Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Government New Communication Strategy
Caught most of this in the car this morning. It had caused me be deep in thought that I even wondered if I was paying attention to the traffic! Fortunately I was driving on familiar roads and basically "System 1" could take over as "System 2" demanded a lot of attention.
I wasn't so much interested in the substance of Min Josephine Teo answers as the manner she responded to them. Alas, the government is responding to the New Normal with a new communication strategy. DPM Teo a lifetime of plain speaking and the clumsy deflections of tricky questions will take longer to adapt. Khaw Boon Wan has always been more political and the better communicator but I have no doubt that DPM Teo is the more able minister.
From Josephine Teo over the radio this morning we got plenty of, "I like that question", "It was a good question" etc., plenty of praise to those calling in or writing on facebook.
Personally I think plain speaking, straight from the shoulder is the better way, but we no longer deserve that, and cannot accept that. We evolve even if we fail to grow well. Can't be helped.
In the past it was our resilience than our reserves and education that helped us survive. I am not sure we are as resilient but we have lots more reserves and are far better schooled (not sure about education). Then we thought too lowly of our capabilities but we might have gone overboard in this age. A minister praising those who asked her questions do wonders for their egos. We are often defenseless against unexpected flattery. What people don't realize is that soon the feel good factor will trump good substance. E.g., you can write a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable book on Maths but you are likely to end up learning almost no useful Maths.
Much as I was unhappy with DPM Teo performance at the Pre-U Seminar, I am also cognizant of what we are losing. I have to respect the man for still holding out but I think he needed to learn the hard way that it is time to adapt to the times. There is no going back. LKY was more astute here. He reminisced the past publicly but was also able to avoid imposing it on the present.
As I record in this blog over a year ago, and repeat it often, we shall gradually be like the rest of the world. Indeed we can only have a place under the sun and stars by being "cheaper, faster, better". There is no future in being a commodity. It is also the surest way to drive our best and brightest away. That is the end point of pragmatism without deep identity.
Update: Just discovered that this morning TalkBack Townhall with Josephine Teo is available as an mp3.
Posted by PengYou at 9:51 AM