Saturday, August 16, 2008

The 'Nadim' syndrome

I read with interest an article in yesterday's Malay paper regarding this syndrome that somehow have hampered the intellectual capacity of the community, but of which its findings, though anecdotal in nature, are inconclusive. Originated from story about Hang Nadim, a young boy who grew up during the early days of Singapore, when she was still under the Malay Sultanate. Schools of swordfish were constantly attacking the local beaches and the fisherman and the government then was at their wit's end as to how to stop the marauding fishes from causing hurt to both themselves and their livelihood. Hand Nadim, a small boy barely into his teens perhaps, suggested to the Sultan (King) that instead of using (the rather stupid) the method of using his soldiers' thighs as beach barriers to the attacking fishes, why not cut down the banana trees, line them up along the beach, and let the fishes get stuck onto them instead. Of course, this method is so much better and managed to contain the attack. But instead of being rewarded for his intelligence, some officials, fearing that the boy will get even smarter when he grows up and then usurp power, then devised a ploy and managed to convince the Sultan to kill him instead! Convinced, the Sultan ordered that he be killed and his body, weighted down by metal chains, dumped into the seas off Singapore.

Summarising, the article is interesting in its observation that perhaps intellectual capacity is something of a rarity in our community. Or maybe it exists, but somehow it is not celebrated in the manner that is befitting of its stature, or perhaps our community is just too 'shy' to celebrate or give adulation to those with the prerequisite 'gift' unlike their open admiration for performing artists. Well, I guess the community do need that time to appreciate intelligence for what it is! But then perhaps, they will never be. I guess than, when that will never happen, the 'Wisdom of the Crowds' will never ever be applicable. Hmmm...

No comments: