Lying Misquoted CEOs

… calls Code 8, which it started six months ago. This is an initiative where it hires 70 of the best students from public universities to train them (because they apparently do not have the right market skills) [sic] to become domain experts in the eight areas it is working on. This is an accelerated programme as the graduates focus on the proof of concepts that …

When I read this in The Edge (blunt one at that), I did not know whether to laugh or to cry. This is such a blatant spin on the truth that the quote is evidently self-conflicting. I guess that the editor must have found it rather weird too and decided to add a few words to highlight it.

The programme claims to actually hire the best students from public universities to train them because they do not have the right market skills. Since I know some of the people who are actually under this programme, I have to say that they are most definitely not the best students from our public universities. In fact, they are far from it – very far from it – there are candidates in the programme who barely passed their undergraduate degrees and none who actually came in anywhere near the top of their class.

However, I will grant that it may have been the original intent of the programme to take in our best and brightest to accelerate them with the right market skills. If that was the case, then it just reflects extremely badly on the state of our public universities when our best students do not have marketable skills. I think that our local universities may take offence at such implications. Again, I would have to say that this is not true. I know many local graduates from both private and public universities. The good ones have many marketable skills, good communication skills and hard technical skills.

Unfortunately, I think that if the CEO is pointed out as selling vapourware, he will just claim to have been misquoted by the press – as our local leaders are oft to do. Our local press corps must be made up of the most incompetent reporters that are hard-of-hearing if they are always misquoting our leaders – and we all know that is not true. Our local press may sometimes be a bit short-sighted and need some glasses to help them see clearly, but I doubt that they are intentionally incompetent.

So, while I think that the programme is a good one, because it takes in some of our local graduates who lack any marketable skills and gives them a second chance by providing skills based learning through real-world projects, I do not understand why our leaders have to lie spin the story like that.

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Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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