THE INTELLIGENT SINGAPOREAN

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When will we stop messing with the quotas?

Posted by inspir3d on August 23, 2006

“The KTM has never been a fan of manpower engineering ‘cos it seems that we can never get it right. It is therefore baffling to the KTM why the Garmen is trying to do this yet again in terms of training more lawyers and doctors.

There is a fact of life that the Garmen must open up their eyes to see and that fact is that the local pool of talent is limited. No matter how you look at it, the population is a bell-curve and increasing the number of lawyers trained doesn’t make the population smarter on the whole.” …more (KTM)

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4 Responses to “When will we stop messing with the quotas?”

  1. protoFC said

    When will we stop messing with the quotas? – you mean, when will the government stop managing us by statistical methods?

    Well the answer is never, because it’s too appealing to use statistics to justify a point. Statisticians are perceived as cool, rational and logical beings, they are the avatars of reason. The opposite of people who use terms like “synergy” who are often dismissed as fluff.

    The problem with the statistical school of thought is it’s limits and this is where I believe most practioners of this stream of logic do not fully comprehend how woefully inadequate it is.

    The Pentagon first realized this in Vietnam, when they compared the number of dead GI’s against VC and concluded they were winning on a ratio of 1:13, but while they won all the battles, they still managed to lose the war and like santayana said, those who fail to remember history……..so the same shamm bang is being repeated in Iraq. Why? Because one cannot really measure in scientific terms an abstraction like “hearts and minds.”

    The problem: key performance indicators do not exist for constructs like environmental degradation, emotional quotient or even to capture an abstraction like relationships and love, and. This list is not even nearly exhaustive, because if we go deeper into the genre of these “abstraction”. Then it even includes business acumen, innovation, creativity etc and soon the whole question will even encroach on the whole foreign talent issue.

    I for one am happy to see the immigration experimenting with non parametric methods which take onboard other factors except IQ and education as primary determinants of entry (besides I have always believed this whole scientific approach smacks of zoo keeping and eugenics! Puiiiih!).

    No one really knows what a paradigm shift this is from our previous approach where prospective PR’s were simply processed using a scientific process which was solely based on their educational background and salary.

    I believe the government is finally starting to buy into the idea – the nexus between wealth creation and academic qualifications is no longer as robust as it used to be. By increasing the spectrum to cover other non linear factors this is definitely a step in the right direction and I shall be monitoring it very closely. This is definitely a pilot program and if it proves successful, the same template will be used to reform and redefine our perspective of organizational and individual success.

  2. sporescores said

    KTM, if you’d read the article you posted, you’d have found out that an important factor why lawyers are leaving the practice is the stress and overwork brought about by the shortage of lawyers in the first place, creating a vicious cycle. You must know much more than the govt and the industry if you think there is some magic quota constant and we can import the balance. At least a singapore economist makes a stand about removing the quota. Do you even have a stand? Are you saying it’s good to have a quota but keep it constant (magic constant number)?
    Another erroneous assumption that you’ve made is that lawyers can’t find jobs when there’s a glut. Well let me highlight that in the real world, most people don’t have to be tied down by their tertiary training when looking for jobs. Just because someone is trained in law don’t mean that it’s a disaster when he has to work in another job. In fact, law training equips one with many valuable skills that are useful in many other good jobs. Even if you die die must practise, you can always step out of your box and practise abroad.

  3. Atomic Monkey said

    zoo keeping? Are you serious!!!

  4. mrskin said

    Great post, I need to make a blog.

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