Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Should Low Thia Khiang accept or not accept Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award? Will there be a difference if he is not a politician?

If he is not a politician, he is unlikely to accept the award.  But again, if not because of his political achievement, Nanyang Technological University will not likely to give him the award.  His business achievement will not likely to land him the achievement award.

This is the political reality in Singapore. If Low rejects the award, the government and the media can easily classify him as a trouble maker or a non co-operative figure, some things like his former boss JBJ - opposing everything for the sake of oppositions even though it is not true.

However, deep in his heart; and back to the reasons that he left his post of a Chinese teacher and his disagreement with the closure of Nantah, Low knows that some Chinese educated people will not like his comprising role - a role that against the belief of his principal.

English educated politicians will not have this unfair and controversial treatment and funny position.  This is especially for Low who stands as an opposition and in principle should voice out the wrong doings of the government in Chinese language.  (Low did make his points clear for the Chinese language and he has tried his best). Many Chinese educated PAP MPs have been branded 汉奸 (betrayal) in the issue of Chinese language policy in Singapore.

It is a strange thing in Singapore: people who know the Chinese language and have Chinese education have to face the dilemma and receive the blame of not defending the language.  While people setting the changes in language policy sit in office at ease and look at the dog fight of Chinese educated Singaporeans.  No wonder less people are wiling to learn the Chinese language – why create another burden on yourself as life is already not easy in Singapore.

The compromising role that Low is adapting can be seen as a survival strategy.  There are many Chinese stories that great achievements are only achieved after great humiliations, for example, 勾践复国,韩信.
The survival strategy is also championed by Laozi.  Laozi wants people to accept negative things but not to give up life.

To break a GRC is a big achievement. To remain in Hougang SMC for nearly 20 years is a small achievement but a survival strategy. This tactic seems working for Workers’ Party.

NTU is different from Nantah.  To award a Nantah graduate with a NTU alumni achievement is a political decision rather than a pure achievement award.  Since Low is also a NUS honours graduate, it is even more appropriate for NUS to award him the achievement award rather than NTU.

Low and his generation of Chinese educated Singaporeans have to carry this unfair historical burden with them forever.  This is the political cost of Chinese educated Singaporeans.

It is not a 是不是 (yes or no) that English educated Singaporeans have nicknamed them. It is a victim of the so-called sacrifice under our economic development, cohesiveness and unity.

This is a sad true story that many Singaporeans fail to see and appreciate the sacrifice of Chinese educated Singaporeans.  

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