I am writing from the viewpoint of an average 15-year-old Singapore secondary school student. One of my subjects in school is Singapore Comparative Studies (SCS), where our most recent topic was on Singapore’s Principles of Governance and the title of our graded assignment was “Singapore’s principles of governance ensure that Singaporeans are confident in the country’s leadership. Explain”
Now, here’s the catch.
We could not argue against the so called “given” that Singaporeans are indeed “confident” in our country’s leadership when in the last General Elections, a large proportion of Singaporeans (39.9%), indicated otherwise at the ballot box. To put it bluntly, for our graded assignment we had to continuously emphasise the goodness of our country’s leadership and blah blah blah…
Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly acknowledge the government’s part to play in bringing Singapore to where we are today with our flourishing economy and (mostly) prosperous people.
However, why are young Singaporeans given such a one-sided, biased view of the government? Where is the “transparency” that our government promises us? Furthermore, where is the so-called “Comparative” factor in our subject? Why are we being “brain-washed” and “blinded” as part of our curriculum at such a young and impressionable age to see only the good in our government, when there is so much more besides just that?
I do not deny that SCS is an important subject in school, if only it were taught properly. For example, we could be taught government policies then be given unbiased evidences of whether they worked or not, thus providing a more balanced viewpoint for us. In that way, young Singaporeans like myself would be better equipped to deal with real-life challenges that happen in Singapore from time to time and offer constructive feedback to deal with them, instead of simply being under the impression that all is rosy and well behind our rose-tinted glasses, which would not be an ideal scenario if Singapore wants to progress.
Personally, in conclusion, I would also respect People’s Action Party even more for their transparency and honesty in educating their students.