by Roy Ngerng
So, the Ministry of Education (MOE) now decides to use the POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act) anti-fake news law on Peoples Voices’ leader Lim Tean, saying that Lim Tean is making “misleading and false statements”.
1. What is the exact amount of bursaries for Singaporean students?
Lim Tean had said in his post: “PAP spends $167 million on Grants & Bursaries for Singaporeans, but $238 million on foreign students”.
MOE claims: “$238M [is] attributed to foreign students” and “$167M … refers only to bursaries for Singaporean tertiary students”.
As MOE states that $167 million refers only to bursaries for Singaporean tertiary students, then what is the amount of bursaries for other Singaporean non-tertiary students?
Why didn’t the PAP government provide this figure in its so-called clarification?
By not revealing this amount, isn’t the MOE spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
2. MOE corrects “false statement” with non-comparable figures
Also, do you know that the $238M is only for scholarships and tuition grants for international students?
But all the MOE said in its so-called clarification was that this $238M is spent on “foreign students”.
Then, do these “foreign students” get bursaries too? How much bursaries do they get? And what other forms of funding do they receive?
The MOE says that “$167M and $238M are therefore not comparable”, then why not provide comparable figures?
Why didn’t the MOE reveal this?
By not saying exactly in its so-called clarification that the S$238M is spent specifically on ‘scholarships’ and ‘tuition grants’, isn’t the MOE spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
By not revealing whether foreign students also receive bursaries and other forms of funding as well, and how much they are receiving, isn’t the MOE spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
By not providing comparable figures, isn’t the MOE spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
3. Is MOE or Times Higher Education lying about foreign students ratio?
MOE also said in its statement that there is a “small proportion of foreign students (currently 5%) in the system”.
But actually, according to the government itself, “foreign students make up only around 10% of the universities’ total undergraduate intake“.
And yet, according to the Times Higher Education, international students actually make up 30.5% of the students at the National University of Singapore and 30.8% of the students at the Nanyang Technological University.
So, which is right? Is it 10% or 30%? If the Times Higher Education is lying, shouldn’t the PAP government and its MOE use POFMA on the Times Higher Education for lying?
If the Times Higher Education is right and the MOE is lying, then how?
The PAP government has given their own ministers the power to use POFMA, but Singaporeans do not have the power to use POFMA against the government. And the PAP can also exempt people they want from the POFMA law.
If the PAP lies, will Singaporeans be able to know? And when the PAP lies, how can Singaporeans persecute the PAP?
Moreover, if 5% of the students in the entire education system are foreign students, then what is the proportion of foreign students at each level, at the primary, secondary and tertiary level?
Why didn’t the MOE say? By not giving the breakdown, isn’t the ministry spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
4. Why no breakdown of spending?
MOE said in its statement: “the $238M attributed to foreign students comprises these fixed and non-variable costs”.
What are these fixed and non-variable costs? How much are they? And how much actually goes to the actual scholarships and tuition grants, and how much goes into these other costs?
Why didn’t the MOE say? By not giving the breakdown of these costs, isn’t the ministry spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
MOM also said in its statement that nearly all the nearly $13B budget for MOE is spent on Singaporean students. What is the breakdown? Why didn’t they give a breakdown?
So, I had to dig up MOE’s budget to try to know what the breakdown is (in image below).
Then, can the MOE give us the exact breakdown based on the budget – where exactly does the funding for bursaries, scholarships and tuition fees come from? Can the ministry give us a line by line breakdown?
By not giving Singaporeans an exact breakdown, isn’t the PAP spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
5. No full figures and breakdowns by government
Also, why didn’t the PAP provide the full figures and breakdowns for the bursaries, scholarships and tuition fees on an annual basis?
Why do opposition politicians have to go into parliament to beg for the figures before the PAP government is willing to give only incomplete figures, and only for some years?
By not giving the complete figures on an annual basis, isn’t the ministry under the PAP government, spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
6. Government accuse others of making misleading statement when it does not provide complete statistics
By not providing complete statistics, and then turning around to accuse others of making misleading statements, when these individuals are making statements with the only public information available, does this mean these individuals are making misleading statements because of the government’s decision to give incomplete information and provide half-truths in the first place?
There is simply no complete public information available because the PAP refuses to provide them.
Also, by claiming to clarify misleading statements on Factually, while at the same time still providing half-truths, isn’t the PAP then spreading half truths as well, and spreading misleading statements?
The PAP government is so disgusting. It cannot hold itself accountable to any proper and transparent standards, and is unwilling to provide complete information, then turns around to use the law against other individuals, by using half-truths to malign them. This is utterly disgusting.
If this is the government that you want, which uses half-truths and the law to malign and persecute other people, and you think this is the right and fair thing to do, go ahead, keep voting for them. Keep being complicit.
Otherwise, vote for the opposition.