then it is not simply agreeing to disagree.

but some issues really do not affect us personally, so it is just a discourse, an expression of our views. hey we need to exercise our thoughts.

Elfred said...

Whatever, I agree or disagree in accordance to whether things make sense or not. If you are driving at other schools bother RI, I of course agree with you.

It's as if you wanna give me $15,000, of course I most likely agreeable too. :D

Elfred said...

But I don't understand why the hack in the entire RI that none would wanna take on other schools, in all sporting sense ie.

redbean said...

the teachers must have done some calculation. this may be the flaw of a very competitive system. the students of ris all want to be prime ministers or rocket scientists. football is only for fun.

they may think it is a fun they can do without and have more important things to do. it is their decision.

the students may think otherwise.

Elfred said...

They wanna be Prime Ministers... But are they really suitable? Managers for Ministers maybe.

Scholars ain't necessarily good political elements, and across times, it's (superficial) scholars who almost readily mess up a nation.

A PM whose enlightenment level is peanuts compare to the academic performance is a disaster in the making. Luckily, MM is still around to sense this decline, and realise the essense of historical downfall. I am not talking about PM Lee. I am only pointing out certain things about your mentioning of 'all wanna be PMs or...'.

I can't be bothered if they wanna be rocket scientists... if they blow up themselves, it's not our problem. :D But if they end up PM... and blow up Singapore... Hoo hoo hoo...

redbean said...


the cream of singapore is in ri and another one or two schools. and very likely most of the leaders will come from that pool. nothing wrong for them to aspire to be the leaders of tomorrow.

if they are not good enough, we are in trouble.

true that academic brilliance is not equated with good leadership or political leadership. but the probability is high for one to come from ri.

never underestimate the potential of a talented young man.

Elfred said...

I suppose the probability of leader from RI is high and the probabilty that RI has the talents for politics should be differentiated.

I never underestimate the potential of talents... which is in fact why I suppose Mr Sim WF should take over A*Star instead. For one, his great success of a lone effort never need to be backed by suing or threatening to sue nobodies...

You can say that if A*Star (for the matter of discussion) is run by talents as Mr Sim, and there shall be more Sims created, and A*star becomes of many more Creative Tech, isn't it much better in the government's sense? :D

On the other hand, can Mr Philip Yeo come out with Sound Blasters, come out with MP3, come out with Music keyboards and all the gadgets Singapore is hoping to capitalise as a creative nation? Can he come out with all this being a poly-grad? But Mr Sim WF doesn't sue...

And Singapore definitely invested much less on Mr Sim than the armies of scholars out there. In term of cost efficiency, should Mr Sim be in charge of A*Star and Biopolis?

Who is underestimating whose talent? :D

What cream are we talking about? For the past decades, what sort of leadership are we getting?
Shouldn't such day-dreams be waken already???

redbean said...

sim wong hoo's style of management and approaches are probably more suitable to nurturing a new breed of entreprenuers and business men.

like it or not, a civil servant will be a civil servant. but civil servants are good in their own areas.

Elfred said...

Didn't MM call for More Scholars to be entrepreneurs? Maybe Mr Philips Yeo'd wanna set a good leading example...

What style? Hahahaha... I don't such if EDB can have more Mr Sim WFs and its performance would be many more times than current the government won't be any less happier... :D As I said, it's more cost efficient to create a Sim WF than a scholar... Hahahahahahahaha...

Call it a jest, but we are humtum-ing on looking down or up on talents... and the RIs thingy... Hahahahaha...

Call that testing OB markers if one'd like. I'm a dim-wit anyway.

redbean said...

not really elfred.

the sim wonghoo expeience is what america can afford. throwing wild oats and some will end up as majestic trees. very few be sim wonghoo because of our size.

the phillip yeo formula will also work in its own way. the result may be different. there may not be sim wonghoos coming out from that disk. the ingredients and conditions are different. but you can get different things out of it. maybe a phillip sim or a frankenstein.

there will be result when there is effort.