Careless and Ungrateful Professors

So we thought we were done with armchair professors who live the good life at the expense of taxpayers but do not understand the basic concept of gratitude. They pretend to be humble, fight for the poor, speak up against the establishment. Boy, it is so easy to say all the right things that make people go angry about the establishment.


But most of them are champagne socialists. Live the good life at taxpayers’ expense, travel around the world, drink great wine and enjoy all the great attention from wide-eyed young admirers. Really, there is no cost to them for always saying all the populist things. Like take $20 billion from reserves and give it to the poor and all problems solved. Give free healthcare to everyone. Slam the police without giving any thought to the serious consequences their comments can have on public safety.

Yes, it is easy. Because these people don’t have to find the money to fund the public programmes. They don’t have to persuade the public to give up their hard earned money to pay taxes. They don’t have to go out daily to work with poor people. They don’t have to deal with robbers, murderers coming at them with abuse and parangs. They don’t have to go out there and attend the funerals of dead policemen or comfort families of raped or murdered victims. They think the murderers, robbers, criminals are the victims. When things go wrong, they go back to their Carribbean holidays and it is left to the government and the agencies to clean up the mess.

So what’s with this Yeoh Lam Keong fellow. First, he gets all self-righteous and thinks he has come up with the killer-app to deal with terrorism. In one reckless stroke, he accused the independent inquiry of the Little India riots, long after the event four years later, of lying to the public. The riots, he now says, is caused by the lack of community policing. He brushed off alcohol as a scapegoat cooked up by the committee. He added in alienation of police as a cause for good measure.

You can bet to the last dollar that the good professor didn’t read the COI report when he carelessly made those unfounded allegations. If you remember, the COI which was highly independent and at times overly critical of the force at that time of hearing had established alcohol indeed as a factor causing the riots. Community policing has also been a cornerstone of police work in the last few years. Obviously, Yeoh doesn’t really get around much. He probably hasn’t heard of SGSecure.

That, however, should not be an issue. It is OK to arrive a wrong conclusion based on hearsay or our own preconceived ideas of how events happen. We are all entitled to our own views, honest mistakes. Most of us get away with it anyway.

But Yeoh had a sudden change of heart. First, he apologised, accepted the good work by the police and said he was merely doing it out of concern. And then within a day he changed tack. Oh, the former police chief did say there was indeed a shortage of manpower in the police force.

There you go, I was right, he seemed to be gloating.  By citing an unrelated quote by the former police chief, he cleverly deceived many into thinking he was right about his earlier assessment over the cause of the riots. As one Facebook writer posted, the usual Opposition cheerleaders like Andrew Loh immediately fell right into his trap.

I am glad that Calvin Cheng, much as I do not agree with him all the time, called him out. Let’s backtrack. Yeoh’s original point was lack of community policing and alienation of police. The former police chief’s point about the shortage of manpower had been said by the Government and the force for years. It was not cited as the cause of the riots. Certainly, when the former police chief talked about that and when officers talked about the shortage manpower during the riots, they were not saying it was the cause of the riots. It was not related to the cause at all. Mr Yeoh either doesn’t understand the meaning of cause or he simply saw an opportunity to confuse the public by conveniently throwing in a quote said during the inquiry to back up his case. That, to me, is sheer intellectual dishonesty.

Funny, someone tells me both Mr Yeoh and the other armchair professor Donald Low are buddies. They have conveniently lined themselves with politicians with the opposition. Whenever convenient, they will say they are merely speaking up for Singaporeans. When confronted, they quickly apologised and tried to change their line. One sheepishly went back to delete offensive comments on his Facebook to clean up his storyline, thinking people may not remember. The other changed his apology no less than four times including adding in the unrelated quote from the former police chief.

Both are pretty rich people. Both do not do much for you and me now. Both had been treated well by the Government with scholarships and lucrative great public careers. Now the question I put to my goondu friends in the Government is this – why are you guys so dumb – paying these people so handsomely in a taxpayers’ funded institution to shoot your own foot?