Thursday, October 13, 2011

Special Treatment does not earn respect....

Several years ago when PM Lee Hsien Loong and his wife, Ho Ching, visited his son who was in Tekong doing his NS , he took the same ferry to Tekong as all the other parents. When he arrived at the island, there was no colonel or any officer standing at the jetty specially assigned to greet him. He had to find  a seat on the bus at Tekong bus like all the other parents to get to the camp. At the camp, he ate at the cook house, queuing up with all the other parents to get his food.   He then sat with his son for lunch on an ordinary seat at an ordinary table like every other parent that day during the BMT open house. How do we know all this? One of the parents who was there that day wrote to the ST Forum about how great an impression he had of PM Lee. Whatever differences in thinking or political disagreement we may have with PM Lee, what he did that day was commendable. Given what usually happens in Singapore, he probably took the trouble to indicate to the organisers he did not want special treatment that day.

A few years ago, I was at Holland Village queuing up for chicken rice and the retired minister for law, the late EW Barker, came and queued up behind me. The chicken rice seller instantly recognised him and asked him for his order. He replied that the other people were there 1st and he would wait for his turn. He probably understood that people wouldn't be impressed and would lose some respect for him if he had been given special treatment.

 Here is an example (see story below) of how not to do it. While old folks and children had to eat at an open tent, VIPs were put in the comfort an airconditioned room.  The special treatment was not well received by one of the attendees of the event.


Undoing community bonding

LAST Saturday, a friend invited me to an event organised by the People's Association (PA) at Cheng San Community Club.

The ticket cost $12 per person, and a high-tea buffet was included. In attendance were Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Ang Hin Kee and PA chief executive director Yam Ah Mee.

While I appreciate the efforts of the PA and community clubs in organising such community-bonding events, it left me with reservations.

I was flabbergasted to discover that the organising committee, judges, sponsors and other VIPs enjoyed their high-tea in a closed air-conditioned room while the rest of the guests had theirs outside under a tent.
Why was there a 'divide' for an occasion aimed at community bonding?
On the same day, across the road from the PA event, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was officiating at an event marking the completion of an upgrading programme.

According to press reports, he emphasised that the Government was determined to improve citizens' lives, and this included community bonding.

What happened was unfortunate because the grassroots leaders who organised the community-bonding event were undoing what the Government is trying to achieve.

Lum Yan Meng


Anonymous said...

I would think the "outside under a tent" case is still OK, politically speaking.

Most probably Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Ang Hin Kee will still win his GRC seat at the next election. Or will it in any way affect Mr Yam Ah Mee's career.

I remember years ago someone wrote to the ST forum naming a VIP PAP politician and office holder being more than an hour late for an event, without so much an apology.

But this VIP politician still won the last election and still an appointment holder.

So I think these are not really issues. Because there are more serious ones where it was not an issue, as far as majority support for PAP is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Some animals are just more equal than the others. Cest le vie.

Anonymous said...

It is only normal and to be expected that VIPs are given special treatment at events.

Just as superiors are paid more than their subordinates.

It is petty and pointless to question on these matters.

Anonymous said...

Right. Some dicks are more polished than others. VIPs have maids servicing their dicks while commoners DIY.

Anonymous said...

The more `special treatment' the happier the opposition.

Anonymous said...

It is a common sight at PA functions in estates to see their menbers cordoning off the VIP area and shooing off residents who venture too near to the gourmet food catered for the PAs and MPs

Anonymous said...

"...shooing off residents who venture too near to the gourmet food..."

For security reasons?

Anonymous said...

Among the bad apples there are good ones to be found and it is short sighted to be throwing the baby out with the bath water by focusing on the bad things alone.

Anonymous said...

According to Tan Ah Teck, the moral of the story is this: When you have to pay to attend. You only get what you paid for, in this case, food in an outdoor non-aircon tent. But, if you don't have to pay to attend, the sky's the limit.

DanielXX said...

In SAF the officers also eat in a different section of the cookhouse and are served separately. Nobody complains about that. If you serve the country in an important position of course you deserve better treatment.

The fact that somebody even complains about something as trivial as this shows Singaporeans really jia ba bo sai bang. Foreigners would really laugh at our naivety if they read this. For goodness sake!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Remember this is a community event. They have to be 'seen' as one of the folks, not separated.

Anonymous said...

Remember this is a community event. They have to be 'seen' as one of the folks, not separated.

Anonymous said...

I love it when they continue this way. Community bonding yes but 4 legs good 2 legs better must always be emphasised otherwise there will not be higher mortals who can say something like get out of my elite uncaring face.One must always make allowance for those who want to slobber and lick one's boots a chance to do so or they will feel their purpose in life thwarted.


Anonymous said...

Normal people would run far away from these disgusting gov-linked activities. Even if people begged me with cash incentives, I will not go. What in the right mind possessed that fellow to go anyway?

Just stay away from all these evil-doers and let them rot in their own hell.

Anonymous said...

I remember someone also said this " You must make distinctions - What is high, what is low, what is above, what is below, and then within this, we can have a debate, we can have a discussion... people should not take on those in authority as 'equals'". The end result? He lost his million dollar job.

Anonymous said...


With his past profile and connections,
the 'philosopher' ex minister will haves no problem raking in millions of SinDollar.

Anonymous said...

That is why i say: when you vote PAP, you vote for an elite to lord over you. When you vote opposition, you vote for a true leader who looks after you.

Now repent! You 60% daft Singaporeans!

Anonymous said...

Bonding is just a show. Look what PA has done to WP!

Anonymous said...

Special Treatment does not earn respect.... but it earns promotions, bonuses, etc.

Actions do speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...

Hahaa.. A philosopher getting paid millions? Yeah, probably in Viet dong. Don't think he can survive in the private sector being bossed around.

Anonymous said...

When I was in a local university here, an Indonesian student who was an engineering student got an F for his General Elective module in French in his final semester. One needs a pass in General Elective to graduate but the GE is not required for the computation of honours accredition.

The undergrad did not want to repeat an extra semester so he appealed to the dean and sub dean and the sub dean said that unless he is sure of getting at least a second lower honors, he shouldnt bother.

Long story short, the F grade on his French paper was changed to a D and he graduated.

So, I learnt early in life...fuck meritocracy in Singapore. It's a mockery. So I don't care if PM Lee takes a bus. THe fact of the matter is when you redraw election boundaries, you are by default, unmeritocratic.

So don't be beguiled.

Anonymous said...

No special treatment? What about the white horse classification in SAF?

You don't have to reproach yourself in that way. When you have politicians who take less than a month to increase mrt and bus fares, but are still pending on their ministerial salaries adjustment, and by the same person who is making the decision, then you are either unaware or exercising blind compassion.

Every Singaporean knows Singapore is not meritocratic. The fact that the PM is the son of the ex-PM and he made his father the MM, is as clear as the sun that it's not about meritocracy. It's about leetocracy.

The more they harp about meritocracy, the more you know it's not the default setting.

You know, I know, everybody knows lah. So, let's not bullshit.

We give credit where credit is due. The PAPies used to consider the difficulties of the people of Singapore. But now, they are overpragmatic and overpractical to the extent it's all about the money. And their money at that.

PM Lee is not exactly Steve Jobs.

Anonymous said...

If this is any comfort to the folks who got conned into paying to attend such events - very often the MPs who feel inadequate because they know they are only the sub-woofers or some such bells and whistles of the govt, meant to re-broadcast the party's message with NOTHING much between their ears to speak of - the MPs who separate themselves from you, rightly the BUSINESS END of hIS job and responsibility, so to speak, are really AFRAID to meet you for he has nothing to say to your.


Anonymous said...

YAM is doing what he is doing because he has his eyes on the next GE to be an MP or even more.

You see, in the infinite depravity of the pap's political mind, they want to bring in 'pop' personality to cater to the ah bengs and ah lians voters. The pap was well on the way to RECRUITING JACK NEO to stand for the May 2011 GE until, he got exposed as the philanderer that he was (still is?). That was a real arrow to the pap's devious plans. Then after some more TALENT SCOUTING their eyes fell on Mediacorp's Tay Peng Hui, but fortunate Tay withdrew despite being cultivate by an ex-school mate who is an MP now. Tay made the right decision not to sell out his soul to the devil, and I respect him for that!

Anonymous said...

I give credit for PM Lee and Ho Ching for not insisting on special treatment when visiting their son at Tekong.

Having said that, I am still of the opinion that selective meritocracy is practiced in Singapore. Sometimes, it is can be outright cronynism at work.

Singapore reserves, whether GIC or Temasek Holdings, are managed by the Lee family, the same family that holds political power. Many key personnel in the civil service or cabinet ministers, are related to them. One can't help but wonder if family connections did play a part in their career success.

Many children of our top PAP leaders won government scholarship. Would they rise to the top in the civil service the years to come thanks to family connections?

We also have a case where the PA is supposed to be non-partisan, yet the PA will and will only work with PAP, declaring outright hostility to all non-PAP parties. If PAP can call such behaviour as 'non-partisan', then I dread to know the real meaning of their version of 'meritocracy' in spite of PAP's lofty definitions.

Yam Ah Mee is doing what he must because he knows who butters his bread. Just like his own bosses did when the Japs came marching into Singapore.

He who pays my salary is my real God.

Anonymous said...

It's not about how or what people feel or think about PAP, their MPs or the way their functions are organised.

They can be angry, flaggergasted, don't respect them, curse them etc, etc. Or even hundreds or thousands of Lucky Tan blogs.

So long as majority still vote for PAP. If I were the PAP or the MP, this is what really matters. Let Lucky Tan or whoever say what they want.

Anonymous said...

If there is meritocracy, then why does every SAF personnel - full-time or NSmen, know the meaning of the term 'white horse'?

Anonymous said...

Know so what, but you are still not a white horse.

Got white horse, PAP still can win over 90% seats what.

Tony Tan can still be President with 35% votes what.

joehancl/PRAY, it works said...

Look at the comments here. All are faceless except one. WHY, people? Stand up, if you want to be HEARD. Show your name, give an email. Screw the powers that be. They cannot always be right.

Anonymous said...

I will put name only if I am a somebody, like some well known public figure.

If not, put name for what? Who cares if you are Ah Ter, Ah Kow, Bodoh, Botak, Ah neh or what not. But if what these people wrote are good and fun to read, then read lah. If not, don't read lah.

Anonymous said...

I've seen Ang HK on a few occasions attending community events and noted he's not one who gets cosy on the reserved seat. Shortly after his arrival and ushered into his seat, he'll walk around and talk to the residents.
If one has been to Cheng San CC, you'll notice that there's limited 'air-con' space. If there are many ppl, seats will be stretched to the basketball court where tentage is erected. Guess where the host will seat the GOH? Question is, did the GOH/VIP gets cosy in air-con or came out to walk about? I don't know because I was not there.

Anonymous said...

Then to be really appropriate, they should not even use the air con room at all! All should be outside and under the tent. I am sure the tent is big enough for all, VIPs and non VIPs. How many VIPs are there, compared to the non VIPs?

Anonymous said...

Misunderstanding. Nothing to see liao, move on please.

Anonymous said...

Today's Singapore is a tragedy. Seemingly wealthy but morally bankrupt. We have a very unforgiving system on the heartlanders and the people of Singapore.

One rule for the elite and another rule for the masses.

When Mas Selamat escape, the minister also escape. ;)

Anonymous said...

""Look at the comments here. All are faceless except one. WHY, people? Stand up, if you want to be HEARD. Show your name, give an email. Screw the powers that be.""

And I do not need to know your true identity of the content that you have made. The meaning rings loud and clear in my ears.

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