Thursday, 22 January 2009

Who is the Boss?

I do not hate civil servants. I dislike the way they work. I dislike their mentality. Are they above us because they are working for the Government and their Boss is a Minister? They behave as if they have a mandate from the Emperor. Get your facts right.

This is what Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo put on his FaceBook account. His employer is the people of Singapore. That makes the ordinary Singaporean his Boss.


And if the ordinary Singaporean is your Boss's Boss, then you better treat us like one.

I was invited to the Police Day Parade and when the Commissioner of Police Khoo Boon Hui arrived, everyone was asked to stand. I was the only one remained seated. Why should I stand for a civil servant, I don't care if he's a top ranking one. His salary is paid for by the people's taxes. I am his Boss.

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong told the grassroot organisers of Mountbatten constituency, do not ask the people to stand when he enters. No need.

Compared to their Bosses, Singapore leaders SM Goh and his colleagues are such humble people (well, not every one of them). They always approach the people with smiles and an outstretched right hand. How do I know?

Whenever I meet our leaders, I never offer my hand first. It is always them who take the first step, even PM Lee. I know my rights. And when there is eye contact from afar, they smile and nod. I'm not talking MPs, they are Ministers Ng Eng Hen, Teo Chee Hean and Vivian Balakrishnan. I almost fell when Minister Ng Eng Hen smiled at me because the people around him told me he's a tough guy.


EastCoastLife and son hugging SM Goh and with MP Lim Biow Chuan

Yet when I attend public seminars, the front seats are all taken by top civil servants. "These seats are reserved, go sit behind."

And they see the ordinary Singaporeans as transparent even when we walk past them, talking and laughing among themselves. Not so much as a smile, not a nod, just disdain. Yeah, we are the peasants to them.

Why are they getting the best seats? They should be the ones sitting behind. Is this call engagement by the Government? This is civil servant mentality at work.

And Lucian Teo bashed me, his boss' Boss. His balls are bigger than his boss' balls.



10 comments:

iwanefka said...

It's people like you who makes governing such a tough and unappreciated job.

Have it ever occurred to you that it is them who brought you all the peace, freedom, prosperity, security, economical stability, happiness, your house and everything you take for granted? Learn to respect your leaders, you unappreciative bitch.

lina said...

from the comment above, I am assuming that normal Singaporean other than Government officials have no say or no involvement in creating peace and harmony in the country? Then, everyone should join the government. No need to do business and no need to join the private sector!
Kow tow to Government officials now!

lina

老哥 said...

Iwanefka might be an imposter... trying to create problems.

There is no need to get serious on online messages.

Back2Nature said...

Boss' Boss is quite different from Dad's Dad. Thus the logic that as we respect our dad, we respect our dad's dad even more.

Here, it is not about respect. It is more about rice bowl (doesn't matter if it is the rice they need or the bowl they need).

MPs are supposed to be elected by the people, while civil servants aren't. Whoever being elected or appointed to be the Minister doesn't affect the civil servants, isn't it? Thus, why do they need to care about their Boss' Boss?

Yes, there are good MPs who do their job well not for the rice nor the bowl, but for the people.

kingfisher said...

Once upon a time in the 1960's, I was at a University Freshmen Ceremony and LKY, then the PM, was the Guest of Honour. Then, the climate in the University was hostile to him due to the academic freedom movement that was going on. When he walked in with his entourage, the front row of lecturers and student's union leaders and academic staff refused to stand up at first, but reluctantly did so when the rest of the people in the big theatre were all standing. LKY took the microphone and admonished them all, telling them that he expected them to observe basic decorums of courtesy and civilised behaviour! You just can't beat him. I believe all those who defied him were blacklisted and victimised whenever the excuse arose. You could lose your tenure, your suitability cert, your scholarship or bursary or what they have on you. If you're a foreign student, you could be send back.

kingfisher said...

Once upon a time in the 1960's, I was at a University Freshmen Ceremony and LKY, then the PM, was the Guest of Honour. Then, the climate in the University was hostile to him due to the academic freedom movement that was going on. When he walked in with his entourage, the front row of lecturers and student's union leaders and academic staff refused to stand up at first, but reluctantly did so when the rest of the people in the big theatre were all standing. LKY took the microphone and admonished them all, telling them that he expected them to observe basic decorums of courtesy and civilised behaviour! You just can't beat him. I believe all those who defied him were blacklisted and victimised whenever the excuse arose. You could lose your tenure, your suitability cert, your scholarship or bursary or what they have on you. If you're a foreign student, you could be send back.

Timothy said...

Listen Iwanefka,

The reason we have peace, freedom, prosperity, security etc is all due to the people of Singapore being hardworking and willingness to work together for the common good of the country. Inspite of the many mistakes made by you, the civil servants, we are willing to look the other way as long as you are working for the common good of the country. NEVER think that you are better than the people, just because you have gd grades n some ministers put you on a pedestal n give you big salaries. If the people do not vote PAP in, do you think you are still around? WAKE UP you bloody idea!!

Mitchell said...

Honestly, from the viewpoint of a common decent citizen, not standing up for a guest-of-honour merely reflects a serious lack of basic respect for someone who's achieved something. RESPECT. Think about it, beneath the arguments simply lies a thinly veiled lack of respect for a certain group of people.

The Commissioner didn't ask you to stand - standing is a mark of respect given to him due to his authority in the organisation's parade. It's HIS organisation's parade, not yours. Furthermore it's a UNIFORMED organisation, where some form of regimentation is required.

It's simply social convention to stand! And saying you're his Boss is completely ridiculous. Really. You're just one person in the 'citizens of Singapore' group. Actually, so are civil servants.

Top civil servants sitting at the front a huge problem?.. I wouldn't expect to sit at the front in a private seminar either, where business leaders would naturally take the front seats. They have the higher status in those situations.

I understand your immense frustration at the cold and arrogant people at the top. Unfortunately, this is life, where pride and achievement mars human decency. It's the same in the private sector. You find nice people all over too, with a similar logic.

I'm sorry but I don't see why you find all this so unfair. This is life, and believing in such an absolutist modification of 'equality' doesn't cut it in the real world.

the virgin undergrad said...

By the same logic, President Nathan or PM Lee is technically a civil servant too. Would you refuse them the simple courtesy of standing up upon their arrival if you were a spectator on the NDP or any event where the PM is a guest of honour?

Displaying courtesy isn't an act of deference. And perhaps it's time you learn to stop being antagonistic for antagonism's sake cos' it seems to me that you're just plainly trying a tad too hard to be iconoclastic.

Hans said...

eastcoastlife,

I have always admired S.Minister Goh is a very special way.

But leaders with the kind of humanity, humility and orientation such as S.Minister Goh is one in a zillion.