Your Letters: Let us embrace competition

Temasek Review
your letters

The following was left as a comment on an earlier article, by Daniel Chua.


I came from an earlier generation to the Gen Ys and in a world where the first thought on our mind after ROD(now ORD), was to look for a job. I was not successful in getting a place in then University of Singapore and thought that then Nanyang University was not good enough. Better earned some money and go abroad and study.

When I was doing my BMT in SAFTI, my platoon mates were crying – even with his straight As but could not get into the field of Medicine. But he got over it after accepting Dentistry. We didn’t complain and cry foul.. our competition were guys from elite schools. And no, we didn’t ask for changes to the education system.

You are spot on where parents pressurize the G to give in to them, to leave 40 spaces for non-related children to have a go at the system. Even to pressurize G to abolish the alumina system in these schools. Back then we used to tell ourselves, what was so great about these schools? We tried to beat them in other areas like games, ECA and so on. We didn’t do a cry-baby to the G… calling for a more “level playing field”.

Back when you wanted total equality, we thought of only one system: the State run system in USSR and China. AKA, the Communist education system.

We forget to count our blessings. In the past, my parents used to say I wished my son was like your son, so smart. Nobody complained when others were doing well. Instead we strove to  be equals or better each other. Today, it is not uncommon to hear, “this fella go good school, must be some connections his parents have”.

Last year, I freaked out when my son’s subject head told us that in order for our son to be a doctor, either myself or my wife must be a doctor, or someone in my family tree must be a doctor in order for my son to aspire to be one. I immediately wrote to the principal to complained about it. From an educator’s mouth! This could not be true for our education system!

I still believe that people in my generation, those before 65s, have the self reliance to get what we want for ourselves. We may have just missed the age for Pioneer Generation freebies, but it’s ok. We will manage it ourselves. We believe in working hard, focus on what we want, and get it. Our G is there to do bigger things, like external threats, economic cycles and the such. Maybe because we think we have no real threats that’s why they are crying foul of everything, World Cup included.

One last thing: remember during the SARS? We realized that our population of 3.8m was not large enough to support the economy. So G went full steam ahead to add head counts because we were not replacing ourselves enough. We were racing against the next epidemic or pandemic. We need to be able to sustain ourselves as an economy when people shut us out during the period of SARS.

Foreign talents were enlisted or enticed to come ashore and call Singapore home. Next thing we know, people are complaining about them “taking away” our jobs. Actually on a broader sense, these foreign talents are rising the bar for us. These foreign talents showed us what we didn’t experience before, the real meaning of economy of scales, scaled down to our population size. As a sales and marketing person then, I had to think out of the box.

So I hope as we celebrate 49 and turning 50 next year, let us count our blessings. Let us not be suspicious of other people’s success. Let us not step over people who experience failure rather give them a helping hand.

Let’s take the bull by the horns, take on the challenge. Instead of moaning, let us use words like, “I admire your guts in venturing into something like. You must have a reason for doing, try and see it from another perspective” or “maybe you have missed out something, try and look at it agin”.

Let us rejoice our fellow Singaporeans success and pray for them if they are going through a tough time. This way we will see an even stronger, wealthier, financially and spiritually, and more peaceful Singapore.

Majulah Singapura!!!







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