Feb 17, 2009

Singapore Must Think That Badminton Players Are Very Stupid

ST Feb 17, 2009
Promising shuttler quits
Badminton officials told him to become a citizen or leave squad
By Terrence Voon

ONE of Singapore's rising foreign badminton talents has quit the national team, complaining that he was told to either take up citizenship or go.

Doubles specialist Riky Widianto, 17, who has been here since 2005, flew home to Indonesia yesterday after tendering his resignation to the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) earlier this month.

Badminton officials had wanted him to become Singaporean in time to represent the country at this year's South-east Asia Games, but Riky said his parents felt he was too young to make the move.

'I wanted to stay and fulfil my dream as a badminton champion for Singapore,' he told The Straits Times. 'But I had no choice because the association told me I had to become a citizen now, or quit.

'My family told me to wait another year or two, but the SBA couldn't wait.'

Riky is 17 years old this year and the SBA wants him to become a Singapore citizen so that he can represent Singapore in the SEA Games this year.

And if Riky becomes a citizen this year, what would happen to him NEXT year, when he turns 18? National Service. Two years of his life gone. What a major disruption to his badminton aspirations.

So OF COURSE his family advised Riky to wait a year or two. He needs to avoid the NS liability that kicks in, when he turns eighteen.

The most convenient way for Singapore to win gold medals is actually to import foreign female sports talents.

Men are just too troublesome. If they are citizens, their sports training gets disrupted for two years (around age 18 to 20) and if they are not citizens, they won't be allowed to represent Singapore.

"Oh well, it wasn't such a bad deal, after all" Riky must be thinking. "Over the past three years, I got to play in some tournaments, I received some good training AND while I was still in Singapore, the badminton association paid me a salary every month. Even when I was only 14 years old."


Anonymous said...

"Singapore Must Think That Badminton Players Are Very Stupid"

But this player thought Singapore was stupid and found out it wasn't so after all.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Actually I think Singapore was quite stupid. Read my last para, I just added it (before reading yoru comment).

Anonymous said...

Ain't 1st generation immigrants exempt from NS?

Parka said...

I think SAF can make special allowances and take in soldiers above 18 as well.

Anyway, it's a good move for Riky if it's a move he's happy with.

Singapore Sports Fan said...

Hi Mr Wang

Riky would be a first-generation Singapore citizen. As such, he would be exempt from National Service.

Ronalid Susilo never had to serve NS either.

Here's another point to consider: so long as the Singapore Sports Council ties the amount of annual funding that a national sports association (NSA) recives to its athleles' performances and results on the international stage, and declines to give that NSA time to develop and nurture its own local talents (which can take as long as 10 years), you can expect NSAs like the Singapore Badminton Association to continue to have to rely on recruiting foreign 'talents' as a shortcut to achieving success.

Mr Wang Says So said...

If I am not mistaken, first-generation permanent residents are exempt from NS.

Anonymous said...

Yes, only first generation permanent resident are exempt. Second generation PR and citizen are not.

Anonymous said...

Actually if there are no mutual benefits, things will not happen.
But sometimes I think even the benefit to Singapore may be dubious or short term only.

Ever wonder why Gong Li (famous Chinese actress) was granted citizenship although she did not represent Singapore in any sports or contribute her acting talent? Maybe she invest here? Or her brand name is also worth a lot?

StupidGenius said...

If I am not wrong, even if he go for NS, he can get time off to go for training and represent Singapore in International Tornaments. Isn't that big a disruption to his training I think.

Orange Joo said...

Got this from PR application form online: "Main applicants who are granted PR status under the first generation Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) Scheme or the Investor Scheme are exempted from NS." Guess badminton players are not included in these schemes.

Anonymous said...

"Actually I think Singapore was quite stupid. Read my last para, I just added it (before reading yoru comment)."

Ok, stupid (you say one), but not hopelessly stupid :D

tiredman said...

I do not think I am very concern if he stays or not. It is a rich man game after all. I value any medals that are achieved by a local born sportsman as compared to a fake Singaporean that is being lured here for money. Just like the silver medal taken back to Singapore by the China Singaporean, I don’t even bother to be happy.
The last time I sat in front of my TV and watched for a full game was the soccer match between Singapore team and Malaysia team... I think it was many years back then...

Anonymous said...

Eh Wang, you know hor, Australia, UK, NZ, Canada, permenant residency is max 5 years (thereabouts).

Singapore hor, first approval is 5 years. Second approval is 10 years. Wa, 15 years, just earn your entire working life at 2/3 SG worker rate and run back to enjoy cheaper living costs.

Like that of course nobody wan citizenship lah!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang,

I believe first generation singapore citizens are exempted as well..

Mr Wang Says So said...

They are usually exempt if they become citizens AFTER turning 18.

Jolly Jester said...

Going for NS is just too risky for his career. You lose your form due to lack of training (relatively) and the risk of other injuries/accidents is just too great.

Anonymous said...

This policy to entice foreigners to Spore in the hope that they become citizens by offering scholarships, sports sponsorship etc is being implemented mindlessly. We do not just think they are stupid but are incredibly naive. JFK's dictum isn't cool these days. Not when the government's philosophy is that we move ahead together but you watch out for your own. My admittedly limited experience with sponsored foreign students at one IHL here is that they are treating Spore as just a revolving door. The essays ( not their public proclamation of appreciation and thanks to the host country ) that they write ( where they are less guarded) makes it clear where their true patriotism lies. References are inevitably to their motherland, quotes are from their motherland's great leaders, and every bit of news is seen from their motherland's perspective. In this instance, Singapore is the one who is stupid.

Anonymous said...

This case always highlighted our sporting issue - shall we focus on grooming local sports stars or continued to do a quick fix by importing FT.

To me, what's important is the mission of our sports council - winning medals or developing sports.

If they continue to see success in the form of medals, importing FT and following issues like this case will never end. (just look at Li Jia Wei, got married with a China rich man, dont think she is returning back here)

Is it a case of our local sportsmen really cannot make it? Or they never have the opportunity to grow?

Wendy said...

Singapore citizen has dropped from 95% in 1980 to 65% in 2008. That's a 30% drop in slightly less than 30 years! And most of it happened in the last 10 years. Give or take another 10 years, Singapore citizens will be a minority in their own country. This is not a figure that exist on paper only; Singaporeans can experience, first hand, the change in proportion in the population. Yet, 66.6% of Singaporeans support such a situation. How stupider can Singaporeans get? No other groups on earth - badminton players included - are stupider than Singaporeans!

Anonymous said...

Aiyah people, we are the suckers lah.. he tompang here for 3 years then think, wa-lau eh.. things turning south.. better go back plus of course the NS thing la... Crazy ah go BMT? Basic Military Training instead of Bad Min Ton ? Thanks - Pass.
NS Conscript

Anonymous said...

"Main applicants who are granted PR status under the first generation Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers (PTS) Scheme or the Investor Scheme are exempted from NS."

Wa, first ever official acknolwdegement that NS is a bad thing for citizenship!

Anonymous said...

Please la, for $1,350 bucks a month, I'll quit, too. Good move Ricky. Peanuts!

Anonymous said...

Actually I think $1,350 per month is quite good pay for someone who is only a teenager, and who has never actually represented Singapore before. Not only has Riky received free training in Singapore, he has been PAID to have this training.

Anonymous said...

This guy has not won anything yet. Over 1k for him is already way generous. Anyway good riddance, stop these foreign talent schemes as they fail in their 2 major purposes: winning medals, foster nationhood.

recruit ong

Onlooker said...

The system is broken.
But at least they caught the Mistake before it got worse.
But this incident does accurately reflected the mindset of most of our imported Talents,esp males.
NS is a deal breaker for them.
"What will you defend?" is a joke to them.
We defend ,they pretend.

This is Ironic, that is until we took up the jobs in their home country by becoming resident there with no intention of returning here(due to NS penalty according to a quitter (medical professional) I know).

Tan Ah Beng said...

anyone in his shoes would have left... 18-20yrs old of a sportsman's life is too precious to be wasted in learning how to defend a country he's not even born in.

Anonymous said...

Pardon my humble opinion. What to my mind this storm in a teacup shows is how much Singapore CITIZENS do for the country and government without expecting anything very much (you can't be a Singapore citizen if you expect a lot from the gahment). Surely the gahment should be thankful and be grateful to us poor citizens who serve and work unstintingly (like the pioneers of old as the Minister Mentor unblushingly evoked).. It is a propaganda trap by the gahment that makes us citizens think how much THEY (million dollar salary mps) have done for us. The truth is the other way!

Anonymous said...

I bet some idiot will soon write in to the ST asking our FT-loving govt to excuse the kid from NS.

Anonymous said...

If you want a girl to marry you, what do you do?

a. shower with money
b. shower with gifts
c. shower with freebies
d. shower with ties that bind

Unfortunately for administrators who have a tight deadline to meet and KPIs tied to yearly Performance Bonuses, the choice is obvious.

Anonymous said...

This comment is a little late but i hope it's relevant.
This Indonesian boy is only 17 and he has to decide if he wants to take up citizenship.
However, if a Singaporean boy who was born overseas and holds residency in 2 different countries, let's say Australia. How come the poor Singaporean boy has to serve NS when he turns 18 and can only make the decision to give up his Singapore citizenship only when he turns 21?

Anonymous said...

Such a waste. He is such a talent. Everyone who comes would want to be a citizen. One ought to think why he has not chosen. Because of SBA financial situation reported recently ? He is only asking for more time to think and see .... yo ...what the hurry SBA ? Stupid CEO ...making stupid decision yah ?

Anonymous said...

"I bet some idiot will soon write in to the ST asking our FT-loving govt to excuse the kid from NS."

So clever. I just came across a reply by SBA to two such writers.

"He is only asking for more time to think and see .... yo ...what the hurry SBA?"

SBA has apparently given him a few years to think already. How much time does he need?

Melvin said...

I won't say that they were stupid. Well, what else should they do?

Melvin, Download Games website.