A*STAR, unlucky or accident-prone?

In Public Administration on 17/01/2016 at 1:21 pm

Is there anything wrong with the way A*Star selects scholars?

I mean we have had the very entitled scholar Eng.

And now we hear that ex-A^Star scholar Ouyang Xiangyu admitted putting toxic substances (i.e. mildly poisonous substances) in the water bottles of two lab mates. But she never had any personal issues with them and “didn’t mean to harm people”, she said.

Huh? She really must be looney to want to poison people who she didn’t dislike ? And double loooney to poison people that she “didn’t mean to harm”? Juz the kind of looney criminal that Batman sends to Arkham.

Seriously, she comes across as one of the guards in a Nazi concentration camp explaining to their trial judges why they did what they did to inmates. They often  said they “didn’t mean to harm”. or that they don’t hate the inmates: juz doing their duty and obeying orders.

Let’s wish her well*, unlike the PAPpies (Think readers and followers of Jason Chua and FATPAP) who are screaming that she should have been jailed or hung** for disgracing S’pore (They forgot court is US court), but surely there must be a flaw with the way A*STAR chooses its scholars.

One swallow does not make a summer. But two?

And remember Oscar’s Wilde: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

To have one scholar that is a potential inmate of Gotham City’s Arkham may be an accident, but to have two nut cases looks like carelessness. And is worrying use of taxpayers’ money.


*She got probation and has to do community service in California, and is getting treatment. I can’t help but think that in the S’pore of the early 80s (when I was a close observer of how the govt did things), the matter would be resolved quietly since the victims were only slightly hurt and because she was a scholar. She’d have to give up her scholarship (but not pay any penalty for bond breaking) and seek treatment, and the public would be no wiser.

Wonder if her parents, guarantors have to pay up on her bond? I hope not.

**OK I exaggerate about the hanging, but not by much. Their long-lost siblings, the TRE cybernuts shout the same tots.


  1. Nah, she is closer to Ted Bundy, the smart serial killer or Joachim the “Devil” Peiper, the urbane, multi-lingual, intelligent, bloodthirsty Waffen SS panzer commander than those concentration guards who were not good enough for anything than guarding defenseless Jews, Gypsies and other Untermenschen.

  2. Waffen SS (i.e. battle or fighting SS) is a different breed from the other branches of SS focused on concentration camps, extermination programme (“final solution”), or in human experimentation. True, their methods were often brutal e.g. shooting, cutting open or torturing of prisoners, but were shaped by the enemy (Soviets, guerillas) that they were fighting against and the fact that the Soviets and guerillas also used the same treatment against Germans. By 1944/1945 even western armies like US and UK also had many examples of similar treatments against German prisoners. Many highly effective Waffen SS officers were secretly pardoned a few years after the war, released from Spandau & other prisons, and recruited by western allies to serve as advisors & instructors on how to fight against Soviets and Warsaw Pact.

    Ouyang hold no candle to those Waffen SS.

    Even by the 1980s, the Soviets still regarded West German troops as 2X-3X superior to US or British forces. Such was the impact of German armies in WW2 against the Soviets.

    Anyway, chances to be selected for PAP scholarships these days depends on whether you come from upper middle-class or rich family, whether your father/mother is a “somebody” with connections, as much as whether you got straight As for your 10 A-level subjects & 4 S papers and CCAs dripping with golden accolades or medals.

    I remember even the Perm Sec and other senior directors in my previous Ministries always becoming more interested whenever a candidate’s parent is CEO of some GLC or bank, or is a professor emeritus at NUS or is a PAP MP, etc etc. Almost always these kind of candidates will be selected for scholarships.

  3. […] – The Independent Singapore: Singapore Retirees Share Their Biggest Retirement Regrets – Netflix moves to ban VPN access to global content. Some Singaporeans say, “Challenge accepted.” – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: A*STAR, unlucky or accident-prone? […]

  4. What happened in nazi concentration camp is can be explained by stanford prison experiment, Ouyang Xiangyu is just crazy.

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