Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Such arrogance Bilahari Kausikan

This is from Monday's papers and looked like I only read in in the early hours of Tuesday. It is now Wednesday.

Bilahari Kausikan is a very smart fellow but humility is not one of his virtues. He could be so much more useful and effective if he was more understanding and empathetic.

From the first red box.

I agree with Kausikan that this journalist was wanting. What was SPH doing? To cut them some slack perhaps they sent a rookie or worse a stand in who wasn't familiar with this area. I try too hard. Such ignorance from journalists is inexcusable.

On the other hand I felt his attitude toward the PhD student was wrong. Look, he got there by being in the good books of his professors, never mind that this is Singapore. If there is someone to blame it is the university and government who had allowed a political science department to be filled with foreign academics. Meanwhile our own political scientist like Chan Heng Chee was drafted to fight for our interests in the trenches.

The smart guy has made the fundamental attribution error from over simplification and extrapolation. Even my kids know better than this PhD candidate and the main reason is their family environment. Many readers of this blog are also much better informed and thoughtful. I just hope the political office holders are humbler and shrewder.

Kausikan has such a big and fragile ego. His self esteem is all drawn from foreign policy otherwise there is no need to be so unkind. We are all different. If people are ignorant, kindly educate them. There is no need to get hot under the collar. They didn't choose to be uninformed.


  1. He is an arrogant prick with big ego indeed.
    In fact, our foreign relations and policies are never publicly known to the layman.
    With China's rising, and more chinese new migrants who grew up in the post-communist era came here to start their new lives. What happens if a war breaks and we have to choose sides? Will the new migrants stand on our side or with their motherland? Will the old singaporeans feel the same way? Or do they have connection to their chinese roots, that they will favor China over America? Do we know? Do the leaders know? Or are there many "assumptions" here?

  2. Talk about 好人有好报...
    In his arrogance, Kausikan just insulted PM of M'sia with his facebook post :

    Usually, when you're an arrogant prick ... it becomes a matter of time before you self-implode ..

  3. i graduated from Political science so i have first-hand exp of what he is talking abt. Talking abt political science PHD students in the department, it is becoz many of them are those so called ultra-liberals. they believe in idealism like govts role in governing a country should be kept to the minimal, individuals can run by themselves, we should live in world peace (like a Miss Universe), freedom and equality, a world free of oppression, bullying etc...

    However, in the 1st place, those local political science students who have interest in fighting for this country's interest wouldn't be teaching in the universities in the place first. They will be drafted into the civil service, or at least working in think tanks and not teaching in universities. Like what you say: "local pol scientist will be drafted to fight in the trenches".

    1. so although Bilahari is unkind, but glad that he spoke up. Anyway, filling pol sci positions with locals will be a problem becoz a large proportion of local pol sci grads i know have no interest in studying PHD and going into teaching, they prefer to put what they had learnt into real use.

      Anyway, have a great week ahead. Enjoy reading your thoughts on issues.

    2. Thanks! You caused me to think about how political science is permitted to exist within an academic environment. Mostly the STEM courses sit well because they are subject to successful empirical outcomes. Social sciences unless you are at the interesting cutting edge, it is best not to remain in the department and instead practice your craft outside the ivory tower.

      In a way the traditions of academia and prevailing accepted and dominant ideas in political science circumscribe what is taught and researched. Also in the ivory tower they have no pressure to make their ideas practical if it comes at the expense of accepted intellectual traditions and methods of investigations in the discipline.