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I am Singaporean X – Noblesse Oblige…NOT! December 13, 2006

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. I.

I came across someone’s interview with David Marshall not long ago. And what did our first Chief Minister say?

Noblesse oblige is dead. It’s no wonder that the term is more frequently referred to in the ironic sense today.

What’s ‘noblesse oblige’? It’s the concept that one who has the social position and ranking should act with the nobility which is expected of his standing.

Are we there today? Indeed, i would say that most of my MOE friends and myself do believe in a sense of noblesse oblige – as teachers, we will have to act and perform our duties with a nobility befitting our position. I do think this should apply to most 18-year-olds who have just left JC and are in the university/OCS now. To live according to such an ideal – to give as much as you get – seems so appealing, doesn’t it? If everyone practiced it, they’d be responsible parents/spouses/professionals/STATE LEADERS.

Everyone would put the society’s greater needs before them, and not their next pay rise or whatever. Instead, now we’re learning that worshipping the jade rice bowl is the most important. And to get the jade rice bowl, we work our asses off and all, but we see others with jade ride bowls which are filled with rice. In the end, we give up and go back to our own porcelain bowls, because if we buy jade rice bowls, we can’t afford rice anymore. So why does our leadership ask us why we are so apathetic?

Because deep down, all of us have a horrible suspicion that you all don’t love us so much anymore.

Make no mistake about it – i’d like money too. Of course, i’d want a car, a nice house for my wife and children, and enough money to give to my parents and in-laws when they retire. But we don’t have to be obscenely rich (like some people who are clamouring for more income) because isn’t this ‘anti-corruption’ scheme a type of corruption in itself? It’s not material corruption: it’s ideological poisoning. And what’s worse is although these people are so well-paid, what they do is not 100% in the interest of their charges.

I would like to believe that our leadership swore an oath to do their best for their people, and to discharge their responsibilities with utmost diligence and responsibility. But many of us don’t see it happening. Because today, ideology is dead. Pragmatism is what matters. The idea that a country could actually build a strong national identity, and be considered as ONE PEOPLE is dead because now economic growth is what comes first.

Sure, sure. No money also will starve. But if we do it out of love for my country, won’t we do our best? No, apparently not. Because although Singaporeans are working their asses off in Singapore, the Government decides to treat Singaporeans better by PENALISING foreigners. Why can’t they just give us more benefits instead? I do believe a part of ‘noblesse oblige’ includes making your charges feel that their efforts are recognised. No, instead, we can sit around with ang mohs at the kopitiam next time, eating the same mee siam mai hum. I thought that whatever you put in would be appreciated – even a regular thank you by some of our leadership would go a long way – but no, they only say that once every 5 years when they say ‘thank you for putting us back in power.’

Are we treated like individual humans? Or are we treated as revenue factories? I don’t know, and i don’t dare to say.

I am glad, however, that at least us commoners are more human. After a man threw himself in front of a train, we donated 600 grand to his family. The government however donated zilch. Now you know where they stand. They want our money, but not our problems.

I think the human race cannot survive much longer.



1. takchek - December 13, 2006

I didn’t know you are on MOE scholarship! LOL. And you will be bonded I suppose? Heh.

2. guojun - December 14, 2006

yeah…i will be bonded. But oh well, i do believe that teaching is a way for me. After all, with the strange subjects i am studying…

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