Tag Archive | "Singapore parenting"

PM Lee not kancheong, so can you

PM Lee not kancheong, so can you

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Many things happened between yesterday and predawn this morning:

There was the US presidential debate.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying led a mourning ceremony for the 38 victims of a ferry disaster.

Global food prices hit a 6-month high.

Syria shells a Turkish town.

Big landslide in China.

But this made it to the front page of the Straits Times, taking up a good half of the space allocated to news.

No no, it was not a speech. This was a story written around a funny video that our Prime Minister shared on his Facebook wall.

Yes that’s right. No quotes from PM Lee, nor policy initiative about tackling stress in schools. Because it is all…




You see, the Prime Minister is setting a model example for all families to follow. If he can become Prime Minister by the sheer virtue of his cleverness, so can you.

PM Lee is not a man of many words, so we will have to take his sister’s Sunday moral schpiel the week before, about how the Lee kids were brought up to be the exemplary elites of society that they are today.

Here’s how you too, can not be kancheong

1) Have tuition three times a week, one hour each time, only for subjects that are not taught in school. Because your family doesn’t have to rely on two incomes and your Cambridge-educated mummy will always be at home to explain algebra to you.

2) Spend all your time studying and playing and essentially, having enjoying a relaxed childhood. Because getting extra money to pay for that hang-out meal with your friends is easy. You magically get  published in the Chinese papers the same year you admitted you needed Chinese tuition. Each article paid you $10, which would have bought you a lot of chicken rice because that only cost 0.05 cents when you were a kid.

But by Sec 4, I was getting nervous as to how I would cope in the Chinese language examination. So my parents found me a Chinese teacher. She did not go over the syllabus with me. Instead, we read Dream Of The Red Chamber in its classical form. I didn’t enjoy the story. She also encouraged me to write articles and submit them for publication in the Chinese newspapers. She would correct my draft before I submitted them. Quite a few were published, and I was paid $10 for each article.

3) Don’t worry about being graded along a bell curve together with your classmates from the People’s Republic of China. All’s fair and square in the game of learning. If they know more words than you, its not because they were born in China, but because you’re not smart enough.

4) Don’t bother panicking about your English deteriorating because you went to a neighbourhood school instead of Raffles Institution. Because your parents can call up BBC reporters to have an “informal tutorial” with you. Also helps that both your parents are lawyers.

5) Don’t think about working to pay off your younger brother’s university loan. Because self reliance is the best approach. And he can suck it up if he doesn’t qualify for a scholarship. He can suck it even more if he doesn’t qualify for a local university and has to go to Australia. Spend all your time studying for yourself and being a happy kid.

6) Don’t think about defining stress and kancheong beyond the realm of extra tuition. Because if you are stressed, it is only because you are clocking too many hours at the books, and not because there are any other factors at play. There is no other problem. Fullstop. Now go play. End of story.

What we feel about it.