Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Heng Swee Keat’s management of Sun Xu’s comment may be closely watched?


Yesterday, Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC, Baey Yam Keng apologized in parliament for his comment that Singaporeans should reflect upon themselves when he spoke, some weeks ago regarding the Sun Xu ‘s news (comments).
In case readers do not follow with the recent news, Sun Xu, a PRC on Singapore’s Ministry of Education scholarship made a comment some weeks ago that there are more dogs than people in Singapore (from what I have read). His comment sparked a massive outcry in the internet and Sun Xu finally apologized.
I feel that though Sun Xu and Baey may have apologized, I am not sure whether this news may have some effect on the next Tampines GRC General Election as Baey is a member of Tampines GRC but most importantly Heng Swee Keat who is Minister of Education (MOE) –the Ministry which awarded Sun Xu’s scholarship- is the key anchor MP of Tampines GRC; provided the current line-up of MPs of Tampines GRC does not change in the next General Election).
MOE has given the China PRC Sun Xu a MOE scholarship. As a MOE scholar, it is most likely that Sun Xu will be involved in crafting policies to shape Singapore and educate our youths who will be the leaders of Singapore. I hope that when Sun Xu becomes high up as a senior civil servant formulating educational policies for Singaporeans, his mentality about Singaporeans would have changed from that when he made his recent comments.
Right now, the public has not heard about what actions the Ministry of Education will take against Sun Xu. I believe the Sun Xu news will be a first test for Heng Swee Keat as I think how he manages this news will be closely scrutinized by Singaporeans and maybe, the residents of Tampines GRC, especially when Baey, another Tampines GRC MP has inadvertently caused some sadness among Singaporeans with his remark.
Will Sun Xu’s comments have any impact on the next General Election results in Tampines GRC with Heng and Baey, two MPs of Tampines GRC being somehow related to this case? I believe such an impact will be not be much as it is still a number of years to the next General Election and when voters vote then, this issue may be already be forgotten. But will the Opposition contesting Tampines GRC ward then revisit this issue? No one knows for sure. But I still recall in the General Election of May 2011, Chiam See Tong revisited the issue of the escape of Mas Selamat when he contested Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC who is then helmed by Minister of Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng. Mas Selamat escaped from detention when Wong is Home Affairs Minister.
I think it is not Sun Xu’s comments or Baey’s comments that may have any impact on the next General Election results in Tampines (if the line up of the MPs in the ward does not change then), it will be rather how Heng, as Education Minister deals with Sun Xu’s comments. Heng’s management of Sun Xu’s comments (as of this time in writing, no action of MOE is known) will be closely watched by Singaporeans and maybe the residents of Tampines GRC and perhaps the Opposition interested in Tampines GRC comes the next General Election.
I feel disappointed yet again. After the recent spate of news involving senior civil servants like Peter Lim Sin Pang, Ng Boon Gay, the principal involved in the online sex trade, the few number of teachers involved in sex with students, the teacher charged with putting a camera in a female students’ toilet cubicle, some junior civil servants taking in bribery, Sun Xu’s news is a news involving a future senior civil servant yet again- provided his MOE scholarship is not revoked.

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