Monday, June 29, 2009

Goh Chock Tong's fear is real.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday, I had written about Goh Chock Tong's disappointment over the serious brain drain of young educated Singaporeans to Western Countries. In fact the numbers that leave are not just every 2 out of 3 graduates of Singapore high schools going abroad to study. There is ten fold multiplier effect which causes the relatives, families and friends of the overseas Singaporean to join him abroad, thereby swelling the figures that leave ten fold.

This huge brain drain of the talented from Singapore must be quite obvious to Goh Chock Tong and his friend Lee Kuan Yew.

Students born brought up and educated in Singapore would know nothing other than Singapore, a place where they have to cram for their studies, where they fear to speak openly against the government, where their Asian culture of submission to authority makes them incapable of questioning authority and where on the whole they live a cowardly introverted fearful submissive lives.

But when they go to Australia for instance, they suddenly begin breathing a whiff of fresh air. The country is open, the people speak openly without fear of anyone, the newspapers are free to publish the truth, they are free to publicly protest and criticize and where the people are generally happier and more contented. Suddenly, the Singaporean export, falls in love with Australia. If only he had known earlier, he says, he would have left Singapore long ago. But, sadly, he did not know. But better late than never, now he knows. And he begins to hate Singapore for what it is, he begins to hate the tyrant Lee Kuan Yew who made him live like the dummy all these years, and he is glad he is free of that steamy intolerant crowded island.

And he transmits this message to all his relative and friends in Singapore. He tells his parents in Singapore to join him in Australia, he tells this to his brothers and sisters, to his relatives and friends. And then the family, the relatives, their friends tell it to theirs and so on, and the chain cumulative effect gets under way.

From the initial student who had gone abroad to study, you now have scores of others who have similarly left Singapore thanks to him.

This is what we call the multiplier effect. And this is what is happening. And this is draining Singapore of it's talent. And this is something Goh Chock Tong or his master Lee Kuan Yew can do nothing to stop.

Lee Kuan Yew can of course turn Singapore into another Cuba or North Korea sealing it's borders to prevent escape. Unfortunately for him if were to do that, it will only precipitate the calamity even further.

He did appear dejected in the picture in the Straits Times. It is quite clear that he has reason to be. This is what happens to all dictatorships. Their arrogance catches up to them.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Yankee Doodle said...

My wife came to the US for university in the 1980s. She did not like the educational system in S'pore as it is too rigid and colonial-styled (wrote memorization). Yet, none of her family wants to live here. They are not creative, not independently minded. Her cousins went to AUS for university and now live back in Singapore.

The culture has negatively impacted a lot of innovation and drive from people. The brain drain is not as pervasive as a result.

A bigger problem is the foreign talent that fills the gap.

jamestan said...

That is why Singapore need to attract foreigners. BUT, The Old Man made a mistake.

(Better not teach PAP too much. Let them make more mistakes)

From a unknown Malaysian who lived in Singapore before .......

Pondering The Singapore Immigration Policies With Aesop's Story

The current debate on the government's widened immigration policy and the renewed attempt to coerce our overseas Singaporeans to "come back and play their rightful role in contributing to our economy, and serving our people" has generated much excitement.

I would like to share a famous story from Aesop's fables which contains a deep moral worthy of deliberation in the context of the debate.

A goatherd, driving his flock from their pasture back to his stable, found some wild goats mingled among them. Hoping to entice the newcomers to stay and making them his own, he fed the wild goats abundantly. However, for his own goats, he fed them with a meagre quantity just sufficient to keep them alive.

When the morning came, he led all the goats out. The wild goats, having slept well through the stormy night before, scampered away as fast as they could to the mountains. The goatherd scolded them for their ingratitude in leaving him, when he had taken more care of them than of his own herd.

One of the goats then turned and said to him: "That is the very reason why we are so sceptical; for as you have shown that you treat new goats better than your own goats, it stands to reason that the good treatment you gave us will wane once we become your own goats."