Kishore has been listed as one of the world’s top 100 thinkers by a US based Foreign Policy magazine. It is a great honour to be there among the Europeans in an European centric magazine that only understands western language and thoughts.
Who is this guy? He is not angmoh. He is the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He got to thank the school for not replacing him with an angmoh to give the school greater credibility and be more believeable in the western intellectual circuit. Think of it, it is one of the rare corners of Singapore where the top dog is a Singaporean. For this reason alone, it is worthy to keep this School relevant as a pride of the country, that a Singaporean is found good enough to head the school.
I am not sure how long before the CEOs of the 3 local universities be headed by foreigners as obviously there are just not enough local talents of international stature to raise the profiles and rankings of these world class universities. Having foreigners to front these universities, like many of the Singapore institutions, is a good thing as they will spread the news of Singapore and how great this island is. Their presence will put the universities connected to the best universities of the West.
Then again, if we do not allow out Singaporeans a chance to take on high profile positions, how would they gain recognition by the international community? How would someone like Kishore be recognized if he ended up just another professor in the School of Lee Kuan Yew or any local universities?
Our angmoh is good mentality is a self debasing policy. If we keep giving the plump jobs to foreigners, our local talents will forever have their heads under water, to be another statistics and nothing more. We need to give more chances to the local talents and thinkers to be in the limelight, to be seen and heard, to be recognized.
Good that we have someone like Kishore. But he could be the last, just like we have a Lee Kuan Yew, and he will be the last titan this little island ever produced.