Tag Archive | "Cherian George"

NTU president Bertil Andersson is the epitome of academic honesty in S’pore

NTU president Bertil Andersson is the epitome of academic honesty in S’pore

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His spat with Cherian George shows NTU is such an open and accountable place.


Nanyang Technological University students past and present from all walks of life, who are watching the status of their university plummet with each passing day, have come out in support to praise the antics of the current president, Bertil Andersson.

This after Andersson was caught in a controversy this week, where he was quoted publicly as insinuating that Singapore’s only journalism academic, Cherian George, was not granted tenure because he wasn’t good enough.

This resulted in Professor George relocating to Hong Kong to start his career over.

However, many NTU students past and present have come out to hail Andersson as the pinnacle of excellence and an exemplary character who represents NTU’s ambition of wanting to become a top research institution in the world.

Jin Ham Ji, a graduate from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communications, said Dr Andersson represents “academic honesty”: “Putting another academic down using defamatory language and then hiding behind the NTU bureaucracy by stonewalling critics and reporters by saying that he will not issue any more clarifications. That’s the hallmark of academic honesty.”

“And I’m sure if someone can be effectively fired for political reasons, there will be others who are hired for political reasons as well. Bodes well for academic freedom, honesty and truth.”

Another student, Jiang Pian Hua, who is still studying in NTU, had only good words for Dr Andersson: “He uses political reasons to justify why Professor Cherian George did not get tenure. That is such a rigorous way of assessment. I’m sure NTU will be proud of such methodologies.”

“Moreover, President Andersson’s refusal to retract his defamatory comments about Professor Cherian George makes the university look so very accountable.”

“Probably explains why NTU is the best university in Singapore. After NUS, SIM and SMU.”

“And this goes well with NTU’s image. Always striving for excellence. Instead of being excellent.”


Cherian George is Champions League material, NTU is Divison 2:

NTU denies journalism prof tenure, deems lectures too well-attended

Cherian George ready for transfer deal






Cherian George missing from action

Cherian George missing from action


Bertha Henson takes over position of government-endorsed dissent

NTU professor Cherian George is usually one of the first to respond to any news regarding injustice in the media. So when news about MDA’s ridiculous licensing scheme broke, no one was expecting him to keep quiet.

Until now.

How do digital crickets sound like?

How do digital crickets sound like?

I thought you very on about media freedom one?

I thought you very on about media freedom one?

His absence has not been noticed by anyone except us, indicative of the depth of commentary he usually makes which surely, has always affected media discourse.

Media observers pointed out that it could be because Bertha Henson, also formerly from the Straits Times, has taken over the helm of being the choice form of dissent, approved by the establishment.

“Thank god he has passed on his job to Bertha,” said self-styled political pundit Eric de Yaya. “Now maybe he can write about other things aside from media in Singapore, and get tenure.”

However others have pointed out that his silence could be a homage to the practise that he has long missed – self censorship.

“His brother-in-law is Yaacob Ibrahim, of course he shaddup lah,” said regular Temasek Review Emeritus contributor Singapore_Patriot1977.

Cherian George ready for transfer deal

Cherian George ready for transfer deal

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Transfer window open after failed tenure appeal, set to move from fourth best to champion university.


Cherian George, Singapore’s premier academic and only public intellectual, is set to move to NUS, as rumour mongers point to this fate as the only viable option left.

This is after his appeal against his failed tenure bid two months ago has been rejected by NTU yesterday.

This means that Cherian George, 47, is likely to leave the school within a year after being denied tenure a second time.

NUS, Singapore’s champion university ranked as the best in the country for many consecutive years in international standings, will absorb Cherian George’s forward attacking play.

Cherian George, widely known for his critical, straight-shooting views against the government and media, is seen to be in his prime and ripe for the picking.

One academic, who declined to be named, said: “Cherian George has a natural attacking flair. He has out-manoeuvred tougher opponents ready to clamp him down. This deal could set NUS up for even greater heights.”

This view is also shared by many undergraduates.

Ai Tak Chek, an NTU student, said: “NUS is already far better than NTU in many aspects. Cherian George’s transfer deal could kick NTU back to the stone age.”

NTU, ranked lowly for many consecutive years in international rankings, will find it near impossible to find a replacement.

And compete with SIM.

The most correct article ST has ever written

The most correct article ST has ever written

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Reading this article made me nod my head in agreement a lot.


The Straits Times published the above article on April 13, 2013.

It is about how academics applying to NTU need to be good teachers first and foremost, before they can be entrusted to be good researchers.

It comes in the wake of recent news that NUS is ranked 29th in the World University Rankings, while NTU is in its wake at 86th position.

So, to boost NTU’s image and show that they take teaching seriously, ST granted them this favour of writing an article publicising how good their teachers should be.

And as you read through the article, you cannot help but agree that the reporter did a marvellous job.

By conspicuously not interviewing and quoting NTU journalism professor, Cherian Geroge, who was recently denied tenure the second time and whose job is now on the line.

And who happens to be the best teacher who has a legion of students and ex-students petitioning NTU to give him tenure.

Therefore, it is obvious that to teach in NTU, you need to be not like Cherian.

You need to be boring.

And cannot speak English properly.

And continue lecturing in the face of students dozing and falling off their chairs.


Govt to install air-conditioning in all homes by 2016

Govt to install air-conditioning in all homes by 2016

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Cool people are rational people, says PM Lee

The government will conduct an open tender for air-conditioning operators to bid for the national air-conditioning contract. It is believed that only companies run by former ministers will be selected.

The government will conduct an open tender for air-conditioning operators to bid for the national air-conditioning contract. It is believed that only companies run by former ministers will be eligible for the contract.

The Singapore government will install air-conditioning units in all Singaporean households by 2016, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a post-budget speech this morning. This will ensure that Singapore remains an air-conditioned nation stocked with compliant citizens.

“We are a government that cares. We do not want Singaporeans to suffer from the stuffy tropical heat, which results short tempers and irrational behaviour,” he said of the recent public outrage over the population white paper.

Replying to our comment that the protests happened in the rain, and during the monsoon season, PM Lee had this to say.

“When it rains, people have to stay home. Then things get very humid and this causes irritation in people too. This is why air-conditioning is essential for the cultivation of a pliable, happy citizen.”

The “Keep Calm and Blow Air Con” policy, as it has been dubbed, is the supported by scientific research from A*Star, which found that Singaporeans had a tendency to be more anti-establishment, the more uncomfortable they were. This is further supported by recent evidence that the infrastructure breakdowns — minor as they were — led to widespread unhappiness with the government.

“Singaporeans have been promised a lifetime of comfort in exchange for political compliance. So when this comfort is taken away, it is perfectly natural for them to be less politically compliant,” said an A*Star researcher who chose not to be named as he was afraid of being assassinated.

“If this goes well, China might go fully air-conned too,” he said.

New Nation’s attempts to reach NTU media professor Cherian George were unsuccessful. But it is rumoured that he will be finally offered tenureship if the PAP regains back lost votes as a result of the new air-conditioning policy.

The case against tenure in general: 4 reasons

The case against tenure in general: 4 reasons

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Nothing against Cherian George’s bid for tenure, but quite a lot against the idea of tenure itself.

By Belmont Lay


About three years ago, I read a 2010 Slate article that made a strong case against tenure.

With the recent Cherian George saga playing out in the media, it is good to revisit the basic premises of those ideas against tenure in general — something about how it works against students and the universities that grant them, and also for knowledge production and synthesis.

4 reasons why tenure is a bad idea in general:

1. Tenure leads to self-censorship among professors

At first glance, this doesn’t make much sense.

This is because one of the explicit purposes of tenure is to ensure that professors have job security and they are, therefore, free to push the boundaries and put forth any ideas no matter how dangerous and controversial without fear of getting fired.

Therefore, by right, tenure is supposed to lead to academic freedom.

However, tenure-seeking professors — on their way to being tenured — might actually be discouraged from dabbling in anything too controversial.

Why? Precisely for fear of ending up like Cherian George.

In his case, he is not given tenure because he might be a reputational risk to the establishment for his studies in media, which of course, spills over to politics.

This is kind of like a Catch-22 situation right?

Furthermore, if a tenure-track professor is not going to speak out before, how safe is it to assume that a professor can do just that after gaining tenure?

2. Tenures are hugely expensive

This is a topic that strangely hasn’t been broached by any of the universities and media in Singapore.

Does anyone know how much a tenured professor gets paid? I don’t but I can safely assume that each professor who gains tenure will ultimately cost the university millions of dollars.

Job security is indeed very costly. Especially if the university is going to keep a professor on board for the next 20 to 30 years until retirement.

3. Tenure track professors must focus more on research than teaching

Whether this is a myth waiting to be busted, I’m not 100% sure.

But for those who have poked around the faculties and talked to people in the system, you would know that academia requires the publication of peer-reviewed papers.

Peer-reviewed papers is what holds a university up. This is similar to the reserves that back a country.

Universities are ranked according to the quantity and quality of research papers.

Teaching students, therefore, is one of those pesky things professors are required to do besides writing papers.

If there is a scale to weigh research vs. teaching, research wins. Period.

Students are most likely not ranked that highly up there among the other priorities.

4. Intellectual inflexibility

With tenures, what happens is that universities are actually taking a huge gamble by hiring somebody for life.

If a field is constantly evolving, and at a more rapid rate than before, for example, bio-tech or something, than how sure can the university be that the professor will keep up in that given field?

And there will be increasingly lesser incentive to merge disciplines as professors with tenure are more likely to delve deeper into one esoteric aspect of a given field to be deemed “an expert”.

NTU denies journalism prof tenure, deems lectures too well-attended

NTU denies journalism prof tenure, deems lectures too well-attended


cherian georgeNTU, Singapore’s third best university, got more than it bargained for when it denied tenure to Associate Professor Cherian George, supposedly because he wasn’t up to scratch as a teacher.

It pissed off a bunch of journalism students, who took to Facebook and Twitter to broadcast their outrage, even creating a wordy petition to protest the decision. This is the second time Prof George, who is outspoken about the government-controlled media, has been denied tenure.

Now, a member of NTU’s tenure committee has come out to deny all allegations that political motives were involved in this decision.  Read the full story

In George we trust

In George we trust

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Cherian George haters be damned.

By Belmont Lay

Cherian George has been researching about media ever since "The Internet" was known as "Cyberspace".

In the past few days, a lot of haters have come out to lay the smack down on NTU’s Cherian George.

Why? Because they are unhappy with what they deemed to be Cherian’s unwarranted criticism of The Online Citizen’s lax reporting standards.

Cherian, you see, pointed out that one of TOC’s blogivists applied quotation marks rather luxuriously on Seng Han Thong’s mis-speech on BlogTV, fudging the meaning of what the beleaguered MP actually said and meant.

I don’t know about you, but let me insist on this: Haters, be damned.

Look, Cherian plies his trade as a media academic. It is his right to speak authoritatively, especially about media-related issues, without fear or favour.

If TOC cannot use quotation marks properly, he can tell them to get their shit together and learn how to better punctuate.

No big deal.

Moreover, I am certain that long after this debacle featuring Seng Han Thong is over, I, for one, can still count on Cherian to continue his scholarship in media research and related topics in Singapore.

What can the haters contribute?

It doesn’t take a savant to understand this: Most of Cherian’s scholarship will continue to go towards informing our understanding of policies and politics in Singapore from the media’s perspective.

Plenty of his past work have helped countless students, academics and lay observers appreciate and manoeuvre the profundities of the Singapore system in the media domain and beyond.

Obviously, Cherian’s sagely advice will be dependable in the future when it comes to the media because he has been where almost no one else in this country has been: From going up the ranks in the SPH news room to the hallways of NTU where he lectures and researches from.

His experience is vital. And his comradeship even more so.

Basically, he’s been at it ever since “The Internet” was known as “Cyberspace”.

Last but not least, I definitely can trust Cherian to sustain a logical, principled argument.

It is pretty evident that after three blog posts into discussing his perspective in this messy Seng Han Thong debacle (check out blog posts number 1, 2 & 3), the only things still left standing and intact are Cherian’s principled approach and logical stance.

You will unwittingly notice how the dissenters and haters conspicuously decline in volume in the comments section with each passing post.

To sustain an argument is not so much for Cherian to have the last word.

Rather, it is for him to hone his rationale and methods to ensure they become unimpeachable – long after the haters have dissolved in their own bile.

Because he is, after all, a man with a reputation. A reputation which is a by-product of the good work he has done so far.

You can go take a look for yourselves. The books and articles he has edited and published under his name are for everyone’s scrutiny.

For further proof, observe his blog posts in addressing the haters, public-at-large and even himself.

In his introspective and almost-apologetic-bending-over-backwards concession that he might be “selfish” when dealing with this present issue, he explains thoroughly why he is not siding with TOC or going after the PAP.

And you know why? It is because he steadfastly refuses to turn the tables on whichever of his critics at the moment by employing PAP’s or haters’ tactics of arm-twisting and name-calling.

He simply does not want to mimic the ways of such hardliners that he cannot respect in the first place.

Cherian even writes charitably: “So I treasure truthfulness in politics, and – since I am not seeking votes or eyeballs – would rather lose a battle of words than push an untruth”.

How fucking cool is that?

In comparison, three days in, just where have all his haters gone? (As of now, Dec. 26, 2011, 4 a.m., there are no comments on his third post.) They have neither the intellectual stamina nor fortitude to see through a proper argument.

And I’ve yet to hear a squeak from Sonia Suka, the original blogivist who is credited for breaking the SHT story on TOC.

If you, dear reader, had to take sides in this issue, I have only this advice to offer: Place your bets on whoever is in this for the long term, or even for good.

You should know who to choose by now.

And with regards to TOC? What can be said about them choosing to go head-to-head against Cherian George?

It shows two things:

Their resolve to prove that they are right at the expense of conceding a point is laudable, but their display of pig-headedness is unfortunate.

Because to insist there is outright racism on Seng Han Thong’s part by jumping up and down and crying out loud that there is, the case, nevertheless, is still insurmountably difficult to prove.

Even Alex Au of Yawning Bread pretty much calls it much ado about nothing. (In fact, Au’s exact words are: “…it is difficult to make too much of those words (by Seng Han Thong)”.)

And for TOC to insist on being right on this issue, regardless of what naysayers think, would only solidify the consensus that they have an agenda in going after the PAP.

Whatever political capital they might have accumulated in the days leading up to last week, some of it is inevitably lost in the past few days.

Simply put, for those of us who are not thoroughly convinced of TOC’s point-of-view on this particular matter, their phoniness has been exacerbated.

As with Cherian haters and dissenters, it shall be the same for TOC once this moment has passed.

They’ll be off banging on about some other topic in time to come.

For Cherian, it is back to doing the grunt work. Whatever reputation he has attained inside and outside of academia, will always be a by-product of the consistency of his thinking, research and his even-handedness.

In other words: Cherian will still be around doing what he does best.

And here’s the point of today’s missive: For that reason, I’m counting on him.

With TOC, unfortunately, all bets are off for now.

Temasek Review, don’t be ridiculous

Temasek Review, don’t be ridiculous

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A reader voices his displeasure with Singapore’s most infamous political blog.

The Temasek Review writer needs to have his/her brain examined.

Dear editor,

I’m writing to express my displeasure with TR Emeritus (TRE), a website which prides itself as “the voice of Singaporeans”. Let me say that a more suitable tagline for them would be “the voice of bigots.” Let me explain why.

On December 22, the TRE released a story titled “The Online Citizen taken to task for reporting on Seng Han Thong.” In the article, TRE criticised Cherian George, author of journalism.sg, for defending Mr Seng who, in a recent media appearance, quoted an SMRT public relations personnel on the poor English proficiency of Malay and Indian staff of SMRT.

Cherian criticised The Online Citizen (TOC) for quoting Mr Seng out of context because TOC attributed the PR’s quote to Mr Seng himself, making him the target of furious netizens. In response, Mr Seng released the full transcript of what he said. However, Mr Seng was forced to apologise when SMRT denied that these remarks were made by their PR (duh, even if the SMRT PR’s quote was real, why would SMRT admit it? They would have ‘taichi-ed’ the blame away!) Read the full story

Political pundits-cum-academics try to be funny

Political pundits-cum-academics try to be funny

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Meanwhile, an SMU undergrad questions Singaporean voters’ motives.

From far right to the left is Eugene Tan, Cherian George, Jack Lee and erm… ya. (Photo from SMU Apolitical Facebook.)

You can trust a student and lecturer from the Singapore Management University to make this observation about Singaporean voters: Is Singapore turning into a “nation of dirty old men” which cares only about political candidates’ looks?

This idea was floated around at a discussion held on Oct. 14 on Gen Y voters, organised by SMU Apolitical, the student political association of the Singapore Management University.

About 50 students were present to hear SMU assistant professors Eugene Tan and Jack Lee, and Cherian George of Nanyang Technological University, speak.

One female participant, an SMU undergraduate, jibber-jabbered about why the two youngest candidates at the May general election, Nicole Seah and Tin Pei Ling, became public phenomena.

“Do we have a tabloid obsession with young women” she asked, flummoxed with a tinge of belittlement.

Nicole Seah ran under the National Solidarity Party’s banner, while TPL latched onto the People’s Action Party.

Replying, Eugene Tan said he felt TPL had been “demonised” by netizens, but she would not have attracted so much vitriol if she ran on an opposition ticket.

On the other hand, Nicole showed eloquence and empathy for the common man.

In a think-out-loud moment, Eugene then poker-faced: “I wonder whether we are moving towards a situation where form matters more than substance, where we are taken in by looks. Are we becoming a nation of dirty old men?”

He drew some cheap laughs.

What a blockbuster... erm, GRC-buster!

For Cherian, the situation highlighted the risks facing political parties in their candidate selection.

Thinking on his feet, Cherian compared political parties to movie studios in the way they “need to come up with their stars and try to frame them in a particular way”.

Hence, TPL, who was meant to “sweep young voters off their feet, just like movie studios have rolled out movies that they thought would be a blockbuster”, but bombed “because people found something else in that product to criticise”, he said, very cleverly.

Meanwhile, Cherian also noted that there can be “sleeper hits” that go viral, perhaps alluding to the Low-Sylvia-Mao trilogy.

“You can never know beforehand what is going to take off or what is going to flop,” he said some more.

Adding even more later: “That is what will make politics interesting in the future. It is never fully within the control of any party.”

This is a 60-second reduction of the original article by our favourite reporter, Tessa Wong, published in The Straits Times on Oct. 15.

Stuck in Switzerland

Stuck in Switzerland

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With the nearest voting centre in London, students in Switzerland will not lost their virginity for the next five years at least.

By Lee Jian Xuan

Photo: TAHIR / Creative Commons

THERE’S a common consensus among university students that exchange programs are generally beneficial.

You get to do all the touristy, sight-seeing stuff, meet new people, eat cheap food and stay in crappy youth hostels while chalking up Eiffel Tower-sized debts.

What’s not to love about that?

No, really. My exchange experience in Europe this semester has definitely opened my eyes. (Bad pasta and rude Italian housemates aside.)

Actually, more like it’s grabbed me by the hair and yanked my eyelids wide open.

I don’t know what it is about being overseas. Perhaps it’s the sheer distance from home and the estrangement from friends and family. Or maybe it’s the unsettling feeling of being the minority in far-flung lands.

But Singaporeans abroad seem to work harder at staying connected to our country than those of us who live on the island.

A friend I stayed with in London reads books by Kishore Mahbubhani and Cherian George (who are the so-called “public intellectuals”). My brother and his friends at the University of Leeds descend upon Channelnewsasia.com during their daily web rounds and discuss Singaporean politics at dinner.

Inadvertently, I find myself doing the same, devouring any material I can find online: Following the General Elections buzz closely and having the sort of no-holds-barred political discussion with friends that would instantly be shushed at dinner tables back home.

Quite an amazing feat for someone who previously did not even know the names of the six Presidents of Singapore.

But life has a funny way of working things out.

Just very recently, I learnt with great disappointment that I wouldn’t be able to cast my vote while overseas as the nearest polling center to the little Swiss town of Lugano where I’m at now is more than a thousand miles away in London.

This cruel irony is further intensified when I learnt that Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, where I belong and one that traditionally succumbs to a walkover, is to be contested this year.

Sidenote/ complaint here: I’ve no clue why the Elections Department chooses not to delegate more polling centers in Europe for voting.

There’s a perfectly proper and fine consulate here in Geneva. It doesn’t get any safer than here, right? I mean, Switzerland is practically the world’s panic room!

It’ll be years before I get to cross off my first ballot, but slightly more than a fortnight before the Singaporean electorate goes to the voting stations.

So to all you maiden voters out there, I say this: Wield the power of the vote wisely and choose the right party to run our country. If not for yourselves, then on behalf of those of us who can’t.

In any case, vote or no vote, come May 7, all Singaporean eyes from Switzerland to Sweden will be fixed on our sunny island set in the sea.

I can’t wait.

I will still be a virgin.

At voting, that is.

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Do youths care about politics? Should they?

Do youths care about politics? Should they?

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Judging by the 70-odd youthful folks who showed up at a policy forum, youths do care. But maybe they’re just shy.

By Visakan Veerasamy

Fun fact: Indranee picked up Salsa in 2000, but gave it up because of work commitments. Photo: CYBERPIONEER

THE cosy policy forum, attended by 70-odd non-old people was set at Sinema, a decidedly ‘youthful’ venue atop Mount Sophia. The session, titled “Do youths care” featured Member-of-Parliament Indranee Rajah, NTU don Dr Cherian George and Vice-President of NUS’s Political Association, Jason Su.

All young or young at heart. So far so good.

The opening statements essentially schmoozed about how the youth of Singapore are active, involved and interested in politics – interested enough at least, to send some questions via SMS.

One can only presume that if thumb power was required, even in a venue that was supposed to encourage intimate conversation, it only shows that we haven’t transcended the elemental fear many Singaporeans have, of being persecuted for their views.

I popped the first question- while it’s great to see people involved, how can we take the response of a specific group of University students and extend that to represent all of Singaporean youth? What about Poly and ITE students?

The response was bland neutral: Cherian acknowledged that it’s easy for University students to forget that they are actually a minority and not representative of all of Singapore. Indranee and Jason focused on talking about how the people organising the forum were doing a good job. No, actually their response merely stated the obvious. I was disappointed with the response to say the least.

Abdillah Zamzuri, a fellow blogger, observed before that Malay youths were underrepresented at the forum, which is consistent with my intuitive assessment that most Malay youth could be described as politically apathetic. In response, Indranee described why apathy was more prevalent in good times. However, the public does respond (un-apathetically) on occasion. During the NKF saga for instance, Singaporeans were riled up because almost everybody would have donated some money before, and thus, they feel that they have a stake in it. Furthermore, nobody likes the idea of being cheated.

My response to that would be: How do we get more Singaporeans to feel like they have a stake in public affairs at large? How do we get them to be less complacent and ignorant, to feel a sense of ownership (essentially, to be less apathetic) with regards to all of Singapore, not just the NKF, and to be wary in case they get accidentally “cheated” out of a desirable outcome for themselves and each other?

But I wasn’t allowed to grab the mike stand again. And so I was to accept her response and move on.

Apathetic is probably too strong a term for an audience that’s probably just shy. Part of the ‘apathy’ stems from the PAP’s proven dis-ability to engage the youth, even in a cosy forum in a happening venue on top of Sophia hill.

When I did get to the mike again however, I asked in response to her claim that she signed up to be an MP not knowing about the whopping allowance of $14,000 a month:

“Why not have more transparency? Why not share with Singaporeans where every one of their tax money is going? Surely that would boost the image of MPs as trustworthy and honest, and it would improve their standing with the Singaporean public?”

I found her response to that lacking, something along the lines of how it’s entirely up to each individual MP how they’d like to spend their allowance. This, is why youth are apathetic. Because we never get proper’s answers to our questions and soon, most realize that participation was merely a futile process and a waste of time.

Considering that she’s a member of Senior Counsel, a Director at Drew & Napier, and president of Sinda amongst other things, I’d expected Indranee to be far more sophisticated. Drew & Napier describes her as being able to “unravel the complexities of intractable legal problems, distill the essence of the disputes and find a resolution”.

I found none of that in her. Not especially when she side-stepped a complaint about new PAP candidate and new Singapore citizen Janil Puthucheary, by asking why we didn’t’ complain about Worker’s Party’s Chen Show Mao as well. On hindsight, it sounded more like a group of children fighting in a playground – “Why you scold me, why you never scold him also?” rather than an MP answer a question.

That said, I must confess that I developed a liking for Indranee, despite finding it hard to see eye to eye with her. She comes across as a sincere, genuine and empathetic person- outside of her arguments, at least. After the forum was over, she approached me, asked me how I was doing and what I was up to, and patiently listened to me blurt out all my iconoclastic fantasies.

Quite a feat considering the disparity in our statuses – I, a young hotheaded ‘youth’ and she, a seasoned MP. I appreciated the time she took to understand the issues that I was facing.

The takeaway message? Apathetic is probably too strong a term for an audience that’s probably just shy. Part of the ‘apathy’ stems from the PAP’s proven dis-ability to engage the youth, even in a cosy forum in a happening venue on top of Sophia hill. Yet things are changing. Thumbing an SMS to communicate with your MP is a start, but as I’ve found out, speaking face to face to engage politicians is the best way to understand them, and to have them understand you.

Visit Visakan’s blog here.

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