News and views from an unique perspective

Govt scholar: The people of Singapore has changed

Posted by temasektimes on July 25, 2012

It is not true scholars are guaranteed a golden rice bowl. being a scholar myself i must say that the expectations on us are higher than non scholars…and we are given a whole lot to do. All eyes are on us. not complaining though, just pointing out it’s not a fast track to success. but yes sadly….the number of scholars who are in it truly to serve Singapore has dwindled….people may be hardworking but they’re doing the job for the sake of the job…or to earn their wages…but (and in fact…it’s not only scholars but the rest of the workforce in and out of the govt included.

How often do you come across someone who says he’s in in to serve his country anymore? gone are the days of old where patriotism and loyalty and faithfulness were virtues observed….people today…are more of..”what’s in it for me?” and adopt a minimalist form of behaviour/ play the social game for self interest to win self promotion, more money, more benefits, more prestige….the mistake is not in the government itself…but that the PEOPLE of singapore has changed…and the government is made up of PEOPLE…yes ministries are run by ministers…but it’s ordinary s’poreans like you and I that make up majority of the govt workforce, scholars and non scholars included. time for us singaporeans to reflect upon ourselves…the government reflects US.

We are a democracy after all. I don’t see how people working in the govt (which is a signifcant quantity of the singapore pop) are different frm the average singaporean….yes…there are the stellar few who truly care about the country and values and what nots…but they are a minority, a dying breed – they belong more to the older generation……the young people today are more concerned about fun and freedom and all that westernized philosophies instead of wanting to slog for something virtuous like the traditionalists…goh keng swee, lee kuan yew etc……sigh…(this coming from a young singaporean)


*The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.


26 Responses to “Govt scholar: The people of Singapore has changed”

  1. Clive said

    With the increasing pressure in the early days of childhood, its no wonder young generations would seek a priority in fun and freedom. But this is generalizing. Of course there are exceptions. Yes the people have changed, but so has the times saying that people should remain as they are is baloney. Or in easier terms to understand, YOLO.

  2. The Gardener said

    You are trying to be democratic.
    We have not changed but our government have changed their focus & priority.
    Do not ask for what I will do for the country when my country no longer belongs to me.

  3. Jaded said

    this guy is just rambling on making no sense, can’t even bring his point across clearly and concisely. Are all our scholars of this calibre? If yes, they are really not worth their wages.

  4. Lim said

    Many of my classmates were top scholars but to me having known them through school and university they are not any more superior compared to the average Joe in character or values. They are selfish. They won’t share notes. They boot-lick Professors. They are so kiasu and lack testicles when it comes to initiatives or activities which need gut reaction and rapid non-book responses. They are so afraid to fail. Yet they are holding high positions in govt now. I have absolutely no respect for such classmates. Yes you may have one thousand distinctions but absolutely lacking in everything else just as important in life – what for?.
    How was SARS handled? HOw was flooding in Orchard Road and Bukit Timah handled or YOG over the budget handled? How was Mas Selamat escape handled? How was HDB sky rocketing prices or MRT disruptions handled? They were all managed badly and we the public were given answers which will shame any 3-year old kindergarden kids because the answers could not be found in the textbooks the elite scholars are so used to ace!!

    • ooopah said

      “They are selfish. They won’t share notes. They boot-lick Professors. They are so kiasu and lack testicles when it comes to initiatives or activities which need gut reaction and rapid non-book responses. They are so afraid to fail.”

      oh please. these traits are so general. i bet they apply to almost everyone to an extent. don’t tell me you’re not like that.

      i personally know many scholars too and they are not like that at all. they are much more generous in “sharing notes” and i have personally benefitted from it numerous times. this is because they are bonded to the govt and do not need to job hunt, they are not in any competition with the majority in the private sector. either you don’t know the scholars well enough or your eyes only want to see what your heart wants you to see. incidentally, did you apply for a scholarship and was rejected?

  5. Anon said

    Listen, kid … you have it good. You’re assessed on Day One based on your “Currently Estimated Potential” (“CEP”) and for the next 40 years of your career, as long as you don’t stick your neck out or screw up, you’ve had it made. You will be promoted based on what’s due to you, based on your CEP. You will be rotated from assignment to assigment, ministry to ministry. Just don’t screw up or rock the boat. Play it safe!! Just hang on for 2-3 years, and then let someone else take the shit. Remember – no one asked who was in charge of the Ministry of Transport at the time the MRT designs were made or the capacity planning were made. The problems may have been hatched years ago, the effects show only now .. but those people are long gone .. promoted to a higher level. So that will be the case for you too.

    And make sure you don’t criticise the PAP govt, or do anything to rock it. You’ll get your directorships, or be parachuted into one of the many GLCs in your 40’s or 50’s or even 60’s. You’ll be taken care of for life.

    Didn’t you notice that right from the start, when you were serving your NS, you’re already in a special platoon, nicknamed the white horse?

    That’s how the game is played. By the way, the fact that you write this way, or drop a comment at TT, or even say publicly that not many of your cohorts are public minded .. that’s not a good sign. Curb these kind of youthfulness and grow up!! Play the game!! Don’t rock it … understood ??

    • ooopah said

      it ain’t as easy as you make it out to be. how would you like to take shit from everyone all the time? to be under public scrutiny every second of your life?

  6. YHL said

    To a large degree I agree to what the author has said. If you plough through the hundreds if not thousands of comments left by peoples (assuming Singaporeans), it is not difficult for one to come across words of fury, finger pointing, sarcasm, jealousy, belittling, mocking, hatred and so on…very little constructive one. Those words very often reflected the overall quality of the people who had left those words…however, all these has its original cause – I believe!

    In my humble opinion, the ideology of serving the people (为人民服务) used to be a slogan and ideology advocated by the communist (correct me if i’m wrong). Don’t forget the fact that we had dealings with them as part of our Singapore Heritage. Its used to be an idea whom some if not most Singaporeans of that era, held with high regards. However, harsh reality of Singapore means we have to open up our society to the corrosive and often degrading American consumerism culture – a culture that changed our fundamental belief and traditional values – a powerful culture that brainwash and enslave the people of the world! Just over a few decade we began to slowly metamorphosed into what the American wanted us to be – slaves to the American consumerism culture. We began to spent like them, eat like them, dress like them because we look upon them as trend setter in all aspect of life. People became more self-centered and individualistic.

    Slowly we evolved into a breed who doesn’t recognize our own cultural heritage and its vast humane teachings…teachings of Confucius and other wisdom of life. We have lost all these EQ whom we owe it to ourselves to re-claim and rediscover. I think the government should also put in more effort into bringing back our cultures and wisdom of life. Confucius teachings like Di Zi Gui 弟子规 should be encourage in schools.

  7. Kim said

    Don’t blame the people. Blame PAP for making every soul in this country a economic digit. In the society we live in 人不为己 天诛地灭。

  8. Anson Be said

    I would rather say it is the other way, where the people behaviour reflects that of our governement, ie the 3rd generation minister are all for themselves,(see what grace foo was quoted on the pay issue?) so what does the rest below do? follow loh…

  9. icefire said

    alot of singaporean is waiting to serve the country but the ruling party in parliment stop honest pple from joining them !!!

  10. Quitus.Singus.Emeritus said

    Singapore is not a democracy.

  11. Anon said

    Yes, absolutely correct! For example, the standard of English used to be better. Instead of “The people of Singapore HAS changed”, we used to say “The people of Singapore HAVE changed”.

  12. verbal diahorrea said

    Scholars that I’ve come across in a GLC that I’m in only knows how to ask questions to satisfy their own ignorance and curiosity but come to action? NATO! …it’s us veterans with many years experience in the workforce that get things done than go around asking dumb invalid questions

  13. Fence Sitter said

    Passion is overrated, money comes in first then passion…

  14. Paul said

    1) Scholar become perm while others are on contract.
    2) Scholar has higher CEP than others
    3) Scholar get promotion faster than others
    4) Scholar go to Policy department and formulate policy, others got elsewhere

    unless you screw up big time, scholar will be on fast track.
    In govt sector, there are only 2 types of pp: Scholar and cow, if you are not scholar then you become a hardworking cow

  15. MT said

    Well well well…the current situation is a by-product of PAP’s formula of PAY FOR TALENT! According to PAP, you need to pay high salary to attract and keep talent in PAP. There’s no emphasis on social responsibilities, a calling to serve the nation, etc. Everything is $$$$$. It would be naive to expect a spiritual outcome from a capitalistic action.

  16. Lalastar said

    I see… no wonder in schools like Dunman High so many ppl are lured into scholarships. Don’t… it’s a trap!

  17. Gregory said

    What’s wrong with Westernized philosophies? It’s Western philosophies that brought us into the modern age. It’s Western philosophies that fought for human rights, universal suffrage and equal rights for women, even though there were bad westerners around. While there are good easterners, there are very few eastern philsophies that championed democracy and human rights. Easterners are accustomed to despotism and feudalism..

  18. Ken Lee said

    you refer to pay scholars or unpaid scholars?

  19. Andrew said

    Oh Puh—Leese! Cut the crap!

  20. whatever... said

    Hello Government Scholar. I’m so sorry to hear that your boss is giving all the work and attention. Additionally I’m sorry to learn that you have a free education coupled with living expenses and all sorts of freebies. The rest of us are trying to earn our bosses’ trust while at the same time repaying loans.

    I don’t know about you but I’m quite happy with what I have.

  21. Sao Feng said

    It is not a democracy. It’s more like a free market, where the rules are tweaked to ensure the marketer (government) only needs to convince 50+ % of the market.

    I have yet to see any government peep come out and simply say: “Sorry the government cannot be honest with you. All of us signed a non-disclosure agreement, or non-circumvention non-disclosure agreement at point of employment.”.

    Any one who expects the government to be honest is simply hallucinating.

  22. DISAPPOINTED Sinkapoorean said

    Trust me, now you are bold and young and you dare to say such things. Try asking any old scholar to stand up and speak the right, he will tell you , I have a maid, a wife , 2 kids, a house , a dog(maybe) , and a car to substain monthly. I rather be a “Hum Chee” (coward) and do my work.

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