Photo of Ong Ye Kung from The Straits Times

Speaking at a Chinese New Year celebration dinner at the Furama Hotel yesterday (Feb 5), Education Minister Ong Ye Kung claimed that the Singapore society is “equal, just and cohesive”:

“We need to uphold the principle of equality and build a shared sense of being as a nation, but without going overboard or adopting an extreme ideology to the extent of disregarding or becoming disrespectful to the identities and cultures of individual communities. We don’t profess to be perfect or an example for other countries to follow, but we’ll always strive for a more equal, just and cohesive Singapore society.”

Repeating what Law Minister K Shanmugam and Minister of State Chan Chun Sing about meritocracy and equality, the S$1.1 million-a-year Minister sang further:

“The majority don’t overrule the principle of equality, and the minorities don’t exclude themselves. After 51 years of independence, I believe these values and ideas have sunk deep roots in our collective consciousness. As a small, open country, what is happening elsewhere can affect sentiments here. And Singapore is in a diverse region without a unifying culture, unlike the Arabian, Indian, European or Chinese civilisations. South-east Asia is at the intersection of major civilisations instead. Major religions from Hinduism to Islam have precipitated thick layers of identity traits in the region throughout history — and Singapore is at the centre of it all. Building a cohesive society is a delicate task, and countries with far longer histories are also grappling with the challenge.”

The Minister who could not handle an education ministry and has to share the profile with Education Minister Ng Chee Meng then continued the government propaganda:

“Values are caught, not taught and transmitted more often through day-to-day activities and, to a lesser extent, through classroom lessons. Nonetheless, Singapore’s educational system imparts respect for the different races and religions, such as through reciting the Pledge, learning one’s mother tongue, National Education lessons and learning journeys to temples, mosques, churches and places such as Little India and Arab Street. These activities are probably not enough, but they provide the foundation for every pupil to discover and appreciate Singapore’s diversity further later on in life.”

Minister Ong Ye Kung is currently contesting with Minister of State Chan Chun Sing and Minister Tan Chuan Jin for the Prime Minister’s favour. The successful candidate will get to be the next Prime Minister – the country’s most powerful position controlling the country’s CPF and having dictatorial rights to legalise corruption.