Philip Yeo is Singapore's best known civil servant. He is also our most vocal civil servant. ...a civil servant that tells us what is right...and wrong. He doesn't hold back his views even when our elite MPs disagree with him e.g. the bond breakers issue. He is fearless, rigtheous and confident. Just the right combination to get things done in Singapore. I'm sure he is a patriot one with a such a strong burning conviction that he finds it hard to accept the actions of those with a lesser sense of value. In his latest comments to the media, he seems to say the new generation of Singaporeans need to have a sense of value, compared to his generation.
"My generation has a sense of value....." - Philip Yeo
I believe that PM Lee and our current crop of ministers are in Philip Yeo's generation. He is certainly right that they have a sense of value. They sense their own high value to Singapore very well by benchmarking against top professionals to find that they are actually grossly underpaid to the tune of $1M for their high value work for Singapore. People of the generation before Philip Yeo also have no sense of value, I see 80 year olds digging into trash can for low value aluminium . ...these people should benchmark themselves properly with the old folks under pension schemes in Europe.
"Hire more hungry non-Singaporeans to come
here and they will add to our value system" - Philip Yeo
Although I become a bit confuse from the quote about whether he talking about values which is a sense of duty towards our society or economic value, after much thought I feel is probably talking about the later. Yes, hunger is related to work ethics which is related to economic value. I can see the importance of hunger - that is why people on PA are given enough for only 2 meals a day to make them hungry and motivated to work harder. I used to think that having the right values is more important - like honesty, integrity, piety, loyalty. A person who values and foster close ties with family and friends is not necessarily and likely not one who pursues money relentlessly. Philip Yeo is saying we are better off to replace a such a Singaporean with a foreigner hungry for money...and this will "add to our (economic?) value system". Philip Yeo must know what he is saying he is an elite civil servant who is hired to work for the interest of Singaporeans and he is not profit-maximising CEO in a corporation.
"I'm known as very tough because we all must have a value system.
Maybe I'm old fashioned...." - Philip Yeo.
I think he is just being humble when he says he is old fashion. I think he is totally "new fashioned". I think as our leaders show the way ahead by having a value system which is a systematic benchmark to discover their own value, I think many people are also thinking about their own value. I suspect my cleaner is also building up his own value system, he thinks he should be paid higher because if he stop collecting the garbage, it will pile up and we will understand his true value to us. See Philip Yeo is so right, we should all have a value system.