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Thursday, 13 August 2015

TOC Picking On Chee Hong Tat

This was the title The Online Citizen site used for an article making reference to PAP candidate Chee Hong Tat.
<“Stupid” to advocate the learning of dialects: PAP’s new candidate once said>
A previous article of the same, I took issue with the crafting of this title that later discovered was my oversight and mistake. I was corrected by mod and I took down the post. A mistake should not become a wrong.
However the key argument of that article remains "What impression does TOC wants Singaporeans to know about the new PAP candidate? That he is against dialects? TOC's article does take a position of supporting the learning of dialects as propagated by rehashing an observation made by Dr Ng Bee Chin at a symposium.
This is what Dr Ng said :
“Although Singaporeans are still multilingual, 40 years ago, we were even more multilingual. Young children are not speaking some of these languages at all any more.
“All it takes is one generation for a language to die.”
For that, Chee who was then private secretary of MM Lee Kuan Yew replied in ST Forum page explaining the government's position pertaining to dialects and why it discouraged the use of dialects.
Perhaps we can discuss if there is any merits to promote the use of dialects separately, but it is well known that Lee Kuan Yew had strong convictions that Singaporeans can learn and perform optimally without dialect distractions. The government continues to be guided by Lee's conviction to this day.
Rehashing a reply to the Forum page from an employee who takes instructions from his boss and frame it as if it is his won volition is mudslinging. Playing gutter politics to the maximum.
This is why I asked, is it really TOC's belief that dialect is good for Singapore, or they are using it to run down a candidate for political gain?
Chee would never have known that TOC will jab him below the belt with this, but by stroke of luck Chee chose to address the media in the Hokkien dialect. With that, Chee not only drew the distinction between discouraging the learning of dialects and that of using dialects in day to day situations.
A statement of sorts, Chee is by no means one that goes against the use of dialects, if this is what TOC hopes to frame.
Then he must be inconsistent they may say.
Oh please, give the guy a break. He was only an employee taking orders like everyone else.

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