When I was traveling to visit a friend during the Chinese New Year period, someone called out to me, “Are you Goh Meng Seng?” I returned my greetings and thought that this was just another the usual meeting with a Singapore supporter.
But I was proven wrong. This meeting with Michael, proved to be different from others. At the very least, we spent about 20 to 30 minutes chatting on the sidewalk of the busy MRT station.
Michael told me he is an opposition supporter despite the fact that he is a civil servant. The sad thing is that he said he is preparing to migrate out of Singapore to Japan. This is not the first time I met a supporter who will tell me that they are migrating out of Singapore, to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US etc. The last one I met before Michael was Jack at Cantonment Police Station when he was getting his certificate of good conduct from the police so to facilitate his migration!
Naturally, I asked Michael why would he and his family want to migrate to Japan? If all supporters like him were to migrate out, then who do we have left behind to give opposition their continuous support?
Michael explained that he is doing all these for his children. He has been to Japan and was impressed by their education system. They teach “VALUES” to their students, not just subjects or “living skills” like how to deal with internet and the New Media.
I was stunned by his words. I thought there are no other Singaporeans like me who would talk about “VALUES” or the lack of it in our education system. In fact, from top down, Political Leaders to civil servants and commoners, wrong values were transmitted in various subliminal messaging through the political system and pop culture. One of the reasons why I decided to step into opposition politics was due to my rejection of PAP’s vote buying exercise via using ASSET ENHANCEMENT HDB UPGRADING carrots. It is basically telling Singaporeans that your votes and soul could be sold or bought by such pork barrel politicking. I did not want my children to live under such system which cultivate such BAD VALUES. Thus, I decided that either I fight PAP to change this system or I shall resign myself to making more money and prepare myself to leave this place; for the sake of my future generations.
In fact, I have decided to let my daughter to study in Hong Kong instead of Singapore, purely because of my rejection of PAP’s indoctrination of BAD values through the education system. The massive brain washing via distorted history books and slanted National Education which mixed PAP’s propaganda into various messaging.
I do not see the day I could successfully eradicate the PAP’s system of self interests and self preservation. But at least, I tried and am still trying.
And Michael is right, our education system has stopped cultivating our shared common morals and good values with regards to Morals, Equality, Fairness, Humanity, Social Justice, Social Responsibility and Democracy. Even our National Pledge was treated just as an empty promises of the State and ruling party everyday; rightfully so because PAP has openly declared that this National Pledge is nothing and has no value at all but just a Highfalutin ideals which we should just ignore.
Our education system is more interested in Elitism, to filter out the “bright” Scholars with high IQ, never mind if he or she has any morals or core values to begin with, so that PAP could just put them into civil service and eventually into their party to serve their political monopoly.
Michael told me that many civil servants, high ranking civil servants, are looking into migration out of this place we call Singapore. I was surprised because no matter what, civil servants, especially those high ranking ones, were the ones who helped created the current system! Why are they migrating out of their own creation?
They are just here to work and meet their KPIs which may or may not give the best results that the society needs but definitely serve their own promotions and bonuses. They saw the flaws of the system in many instances but the Top down management would just discourage any dissidence towards the Elite Scholars. Thus, when their time is up, they would just leave Singapore, for the sake of their children.
Michael also told me that the stifling academic environment will not provide the kind of First World education that Singaporeans deserved. He said that he has known various foreign lecturers employed by the local universities had their contracts or tenure shorten or discontinued just because they have made unflattering remarks on local politics, PAP and its policies. The lack of academic freedom would compromise the standards of learning dependent on critical thinking.
Our education system basically discourages critical thinking while promotes conformity or group thinking. This is why Michael felt very pessimistic about the future of his children if they were to remain here in Singapore.
My little conversation with Michael has to end as I was late for my visit. But this little conversation with Michael sets me thinking on the future of Singapore.
Education is the foundation of every Nation and it involves not merely economic importance but also the cultivation of our Nation’s Soul. This Soul will determine how our society will look like, how our National Identity will be forged or disintegrate. Any political system’s effectiveness will depend on this cultivation of the Nation’s Soul, its cultural and social consensus based on the values it holds. But somehow, our Good Core Values are serious lacking while bad influences like political propaganda have been on the rise.
Without the Freedom to Think with strong cultivation of Core Values, there will only be Mind Slaves left in the country.
Goh Meng Seng
Source: People’s Power Party – PPP