── 南 笛 ──
Q: "So when, don't take this the wrong way, but when you decided to close the Chinese stream education and the college, what was the rationale behind that and do you ever regret doing that?"
Mr Lee: "No, I regret not doing it faster because politically, if there'd been a violent electoral protest in the next elections because they're so wedded to the idea that language means, culture means, life means everything. But I'm a pragmatist and you can't make a living with the Chinese language in Singapore. The first duty of the government is to be able to feed its people, to feed its people in a little island. There's no hinterland and no farming, you have got to trade and you have got to do something to get people buy your goods or services or get people to come here and manufacture themselves, export, ready-made markets and multinationals which I stumbled on when I went to Harvard for a term in 1968 and I said oh, this could solve my unemployment problem. So we brought the semiconductors factories here and one started, the whole herd came and we became a vast centre for production of computers and computer peripherals.
But they all speak English, multinationals from Japan, Europe, whatever European country they come from, they speak English. So Chinese-educated were losing out and they were disgruntled because they got the poorer jobs and lesser pay. So eventually our own Members of Parliament were Chinese-educated and graduates from the Chinese university said okay, we have got do something. We're ruining these people's careers.
By that time, the university was also losing its good students and getting bum students. Because they took in poor students, they graduated them on lower marks and so the degree became valueless. So when you apply for a job with a Chinese university degree, you hide your degree and produce your school certificate. So I tried to change it from within, the Education Minister was Chinese-educated and English-educated to convert it from within because most of the teachers have American PhDs. So they did their thesis in English but they've forgotten their English as they've been teaching in Chinese, so it couldn't be done. So I merged them with the English speaking university. Great unhappiness and dislocation for the first few years but when they graduated, we put it to them do you want your old university degree or you want English university degree? All opted for the English university degree. That settled it."
注一：http://www.news.gov.sg/public/sgpc/en/media_releases/agencies/pmo/transcript/T-20091228-1.html，TRANSCRIPT OF MINISTER MENTOR LEE KUAN YEW'S INTERVIEW WITH MARK JACOBSON FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ON 6 JULY 2009 (FOR NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE JAN 2010 EDITION).
2010年3月12日首版 Created on March 12, 2010
2011年4月18日改版 Last updated on April 18, 2011