Last week, a concerned parent who’s a keen magic enthusiast emailed me the web link of a blog owned by a Hong Kah Secondary School student who had recently been featured in a local news tabloid. He described this particular Singaporean youth as a "vocal, egoistical, cocky, bullshitter who is blatantly misguiding his fellow peers" with the things he says and writes on his blog.
Like, whoa… Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions of course, but I was very surprised with how extremely upset this typically mild mannered acquaintance was over the matter. Whatever could make this Mr Nice Guy so affected?
Following the provided link in his email, I went to Gabriellusion to read what exactly this secondary 5 student (who introduces himself as a magician/ illusionist in his blog) had to say.
In case you’re unaware, this particular young man reported that he makes S$5,000.00 on a good month, via his magic company which he registered under his mother’s name. Hence the interest in the local media since he’s only in secondary school, more so with his blurb about him being undecided if he wished to further his education after his O-Levels.
Click the link to read Gabriel Wong’s blog or see the screen capture below. You can easily right click and select ‘view image’ to read it in full size accordingly:
In essence, the teenager writes that he’s skipping school to attend Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad)’s 3 day seminar here and that he believes that the book in particular gave "the best financial education ever."
More importantly, Gabriel signs off with the following:
"For those who do not know, education is not everything. It is complusory to know your basics, build up your basic foundation. However, a degree cert is not going to make you a millionaire or financially stable. Infact, a degree scholar earns a average of 3 to 5k per month with the amount of stress they face everyday. How long are you going to work to get a million? Is a million a lot to you? You could get a CHEAP car and CHEAP house in Singapore and that million dollar is gone forever from your pocket. Be financially free! Ask me how or pick up the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki at your local book stores now! I sound like I’m rehearsing for a advertisement. Thats all for today."
Where do I even begin, really.
I guess I’ll start with the first glaring fact that he mispelt the word ‘compulsory’ and that there’s a spacing between IN and FACT. *grin* LOL. See, good education is important if you want people to take what you say seriously. Spelling, sentence structure, flow of thought and presentation… the works.
What am I getting at? Simply:
EDUCATION IS VERY IMPORTANT
Our Minister Mentor, the very clever and forward-thinking forefather, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, realized this powerful fact very earlier on and has always strongly advocated the positive attributes of a good education.
For one, my sweet adopted kid in Mongolia doesn’t even get the chance to go to school because his familly and community is so poor, though he yearns very much to so he could have a better life. Many under-priviledged children in developing countries do too, but they simply are not offered the same oppurtunities our fortunate kids here in Singapore are given.
On a personal level, while I’m really proud young Mr Wong can allegedly bring in $5K/month from whatever it is that he is doing, it is EXTREMELY irresponsible to make such careless sweeping statements which may influence other young people who may look up to him/ his reported achievement because earning $5K/month is very enticing to a majority of adults, not just students.
I’m honestly very happy for the kid if he really brings in the reported amount because he must be doing something right; it’s a known industry fact that not many working magic professionals can make five grand a month. So kudos to this savvy young entrepreneur indeed, for his amazing success and brilliance at such a young age.
But my issue is not about the legitimacy of the income this Secondary 5 student brings in as founder of the magic company he’s set up under his mother’s name, that’s for IRAS to decide accordingly when they come knocking on his door at tax time. It’s about what he states about how "education is not everything".
FYI, everyone in Concept:Magic is either a University graduate or an undergrad & there is most definitely a difference, working with grads and non-grads. HR professionals can also attest to that; and why do you think the Government is always advocating improvement courses to better oneself to be useful to society? Reality bites but a University degree is pretty much the most basic paper qualification these days. Working adults would attest to that.
I meet a lot of people because of work, and I can honestly tell you that I simply do not know of any successful entrepreneur who belittles education. While some may not be grads, they still encourage youths and people around them to better themselves because… EDUCATION IS VERY IMPORTANT.
My next gripe.
"RICH DAD, POOR DAD" DOES NOT APPLY TO US IN SINGAPORE
Anyone who’s really read the book and then bothered to truly ANALYZE its content would realize that what’s written cannot be fully applied here in our country.
We’re not America. We’re not Hawaii. We’re Singapore. Our estate, tax and governing laws are very very very different.
And furthermore, there have been many many financial and business critics who have come forward to highlight glaring misconceptions, exaggerations, fabrications, etc… since Robert K’s book was published almost a decade ago. John T Reed, recommended by America’s National Association of Realtors as a serious investigator in the industry, called the book "DUMB".
Lastly, I personally do not think it’s a good idea to ask a Sec 5 student for actual advise on "how to be financially free" though he volunteers this very enticing service *wry grin*
But that’s just my 2 cents, gearing from only common sense and logic. I’ve absolutely nothing against Gabriel Wong, he may just become a millionaire from internet marketing… I do see a talented future in that for him because he’s such a very self-assured young man.
What I’m totally against is simply him dishing out bad advice that is misguided and untrue. And yes, it does unsettle me when he acts like he’s knowledgeable in fields he claims, when he’s but at a point of his young life where he’s yet to truly understand the real (working) world.
I’m most probably going to be very unpopular with Gabriel Wong but that is fine. I’d rather do the right thing and voice this out at the risk of being called things… than to just sit here, do nothing and ballessly watch this blatant misconception slide by.
PS: If any of Gabriel Wong’s friends or family is reading this, I do not apologise for hurting his pride or ego. I’ve not said anything slanderous & have absolutely no maliciousness against him. However, it’d be great if you could advise him to be more careful and thoughtful when he lashes out advise in his blog in future, as there are many young impressionable minds out there.
Also, if you really love and care for him, please encourage him to continue his studies after his O-Levels Education is VERY important.