Saturday, April 05, 2008

Finding the future leaders of Singapore.....

A few days ago Straits Times' front page featured our PM who said he now faces the challenge of finding the next PM who has to be groomed so that he will be ready to lead 3 elections from now. It is indeed difficult to find good leaders for Singapore. On the right hand corner of the same page was an article about a "ze char" hawker who had to close his stall because he couldn't find cooks for $2000 per month and helpers for $1000. That is the severity of the labour shortage in Singapore we cannot find ministers & hawker helpers ....and we also cannot find our terrorists, one Mas Selamat who has been missing for 38 days. We as a nation have great difficulty finding people. If we cannot find Mas Selamat, we can safely assume that he has become a foreign talent in another country....however if we cannot find good leaders, Singapore is doomed. In the next few paragraphs, I want to explain the difficulty of finding good leaders further.

Where to find the next generation of leaders? Unlike the extensive search for Mas Selamat, the search for our future ministers is actually quite narrowly focussed - if you look at the current batch of ministers, a disproportionate number come from the top echelons of the SAF and others from the civil service - e.g. BG PM Lee, BG George Yeo, Admiral Teo, Admiral Low Tuck ? (Education Minister). Where else to find leadership but the SAF, where leadership is actually a career. Nowhere else can you find leaders who will strongly uphold the rules and defend the status quo. Some of you who have served your NS may be concerned that leadership in an organisation where the rank and file structure means that you're surrounded by more and more people who have to say "yes" (military law)to you as you rise up the hierachy will actually produce leaders who are not suitable for a society with diverse and sometimes dissenting views. Don't worry about that we don't have such a society and dissenting views can be contained to obscurity of the internet. There is no better place to find leaders than among the ex-generals and ex-admirals of the SAF - our outstanding PM Lee himself spent many years in the SAF. However, it was reported that these potential leaders are somewhat reluctant to join politics. Why risk their illustrous careers and well planned retirements (in the GLCs) ? The risks include facing public critcism and losing elections. Take BG George Yeo as an example, despite his experience in the SAF and leadership courage, he had an awful scare in the last election when when a motley bunch of opposition members including one character who couldn't submit a form properly, narrowly lost by a few % points. Had they won, his illustrous career would have been blighted by the loss. I really blame the opposition for this difficulty in finding leaders for our nation. If the opposition does not exist, there would be walkovers and assured victory during elections ...these ex-generals would be more willing to step forward. Just as they can be counted on for victory during war, they can lead our nation to greater heights.
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Unlike other countries where democracy means that leadership can emerge from any segment of society, leadership succesion in Singapore has to be carefully and meticulously planned. Our future leaders have to be groomed and spend time to understand the bureaucracy. Carefully selected leadership will help to preserve our system and ensure continuity in policies - policies that ensure that Singaporeans work harder and longer to contribute to Singapore Inc. Our survival depends on good leadership without which Singapore will sink - unlike in other countries if bad leadership emerges, it will be voted out, replaced and the country continues to survive.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

it is probably truer to have said....THEIR survival depends on GOOD FOLLOWERS without which Singapore will sink.

judging from the lay offs of ..erm...followers during the recession years...it appears to me that...key leaders survived( at the expense of non leaders) to keep inc going which makes me wonder...who is supporting who?

i think if we get the order wrong, we may not be able to connect!

Onlooker said...

And they still haven't found what they are looking for......
How Efficient, Glad that We pay them more for this :( sorry couldn't find shift zero.....

Anonymous said...

mas selamat is dead. dont gossip about him but pray for him

Anonymous said...

How do you grade our PM? No matter how you see, do remember, a good tree bears good fruits while a bad tree bears rotten fruits.

Anonymous said...

i'm going to bet my ass that his dear own son Horny Lee is going to be the next next PM.

SAF scholars are mostly sons of rich businessmen and MPs. You can count on them to ask you to find Mas Selamat.
They must be thinking hard how to spend the $$$$ on mistresses.

Capt_Canuck said...

I think the next PM depends on the age of MM Lee's grandson right now. Could be another case like when MM Lee was stepping down. He had to appoint an interm leader (Goh) to the nation to hold the throne till his son was of age to rule. So, if the grandson is not old enough, Singapore gets a temprorary ruler till the next king is of age to assume the throne.

Funny how they are recruiting from the army for their leaders. No better place to find people that will just go in a linear thought and not go outside the box than the yes men of the army.

Wonder if this is MM Lee's way of assuring that Singapore will survive in his image. When he knew that Singapore was going to become an independant nation, he stocked the justice and courts with people loyal to him (which could explain the PAP lucky streak in court cases).

Anonymous said...

Your comment about how a "democracy means that leadership can emerge from any segment of society" isn't entirely true in practice - if you look at "democracies" like Canada or the United States, the backgrounds of their leaders tend to be fairly uniform - generally lawyers, businessmen, state governors - all from upper echelons of society, and with it, come certain economic and elite interests. For example, the last eight prime ministers of Canada were all businessmen or lawyers. They may have different ideologies and not as uniform as the SAP, but they are hardly a "common-joe" kind of person from "any segment of society".

Anonymous said...

Apart from the usual qualities, you want a captain to be the last to abandon a sinking ship. One that possesses the detachment of the president of kimchi and the common mindedness of the first lady of taiwan. What it means is that if the rich ruler do not lead by giving up all, more wars and sufferings will follow?

Anonymous said...

the destiny of this country( or vision) has already been determined by our forefathers. it is therefore unlikely they will( or allow anyone) change the course of this nation. if so, the tried and tested selecting criteria will also apply to the next generation of leadership. he will have to be someone whose style, breed and abilities are familiar with the electorates

that said, the executive leadership is not worried about 'no men'. such leaders have already been inducted. but at the end of the day, what is important is that selected leaders must know to close ranks with executive decision.

in other words, subordinate leadership may disagree with policies matters and such. the final decision will always rest on a few 'good men'. so in effect, the current model of leadership subject the entire nation and the lives of people to a few 'good men'.

risky, self serving, potentially corrupt, unjust and oppressive or not, these are issues you have to decide.

now if you don't have an issue with that, then nothing much changes here. it is all business as usual and lapping dogs shouldn't whine!

lastly, i don't see the oppositions deviate much from the above model either.

Anonymous said...

What is for certain is...we will never produce an obama. The divide and conquer, the laws of the pharisees and a repressive culture can never produce such leadership.

The distinctive breed is becoming more evident. yawnz.

Anonymous said...

I tot it is the people who chooses the PM in a democracry?

NoName

Anonymous said...

Funny poster...

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/6055/bogc2.gif

Anonymous said...

Funny that I am just inclined to feel the message from the PM is that for the next thirteen years or so; no one will replace him.

Am I the only one having this impression?

patriot.

Anonymous said...

Years of brainwashing more likely.

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comprar un yate said...

So, I do not actually believe it is likely to work.

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