Friday, 13 April 2012

Mayor's Programme: What for?

I refer to an article on The Temasek Times titled "NTU introduces new 'Mayors Programme' to train PRC officials".

Basically, it's a training programme for high-ranking PRC officials that focuses on economic restructuring, urban and social management, and it seems that most people are concerned whether taxpayers' money was used to fund the course. But what i'm more concerned about is the very purpose of this programme, whether it's even necessary in the 1st place.

According to the information on NTU's website, the lecturers include:

Dr Yeo Ning Hong (former Minister for Defence and Health)
Mr Yeo Cheow Tong (former Minister of Transport)
Mr Mah Bow Tan (former Minister for National Development)
Mr Yeo Guat Kwang (MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC)
Mr Chan Soo Sen (former Minister of State for Education)
Mr Ngiam Tong Dow (former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance)
Dr Liew Thai Ker (former CEO of the Urban Renewal Authority)
Mr Pei Sai Fan (Director of MAS Academy)

Looking at the lecturer list, I can't help but wonder if they are really qualified to teach the officials. I'm not sure about the rest, but Mr Mah is quite disliked by public, and Mr Yeo Guat Kwang is rumored to have 64 other positions in various companies and committees (read here for more info). A quick search on Google also revealed that Mr Chan Soo Sen is widely criticized by netizens, be it in his capabilities or attitude.

Now, the officials that are going through this Mayor's programme are not just some junior staffs or office grunts. They are senior, high-ranking officials that are at Director-General level or above. What if they heard about all these? Sure, 64 positions sounds amazing, but if a person is holding so many posts, how would he have the time to teach them? Also, would you want to spend money to be taught by people who are not even deemed capable by his own people?

Lastly (this is just my personal opinion), China needs more than just economic classes. What it really needs is some lessons on morals. There's a Chinese saying "If the parents are crooked, so are the children". And with the recent mannerisms shown in normal Mainland citizens, I dare say that these officials play a part in it as well. So NTU, please open up another course called "Mayor's Morals Programme", if you can.


Source: http://news.ntu.edu.sg/pages/newsdetail.aspx?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.ntu.edu.sg%2Fnews%2FPages%2FNR2012_Apr12.aspx&Guid=7d670892-53db-4056-abea-f16764d7226c&Category=News+Releases

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