Sunday, April 1, 2012

When The Trinity Gets Holy

I'm not writing about religion. This is about Singapore's Supreme Triumvirate of PAP, NTUC and Employers.

According to Ministry of Manpower, it is a Tripartism of MOM, NTUC and SNEF (Singapore National Employers' Federation. [Link]

Is the Trinity getting too 'holy'. No, not as in divine or sacred or worthy of worship but 'holy' as in having too many holes. Synonymous with 'leaking', 'damaged', 'disastrous', 'ridiculous' and 'untenable'.

When I read that "Ong Ye Kung said salaries for drivers [Linkhave to be fattened more if both operators are to attract enough people to drive the 550 buses funded by a $1.1 billion plan to improve bus services" , I wonder if Mr Ong was speaking as
  1. Executive Secretary of National Transport Workers' Union and Assistant Secretary-General of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)
  2. Board Member of SMRT [Link] or
  3. Member of PAP Establishment [Link]?
The conflict that goes through his mind must be tremendous when he spoke of upping the salary of SMRT bus drivers who lagged behind those of SBS Transit. If he's the good guy (God?) to the workers, would he be considered playing the bad guy (Devil) to the board and shareholders of SMRT? Or has he the versatility to do both? Be God to both sides and Devil to none? Or has he to play both ends against the middle?

As much as some may claim that he's good enough to switch his hats to come up with win-win situation for both union and employer, I have my doubts. Something has got to give. The uniqueness of his position(s) leaves much to be desired. I'm not advocating that union and management must always fight each other but . . . to have one man playing at 2 extremes is unhealthy. It is detrimental to the union, to the management and with compassion, to the man himself. If one needs to sleep peacefully, it cannot, simply cannot, cut both ways.

Ong Ye Kung is also the head of SMRT's internal investigation team into the train disruptions over four days, affecting thousands of peak-hour commuters. [Link]

With so much prominence and highlight given to One Ye Kung after he lost at Aljunied GRC in GE 2011, I wonder, for lack of a better word, if "Pre-Nuptial Agreement" were signed between PAP and their new candidates? That they would not lose out if they fail to win in an election?

Or have they also to sign the 'Will-Not-Leak-PAP-Secrets Act' before they are put up as PAP candidates?

Doing the right thing? Doing the thing right?
Yeah, I wonder and so do many others.



At April 1, 2012 at 6:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will you trust any guy who is against his late father?

At April 1, 2012 at 8:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pls goggle under "World Class Transport" to read what has written by drivers' pay!

At April 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. (He) is Executive Secretary of National Transport Workers' Union and Assistant Secretary-General of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)

2. (He) is Board Member of SMRT [Link] and

3. (He) is Member of PAP Establishment [Link]?

If the above is not in conflict of interest, I wonder what is. Obviously, his single-handed multiple roles mentioned above is obviously testamont to this sheepish trinity known as tripartism. Singapore workers are indeed screwed deepest than deep or deeper - another world breaking record compared our ministerial salaries.

At April 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM , Anonymous Amused said...

Now you know why the current government is adamantly against minimum wage. When the government is the largest private employer (via GLCs, share ownership etc), its goal to maximize return is often contrary to the wellbeing of its workers. Singapore has one of the weakest employment laws among developed countries for the same reason.

When the government divests itself from these "private" enterprises, it will then be free to look after workers' welfare rather than corporate welfare.

At April 1, 2012 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought he was an INDEPENDENT director of SMRT??

At April 1, 2012 at 3:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial.

Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being.

The Trinity is considered to be a mystery of Christian faith.

I hope this clarifies the role of Singapore's Holy Trinity.

At April 1, 2012 at 3:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Singapore's Holy Trinity.

"Is there no else? ..... IS THERE NO ONE ELSE? "
Quote from the movie Troy.
Brad Pitt as Achilles

Singaporeans (Brad Pitt) want to know.

At April 1, 2012 at 3:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Brad Pitt (as Achilles) were a Singaporean Politician for the Opposition Party

"Myrmidons! (Singaporeans!)
My brothers of the sword! I would rather fight beside you than any army of thousands!
Let no man forget how menacing we are, we are lions!
Do you know what's waiting beyond that beach (Hougang)?
Immortality! Take it! It's yours!"


At April 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM , Blogger asingaporeanson said...
He's from the union yet he took sides with the management of SMRT against his own staff.

Well done. What a farce

At April 1, 2012 at 9:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is just short of one face to equate to the 4 face budha !

Ha ha ha.

He reminds me of josephine, speaks very well and clear. But all politically correct statement that are parroting their pay master.

No more, no less. Not very human .

At April 2, 2012 at 10:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

SBS Transit & SMRT Ltd are 2 separate entities being spear headed by a man from NTUC affiliated to PAP?

What will the result be when a man is expected by the system to be jack of all trade & become master of none?!

Such a simple theory being endorsed by Spore scholars being funded by taxpayers S$? The system isplaying to the tune of a supreme conductor! When power is in a single authority it all points to monopoly & not free market!

At April 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM , Anonymous The Pariah said...

Ahhhh .... but our PM Lee Hsien Loong said that we don't have enough talents to form two "A Teams", remember???

At that time, PM Lee's Cabinet had 13 Ministers.

BUT, BUT, BUT ... when PM Lee said the above, he forgot that he had 7 Ministers Without Portfolio parked in his office pre-GE 2011
(viz, LKY, GCT, Jayakumar, Lim Boon Heng, Lim Hwee Hua, Lim Swee Say. Wong Kan Seng).

Ooops ... One-and-a-half "A Team" is not exactly two "A Teams", of course.

Feed me to the dogs please.

At April 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon April 1, 2012 3:42 PM
Singapore's Holy Trinity.
"Is there no one else? ..... IS THERE NO ONE ELSE? "

Yes yes there IS! He is none other than:
(1) Minister in the Prime Minister's Office,
(2) Secretary General of the National Trades Union Congress.
(conflict of interests?)

The boss of Ong Ye Khung. He wears many hats too.

He also wears Zorro's hat (a ridiculous piece of theatre - I think he should have worn Zeus' toggles). The one who says "I feel rich" every month he sees his CPF statement (hmmm I thought CPF pays max 4.5K per month even if you earn a million bucks, and there is no monthly statement).

It's not a Triumvirate but a Grand Alliance or an Axis.

At April 2, 2012 at 5:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I add:

At April 2, 2012 at 8:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad that many uneducated and uninitiated do not know that in some other countries (even in Taiwan and Germany), union leaders are given seats in the board of directors to ensure union members' voices are heard.

At April 2, 2012 at 10:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Errr union voices are heard or acting on behalf of management? Other countries maybe it's so. Here I'm not so sure lah!

At April 2, 2012 at 10:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there is only one four Face Buddha. This one can take the title of three face Buddha lah. But Buddha is supposed to be compassionate and benevolent. I not sure of this one.

At April 3, 2012 at 12:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granted union leaders are given seats on the boards to represent union members in other countries. That's only fair.

The problem here is that union leaders are also leaders in the encumbent government, also are members on the board representing the management, and they are supposed to represent union members. Which hat does he put on when sitting on the board? That's where the conflict of interests arises.

This government is world recognised as business friendly, so where does that put the interests of union members (workers, not leaders) in the scheme of things. Sure the current arrangements here ensure that there is very little labour disputes (which is the primary interests of the government) but what about the interests of the ordinary joe? So are his voices being heard? No minimum wage, one of the largest Gini coefficient in the world, and the rich get richer.

Was it like this in the days of Devean Nair and Ong Theng Cheong? So if there is a need for a collective agreement, the person wearing all hats is the sole arbitrager? Will he take the side of where his bread is buttered?

At April 3, 2012 at 12:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the exception of five unions representing about 2,400 workers, the rest of the country’s 64 unions are affiliated with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), a labour congress closely linked to the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

The NTUC is controlled by a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. So defacto, it is under control of the government.

At April 3, 2012 at 9:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Government, Employer and Workers Union.
Singapore's Holy Trinity.

If the government is the union and the union is the government?

Then maybe that's why we have GLCs?
So the employer is the government and the government is the employer?

TV Series "V"
"We are of peace. Always"

Singaporeans. It's time to receive your piss (I mean bliss) from V Queen, Anna.

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