THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Archive for February 25th, 2012

PRC man with fake certificate on S-pass asks if there are ‘risks’ in applying for Singapore PR

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

Recent news about fake certificates of several private schools being put on sale in Singapore has surprised many Singaporeans, but the problem is likely to be more serious than previously thought.

There is no supply without a demand and there may be many more foreigners working in Singapore using such fake certificates.

One posting in Chinese internet forum in 2010 revealed the prevalence of such scams.

An anonymous netizen posting on behalf of her boyfriend asked fellow Chinese working in Singapore if there are risks involved in him apply for Singapore PR as he only managed to find employment here using a fake certificate.

“….my boyfriend is working in Singapore on S-pass, but his educational qualifications are forged and easily obtained from the internet. I would like to ask if there are any risks involved if he applies for Singapore PR.”

[Source: Baidu.com]

Her question prompted an immediate reply from a fellow countryman who wrote:

“A few others have applied (successfully for Singapore PR) without any problems. Set your heart at ease.”

Jody Yan added:

“S pass takes only a few days for approval and they won’t check the educational qualifications. It won’t be a problem even when the pass is renewed. PR application takes a few months and ICA will check your background carefully. If your forgery is discovered, you will be fined and deported.”

Though the occupation of the PRC man is unknown, he is likely able to obtain a Singapore PR easily even with a fake certificate like many other foreigners, some of whom are construction workers, hawkers, waiters, bus drivers, masseurs and even freelance prostitutes.

 

Posted in News | 8 Comments »

NUS alumnus ‘suans’ PAP MP Baey Yam Keng: I cannot attain ‘Saint Baey’s high moral standard

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

An NUS alumni ‘Ming De’ has written a letter to a Chinese evening tabloid taking potshots at both NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu as well as his ‘Number One’ fan PAP MP for Tampines Baey Yam Keng.

A final year student in Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, Sun sparked a massive outcry among Singaporeans with his offensive remarks on there “being more dogs than humans in Singapore” on his microblog ‘Weibo’ last Saturday.

Besides asking Sun Xu to apply to study at Beijing University to learn from Professor Kong who stirred controversy by calling Hong Kongers ‘dogs’ on a TV programme, Ming De also reserved some snide remarks for Mr Baey, describing him as a ‘Saint’ for asking Singaporeans to ‘reflect on themselves’ after being insulted by Sun Xu.

“I recalled there’s a passage in the Bible which reads ‘When somebody slaps your left cheek, turn around and let him slap your right cheek as well.’ For Mr Baey, it is – ‘When somebody slaps your left cheek, you have to slap your right cheek in turn.'”, he wrote in Chinese.

Ming De added sarcastically that there is nothing wrong in Mr Baey stepping forward to uphold his higher ‘moral standard’ as he is ‘Saint Baey’.

“But I am only an ordinary Singaporean and cannot attain ‘Saint Baey’s high moral standard.”

Mr Baey’s Facebook has been bombarded with a torrent of criticisms from angry netizens with some calling him a ‘traitor’ for speaking up for Sun Xu. However, Mr Baey remains unperturbed by the public backlash.

In his latest posting, he wrote:

“I haven’t been able to respond to the many comments. -ve ones: ty for sharing your views. +ve ones: ty for encouragement, I am fine.”

Below is an extract from the Chinese article by Ming De:

“你的那句“狗话”, 引来一片挞伐。 但也有例外, 我们的国会议员马先生 (不是台湾的马英九喔, 是新加坡的马炎庆)就公开替你背书:“新加坡人也要反思, 我们是不是那形容的那样。”

马先生的圣人标准, 让我想起圣经的 :“有人打你的左脸, 连右脸也让他打!”  马先生则是:“有人打你的左脸, 自己再打自己的右脸。”   这也没什么不对。 近来新加坡政坛掀起“政治领导”的道德标准课题, 马先生只不过挺身而出, 自己竖立超高的道德标准, 是马圣人也!

我是平凡的新加坡人, 做不到马圣人的高标。 但我也觉得“得饶人处且饶人”, 不要落井下石, 更不要棒打落水狗, 所以, 即然你已经公开且“诚挚道歉”, 那我们即然不是你所说的狗, 当然也就不会死咬你不放咯。”

 

Related articles:

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu to earn more than $10,000 monthly at Schlumberger?

Majority of Singaporeans want Sun Xu’s scholarship to be revoked

Baey Yam Keng: I stand by my view on Sun Xu

Baey Yam Keng: Scholarships should be given based on merit, not nationality

Tay Ping Hui on why he spoke out against Sun Xu: Because it is about Singaporeans

Baey Yam Keng: Singaporeans should accept criticisms openly

MOE ‘disappointed’ with NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu

Police report against NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu: Alex Tan told to lodge Magistrate’s complaint

Baey Yam Keng defends Sun Xu

‘Why are you visiting us dogs?’ – netizen asked Baey Yam Keng

Baey Yam Keng asks Singaporeans to reflect on the comments of foreigners

NUS Provost: I have counselled Sun Xu

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu apologizes to Singaporeans

Tay Ping Hui scolds NUS PRC scholar Sun Xun: “You are an impertinent ingrate!”

Alex Tan lodged police report against NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu for alleged threat

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu hurls vulgarities at Singaporeans

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu remains unrepentant: I am only complaining

Netizen filed complaint to NUS against PRC scholar’s offensive remarks about Singaporeans

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Cherian George speaks to BBC on Sun Xu saga: Real ‘target’ of Singaporeans is the government

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

Singaporeans are not against immigrants and the real target of their vibes is the government, said Professor in NTU School of Mass Communication Cherian George in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

A final year student in Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, Sun sparked a massive outcry among Singaporeans with his offensive remarks on there “being more dogs than humans in Singapore” on his microblog ‘Weibo’ last Saturday, prompting some to call for his scholarship to be revoked.

Mr George felt the reaction from Singaporeans may not be so harsh if the student making the remarks came from elsewhere like Mongolia.

“As there are many new immigrants from China and some Singaporeans also encounter Chinese immigrants who despise them, hence they feel offended by the remarks made by this student,” he said.

However, Mr George argued that netizens are not against the Chinese immigrants, but the immigration policies of the Singapore government:

“People felt some government’s policies are biased towards foreigners and neglected citizens which explain more voices coming from the internet calling on the government to better protect the rights of Singaporeans.”

Read the entire BBC article in Chinese here.

 

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Need to fine-tune present system of awarding scholarships to foreigners

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

I refer to the recent discussion on scholarship given out to foreigners and certain foreign scholar calling Singaporeans’ dog, I’m confident to speak out that the majority of my fellow Singaporeans are not against foreigners whether foreign talents (FTs) or foreign workers (FWs). Singaporeans are just fed-up with the Government various unfair policies not only the scholarship issue.

First and foremost, I’m not against giving out scholarship to gifted foreigners. However, the present system awarding scholarship to foreigner needs to re-look and fine-tune.

Ms Sim Ann, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education disclosed in Parliament that at least 2,000 scholarships are awarded to foreigners each year. I presumed it includes PR that applies for the President and PSC scholarship. To be fair, the figure 2,000 is not a huge number. Does these 2,000 include scholarships awarded by the various ministries and statutory boards? Does the 2,000 also include kids studying in secondary schools?

If the figure is only 2,000, you won’t feel like an alien during lunch period in the canteen or step into the research laboratory in this university located in the west of Singapore.

Also from my understanding individual universities, Professors chair various research funding (some through co-funding with GLC) bring in overseas post-graduate as research student, research associate or research fellow to work on specific research project for a specific period. The majority of individual from this group may not be very proficient in English language.

Next the Tuition Grant Scheme administered by the MOE (https://tgonline.moe.gov.sg/tgis/normal/index.action). If one is given the option to pay half the amount in exchange to work here for three years, will you pay full tuition fee? In the last three years, what is the figure that foreigners break their bond and pay penalty? The figure foreigners pay full tuition fee? I’ve already encounter a case a foreigner (got his PR after his polytechnic study with tuition fee subsidy) and enrolled in local university (no NS for him as he is a First-Generation PR) and suddenly vanished from Singapore. The local university has terminated his student enrolment already.

 

TONY TAN KENG HONG

Posted in Letters | Leave a Comment »

Ads on Chinese forum selling fake certificates from private schools in Singapore

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

China is well known for producing counterfeit products and it appears that certificates from Singapore private schools have been added to the growing list of late.

According to Channel News Asia, fake certificates from well-known private schools in Singapore are being put up on sale online with some going for as high as S$10,000.

Advertisements placed on a Chinese internet forum claim that they are able to produce transcripts with good grades from several local private schools including the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).

They also provide assurances that students will be able to find jobs in Singapore using these forged certificates.

When contacted by the media, MDIS said it is not aware of the matter, adding that it is currently doing checks and will report any findings to the Police.

Posted in News | 3 Comments »

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu to earn more than $10,000 monthly at Schlumberger upon graduation?

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu, who is currently on attachment at a German oilfield services company Schlumberger, is likely to earn more than $10,000 monthly if he joins the company upon graduation, according to an insider who hails from the same industry.

“I am from the industry and know that after his attachment, he would probably get a job with them as an engineer or similar, and would make at least in the low 5-figures for a start,” Ian Cornelius Lai wrote on Facebook.

Another engineer told us that Sun will earn much more if he works offshore as MNCs are usually quite generous with their bonuses and living allowances. On average, Sun can expect to earn about $200,000 – $400,000 yearly depending on his performance.

German MNCs are especially generous and treat its employees well. Ask those in the industry and they will tell you it is very difficult to get into Schlumberger. Sun Xu probably got the ‘lobang’ because he is a NUS scholar and is on the Dean’s List,” he added.

According to its official website:

“Schlumberger Limited is the world’s leading oilfield services company supplying technology, information solutions and integrated project management that optimize reservoir performance for customers working in the oil and gas industry.”

Sun appears to be interested to work in Schlumberger as he noted specifically on his linkedin account before it was taken down that he speaks German and loves German culture.

The Schlumberger Code of Ethics includes “discussion of personal use of social networking and third-party web sites” as well as “respect of immigration laws.”

It is not known how Schlumberger will react to the controversy stirred by Sun when he hurled insults at Singaporeans on his microblog ‘Weibo’, describing them as ‘dogs’, ‘gangsters’ and ‘CCBs,’ a Hokkien vulgarity commonly used in Singapore to describe the female sexual organ.

Despite the public outcry, NUS has adamantly refused to take concrete disciplinary actions against Sun except putting up a ‘wayang’ to arrange a ‘counselling session’ for him with its Provost Prof Tan Eng Chye.

Under Section 2 of the NUS code of conduct for its students, Sun Xu will be found guilty of “discrimination of nationalities arising from statements, actions as well as from informal or personal statements or conduct” which warrants an expulsion.

It is not known why NUS has been dragging its feet over Sun Xu. There were rumors circulating online that Sun’s father is a senior official from the provincial Communist Party of Suzhou.

While two Singaporean students were expelled immediately from a junior college for kissing publicly in school, MOE continues to drag its feet over Sun’s case by waiting for the ‘findings’ of NUS’s disciplinary committee which is likely to be ‘pending’ till Sun graduates and jets off to enjoy a new lease of life in Germany.

Not only need Sun Xu not pay a single cent for his tuition fees, he is also given a generous housing and living allowance monthly as well as a pair of air tickets to return to his hometown of Suzhou yearly, all thanks to the generosity of Singapore taxpayers (or dogs?)

Related articles:

Majority of Singaporeans want Sun Xu’s scholarship to be revoked

Baey Yam Keng: I stand by my view on Sun Xu

Baey Yam Keng: Scholarships should be given based on merit, not nationality

Tay Ping Hui on why he spoke out against Sun Xu: Because it is about Singaporeans

Baey Yam Keng: Singaporeans should accept criticisms openly

MOE ‘disappointed’ with NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu

Police report against NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu: Alex Tan told to lodge Magistrate’s complaint

Baey Yam Keng defends Sun Xu

‘Why are you visiting us dogs?’ – netizen asked Baey Yam Keng

Baey Yam Keng asks Singaporeans to reflect on the comments of foreigners

NUS Provost: I have counselled Sun Xu

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu apologizes to Singaporeans

Tay Ping Hui scolds NUS PRC scholar Sun Xun: “You are an impertinent ingrate!”

Alex Tan lodged police report against NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu for alleged threat

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu hurls vulgarities at Singaporeans

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu remains unrepentant: I am only complaining

Netizen filed complaint to NUS against PRC scholar’s offensive remarks about Singaporeans

Posted in Commentary, Scoops | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

PAP MP Hri Kumar: No automatic by-election in Singapore’s model of parliamentary democracy

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

There is no need for a by-election to be automatically called in Singapore, said PAP MP and lawyer Hri Kumar Nair, in response to an article by NMP Professor Eugene Tan’s on TODAY that the ‘default’ position should be that a by-election is ‘automatic’.

According to Mr Nair, the Singapore Constitution does not prescribe any time limit to call a by-election meaning that it is perfectly legal and constitutional for the seat of Hougang to be left vacant till the next General Election.

Mr Nair explained that Singapore’s model of parliamentary democracy is based on “the principle that elections are fundamentally about voters choosing between different political parties to lead the country.”

“Hence, under our system, if any Member of Parliament (MP) resigns or is expelled from his party, he loses his seat because voters had elected him as a representative of his party. Therefore, when a seat falls vacant, there is no requirement to call an immediate by-election, unless the vacancy affects the Government’s mandate,” he added.

Mr Nair praised the model for enabling the Government to focus on governing Singapore well and to hold political parties accountable to voters for the performance of their candidates.

“Parties must endeavour to field candidates who can last the term as MP,” he said in an oblique reference to the Workers Party whose Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong was sacked last week, thereby causing the seat to be vacant.

Though the Workers Party has been exerting pressure on the Prime Minister to call for a by-election, PM Lee said he would have to consider the matter carefully as there is a lot on the national agenda right now.

Based on the response of PAP leaders and the many letters to the Straits Times Forum arguing otherwise, it is unlikely that a by-election for Hougang will be called soon, if ever.

Posted in News | 1 Comment »

Majority of Singaporeans want NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu’s MOE scholarship to be revoked

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

An overwhelming majority of Singaporeans want the Ministry of Education (MOE) to revoke the scholarship of NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu, who sparked nationwide outrage with his now infamous remark on there ‘being more dogs than humans in Singapore.’

In an online poll done on the Temasek Times, 96.7 percent out of more than 2,000 netizens polled wants MOE to revoke his scholarship. A Facebook page was also set up calling NUS to do so.

A final year student in Mechanical Engineering at NUS, Sun also used the term “瘪三” to describe Singapore uncles in the same thread, which is a derogatory word typically used in Shanghai to describe the underclass bums in the society. It means a person who is a tramp, bum, beggar, drifter, loafer, outcast, vagrant, destitute and worthless person.

When told by a fellow netizen not to be too fussy, he replied:

“Bunch of 挫逼. My temper these days is already a lot better.”

挫逼” is a derogatory word commonly used in mainland China for cursing people, an equivalent of the Hokkien phrase ‘CCB’ used as a vulgarity in Singapore.

Sun Xu is also currently under police investigation for ‘intentional harassment’ after a Singaporean lodged a police report against him for an alleged threat he posted on his microblog.

Despite the public outcry, MOE would only say it was ‘disappointed’ with the ‘irresponsible’ blog comments made by Sun Xu, adding that its scholarship administrators will “take reference from findings of disciplinary proceedings by the National University of Singapore (NUS), where Mr Sun is studying, before recommending what action to take,” leading some to suspect that the case will be ‘pending’ till Sun Xu graduates and jets off to find work elsewhere.

MOE’s tepid response is in stark contrast to a recent case involving two male Singaporean students who were expelled immediately from their Junior College after being caught on video kissing publicly in school.

Speaking to queries from the media, NUS Provost Professor Tan Eng Chye said he has met with Sun Xu and ‘counselled’ him. He admitted that Sun had acted in a manner in breach of NUS’s code of student conduct and that a board of discipline will be convened to look into the matter without giving a specific timeline.

“All NUS students are expected to behave in a manner that is respectful of the community they live in,” he said without condemning Sun’s behavior.

As a NUS PRC scholar and student, Sun Xu is bound by a Code of Student Conduct under the statutes and regulations of NUS of which Section 2 specified clearly that certain behaviour, such as “discrimination of nationalities arising from statements, actions as well as from informal or personal statements or conduct” violates its regulations.

Related articles:

Baey Yam Keng: I stand by my view on Sun Xu

Baey Yam Keng: Scholarships should be given based on merit, not nationality

Tay Ping Hui on why he spoke out against Sun Xu: Because it is about Singaporeans

Baey Yam Keng: Singaporeans should accept criticisms openly

MOE ‘disappointed’ with NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu

Police report against NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu: Alex Tan told to lodge Magistrate’s complaint

Baey Yam Keng defends Sun Xu

‘Why are you visiting us dogs?’ – netizen asked Baey Yam Keng

Baey Yam Keng asks Singaporeans to reflect on the comments of foreigners

NUS Provost: I have counselled Sun Xu

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu apologizes to Singaporeans

Tay Ping Hui scolds NUS PRC scholar Sun Xun: “You are an impertinent ingrate!”

Alex Tan lodged police report against NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu for alleged threat

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu hurls vulgarities at Singaporeans

NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu remains unrepentant: I am only complaining

Netizen filed complaint to NUS against PRC scholar’s offensive remarks about Singaporeans

Posted in News | 6 Comments »

Heng Swee Keat: Govt doing more to help disadvantaged students

Posted by temasektimes on February 25, 2012

The government is doing more to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds level up with their peers, said Education Minister Heng Swee Kiat to the media after a visit to Kheng Cheng School in Toa Payoh on Friday where he had breakfast with students and sat in on a learning support class.

Mr Heng said “such programmes are constantly evaluated to make sure the pedagogy is right.”

“As we learn more of how different groups of students learn, how students from different learning profiles learn, I think our educational system will improve. Because when we understand these different learning styles, our teachers will be in a better position to tailor their teaching to help these different students learn better,” he added.

Mr Heng also revealed that his ministry will lay out its plans for disadvantaged students for the Budget in the two weeks’ time.

DPM and Finance Minister Tharman announced recently in his Budget speech that the qualifying income ceiling for the Education Ministry’s Financial Assistance Scheme will be increased, from $1,500 a month to $2,500. which will cover approximately 40,000 more students from low-income households.

In a recent post on his Facebook, Mr Heng applauded the measures:

“We must support children from lower income families, especially in pre-schools and schools.   I am pleased that MOE’s Financial Assistance Scheme can now benefit over 80, 000 students, double the existing numbers. The household income ceiling of the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) will be raised from $1,500 to $2,500 a month.  These students will have their school fees, uniforms and textbooks fully paid by MOE.”

Posted in News | Leave a Comment »

 
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