Ngiam Tong How’s speech

Jentrified – This ia another excellent speech delivered by the wise man of our land – ex-permanent secretary Ngiam Tong How. He gave this speech in March of 2012 and it is full of deep insights on the many things that are wrong with the way Singapore is been governed. Someone of his calibre and deep wisdom should have become our Prime Minister instead of the current myopic lame duck. Mr Ngiam has been sharing his views openly for many years and he has not shyed away from being critical of the government when necessary.

A worrying thought came to me – if our government isn’t paying any attention to the advice given by such a talented elder, who are we kidding that they will listen to the feedback from mere mortals like us?



IN THE aftermath of GE 2011, a new buzzword entered our political vocabulary. Political reporters wrote about the ‘new normal’ of Singapore politics. Being an ‘old normal’, I wondered what was new.

From third world to first: Like any other country in the world, Singapore now competes in a global economy. In such an economy, importing cheap foreign labour is no longer a viable strategy. It is a dead end.

That was until I spoke to NUS undergraduates at a ‘tea chat’ as a guest of the Master of Cinnamon College, one of seven new colleges forming part of NUS’s new University Town. I wanted to understand the mindset of the younger generation compared with the old mindset of my generation.

Except for the few activists of the University Socialist Club, my contemporaries at university were politically passive but not naive. In the political environment we were then in, we…

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