THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Tay Ping Hui on Sun Xu’s ‘verdict’: NUS needs to reflect on what it really stands for

Posted by temasektimes on March 15, 2012

NUS alumni and MediaCorp actor Tay Ping Hui has expressed his disappointment at NUS’s unprecedented move to delay announcing the verdict on its ‘beloved’ PRC scholar Sun Xu during a disciplinary hearing this Tuesday.

In a short statement released to the press, an NUS spokesperson said “a decision is likely to be made in one to two weeks after the inquiry” after which Sun Xu will be given another 14 days to appeal against the decision if need be. By then, Sun Xu would probably have completed his final year exams successfully.

While private school East Asia Institute of Management sacked its PRC student Wang Peng Hui immediately after his video making racist jaunts at Singaporeans went viral online, NUS will only announce the decision one or two weeks later.

A final year student in Mechanical Engineering at NUS, Sun Xu sparked near nationwide outrage with his now infamous remark on ‘there being more dogs than humans in Singapore’ on his Chinese microblog Weibo.

In a tweet posted last night, Tay Ping Hui wrote:

“When an institution values a scholar’s grades over his honor, integrity and moral character, it needs to reflect on what it really stands for.”

[Source: Tay Ping Hui’s twitter]

His views were shared by many netizens who accused NUS of ‘buying time’ for Sun Xu to graduate. In a poll conducted by The Temasek Times, more than 97 percent of some 930 respondents thought so.

Though Sun Xu’s scholarship was given by MOE, it has refused to take any disciplinary action against him so far, leaving the decision entirely on the hapless disciplinary committee of NUS which has received much flak from the public over its handling of the matter so far.

In response to queries from the media, MOE said  it was not represented in the Board of Discipline and will “let the disciplinary process take its course”.

It reiterated that “the NUS scholarship administrators will take reference from the findings of the Board in deciding what action they will take with regard to Sun Xu”.

MOE also said Singapore universities “seek to cultivate a global mindset and strong cross-cultural skills” and that “it is important for all students to show mutual respect in their interactions with each other, and to exercise sensitivity when posting comments online.”

Born to a wealthy and influential family in the affluent city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, Sun Xu first came to Singapore in 2006 on a MOE scholarship to study in River Valley High School after which he went on to study at Raffles Junior College and NUS where he majored in Mechanical Engineering.

Unlike other students born in Singapore, Sun Xu did not have to pay a SINGLE CENT for his education in Singapore from secondary school all the way to university.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Law Ms Sim Ann revealed recently in Parliament that the Singapore government spends some $36 million dollars on scholarships to over two thousand foreign students each year, or about S$174,000 per scholar.

Read all articles about Sun Xu here

28 Responses to “Tay Ping Hui on Sun Xu’s ‘verdict’: NUS needs to reflect on what it really stands for”

  1. Ken Lee said

    “忠孝仁爱,礼义廉耻”

    • Susanna Wicks said

      Absolutely right … 所谓 - 爱人者,人恒爱之;敬人者, 人恒敬之。 Sun Xu doesn’t even have this basic understanding of what it takes to be a good person. His grades alone (if indeed it is that good) doesn’t make him a respectable person not one whom we want out younger Singaporeans to model after. Pity there is so much politics involved in deciding what to do with his misconduct.

      • Ng Chee Tou said

        “… came from a rich and influential family in Suzhou…”

        Needs any further explanation? Especially on why Pink Pussy wanted to quickly bury this over.

        And if his family is indeed as “rich and influential” (which, by 2005 standards, means they are worth at least hundreds of millions – RMB or SGD, makes no difference when you have that kind of money), why was the poor Singapore taxpayer still footing, made to foot, this little rascal’s education!!? Especially in the light of sore lack of enough places for locally born and born university aspirants (or places being ‘taken away’ from perhaps as a consequence rather?) who are qualified ones, may one add??!!!!

        Comes back to the “rich & influential Sun family” again, doesn’t it? Pink Pussy – along with his Education Minister at that time, circa 2005 – has got a lot to answer!

  2. Busybody said

    Even master washes his hand, what can they do…. Disappointing

  3. Jon said

    When I first read his comment, I was really pissed off, but after calming down and thinking about it, I think that this issue has been hyped up by the media a little too much.

    I feel that someone in his position, as a decorated scholar, should have kept in mind his position and not made such comments. There should be some form of punishment, like a fine, or revoking of his scholarship, I don’t think he should be expelled – he clearly doesn’t deserve that.

    A few things we should bear in mind –

    i) Expelling someone, especially in the last year of his studies in university, can really ruin someone’s life. I really don’t think he deserves that – his comment may have been highly disrespectful, but to ruin the rest of someone’s life because of one comment? Definitely not

    ii) It’s not like we, as Singaporeans, don’t make fun of China people – I’m going to be honest and admit that I do / have made fun of China scholars in my school many many times – and I think that if I can throw an insult their way, it’s only logical that they should be able to throw one my way.

    Making reference to Tay Ping Hui’s comments, yes, Sun Xu’s actions and words have called his “honour, integrity and moral character” into question – he clearly does not deserve to be a scholar – but he does not deserve to have the rest of his life ruined.

    Either way, he has been forced to apologize, and he’ll be walking away with his tail between his legs [see what I did there? :)] I think that’s humiliation enough for him.

    • Tyl said

      1) I agree expelling someone in last year etc etc can really ruin his life, but you can talking about respect here, he has clearly NO RESPECT for our country, who paid every single cent for his education and God knows what else. If he gets away with it, then our country will never get respected again. If Singapore can groom you, Singapore can UNMAKE you, that is the lesson here. Do you, when you were young, call your family dogs, when they fed you and supported you? Obviously not.

      2) Singaporeans do make fun of Chinese nationals. But we do so here, when they are here. We do not go to China and make fun of them. We do not go into someone’s else country, laugh at their food, people and culture. Insults clearly can be thrown both ways, but please open your eyes to see where you are, are you a host? or a guest?

      Lastly, but he does not deserve to have the rest of his life ruined. <<< that is clearly untrue, he is born to a wealthy and influential family in the affluent city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province. As stated, this only means Singapore can now stop paying for him, expel him from the school, kick him out of the country. His life in ruins? When he can return home to his RICH family? No one will agree with you here, my friend.

      When you, as a guest, fail to behave as one, especially when the host has been nothing but generous to you, then maybe he needs to be LIMPING AWAY WITHOUT HIS BALLS between his legs (see what I did there?)

      • Jon said

        i) Can you confirm he’s wealthy? – and How wealthy is he really? – How people in China define “wealthy” is very different from how we define “wealthy” in Singapore.

        What we can confirm, is that expelling someone in the last year of his university is a black mark that noone can ever erase. You clearly don’t understand the implications of being expelled, what more in your final year, and because of such a high profile in incident like this.

        ii) Yes, he has shown disrespect to his host country who’s paying for his education. That’s why you revoke his scholarship and make him pay every cent. It’s his position as a paid-for guest in our country that makes this more wrong.

        iii) “Singaporeans do make fun of Chinese nationals. But we do so here, when they are here.” – This really shows how closed minded you are. It makes no difference where you insult them. Are you saying that, if you make fun of a China national to his face every day in Singapore, they can’t talk back to you? – They’re human too, like it or not.

        If I saw Sun Xu on the street, I’d probably punch him in the face for being such an _____. Revoke his scholarship. My anger ends there. Being a university student myself and understanding what something like this could do, I couldn’t do it. Not for a Facebook / blog commnent. If it were something more serious, maybe, but not for this.

      • Fi said

        The problem is… his scholarship is not going to be revoked. Has not one of our MPs stated that? That is why there is now a push by the people for his expulsion on NUS

    • Sandzman said

      His education came from the taxpayers’ pocket, and by calling us dogs, he is practically spitting in our face and then stepping on it. If you cannot respect the people who gave you a free education, whether you need it or not, then you do not deserve the respect of the people in return. Hospitality is only best given to one who appreciates it, since he does not appreciate us, then his welcome is long over due. Being expelled is only a small matter to him, he can easily enroll in an ivy-league institute in the US given his family background. It WILL NOT RUIN his life, but him getting a scholarship has ruined a local Singaporean’s life because someone was deprived of a place in NUS. He took the opportunity which some can use to better their life and deviled it by insulting the people who gave him the opportunity. Is his then deserving of the NUS degree with the scholarship accolades? If sorry can solve issues, was the expulsion of the two boys in the kissing scandal necessary? They only kissed and filmed it, were they hurting anyone? They could have apologized and reflected but MOE expelled them from their schools and ruined their lives. Sun Xu insulted a nation of people with his seditious and degrading remarks, remaining unrepentant to the end, his actions could have sparked a civil war should the conditions change and he hurt the pride of Singaporeans, is his crime, then lesser than two kids just fooling around with their camera?

      • Jon said

        “His education came from the taxpayers’ pocket, and by calling us dogs, he is practically spitting in our face and then stepping on it. If you cannot respect the people who gave you a free education, whether you need it or not, then you do not deserve the respect of the people in return. Hospitality is only best given to one who appreciates it, since he does not appreciate us, then his welcome is long over due.”

        Fine. Revoke his scholarship and make him pay full fees for all the time he’s been here. Maybe even fine him in court for defamation / slander.

        “he can easily enroll in an ivy-league institute in the US given his family background”

        Nope he can’t. Ivy league universities in the US are more selective than you think. E.g. Harvard – no matter how much money you pay you can never get in just by paying – you need to have stellar grades. Plus its not like he’s Bill Gates’s son – noone even knows who his parents are.

        Regarding your point about the two Singaporean kids that got expelled – I entirely disagree with that decision by MOE. But does this mean that just because they’ve made a wrong decision, they must make continue making such wrong decisions?

    • Chew said

      Perhaps revoke his scholarship (ask for fees payment and retrieve the relevant cert he hold).

  4. OAH said

    I support Tay Peng Hui’s comment and action on this matter.

    If the money for Sun Xu’s scholarship comes from the People’s Action Party or the Private sector, nobody will give a hoot about it.

    As his scholarship is paid for from taxpayers’ money and he insulted Singaporeans in general, his scholarship should be revoked. Otherwise, what signal is the Government giving out to other scholarship holders with similar attitude as Sun Xu ??

    Alternatively, if he wants to stay on to graduate, then he or his family should be made to pay back in full what has been given out to him so far, before he is allowed to take his final term exams.

    Why should we tolerate a person, or a dog for that matter, who bites the hand that feeds it ??

  5. Kute Steiner said

    To the writer above…

    Do you understand when you called the locals directly/indirectly they are dogs….please take note if you were to state or even hint to a local muslim and others (in which a human being is stated as an animal thus has no soul) they are a “dog”…do you understand what that implies to the racial harmony/balance in that context…

    Frankly, Mr. Sun has harmed that race relations/harmony amongst races by his position on his stand as a “scholar” of Singapore and its people…

    To allow such a person scot-free…and this person if not taught a severe lession…will look back and truely laugh and continue to do it at the expense of Singapore, its gov’t and its peoples as in how “stupid” they have proven themselves to be for him.

    You pay his education and stay for free…you can also get him to pay back by his blatant lack of integrity, respect for others and sheer hubris..

    Good day.

  6. tan said

    “Born to a wealthy and influential family in the affluent city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province,”

    why are we giving $$ to a wealthy and influential family in the first place??!??!??!!

  7. seah said

    why like that.he really got parent.what type upbring is this.what did i do to him to b call a dog by this BEAST.i pay taxes n give him free makan n schooling.please punish hin

  8. jiuyangzhenjin said

    I think we have different people all around us with different comments or bias against some countries or races. Now the question has come to ask:
    1) Why there seems no attempt for entry tests done (quality check) on their (foreign students) characters
    2) The way that local universities work seems to be telling us that universities are becoming “commercialized”. When I was in primary or secondary school, I remember values like “integrity”, “harmony” are very important, if one goes against them he or she will be expelled from school. I seen the rules and regulations of local university too (like the honor code). NUS shouldnt spend too much time trying to resolve this matter. It would only portray NUS in a negative way, which of course still will not affect most people’s views (since sg has only a few uni, and ppl are always targetting towards the best local uni, so what if the sch is infamous)
    3) An adult has be responsible for what he has done or spoken. Since he despises to be in Sg why does he has to stoop so low to study here?
    4) If NUS decides to do nothing about it, we cannot anything too. 99.9% people cant do anything about it and will just forget it and if possible will still encourage their children (or etc) to go to the best local uni, which is ironic.

  9. KeepTheDamnedSubsidies said

    I say don’t hesitate and expel him without delay ! He bit the hand that fed him. We need to send a strong message that we do not tolerate ingrates. Like the Chinese saying goes : Kill one to warn a million.

  10. WeNqi Goh said

    Kill one to warn a million. Someone got to be the first as example.

  11. HantuSing said

    Well, what to do?
    The government already spent so much on a lost cause in Sun Xu.
    And frankly, based on the furore and his (Sun’s) apparent distaste for the Dog infested Singapore, he will not be around to serve or to return the favour to this country.
    So while you ask us to think for this ingrate, to consider his future and let us not ruin it, he will be leaving with that many years investment we put on him, to his family in Suzhou and will screw every Singaporean trying to set up business in the place, remember our infamous Suzhou project?

  12. Disappointed said

    You do not bite the hands that feed you. He should be grateful to be given a chance to come here and have a free education. Even the uncles and aunties stared , shouldn’t he learn to be more gracious and just apologise for ‘accidentally’ brushing against them . This will make the uncles and aunties feel he is more ‘civilised’ than those PRC who were already making quite a reputation around the world and causing not only Singaporean but other countries as well to dislike them so much. Oh by the way : Are you sure you didn’t push those uncles and aunties first?

  13. Paul said

    36 million/2000 = 18,000?

  14. Kirby said

    We do joke and make fun, but not at the person’s front. and by doing so does not make me an immoral person.who say so? these are just social topics that we share with our friends. we don’t go up to the person and tell him mah..

    Anw, Sun can go back China and comment on his Ren Ren Wang on us. Fair mah?

    what he wants to do is his business, but if get caught too bad.. he sway. i think the rage here is not on Sun but the system.

  15. Carole L said

    The world education system is already flawed. What happened here is just a micro effect of the flawed system.

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/09/06/bring-your-questions-for-peg-tyre-author-of-the-good-school/

    Can it ever be improved? I ask the same questions for our environment, food chain, medical/drugs industry, economy…everyday. When will we wake up and change? Who will make the change? How?

  16. lin said

    support! i paid taxes too. and this directly means i am paying (a small part ) for the people to come here,while they acquire ‘ knowledge’ -( god knows what knowledge he acquired, because school is to make us a better person but he turned for the worst) and calling us ‘ dogs’ ?!?

  17. sgstyle said

    Why dont their sponsor us Singaporeans?! Do they think we have not enough of talent and try to bring them over to Singapore. I am so disappointed in the government that took our hard earn money to sponsor them for their education. Why are we still tolerating all this? For those Singaporean who still think it’s okay to sponsor them, wake up please 😦

  18. Ng Chee Tou said

    “… came from a rich and influential family in Suzhou…”

    Needs any further explanation? Especially on why Pink Pussy wanted to quickly bury this over.

    And if his family is indeed as “rich and influential” (which, by 2005 standards, means they are worth at least hundreds of millions – RMB or SGD, makes no difference when you have that kind of money), why was the poor Singapore taxpayer still footing, made to foot, this little rascal’s education!!? Especially in the light of sore lack of enough places for locally born and born university aspirants (or places being ‘taken away’ from perhaps as a consequence rather?) who are qualified ones, may one add??!!!!

    Comes back to the “rich & influential Sun family” again, doesn’t it? Pink Pussy – along with his Education Minister at that time, circa 2005 – has got a lot to answer!

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