Thursday, October 02, 2014

Boston of the East?

I have lived in Boston for more than 10 years and Singapore for more than 10 years, and I can clearly say that from my experience in Singapore now, Singapore CANNOT be anything like Boston under PAP rule.

Sure, Wynn Resort won a bid to build a $1.6 billion casino in the Boston suburb of Everett, beating out a bid by Mohegan Sun and Suffolk Downs to add a casino to the racetrack. MGM has another resort in western Massachusetts, so if you say Boston is going to be like Singapore -- YES, this will be sort of true as Massachusetts will have 2 Casinos like Singapore in the near future.

There are so many things I like about Boston which you cannot find in Singapore.

1) Great intellectual community and it is a place where progressive ideas are shared (Not FEARED)
2) Socially progressive and politically liberal.
3) Gays are tolerated and an Annual pride parade held every year.
4) People support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion.
5) Boston Strong - resilience of Bostonians to do the right thing when disaster happens.
6) Gay Marriage...

There are also things which you can find in Singapore that you cannot find in Boston.

1) STOMP, people that would rather put up photos of fishball sticks, complaining to the PM than picking it up.
2) Section 377A, which criminalize gay sex.
3) When you break the window of broken down SMRT to allow people to breathe, SMRT contemplates whether to fine you.
4) Comic artist arrested for sedition
5) ISD, Operation Coldstore, etc.
6) GRC System...

So Singapore wants to be the Education Hub like Boston? Is it about GDP again?

Found some failures already...

In June, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia closed its Singapore branch only four months after matriculating its first class of 148 freshmen. Administrators said the project wasn't viable because of low enrollment and high operating costs in Singapore.

Last year, a prestigious research partnership with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was dissolved amid a row over subsidies. Efforts to woo other US schools with strong research capabilities have only yielded modest tie-ups, mostly in joint graduate programs like those of the University of Chicago's business school or Cornell University's hospitality management program.

Students are not allowed critical thinking. Having the guts to stand up for what you believe will get you expelled. There is much of a climate of fear and hush hush when it comes to politics, and how are you going to have the next generation of political leaders where you do not have academic freedom?

Next media is restricted. Speakers are banned from coming to speak about controversial topics, local political movies are banned as well. So University students are not allowed to judge from themselves what they can watch or hear?

I would really doubt any liberal arts degree from Singapore.


I'm sure the government can subsidize a lot of foreigners to study in Singapore, pay for the building of the infrastructure and we can have world class facilities. Even when you pay for world class professors, the culture, the political environment, the social structure all play a big role in molding students that study here.

Will people who cannot throw away "dangerous plastic bottles" on stairwell railings respond to a crisis like the Boston Marathon Bombing? Will people constantly fear doing the wrong thing and try to ask for permission before they can act, react promptly in a time of disaster?

Well one thing for sure, Singapore having 6.9 million people will have a much higher density than any where else in the world, and making Singapore an education hub will probably benefit much of the local population who are told by the government that it is OK to have a ITE education.

-- Iron Bowl

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