Monday, April 06, 2009

This Week is Kindness Week in Singapore

This week is designated Kindness Week and the Kindness Movement in Singapore has decided to extend the Kindness Week to 1 it is going to be Kindness Month 2009 in Singapore. I tried very hard to find our PM's Kindness Week speech but it looks like he did not give a speech this year. All speeches by PM, MM and SMs are found here : [Link]. I was looking for a followup to the kind satay man story which he told in 2007.....but no luck. Just to recap:
"Mr Lee shared how he and his wife were touched by the thoughtfulness of a satay man in Malacca. They had ordered 40 sticks of satay but the experienced hawker only served them 25 sticks, as he knew that would be enough." - Channel News Asia [Link] Kindness Week 2007
It may be just a story to you but for public servants this story has an important moral and will followed as if it is govt policy. I was eager this year to find out what kindness means to our PM in this time of deep recession but he didn't give a speech so we are left guessing what is on his mind.
After some searching, I found out that this year's speech to launch Kindness Week was given by Lim Boon Heng. This former union leader, a representative of the common worker, should know what kindness is about. Given we are in a severe recession, I thought he would talk about how employers should treat employees with kindness and try not to retrench ....but he didn't. He spent most of his speech explaining why people should not say unkind things to executives who receive high bonuses. [Link] and that bonus is should not be a dirty word. Of course bonus is not a dirty word....we all know the dirty word in Singapore is welfare. Our former union leader feels that people should not mistake a bonus as "somebody getting something extra and undeserved and out of line with the current economic situation". Sure....I think Lim Boon Heng is only being fair - when a lowly worker gets retrenched, he deserves it is only fair when a CEO gets $20M, he too is getting what he deserves. Basically, Lim Boon Heng is saying people get what they deserve - no more no less under the system the PAP govt has created and embraced. Let us not have our emotions get the better of us and think with a clear head. It is time for people to be kind and considerate towards those with high bonuses and not be resentful......
I'm so glad this ex-union leader gave us his frank views on bonuses - be it 8 months or $20M...the system we have today allocate all these fairly and the is no point getting angry and trying to change things. There is nothing to change and the system is fine. ...


Anonymous said...

Of course the system is fine. As long as there are 50% walkovers, 66% mandate and 98% seats for PAP at every election.

And this will be fine for a long, long time, if not forever.

sgcitizen said...

hi lucky, you've forgotten to mentioned that we must be kind to foreigners as well, on top of the being kind to CEOs/MPs/etc

Sgcynic said...

I think Lim Boon was being kind. He didn't use words like "lesser mortals" being "green-eyed with envy" over bonuses.

Anonymous said...

We are being very kind to our leaders.

Why else would we allow a Prime Minister to be hand-held by 2 DPMs, 2 SMs, 1 Minister without Portofolio and 1 MM??

Oh begins from the very top!

Anonymous said...

i think we were more than kind. we have attained enlightment. Cus we gd souls:
- are obedient
- allowed MPs to get gd salaries
- let elites retire in sg while we retire ourselves in JB
- forgave them when they let mas selamat escape
- do not embarass them in public when they say the wrong things
- let them be yaya with walkovers
- do not protest in the streets

Omg. we are saints.

continuously-amazed-at-what-sg-politicians-say said...

"He spent most of his speech explaining why people should not say unkind things to executives who receive high bonuses."

oh my..lim boon heng shd tell this to Obama in the face. see who gets screwed.

IMH Patient said...

every campaign should have a role model. speak mandarin campaign has the angmo family

the bestest model for kindness movement 2009 must surely be our most wise, most talented, most kind LEADERS!!

yep, a few examples and you’ll be thoroughly convinced:

our president was kind enough to explain to us that he was consulted, that he thought about it for eleven days, that he gave approval for the use of the reserves. and all this while we thought he had nathing to do.

our highly acclaimed ceo of temasek was kind enough to step aside for a successor during the worst and deepest of global economic crisis. And who could forget teo ho pin’s stupendous act of kindness in investing town council funds on our behalf. Now, everyone give a slap on your hand ‘cos we forgot to say “thank you” to ah teo. Naughty, naughty!

vivian was so kind to give a humongous increase of $30 per month to destitute citizens. That’s a hugh hugh $3,600 more every ten years for the destitute but much less than what the minister earns in a day. Such kindness!

raymond was exceedingly kind to explain that the price of oil has got nothing to do with increase in public transport fares. Yep, absolutely nothing; price of rice or ice-cream, maybe, but most definitely not the price of oil.

and the khaw was kind enough to tell you that you’ve the option of putting your aged parents in jb. Soon, if he’s really really in the kind mood, we’ll have the option of nursing homes in Rwanda, North Korea, Siberia.

our leaders are very kind to each other too – remember the mas selamat incident, the kindness and love that wong ks received from his boss and colleagues. You could actually feel the love oozing from the main stream media’s reports….ooohh!

kindness to citizens, kindness to each other, now did we leave out anything?

awwww, how unkind of us not to remember our leaders’ kindness to foreigners. Some of them get to stay in Serangoon Gardens and all of them are constantly hailed by our leaders as talents. Hell, kindness overflows, go to NUS or NTU and see the numbers there on generous scholarships.

Many examples abound but I shall be kind and stop here.

you folks kindly contribute.

All hail our kind leaders!!

Anonymous said...

They also very kind to one very old Singaporean Ah Peh, already 85 but still give him job and a few million dollars a year to boot !Where got so kind like this in other country ??

Anonymous said...

I thought IMH Patient created the joke of the day until someone told me about this article written by one Ahmad Mustapha, said to be a nephew of Mahathir LINK.

Anonymous said...

Read a story in ST today about Mr. Singh who had a heart attack and many people just walked by without offering any help. I gues he was unlucky his heart attack did not fall within this "Kindness Week@. Poor Mr Singh!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Bonus" is not a dirty word
"Welfare" is THE dirty Word

Ghost said...

What Kindness Week, Kindness Movement, or Kindness Month 2009? This is Singapore where it's every man for himself. Who cares? Expecting Singaporeans to be kind is like...expecting our leaders to be kind.

Anonymous said...

Now we are also very 'kind' to Filipinos.

We are giving 5000 new jobs to the Philippines.

Anonymous said...

The saddest conclusion is that we have a bunch of "leaders" who has no clue what kindness mean. Remember the poor girl that could not afford her kindergarten school fee and the social worker had to fork out the school fee with his own money... This should be the story that PM and Lim Boon Heng should tell in their speech. But, I think they may not even be aware or couldn't care less about it. May be they think that the act by the social worker is stupid instead of being kind???

In any case, I have not heard any respond in the media that any government agency has taken any action on this. I may have missed it out.

Anonymous said...

Once again, in relation to Kindness, I reiterate:

无作东,无作西,收民钱,chiak liao bee



When will sinkies wake up their idea?

When will they get their sense of proportion right?

Anonymous said...

The Dirty Word


The Kind Word


Anonymous said...

see what happen in Mal.
If u do not want to be nice to people, nxt time it may be too late.

sgcynic said...

'People should not mistake a bonus as "somebody getting something extra and undeserved and out of line with the current economic situation".'

In the unfortunate episode, the "leaders" were not upfront. From the beginning, there was no explanation (claim) of a bonus as part of the totality of a renumeration package. Instead the tactic was first to avoid the issue, next come up with flimsy (contradictory) reasons, and then stonewall and bury it's existence altogether. :(

It's hard to be kind when there's absence of trust, or worse, when mistrust sets in. If an issue is brought out in the open, you have to be frank and honest. Seek to convince the pubic that what has been done is above board and justified, not pull the wool over their eyes (unless you have something to hide). You will not convince all, but at least you would not end up distancing some like what has happened. Sometimes the way to win in politics is not to earn political capital but is to not lose political capital. IMHO

Anonymous said...

If u do not want to be kind to people now, u may not hv a chance to do so in future.
Be prepared and start now.

Anonymous said...

it is also very kind to let households earning less than $8k a month buy a hdb flat costing over $700k.

very kind indeed. i just hope they will extend the same kindness these pple default on their housing loans.

Anonymous said...

"The history of mankind is a history of the subjugation and exploitation of a great majority of people by an elite few by what has been appropriately termed the 'ruling class'. The ruling class has many manifestations. It can take the form of a religious orthodoxy, a monarchy, a dictatorship of the proletariat, outright fascism, or, in the case of the United States, corporate statism...In each instance the ruling class relies on academics, scholars and 'experts' to legitimize and provide moral authority for its hegemony over the masses." : Ed Crane

Anonymous said...

Actually I am not happy with PAP.

But there is no denying that PAP is very kind to foreigners,and they are praised every where.

It is also true,for the Chinese,Indains,Myamnese,Philippinos,Vietnamese,Indonesians ,etc

Perhaps PAP is the pioneer in re-defining KINDNESS,like a kind dad who gives all his attnetion to poor kids but didn't bother about his own kids.

Nothing is absolute you know,not black and white.