Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Singaporean First? Yes! First to Pay And Pay.

Singaporeans come first in higher education
Former deputy prime minister Tony Tan favours a "Singaporeans first" approach to higher education here.
Wed, Jul 20, 2011

Former deputy prime minister Tony Tan favours a "Singaporeans first" approach to higher education here.

The presidential hopeful, who gave a public lecture at the Singapore Management University yesterday, said: "Whatever initiatives we launch, we must always put the interests of Singaporeans and Singapore first.

"Our primary responsibility is to Singaporeans - to give Singaporeans and their families every opportunity to be first."

This is why Singapore citizens have priority in getting enrolled at primary and secondary schools, which lay the critical foundation for success in higher education, he added. There are also many subsidies and scholarships available to Singaporeans to study locally or abroad, he pointed out.

Dr Tan, 71, who was minister for education in the 1980s, explained that "Singaporeans first" differs from "Singaporeans only".

He said that Singapore should not shut its doors to international talent, as that would "restrict our ability to engage in the kind of collaborative research that has put Singapore universities in the very top ranks of universities in the world".

Finding the right balance would not be easy but we must try, said Dr Tan, who had earlier qualified that he was speaking in the capacity of a "private citizen".

Higher-education policies guided in this direction sits well with Singaporeans, such as lawyer Lim Kia Tong.

Mr Lim, 58, whose son will sit his A-level examinations this year, told my paper: "If Singaporeans can't get into local universities, (their parents would be compelled) to spend substantial sums of money to send them overseas, and even though we are citizens, we would feel second-rate."

Two 19-year-old former classmates from Anderson Junior College told my paper that they were disappointed when they were rejected by three local universities this year despite obtaining grades which they felt were deserving of admission.

The luckier of the pair, Ms Chan J. Y, will pursue a course at culinary school Le Cordon Bleu's Sydney campus next year, paid for by her parents. Her classmate, Ms Sonam Damani, whose parents are unable to send her abroad, plans to apply again next year while studying at a private university such as UniSIM.

Dr Tan was also quizzed by reporters on the controversial graduate mothers' scheme, which he scrapped in 1985 during his tenure as education minister.

The scheme gave priority to children of graduate mothers for school registration.
Netizens have recently criticised Dr Tan - who supported the scheme initially - for discontinuing the scheme only after public displeasure was expressed at the 1984 polls.

He said: "When I became education minister, it was one of the first issues which I took up. I felt that it was not fulfilling its purpose. It was unfairly disadvantaging certain segments of our (society).

"I don't think it was going to achieve the purpose for which it was intended."

As suspected Tony is getting hell lots of media coverage compares to the rest of the president hopeful.

Tony is a nice guy and he is one of my favourite PAP guys like George (maybe I am bias as we have the same alma mater) but in my opinion he joined the wrong party and even though he had quit to me he still breath, sleep and sound like the PAP.

First I don’t know why was he invited to this event the only reason is to give him a chance to speak in public.

Then his stand for higher education is just echoing what the men in white’s stand which we all know. There is absolutely unnecessary for Tony to reiterate it.

This government policy is just to pacify Singaporean, just like the housing issue. The real reason for letting in the foreigners was and will always be the dollar sign. Oh and they are not too happy that parents are sending their kids oversea and this is view as lost revenue by the Men In White.

The problem with this country is that we are swarmed with foreigners. They are here to compete with us for food, job, housing and education and they don’t serve National Service. (Hell some MP also did not serve! WTF!)

Cut the crap about Singaporean being first, to the PAP we are just a digit, a profit making object and we and all the foreigners are here to pay their million dollars salaries.