Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ferry sinking: When not to trust the authorities

The Korean students were too "听话" and we are so similar to them. This is a good example when not to listen to the authorities.

We should only listen to them if they are experienced and the process is one which they have budgeted and properly carried out e.g., renewing your passport. In general they are no good for the unexpected. Consider the suicide of Pte Ganesh. He was an outlier but the SAF is set up to work with the normal recruits and soldiers. Ditto the school system and I have first hand experience navigating the system which is very trying when you have a special needs child.

In general the authorities are good in a few things which are often used by lots of people and the bureaucracy is usually lousy at handling exceptions. In this sense Singapore is not exceptional as much as she wished to be. Unless you have novel technology or a culture to work things successfully which others cannot imitate e.g., how the Japs queue up for services after the Tsunami, you are just ordinary like everywhere else.

But Singapore needs to be exceptional and to do things which others also want to but can't. For many years SIA did that with distinction. They still do but the marketing mix priorities from customers have changed and too many passengers are willing to trade away service for lower price.

Having too many FTs here is only a winning idea if they can be trained to work the Singapore way otherwise we will just descend into the bad habit of competing on price with a small premium on location. Why do you think the salaries of our fresh graduates are depressed? Cheap, cheap, cheap that's why. Meanwhile the houses they need to buy, the cost of living get dearer and dearer. Politicians must be stupid to think they can keep winning elections this way.

Update: April 18 7:45 am

Kudos to ST for printing this article by Andrew Salmon. Since primary school I have always told my children to refuse teachers' orders if they feel they would be put in harm's way. They will also not obey any stupid school rules. Of course I would never have allowed them to play school hockey had they been keen or even for PE. A Jurong JC girl lost one eye from a hockey accident. I am totally sure an accident like this had happened before if rare.

1 comment:

  1. I dont think our ruling politicians are stupid. So they cannot possibly think they will win THIS way. However, win they must. One truly wonders in what way they plan to win.