Monday, August 21, 2006

Parts of the NDR 2006

I didn't watch the National Day Rally last night, despite the local free-to-air stations' complete coverage to the PM's speech. I figured that the local propaganda papers would make it their dominant theme for the next several days, and besides, watching Man Utd thrash Fulham was more exciting. This was of course much to my parents' chagrin. (Eh, how come you are so NOT interested in the going-ons of this country?)

Thank god for my family's cable TV subscription and for there being two TV sets.

Anyway, there was nothing new about the Rally. Just the old issues reiterated, with a new (feel-good, pat-in-the-back) spin of course. A point stood out -

From Today:

THAT Singapore passport you hold is a ticket to many places, and that is bittersweet knowledge to Singapore's leaders.

The country's grooming of talent has been so successful and its branding is so strong that Singaporeans are being headhunted by developed nations eager to snag those skills.

And these countries make no effort to even hide their covetous glances.

When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was in Australia recently, the vice-chancellor of the University of New South Wales — where scholarships are specifically targeted at top polytechnic graduates from Singapore — told him: "We are happy to take them in as students, but we are even happier when they stay."

On several occasions, Singapore's top young brains have turned down its own prestigious Public Service Commission scholarships to take up full-fee, bond-free scholarships offered by Ivy League universities in the United States.

To these overseas Singaporeans, Mr Lee's message last night was that it was fine to leave the country's shores for the exposure and experience elsewhere — just remember to come home one day.

I am glad they have acknowledged that the days of monopoly of 'talent' by the govt. agencies are long over. And there is no denying that there are a great many more opportunities outside of the little red dot. To consign yourself to a single company/organisation which you know nothing much about for six years immediately after graduation will be a recipe for disaster and disaffection.

In the new-age economy (as what the political masters like to use this term on the peasants), we go where the jobs are, or interests take us. And not restrict ourselves to 'nations' which are artifical modern-day constructs anyway.


There are graduates, and there are graduates. Remember this? Some graduates are more equal than others.

Hunger - you will need this to succeed, anywhere in the world.


Technorati: Singapore, national day rally

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