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“We will not succeed if we produce young Singaporeans who are too regular, or too much of the same mould. That’s always the danger in a small country – that we become a closed system, reinforcing itself and gradually becoming irrelevant. We need Singaporeans with different talents and different ways of thinking, willing to test ideas and new approaches off each other, and with people from around the world, who will be part of what defines Singapore. We have to nurture more Singaporeans who want to do something exceptional and stand out from the crowd. If I had to boil it down, I would say, first, we have to nurture young Singaporeans who are more willing to question as they learn, to think in original ways, and to try out new ways of doing things.”
–Acting Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Straits Times, Mar 7, 2004
“(SIA) Pilots believe they are special, they got huge egos, I am told…I can assure you that in Singapore, when we decide that they are breaking the rules of the game, the unspoken rules as to how we survive, how we have prospered, then either their head is broken or our bones are broken.”
– SM Lee Kuan Yew issuing warning to SIA pilots at the World Brand Forum, CNA, Dec 2, 2003