Remain Obedient, Unquestioning, Undiscerning

When I was a much younger preschool teacher, still undergoing the early childhood development and education course at the National Institute of Education (NIE), my lecturer invited a guest speaker from The Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports (MCYS, now renamed MSF).

The invited guest was there to speak to us about being observant of children coming to our centres with cane marks. She advised us to report should we notice these.

At that point in time, I raised my hand to ask a question, the lovely invited guest, smiled and paused, for me to ask my question.

I asked, “If it is wrong for parents to cane children, then why does our government allow canes for the purpose of caning children, to be sold?”

The smile from the lovely invited guest’s face had disappeared as I asked the question. Now, it was replaced by a look of vexation and displeasure. Also gone was the formal English, which she had been using, right up to the time when I asked the question. Now in typical Singlish style, she responded,

“That one I don’t know! You want, you go and ask the government!”

Later, my lecturer came to me and informed me, “The next time I invite a guest to speak, You do not embarrass me like that ever again!’

Alright, Teach.




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