Sunday, October 07, 2018
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Amended letter published in Straits Times Forum
Saturday, August 18, 2018
The recent debate about Minister’s pay and mediocrity ( ref GCT speech https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/08/05/goh-chok-tongs-speech-defending-high-ministerial-pay-and-defence-budget-at-grassroots-event/) has made me realise that our present social political system, if not tweaked, could have drastic consequences.
1.About National Day songs
We have not had any new songs for our National Day celebrations for the longest time. The songs of old like Dick Lee’s “Home” or Hugh Harrison's “Stand up for Singapore" were memorable and iconic but why are new songs from new songwriters deemed not deserving of an airing on the national stage on our National Days? Is there a defeatist attitude by the organising committee who is afraid that any new songs will not stand up to public scrutiny. When will this change?
2.About Microsoft and competition
Does anyone remember when Microsoft was a near monopoly and regulators were trying to make the playing field fairer? I was amongst many who were saying that “Microsoft Office Suite” was already so good and affordable, why should we not it monopoly power? But after the regulators had done their jobs we were pleasantly surprised with a plethora of applications and software eg Linux Open Office / Google etc, which were more innovative providing better communications for all.
3.About Grab and free market
If our regulators eg LTA was short sighted and disallowed “Grab” from entering the market, we would still be complaining about misbehaving taxi drivers instead of enjoying benefits of private rental cars . Of course, not everything is easy to control eg bicycle rental schemes. Frequent tweakings are often needed.
4. About Salaries and motivation
Has high salaries of public officials ( including politicians) ring fenced and allowed them to innovate, avoiding short term criticisms or has it ironically make such remuneration. an “iron rice bowl” so coveted that these talented officials will ( perhaps subconsciously) do what is safe to avoid perceptions of failure ?
Is this what Mediocrity looks like?
Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan