Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sun Xu saga, published in HK media.

Saw this article in the papers, guess even Hong Kong people now know we have an ingrate China dude  Sun Xu who blasted Singaporeans as dogs. Well, obviously they didnt followup on his online swearing that we are cunts as well and that he was ready t whatever o brandish a knife to stab anyone who dare to challenge him. However, I loved how the article reminds those chinese that so call "culture" they had, were ALL DESTROYED during their cultural revolution years.

Unlike some big shot old Singapore "lawyer-author" who had the cheek to comment on our ancestors condescendingly as poor uneducated coolies migrating to South Asia to seek a better life in his published book, while praising the almighty brains remaining in China, yet I beg to differ.  True, we are the descendants of manual labourers, merchants etc but we ARE the offspring of the brave, worthy and charitable. Our forefather may be poor, but without their wits and entrepreneurship, they would prob have found it hard to survive, not to mention raising their kids, leading to us now. Our forefathers, they had the right spirit, backbone and courage and not wimpy to stay behind, shamelessly waiting for others to send money back to Feed the whole village all these years even up to 1980s. I know because my father, my father in laws were still sending money for their education etc, buying white goods to the people back in China.

More importantly, the author seemed to have forgotten that it is not the "education or wealth status" that make the mark of a man. It is the intrinsic character such as integrity, honor, and backbone that makes a great man, which applies to many of our forefathers who banked on the shores many decades ago. Sure, having a good education is a boon for a good man, but those isnt everything. Do I want smart, calculative, selfish neighbors who would be first to stab me behind my back, or in my face or would I prefer honest, caring, integrating but maybe not the most brillant mind nor living next to me? The answer is pretty obvious isnt it? We want people who are rich in character, not just someone intelligent to replace us.

People seemed to forget. Those great intellects in China during the Cultural Revolution were no doubt either being sent to corrective labor, killed or they had escaped the country to Taiwan or other countries as far as Brazil as one of my Taiwanese fren's relative had. My relatives in China back then, as I was told, the family of farmers told on their relatives who were teachers so as to gain some "monetary" reward. The poor couple had to do corrective labor for many years...So imagine, if in those days, even your relatives will betray you, what sort of people are left in China after that is unthinkable, esp being left poor for so long that the sudden leap to modernization left many blatantly obnoxious in the face of wealth.

Most of the Chinese culture are thankfully left intact, thanks to us, outside of China. So China should be telling us THANK U for retaining the culture, and stop bragging about your non existent thousand years of culture. Books for burned in case one had forgotten. Plus if China is that great, most of our ancestors wont have left.

The China people shouldnt be insulting us, for the longest time, Chinese people by race out of China have been supporting and caring for people in China when they were still poor and underdeveloped decades back, hundred year back. So it gives them, the Chinese nationals no rights at all for any to insult us at all, regardless if you are on scholarship or not. Please do not become obnoxious just because your country is a rising power. Which translate, do not become the bully. It is sorely unbecoming. So what if your mandarin prowess is greater than ours, so what if your sense of poetry is more acute than ours, so what if you can spew more chinese idioms than us? So what if you can play all those chinese instruments better than us? It means nothing at all if you are ungrateful, manipulative, and opportunistic at the expense of the people who offered you a silver lining or a dream.

Back to the itchy fingers Sun Xu, do I expect any demerits or actions taken against this chap by NUS? In all honesty, no. These so call people in charge wont rock the boat nor ruffled the feathers of the apparent national on-going policy of all out china import. I dont think there's a need to revoke his scholarship but some sort of penalty such as repaying the course fee for 2 semesters would be really nice. One semester for each nasty thing he said. It would be at least a proper punishment for someone that is biting the hand that feed. Even my husband who is not a true blue Singaporean was sorely appalled and disgusted by the behaviour of this so call scholar. He asked me, why is the singapore govt spending so much money on these foreigners who obviously will never treat Sg as their real or final home? Esp with China growing economically, who will abandon their own "motherland" when they think China is the now the oriental land of dreams? Chinese people are pragmatic people. They go where the pot of gold is, and Singapore definitely is no longer the most sought after place to rest their anchor. It is prob the best spring board to other bigger nations but it will not be the final resting place for many well heeled, educated Chinese nationals. So if we just need labor force to ram up the GDP, why offer them the PR? If they want to, and proven they had contribute enough to the economy, only then should we consider their application. (You get why Australia made it sooo hard? It makes it all the more precious of course.)

Perhaps that is also why Singapore govt is importing so many "blue collar" Chinese nationals and offering them PR. For it is not the rich that will stay on, it is the "poorer" ones who really wants to better the lives of their children that will try to make it a home here in SG for them. People who are the hawkers and cleaners and what have you are the ones who will have children integrate here, esp the ones born here. It's not the good brains, (I wont say best because China will NEVER let their best out of their country to embrace another) that will stay in Singapore.  Just like any well heeled professional Singaporeans that are working and residing overseas, if they are not sick of the political scene back in Sg, they probably will like to head back someday too. At least that is what I would like to do someday too. So I really dont get these no strings attached scholarship that the govt are dishing out freely, accompanied by the PR forms so readily.

Personally, I have no issue with scholarship with bonds, but completely free with no strings attached is like helping China trained and feed their kids for free. I had about 7 Asean scholars in my class back in Secondary days, and not one, NOT ONE of them stayed on in Singapore to work or to stay as citizens. They had all moved on to other western nations or returned to Malaysia. I have nothing against them at all though and I still stayed in touch with one. Did they raise the bar in class? No not really. We were all still studying on our own speed. The scholars were actually competing secretly amongst themselves and not with us the local kids actually. The fact they are all older than us means they are much more mature and "wiser" than us, esp in the studying department. Did we learn anything from them, despite our harmonious relationships, not really unless you consider tibits of their courtship life in hostel as something worthy of knowing.

Fast forward to NTU years. Do we have Chinese scholars amongst us, yes amongst us in the hostel. Do we like them, my answer is frankly NO for the Chinese living on our floor, and also in our block.

They are anti social, band amongst themselves as if we are outsiders, they never participate in any of the activities or even simple social (food/movies) events that is less than an hour. They would rather stick to themselves in their rooms, talking in Mandarin. It isnt that we didnt try to include them but rather, they were out to exclude us from their circle. In fact, the Chinese gal living next to us had her Malaysian roommate up in arms because the Chinese refused to clean her hostel room. It got really disgusting because you can see the floor clearly black and white in half. My Malaysian neighbor even complained of the stench from the chinese gal because she doesnt bathe during her period and weeks leading up to exams, she smelled fishy. Her side of the window was all blacked out from dirt, and you can see all the instant noodles overflowing from her basket without a care. She didnt care what we think either. She didnt need friends. She didnt see the need to integrate. She was just here to milk the system. In fact, I still rem clearly that some gal actually shitted on the floor in the shower area and the cleaners was shocked. We were shocked! This is definitely not the behaviour of any Singaporean, nor Malaysian. The only other foreign national was the chinese gal in our block, on our floor....Did we kick up a stinker and confront her, no we didnt. We were just disgusted and let it slide and left a notice on the door on "acceptable toilet behavior". If we are so xenophobic as some like to put it, funny how we got along beautifully with our other foreign friends, just not those from China who seem to think of us as ....? And all these was in 1995. Even then, they were so unpopular but less arrogant, haughty and frankly they wont be openly condescending for sure as those now.

The following year, I had myself a Malaysian room mate, we lived together beautifully. No kinks, no problems. She stayed on and continued working in Singapore, contributing to our economy. Oh, she wasnt paid to study here. She PAID to study here and she stayed on. So you see, you dont need to pay people to come here to study to make them stay on. If they truly liked it here, they dont need Singapore govt to entice them here. They will come. However, when you make it sooo easy for them to come, to be given PR status so readily, then they wont cherish it as they will see it as part and parcel of the deal to come here. They no longer see it as a prize, but just a mean and medium to get to their final destination, which certainly dont seemed to be Singapore these days.

Just look at those Ivy league school or even Australia schools like Monash. People are flocking there, or wants to flock there NOT because the country is dangling free carrots like free scholarship or free PR status. In fact, the school fees for foreign students are pretty high. For the Ivy leagues, the academic institution in itself is so alluring that people will PAY to go there if their grades permit. Australia wise, the country's lifestyle is so alluring that people will also PAY to go there and stay on if they life it. So you see, our govt get it so wrong. You dont get the best minds to come just via monetary bait. You get the best minds by creating an environment that is so irresistible that people are drawn here on their own like moths to the flame. And when these people come because of their OWN accord with no promises or treats, they will come with humility, respect and willingness to integrate.

The problem with Singapore varsities is their unwillingness to be transparent and open like those Ivy league. Maybe it is time for them, all the schools to publish annual reports on the student cohort statistics. Ivy leagues have set a portion of their cohort for foreign students and no one there begrudge the foreigners. They have a proper set of statistics put out there for all to see such as "the ratio of foreign students vs locals,", the ratio of scholarships of foreigners vs locals", "the % of those on finanical aid" etc etc. All these information served to keep a tight leash on the board of not over indulging themselves on foreign students fee, and keep speculation and resentment down to a minimal over the number of placements going to foreigners. I dont see why Singapore schools cannot do the same, rather than just broadcasting a "national" overall figure of foreigners in Singapore/ in Singapore schools.

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