Suppose I’m sitting for an exam. The question paper is in front of me, and I’m reading a long essay question. I’m uncomfortable to answer it. What do you think, if I wrote down for my answer: “What do you think?”
It’s a completely ridiculous answer.
So the recent Pre-University Seminar was not an exam for DPM Teo Chee Hean, and this isn’t a complete fair comparison. Maybe, you can try pulling off a “What do you think?” answer once. It might be seen as funny, even though some people might already get irritated by it.
But it becomes genuinely frustrating when this non-answer is offered multiple times.
I viewed parts of the video of the Pre-University Seminar held recently at NTU. I see young, eager, enthusiastic students with genuine questions. What sort of answer are you giving to them when you ask them “What do you think”?
If you ask me a question, it’s not a question for me to answer, it’s a question for you to answer. — DPM Teo Chee Hean
DPM Teo said he wants the students to think deeply about the questions. I think that’s quite beside the point. This was a Q&A session. Students can do their thinking elsewhere. Q&A sessions are for asking questions, and not for being handed homework about what to think deeply about.
There’s more. I noticed the students were also asking about opinions. What did he think? They also got back a “What do you think?” answer. If the students could tell what he was thinking, they would be mind-readers. If they could read minds, I think they have a pretty bright future in front of them.
Com’on, couldn’t he have shared some thoughts? Some opinions?
I thought the Government wanted to reach out to the young. I thought the PAP wanted to reach out to the young. Well, here we have the young generation of future voters. Is this how you connect with them? They can’t vote yet, but they will be in the next General Election.