The Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) revised the mandatory secondary school subject, Social Studies, in a bid to whitewash the current Prime Minister’s image in recent current affairs events.

The new syllabus includes featuring Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook post, the government’s handling of the Little India riot, the 6.9 million population White Paper and the denial of growing income-gap problem in Singapore.

Here are the 6 new topics to be featured in the revised textbook:

  1. NIMBY (Not-in-my-backyard) “Syndrome”
    The new Social Studies textbook featured the NIMBY “syndrome” claiming that some Singaporeans are a complainant lot who does not want to share the cost of inconveniences in the land locked country.
  2. Little India Riot
    The textbook called Singapore Police’s response to the riot “swift”, even though court investigations found the police to be slow and severely lacking in coordination. The textbook however did not explain why did the Little India riot happened, which the government blamed public intoxication for. The Little India riot in 2013 is a result of an outburst after years of oppression and low wages for foreign workers.It is notable that only public vehicles like ambulance and police cars are attacked and set fire upon, while private vehicles are unharmed, hence signalling a deliberate discontentment against the Singapore government.
  3. Harassment of organisers of Philippines Independence Day
    In a Facebook post calling Singaporeans “a disgrace”, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was featured as a person of “generosity in spirit”. The textbook however did not mention that the Philippines Independence Day celebration was supposed to take place in Orchard Road, with Philippines flags and the foreign national anthem be sung in a public place in Singapore. The textbook also conveniently left out an offending picture that created outrage by Singaporeans, with many calling it “a suggestive theme that signifies Philippines’s sovereignty over Singapore”:

    Poster from upaas
    Poster from upaas
  4. Denial of poverty line
    The new textbook covered up the problems of growing income inequality and featured the government’s response to why there is no poverty line set. According to former Minister of Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, setting a poverty line will only result in more poor people falling through the cracks and denied the assistance they needed. The actual reason for not setting a poverty line is because an embarrassing percentage of the population are in dire financial straits and such publication will make foreign investments lose faith in the domestic market’s purchasing power.
  5. 6.9 million Population White Paper
    The new textbook featured a section where the Singapore government approves it’s own population target of 6.9 million when Singapore is already facing infrastructural defuncts like MRT breakdowns, lack of HDB units, depression of salaries and severe overcrowding in public places. However, the MOE deliberately left out the reasons behind the protest and dumb down to “increase competition” suggesting Singaporeans participating in the protest are just being protectionist. The Singapore population may have an immigrant root but the identity has been forged through sacrifices during Singapore’s formative years, unlike today’s immigrants who are exempted National Service.

    Photo of Social Studies Textbook by MOE
    Photo of Social Studies Textbook by MOE
  6. Our Singapore Conversation (OSC)
    The new textbook called OSC “participative citizenship” and claimed that government policies are influenced by such feedback sessions. However, no example has been raised. To date, there is not a single government policy which has been “influenced” by public feedback.