Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My thoughts on that Olympic Silver and that Political Liberalization Speech.

Hi Friends,

Just touched down from Down Under.

I only got to know that our girls were in the Table Tennis final match on Sunday itself!

I have no excuse at all not knowing as there was internet at the hotel’s business-centre and even if I did not want to spend the Aus $5 / half hour, there was always the internet cafĂ© 100 metres down the street.

However after vineyard-hopping around the Barossa countryside, we were pleasantly surprised that the whole China-Singapore match was shown on TV. So there we were, in a quaint and cozy Tanunda cottage, cheering for Singapore and wondering if we had too much of the Wolf Blass reisling or Peter Lehmann’s shiraz.

That Table Tennis Olympic Silver

The Germans have done it- so have the Americans. Almost everyone is using athletes that are not home-born.

Before the diaspora of China’s ping pong talents to the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania, there was Martina and Monica.

Martina Navratilova was born Czechoslovakian but later became an American tennis icon. Monica “grunter” Seles, was from Yugoslovakia but represented USA when she migrated there. The reasons for migration for each of these athletes are varied and different and ranges from cold war political asylum to economic pragmatism where Chinese athletes who feel that they do not have any realistic chance of being on the China’s A team left for places like Singapore in search of greener pastures.

In my mind, so long as a foreign athlete has taken Singaporean citizenship, I will root for him/her to bring honours to Singapore. It matters not if this is ex-Briton Bennett of our football team or China's Li Jia Wei of ping pong. They will be deemed worthy of my cheer.

It also matters not if the athlete came 10 years ago or 10 days ago, so long as he/she has fulfilled the conditions for national representation, it is not an issue with me.

Ex- Brazilian Alex in Japan’s football team? Ex-Kenyan wearing Danish colours? No worries- Let the Games begin!

That National Day Rally speech by PM Lee

I welcome further political liberalization as announced by PM, although they are mere baby-steps. Political videos on the net and the right to demonstrate are bugbears of many a civil and political activist.

We should see this as a small victory won and look forward to further and more important victories eg dismantling of GRC’s and bringing down to earth the stratospheric Ministers’ salaries!

How will opposition parties respond?

If they still insist that demonstrating anytime and anywhere is their God-given right and ignore this opportunity given them at Hong Lim Park, neutral observers would be justified to think that these political activists are not really quibbling about the right to demonstrate but just want to break the law ( or worse-they just want to make trouble).

This does not prevent anyone from using Hong Lim as a platform for even further liberalisations.

So the ball is in our courts now.

Want to show commitment to your favourite political cause and get some publicity? See you at Hong Lim!

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

NB: Amongst teams beaten by China and Singapore's women teams enroute to the final match, the following other teams had players with Chinese names:

USA: Gao Jun;Wang Chen;Huang Xi
Netherlands:Li Jiao;Li Jie
South Korea: Dang Ye Seo
Dominican Republic:Qian Lian;Wu Xue
Austria:Li Qingbing;Liu Jia
Hong Kong:Tie Yana;Lin Ling;Lau Sui Fei


family man said...

nah - I totally disagree with the govt spending our hard earned reserves, I know not how many millions - and how many more in future - on this venture - when Vivian bala is quibbling over $300 or $400 for senior citizens.
It is frivolous and should stop!
If some private party want to donate - go ahead, but I rather the govt give a stipend to those old ladies over 60 instead of seeing them collecting cardboard.
No welfare for old folks, no 'welfare' for China QUITTERS who can't make it to China first team.

Anonymous said...


"But the most dangerous of the trio is China-born Dang Ye Seo, who is representing Korea at the Olympics for the first time since she received citizenship last year.

The 27-year-old, formerly known as Tang Na in China, defeated Singapore's Feng and Wang in the women's team semi-finals at the China Open in May."

Even a china woman adopt a Korean name, how about Li JiaWei ?
She should be renamed Lee JiaQian
meaning Lee Add money. As to who Lee add the money to, I won't have to elaborate, right ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Huang;

read this piece and your articles to the presses.

Like to say that my sentiment goes with Ryan Huang in Voices Today, Thursday 21 August 2008, Page 34, Caption 'They are catalysts.

Personally, I think if glory is what we want or need, then Singapore can have two Chinese Diving Stars and four gold medals(Olympic) quite easily.


Anonymous said...

Money can buy world class sport talent, but our money cannot buy world class ministers that solve our problems.

Uniquely Singapore indeed.