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Not So Shocking Now June 11, 2007

Posted by Ned Stark in Uncategorized.

Recently, I said that I was shocked when reading about the termination of Alfian Saat’s relief teaching. However after thinking through it I guess it is not so surprising after all, given the fact that such instances of sudden termination on frivolous grounds or due to discrimination has been known to have occured, based on anecdotal evidence. Unsurprising is the typical response to Alfian’s letters, and I must concur with Mr Alex’s comment that the MOE’s response, so far is merely a waste of paper; it is not dissimilar to an instance whereby MOE sends no reply. For more instances, one should check the ST forum for official replies (especially those by the MINDEF PR person).

 Anyway that being said, from Alex’s post and Mr Wang’s post, it appears that Alfian’s dismissal could be due to political or social reasons; or all of the aforesaid. Ned Stark must admit; all he knew about Alfian was that he was the one who said something about “Singapore breaking your heart”. Ned did not know that he is gay, that he took a picture with Francis Seow, that he had voiced his views on the marginalisation of the Malays among other things.

But having now had the aforesaid knowledge, it is reasonable, in the absence of further relevant comment, to conclude that his political leanings, sexual orientation, or all of the above, were instrumental in his termination. In fact a person who has even one of the aforesaid qualities could be said to be a “heretic” of the National Scripture, what more if you have all of the above. Furthermore, being vocal on an issue regarding race would make one even more “undesirable” given society’s intolerance for those who are not mainstream and the fact that it goes against the common mantra that Singapore is a multicultural society with racial harmony and so on.

 Of course MOE could probably say that he did not meet some requirements and thus his services were terminated; however in the absence of any further comment from MOE and by the very fact that the Principal was very happy with Alfian’s performance (I do not think that the Principal would be wholly ignorant of the criteria MOE set for the hiring of staff) such explanations are meaningless. The ball therefore is now in MOE’s court to explain why Alfian was dismissed in such a perfunctory manner and if so further clarification should be sought regarding their reply; namely to explain what is the criteria regarding the employment of staff and in what way did Alfian not meet the criteria.

Of course, if the reason(s) for the dismissal are related to sexual orientation or political leanings, then it would be reasonable to expect no reply or more meaningless quoting of directives.



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