I quote from the article:
He thought we were fools, the way he abused statistics. That was why, I doubted his testimony on the deferment of Patrick Tan in parliament. Our ministers are increasingly like those elsewhere but wanted to be treated as exceptional. It would hurt our interests to accomodate them. If we trust, we must also verify. They know some of us do and therefore with certain policies, e.g., CPF and public housing related, they make so complex. On the other hand they are a paragon of simplicity dealing with large foreign investors. Even the casual off hand remark of the wife of a former CEO of Caltex then based here that there was no night life in Singapore had immediately gotten EDB scurrying to respond. With us they often try to come up with confusing or off the point answers which are basically absurd. Being Asians, we were often loathe to publicly embarrass them. Those days are over.
Here taken apart for what it truly was, Dr. Ng attempt at "lies, damn lies and statistics" in March this year.
This is the new normal which is very uncomfortable for some our leaders. The media keep having to prove their street cred all the time in order that circulation might not fall. Unfortunately for Dr. Ng, since the PM changed his position, the media will not hesitate to bring out the bayonets. At least they only try to lacerate instead of stab.
Whatever happened to honesty is the best policy? Just as well he is no longer in charge of Education. He could be seen as a bad example to our pupils in schools. May be I have been wrong about him. If so, I am forced to conclude that he must be lacking skills in numeracy expected for someone in his position who must handle statistics correctly all the time. It would be difficult to be competent if he cannot understand data and analysis. How was he able understand the results of medical trials in medical journals correctly when he was a top surgeon?
Political courage and honesty are directly correlated. Nobody is perfectly honest but to spin with numbers like he had is hard to overlook.
I hope the government will stop being an impediment to improving social mobility here. It is too early to be more confident because some "hard truths" are still standing in the way. It is sad that until recently, they were prepared to torture the data to confess what wasn't there. At best, I say they were naive victims of confirmation bias. Again, Kahneman had warned us about such pitfalls. It is pervasive but we expect leaders to do better.