Wednesday, October 31, 2012

TAN JYE YEE’s Five Lessons to Singaporeans

By now, this name TAN JYE YEE should no longer be unfamiliar to Singaporeans. Though Tan Jye Yee has said that he hoped to become famous with the photos and videos he and his girlfriend made, in reality, I can sense that the ground sentiment about the videos, though disapproving was not really that great. I think it is because such videos are widely available in the internet (if one wants to watch them).

Anyway, on looking back, I have identified the Five following lessons the Tan Jye Yee’s episode has given Singaporeans:

1. Financially- Free

Alvin Tan was not afraid that NUS would sack him over the controversial videos as he has his own business and can turn to it for a living even without a degree in modern days. If we are to look back, many Singaporeans are still employees, working hard and for long hours for a living in this high-cost society; not many Singaporeans have the courage to venture out and be their own bosses in an area they are passionate about. Alvin, a young entrepreneur does have something in him (I am talking about Financially-Free, what are you thinking of?) that we can emulate or look up to in this aspect.

2. Personal Branding/ Advertising

Alvin Tan had said that he hope to be famous after this incident and even went to the extent of wearing the same turtle-neck clothes and pants for photo shoots and media interviews so as to create a “brand cachet”. In this highly-competitive society, everyone should have their own brand, a differentiating factor from the crowd, so as to stand out from the crowd, offer their personal USP (Unique Selling Point) to employees or to a party who can help them move higher up in life.

3) Self Confidence

Alvin Tan, in a report, mentioned that he is proud of his body and hence he is not shy to flaunt it (together with his girlfriend’s) in video to everyone. This, in my opinion, offers a nugget of lesson about self confidence to many of us. Some Singaporeans are not too self-confident, hiding their assets (again what are you thinking of?), talents and not proud enough to flaunt them in work or in other aspects of their life.

4) Stand Firm by Principles

Alvin Tan did not apologize at all throughout the incident. I still remember him saying in a video after the episode that “What is there to apologize for? For hurting your feeling?” When I think back, I am not sure how many of us can really stand firm by our principles when faced with a powerful force asking us to do things that are against our principles or something we do not want?

5) Challenge Conventions

Last but not least, I am not sure whether this last point counts! Tan Jye Yee is a MOE ASEAN Scholar from Malaysia whose university education is funded by Singapore’s tax payers like you and me without him paying a single cent! We expect such Scholars to be high up in the office buildings, crafting, busily formulating policies on the drawing board for the benefits to Singaporeans; policies like Foreign Talent , Housing and Land Transport. We have seen how Tan Jye Yee shows to Singaporeans how Scholars are also individualistic with their own individual passions to pursue. Before Alvin, we have MOE scholars like Sun Xu and Jonathan Wong who also surprised Singaporeans with what they did or loved to do.

There I have: the Five Lessons I draw from Tan Jye Yee!

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