October 10, 2006
Knowledge.. yeah right
The Prime Minister yesterday said that knowledge was the key to the nation’s growth. Sure, these ministers can go traipsing along on their little education journeys to schoolkids who don’t know a thing, making them believe that truly the government is serious about working towards knowledge, truth, seeking of wisdom and all that jazz.
When really, ask yourselves if the administration that we see today is one that consistently pushes towards an attitude of excellence? Is an administration that denies facts and figures one that is truly reflective of the road towards seeking knowledge? Or is it restricted knowledge, one that is bound by the constraints of what they dictate? Interpreting what knowledge is and what it is not – is silly and ridiculous. Worse, brushing off what they do NOT consider as knowledge – just because the government doesn’t agree – is childish and sounds very much like a schoolkid’s argument.
Let’s talk about Singapore since we’re on the warpath here. Look at the university rankings. Our supposed premier university UM has fallen by over 40 places this round of the Times Higher Education Supplement university ranks. It is now at position 192, while Malaysia’s highest scoring Uni is UKM (bravo, bravo *drily*) at 185. WOOHOO! We celebrate and congratulate ourselves, patting each other on our backs.
Meanwhile, Singapore sits smug at 19th position with their NUS.
Singapore can be condemned as a country that, through its detailed social engineering process, reeks of sterile and homogeneous people and townships. Their government plans out mostly everything for them, and therefore its people have been accused of being one-track minded, unwilling to think outside the box to cultivate creativity. We are clever to point fingers, but when it comes to true cultivation of knowledge and seeking Excellence, they beat us flat. They invest their money into their academicians at the university. They attract their foreign academic lecturers at research institutions and pay them well because they know they are worth it.
I am sadly ashamed at the contradictions of our leaders’ statements. Do they really listen to what they say? One day, they say that seeking knowledge is the key to our country’s success. Another day, they say that certain research is unreliable “just because” it contradicts official findings. THINK about that statement.
Knowledge seeking? Are they really doing this amongst its university students? The civil service? Amongst the public? Does the administration preach by example? Do they show their citizens that they are equally fascinated with new discoveries? Do they value knowledge, really?
Talk is cheap. Show me your actions and I’ll take you at your word.
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