04 July 2005

Meet The Most Famous Member of My Fan Club

Just two weeks ago, I blogged the following about a PSC scholar wannabe:
"The letter writer had been deeply disappointed at not being to go overseas for his university education. Has anyone ever thought about how the vice-chancellors and the dons of Singapore's local universities like NUS and NTU would feel about that?

What delicious irony. Our local institutions NUS and NTU have great aspirations to become world-class institutions. At the same time, our brightest young minds have great aspirations to avoid studying at our local institutions NUS and NTU.

While there is much to be said for an overseas education, I can't help but feel that its attraction for so many young Singaporeans is partially due to the marketing strategies of the PSC over the years.

These marketing strategies are hurting NUS and NTU ...."

Two weeks later, look who's suddenly decided to speak about the same thing:
July 4, 2005
Let top students graduate here before going abroad, says MM
Call part of a push to boost prestige of local varsities
By Leslie Koh

MINISTER Mentor Lee Kuan Yew last night pointed out a 'missing element' in Singapore's system to attract top talent in its universities: its own students.

The country has benefited from sending its brightest on scholarships to study abroad. Now, some of these students should be encouraged to study in local universities.

Said Mr Lee: 'We have to continue this policy of sending our scholars overseas. Their exposure and experience abroad have helped Singapore leap ahead.

'But we need to build up the prestige and esprit de corp of the alumni of our own universities - an alumni network that proudly embraces our top students who eventually rise to the highest positions in society.'

The call from MM Lee formed yet another push from top leaders to universities here to aim higher, as the National University of Singapore (NUS) celebrates its 100th anniversary with a series of events.

"Okay, okay, I admit it. I've been reading your blog!
I just haven't had the time to leave any comments yet."


Anonymous said...

It seems that he has done an about turn.

I recall him saying some years ago on the topic of "If I Was Young Again" he would take an overseas scholarship blah blah blah ... However, I stand to be corrected on this lah.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

He has not done an "about turn".

His view on what would be good for himself, if he were young again, is one thing.

His view on what would be good for Singapore universities is quite a separate thing.

This is a regular trick which the Singapore government plays on Singaporeans, heheh.

What is good for Singapore is not necessarily good for you.

Around the time when I first entered law school, the Singapore government claimed that there was an excess of lawyers in Singapore; NUS decided to reduce the number of places for law students; the government said that Singaporeans should study engineering instead, etc.

Today, my job is one of the very few jobs that still look quite safe & protected from the rise of China & India, heheh. The work I do can't be outsourced to Chennai and the skills I have cannot be mass-manufactured by the Chinese human factories, errrr, universities, I mean.

Anonymous said...

I think the new stand about NUS doesn't seem half as sophisticated as your previous commentary on the forum letter. Somehow, the typical binaristic mode of thinking turns everything into a joke.


Anonymous said...

mm lee talking cock again lah.

he say must send bright young minds into nus & ntu, then say he will advise his grandson to get a tertiary education from an american university:

"...Today, I think I will tell my grandson I think you better go to America. It will be the largest single factor in the Pacific for a very long time." - excert from MM Lee, Q&A Session of American and Pacific Rim universities meeting, CNA report - 01 July 2005.