It is still amazing that 51 adults have had their lives ruined, some sent to jail, others with careers hanging in limbo, and yet not a single soul has dared leak the identity of the under aged slut who caused so much pain. The school kids are not guarding anything similar, just the name of the top scorer for this year's Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results. It must be real stressful for a youngster to be placed with so great a responsibility. Ironically, the 48,333 Dragon Year born students who took the test aren't acting very dragonish.
The adults, especially those running the lucrative private tuition business, are taking the gag order more seriously. The last thing they need is to be black balled by the Ministry of Education. They probably have to whisper the information to enquiring parents on a need to know basis, they can tell you, but they will have to shoot you aftwards.
"We don't want to be seen going against the ministry's direction," was how school staffers explained their fait accompli. After all the teachers did have a surprise 8 percent increment recently, more than sufficient to ensure their compliance. And buy their silence. The odd principal may be busting with pride the hard work yielded results, but he/she knows too well what the Minister giveth, the Minister can taketh away.
So what's so scary about the Education Minister that his very utterance can strike fear into the hearts of the young and the old? Perhaps it is the unspoken atmosphere of oppression that is pervasive in our society. Try to get too emotional, and you risk someone throwing everything at you, drag out the case, throw everything in the mud... and exposed to (adverse) media publicity.
What is approved for public dissemination is that 63.1 percent of the school leavers qualified for the Express stream, a slight improvement over last year's performance. An express ride to a society of muted adults where it is perfectly normal to be kia-su, kia-si and kia-cheng hu.