NUS & Yale fall out?
January 29, 2012
vincoli-no-student-freedom-at-nusCheck this essay written by an NUS exchange student from the US. All I can say is the first paragraph sums up the nub of his message nicely – the writer is clearly trying to create a dramatic experience for his readers. The example about being “threatened with arrest” for standing at an airport terminal just for checking a bus schedule is absolutely ridiculous. I bet that claim could easily be rubbished these days with CCTV technology. I’d like to make the simple point that misleading readers by sprinkling anecdotes and vignettes of “how Singapore is really like…” may well deliver a sensational read to most readers – but I really don’t see, how that might validate the contention: Singapore is not a free place.
All in all, I think Singapore has done a wonderful job is opening up in the last 10 years – much of the credit has to go to Vivian Balakrishnan for promulgating the “light touch” policy and I am sure many of it’s rationale has been integrated in tertiary institutions.
I don’t believe things are hunky dory in Singapore yet – there is still plenty of room for improvements in the area of furthering the “freedom” genre – but I am certain, things are not as bad as what the author represented in his essay – if the Yale-NUS collaboration is going to stand a chance of kicking off – then I really think, Americans in general, need to get off their high sanctimonious horse and just take the cue from Nike: just do it. And start this liberal arts institution and play an active part in moving Singapore towards that direction.
These days, it pays naught for Americans to white wash the world with their Disneyland world view, if the goal is to engage the rest of the world on a deep spirited footing – The disastrous Bush administration has shown how gross generalizations has done very little to enhance trust and cooperation.
I realize abandoning the American stereotypical view of everywhere else except America is something that is very difficult for most Americans to do as Americans by nature do not seem to understand that NOT everyone thinks, acts or processes information like them – besides Pax Americana these days is passe. No one is going to listen to another rant of a petulant self appointed moral policeman who is out to make a name for himself in a school magazine.
Grow up boy!
“We should never mix with other expatriates, but we should be aware of what they do – this is what I have noticed about them, they go and drink every Saturday and fuck around with the local women – then from Monday to Friday, they spend their time playing golf, eating hamburgers and watching satellite NBL streams in their respective enclaves – there, they are marinating with their own kind – think about it, they come thousands of miles just to recreate little London, NYC or Paris, then when it’s time to go home – they wonder to themselves, why no one respects them and they know so very little about the country.
Truth of the matter is they are not interested in broadening their minds through experiences. Coming to think of it, you could even say, they never ever left London, NYC or Paris. These people are worse than children. How do they expect to command the respect of the serious men of this world is absolutely beyond me.”