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Postby Biogentic » Sat, 16 Aug 2008 9:14 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
Biogentic wrote:The fact is that, so many millions of dollars of TAXPAYER money has been used to fund all these foreigners when the money could be used to nurture our local sportsman...

The problem is there are too few local sportsmen to choose from. Singaporean parents want their children to spend time on studies rather than on sport. I myself chose to go to university rather than take a year out to represent Singapore at Asian level, something that I now regret. Plus, I am a taxpayer too and would rather my dollars support a foreigner-turned-Singaporean who practised 10 hours a day and was mentally tough, than a born-Singaporean who takes a day off a week and expects adulation just because he is best in the country though completely unproven in the world.

Biogentic wrote:will you use your monthly salary to feed someone you dunnoe at all or you are willing to spend your salary on your family or friends?

Why can't we do both? I feed my family with my monthly salary, and give an almost equal amount to people I don't know. Singapore has the resources to do both as well, I believe. We need to stop having a scarcity mentality, an either-or approach to life. Learn to juggle more than one ball at a time. Understand that we don't merely distribute a fixed amount of resources, but can create more resources with the right actions. Grow the pie blah blah.

Now that Singapore has an Olympic medal, maybe our young people will dare to dream again, dare to stand up to their parents and go the sports instead of academic route, dare to believe that they too can one day achieve the same... I heard a story about the pelicans of Monterey Bay which used to feed on waste from fishing boats. When the boats went away, the pelicans started dying out as they'd forgotten how to catch fish in the wild. So the government imported pelicans from elsewhere to supplement the local population. Unexpectedly, the local birds learnt how to fish from the imported wild ones, and became self-sufficient again. That is what I hope will happen to Singapore. And it will only happen if we welcome and learn from the imports, not if we peck them to death because they're 'not one of us'.


Hi, good evening.... probably i am not satisfy because the amount of money spent doesn't bring us much or any economic benefit which mean to say, i would rather "they" conserve the kind of resources to save for our rainy day..... by the way i believe it is a substantial amount which could be put to better use like helping the needy or funding young entrepreneur. S-LEAGUE alone has tons of FT....

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Postby bruinbear » Sat, 16 Aug 2008 9:33 pm

Feng Tianwei, the star of the semi-final match, obtained her Singapore citizenship only this January.

Of course, how you interpret the above fact is up to you.

I thought this news article is very interesting.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics ... ants_N.htm

The USA has at least 33 foreign born Olympic atheletes at the Beijing games.

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Postby micknlea » Sat, 16 Aug 2008 10:47 pm

OMG people, just enjoy the fact that they are in with a chance for the gold. There is simply no pleasing some people at all. :roll:

Sheesh, as an expat living here with Singapore as my "home" I am supporting them, surely everyone should.
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Postby Global Citizen » Sat, 16 Aug 2008 10:54 pm

Couldn't agree more with BC. Relax people!
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 16 Aug 2008 11:24 pm

Bruinbear, while my country has a lot of flaws (most are the government itself - not the people), the article is exactly what I am on about. The people of Singapore should be happy that the foreign athletes deigned to come to this little red dot. After all, like the 4 Chinese paddlers who went to the US, the one's here could have probably just as easily done the same. Same with the S league player. They pittance they are paid, it would be easy for them to go elsewhere and play in the minors and still make more money than the pittance they are paid here. The people of Singapore ought to be happy.

Currymeister,
Parents would support their kids if they can manage both through school and university.


Here, that should read more like "Even if the kids could manage both through school and university, the parents still wouldn't support them."

There are lots of potential locals here who never get the chance due to the parents forbidding them to do so as they feel that any free time should be devoted to studies only. The dire lack of team sport uptake here can be seen in the lack of teamwork in the workforce as each spends most of the time jockeying for a position to look better than the rest of the team. They are good workers on their own but do not function well in teams as only Individual results are the most stressed thing here.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 16 Aug 2008 11:45 pm

bruinbear wrote:The USA has at least 33 foreign born Olympic atheletes at the Beijing games.

Good info. Out of 596, that makes 5% of the US Olympic contingent foreign-born. Singapore's is almost 100% foreign-born and that is the issue most people are having. Funnily enough, I don't hear anyone complain that almost 100% of our maids and construction workers are foreign. There are just some things that Singaporeans can't or won't do and we either forego these as a country or we do the pragmatic thing - import.


Biogentic wrote:Hi, good evening.... probably i am not satisfy because the amount of money spent doesn't bring us much or any economic benefit which mean to say, i would rather "they" conserve the kind of resources to save for our rainy day..... by the way i believe it is a substantial amount which could be put to better use like helping the needy or funding young entrepreneur.

Good evening to you. I can understand how you feel. It's hard to see an old lady picking cans out of a dustbin when millions of dollars are spent on young 'foreigners'. And millions of dollars sounds like a lot of money.

Still, when you look at things in perspective and assuming I got the figures right, the budget allocated to our national sports is $43.5m which is 3.26% of the budget of the sports ministry, which in turn gets only 3.6% of the national budget. So although the absolute figure is in the millions, we are really talking about 0.1% of the total budget for the Games at most.

Comparatively, we spent $100m to upgrade Changi Prison - hmm, I certainly think our top athletes working their butts off deserve more support than criminals causing us trouble. And the figure is elusive but the closest estimate I found for the cost of the National Day Parade is $190 million. And my bet is that many more Singaporeans were riveted to the TV and felt strong emotions for Singapore watching the Olympics than they did the NDP.

I know the talk in the streets is "we spent millions on these girls" but cost and benefit are relative. I hope the homework I did above puts the amount into perspective. It really isn't that much to spend on something that impacted a lot more Singaporeans than things we spend a lot more on that don't.

And by the way, the old lady picking cans and those in her position got about $1 billion of our budget which works out to 2300% more than what we spend on the national team. So when all's said and done I think you will agree that the government's priorities seem about right.

Gosh, I've done enough research and math tonight to last me a month! Don't shoot me if the figures are wrong, it was the best I could do late at night from publicly available sources.

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Postby banana » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 12:26 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:Good info. Out of 596, that makes 5% of the US Olympic contingent foreign-born. Singapore's is almost 100% foreign-born and that is the issue most people are having. Funnily enough, I don't hear anyone complain that almost 100% of our maids and construction workers are foreign. There are just some things that Singaporeans can't or won't do and we either forego these as a country or we do the pragmatic thing - import.


I'm not so sure about that WIMH. If domestic help and construction workers are being paid the same amount as they would be in western countries, maybe Singaporeans won't be so hesitant to pick up these vocations.

Wind In My Hair wrote:Still, when you look at things in perspective and assuming I got the figures right, the budget allocated to our national sports is $43.5m which is 3.26% of the budget of the sports ministry, which in turn gets only 3.6% of the national budget. So although the absolute figure is in the millions, we are really talking about 0.1% of the total budget for the Games at most.


:shock: Really? The sports ministry gets $1.3 billion? And to what avail? Olympic standard pools and stadiums in every suburb? While relegating sports to a secondary activity only to be encouraged if the individual shows not just promise but results? That doesn't sound like very good public fund management to me.


Wind In My Hair wrote:Comparatively, we spent $100m to upgrade Changi Prison - hmm, I certainly think our top athletes working their butts off deserve more support than criminals causing us trouble. And the figure is elusive but the closest estimate I found for the cost of the National Day Parade is $190 million which in the same 4-year span works out to $760m. And my bet is that many more Singaporeans were riveted to the TV and felt strong emotions for Singapore watching the Olympics than they did the NDP.

I know the talk in the streets is "we spent millions on these girls" but cost and benefit are relative. I hope the homework I did above puts the amount into perspective. It really isn't that much to spend on something that impacted a lot more Singaporeans than things we spend a lot more on that don't.

And by the way, the old lady picking cans and those in her position got about S$1 billion of our budget which works out to 2300% more than what we spend on the national team. So when all's said and done I think you will agree that the government's priorities seem about right.

Gosh, I've done enough research and math tonight to last me a month! Don't shoot me if the figures are wrong, it was the best I could do late at night from publicly available sources.


I don't think anyone has problems rewarding athletes for performing well. Rather, the problem is, as you said, the team is almost 100% foreign. Meaning we might as well have bought that medal. Does it reflect well on Singapore? Perhaps, if medals were all that mattered. What it also implies is that the incumbent government can now say "see, we got the country a medal, therefore we have done a good job" when they have simply purchased it with the people's money rather churn it back into nurturing sportsmen within the people.

I can see why some expats can't relate to why some locals feel that way. It is very telling of their true colours.

As for that little old lady picking up the cans, if we're spending $1 billion a year on her and her friends but yet they are picking up cans every year, doesn't that suggest something is wrong somewhere? Perhaps they enjoy picking up cans? Or we drink too much? Garbage disposal not quick enough maybe? (I'm being sarcastic, in case some dimwit civil servant is reading this)

To say this is getting our priorities right is like saying it doesn't matter if a teacher is a paedophile as long as his class passes with flying colours.
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 7:49 am

banana wrote::shock: Really? The sports ministry gets $1.3 billion? And to what avail? Olympic standard pools and stadiums in every suburb? While relegating sports to a secondary activity only to be encouraged if the individual shows not just promise but results? That doesn't sound like very good public fund management to me.

If I wanted to justify the budget I would run for minister and sit in parliament. Go check out the national budget and you can disagree with it all you want. It's not my job to defend it. I merely took an interest in putting the 'millions' spent on national sports in perspective. And the ministry is actually the Ministry for Community, Youth and Sports. So the $1.3b budget goes to more than sports. Google for yourself - I can't be doing everybody's homework for them and you're a big boy.

banana wrote:To say this is getting our priorities right is like saying it doesn't matter if a teacher is a paedophile as long as his class passes with flying colours.

Bad analogy. The correct analogy is, given the fees and budget of the school, whether you'd rather your child be taught Singlish by a local teacher who was equipped with the best textbooks and CDs that money could buy, or learn better English from an expat native-English speaking teacher who costs double the salary but doesn't need the books and CD aids. The foreigner would be an example, raise the bar and set the standard and the good local teachers would now have a model to follow and a challenge to rise to.

Honestly, banana, are you telling me that if you could have it your way, you would not bring in the Olympic team that we have now, erase the buzz that Singapore has felt for weeks especially this weekend, and go back to what we had for the past 48 years - watch the Games as an uninvolved observer, feeling that Singapore is not good enough, and suspecting that we never will be? If you could wave that wand (more rhetoric), would you?

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Postby banana » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 11:21 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:If I wanted to justify the budget I would run for minister and sit in parliament. Go check out the national budget and you can disagree with it all you want. It's not my job to defend it. I merely took an interest in putting the 'millions' spent on national sports in perspective. And the ministry is actually the Ministry for Community, Youth and Sports. So the $1.3b budget goes to more than sports. Google for yourself - I can't be doing everybody's homework for them and you're a big boy.


Right. So why are you defending it?

Wind In My Hair wrote:
banana wrote:To say this is getting our priorities right is like saying it doesn't matter if a teacher is a paedophile as long as his class passes with flying colours.

Bad analogy. The correct analogy is, given the fees and budget of the school, whether you'd rather your child be taught Singlish by a local teacher who was equipped with the best textbooks and CDs that money could buy, or learn better English from an expat native-English speaking teacher who costs double the salary but doesn't need the books and CD aids. The foreigner would be an example, raise the bar and set the standard and the good local teachers would now have a model to follow and a challenge to rise to.

Honestly, banana, are you telling me that if you could have it your way, you would not bring in the Olympic team that we have now, erase the buzz that Singapore has felt for weeks especially this weekend, and go back to what we had for the past 48 years - watch the Games as an uninvolved observer, feeling that Singapore is not good enough, and suspecting that we never will be? If you could wave that wand (more rhetoric), would you?


I prefer my analogy. It is more succinct and gets the point across just the same. Nor does it assume a foreigner is naturally better. If you have lived abroad for any period of time, you will realise that almost all of these 'native-English speaking teachers' are just bored middle class white men looking for a paid holiday. And most of them can barely string a coherent sentence together, much less be a qualified language teacher.

Are you telling me that everything should have a dollar value? Are you an accountant? Or a mercenary? Or do you have so little faith in your own countrymen that without a bought medal, we will never be able to compete on that level? I didn't think so but I've been wrong before.

Is that buzz worth the millions spent? The dissatisfaction felt by a not inconsiderable segment of the population? Or is your value system THE value system to be adopted by all?

Am I happy that we got a medal? To some extent, yes. But I'm also not foolish enough to think it can only be a good thing.
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Postby bigfilsing » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 11:31 am

Not sure about the Malay comments there SMS. I thought Singapore was originaly part of Malaya and all the Expats, Chinese and Indians were imported :D

I'm not holding my breath for the "hand over" party :)

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Postby Currymeister » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 11:52 am

banana wrote:
I prefer my analogy. It is more succinct and gets the point across just the same.


I don't think your analogy is appropriate Banana, I think that's what WIMH meant when referring to it as a 'bad' analogy.

It's not clever to use such comparisons.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 12:48 pm

bigfilsing wrote:Not sure about the Malay comments there SMS. I thought Singapore was originaly part of Malaya and all the Expats, Chinese and Indians were imported :D

I'm not holding my breath for the "hand over" party :)


Maybe you ought to go back and read my post one more time. That's exactly what I said. :wink:

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Postby banana » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 1:59 pm

Currymeister wrote:
banana wrote:
I prefer my analogy. It is more succinct and gets the point across just the same.


I don't think your analogy is appropriate Banana, I think that's what WIMH meant when referring to it as a 'bad' analogy.

It's not clever to use such comparisons.


Thanks for the input Curry. I'll be sure to use your measure of 'clever' next time. :roll:

To keep it on topic about the Olympics and where we all came from, why don't we just call it the African Games? And forget about countries since that's where all human life originates if you go back far enough.
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Postby Forks » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 2:48 pm

I think Singapore should be happy that it got a medal but the idea of an imported player playing their ex countrymen does raise a question about how much a country (any country) is willing to go for national pride.

Singapore is much like my home (NZ) in some ways, small country newly formed country, everyone is an immigrant of some kind or another so its important to try and identify with something that makes them part of something bigger.

Besides compared to my home where a loss in the rugby can spell a national mourning period, loss of productivity and a rise in domestic violence I think Singapore has been pretty restrained about the whole thing.

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Imported talent

Postby Asdracles » Sun, 17 Aug 2008 5:00 pm

Yes, in every country we have "imported players", but I would distinguish two types.

1- A player move to Spain because work/love/whatever. After a time he settles there, decides to take spanish nationality and later maybe he can join the national team

2- A player wants to join a national team better than the one in his country. Then he looks for a suitable country, and then a good reason to get a nationality there

Player 1 is a really citizen in my humble opinion, like lot of people that decide to settle here or there.

Player 2 is doing business under a national flag. I would never support that.

In fact, in Spain years ago there was a german skying, Johan Muelegg, he didn't speak spanish, he had never been before there, he kept training in his country, only joining the spanish team for competitions, but government promised him lot of support as we didn't have a good one in that discipline. He won medals, medals that were never mine. Later he gave positive in an anti-doping control. I never felt bad for that "spanish positive". For me he was a german one playing in a different "club"

Now lets look to Talant Djushebaev, best handball player several years. After he moved to Spain in his club, after several years he became spanish and played with his national team. Even he signed for 2 years contract with a german team, he came back to Spain. He is living now in Spain, working as coach.

My point is that there are different ways of getting a nationality. Look at Qatar athletes, all them former africans bought with petro-dollars, that I really don't believe they feel qataries.

Said this, I DONT KNOW WHAT IS THE REAL SITUATION OF THESE TABLE TENNIS PLAYERS. I don't know if they are what I would say 1 or 2. Not criticising or supporting, just stating my oppinion that countries are not clubs.


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