Where is the leadership?

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong makes a statement that many think was undiplomatic and is rightly questioned for it but what has the reaction been?

Instead of any critical discussion on whether the twice repeated statement was called for and a clear action being taken we now have: –

  1. Debates going on about historical interpretation and justifications for past actions and other distractors.
  2. Shouting matches between polarised segments of our population with claims of disloyalty and traitor being bandied around and even egged on by the supposedly neutral speaker of the house.
  3. Our Foreign Minister and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in damage control mode with the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments.
  4. Anger and upset amongst the Vietnamese and Cambodian people who vented their frustrations not just locally but in Singapore via the internet and social media.
  5. Parts of the international press and community reporting on this and reflecting the situation and rightly asking what the hell is going on.
  6. The situation appearing to be getting worse and not better the longer it drags on and is leaving a very bad feeling behind it with no closure.

And against this highly charged backdrop what has the man who caused all this done?

Stayed silent and has just gone for a week-long holiday!

Now we don’t know for sure, but it is highly likely that the statement in the Eulogy and the Shangri-La speech may have been written by some kid in the Prime Minister Offices who didn’t know his history well or understand the regional sensibilities. It may have been written with a scholarly diplomatic agenda in mind, as the statement was used twice in two different contexts, but the reaction was miscalculated or not properly thought through. It is unlikely to have been written by the PM himself but surely was read by him for approval, but he seemingly accepted it without questioning the goals or validity of their nature or if he did he himself didn’t fully understand the implications of what he was saying.

This a speculated series of events but follows how members of the civil service typically prepare ministers for public communication although I understand in the past the ministers themselves had more of a hand in what is said and done. Whatever the case may have been the ultimate responsibility for what is said is borne by the minister making it and it is his or her responsibility to lead the effort if a mistake is made and needs addressing or it goes higher up the chain if it’s a big mistake.

You can’t go higher up the chain than the Prime Minister so why has he done nothing?

In the past, there was protocol, accountability and a due sense of responsibility.

In the past, our ex-PMs are on record as having stepped in to apologise or calm matters where necessary when mistakes were made because I believe as leaders they understood their role included maintaining stability and harmony both at home and abroad and knew their words and actions were more important than their self-image especially in times of distress.

In the past, we had leaders who I believe accepted their role including publicly taking responsibility for the results of what they said and did and stepped in to correct the situation when unexpectedly things blew up regardless of whether they themselves believed they were in the right or not.

And in the past, I believe we had leaders who not only did this because it was the right thing to do but because they also knew it matters to build confidence and respect from everyone watching and accepting responsibility, good or bad, is what good leaders do.

So, I must ask… silence and then going on holiday while others deal with a worsening situation… what kind of leadership is that?

The world is changing, geopolitically it is changing, financially and in the nature of the economy it is changing and socially it is changing. In times of change there is uncertainty and of course, mistakes can happen as it is a learning environment and not a stable one.

In this environment of change and uncertainty, one thing you can find stability in is good leadership.

Leaders who you know are worldly wise and not just book-wise. Leaders who have a sense of the people and their environment. Leaders who can accept responsibility and get everyone back on track and moving forward when things go wrong. Leaders who unite and not divide. And leaders who put everyone else first and themselves last who you know you can trust, respect and have confidence in.

You can’t manufacture leadership from a book and force it on others like rulers do, there must be a spark within you that is lit through circumstance, enlarged through experience and then appropriately recognised by the people when the time and call for its need is there like true leaders in the past have been made.

So, are we seeing true leadership or manufactured leadership in action?

Do we have an accountable leader or an unaccountable ruler?

It is for us all to decide because it will be critical to our survival as a nation in the changing world we face today and because if we don’t have confidence and trust in our leaders how can we have confidence and trust in our future?

 

 Brad Bowyer

 

 

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23 Responses to “Where is the leadership?”

  • Asd:

    No one is indispensible.

    Sun will still rise tomorrow.

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  • TryBlu:

    Well, nothing surprising here.
    LEAderSHIP has turned into LEEder$HIT.

    So?

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    You cannot BLAME someone for what you say…a speech may be written in a way to enhance the speaker’s Intelligence and Eloquence…

    But saying something from the past or Historical shows your Ignorance and STOOPIDITY…the Father is an EXPERT in changing the course of History by rewriting or quoting History according to a Traitor & Coward to hide his Past to a bunch of foolish or Fearful sheeple

    But the son??? it is Pig’s Shit replacing Grey Matter between his ears!!!

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  • Perfect Aristocrats Party:

    His going jalan jalan after stirring shit just told us something, no? In case of difficult times or war, he’ll be the first to take a flight out of sg. He’ll leave his PLPs to take the bullets for him. And he’ll leave the citizens to die in the country where he’s called a leader.

    Some more while he’s gone into hiding, his PLPs still expect singaporeans to stand by him. What idiots we have in sg really! It’s embarrassing these PLP people still think they’re patriots while those not on the side of the kiasi LEEder are traitors (what his PLPs Tan Can Joke, Cal-Chng and their likes have alleged).

    Singaporeans, open your eyes big big and see! It’s with this kind of LEEder and all his PLPs that sg will be collapse one fine day, not because sg is under the oppositions.

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  • conu eat shit:

    When MAT SELAMAT escaped LHL WENT INTO HIDING for two weeks no sight or sound from him only LKY came forward and spoke.
    When Alosis Pang died LHL or his minister never attend the wake
    When this Cambodian matter came up he RUN AWAY AND HAVE HOLIDAY.
    What the Fuck.
    What kind of PM do we have.Only wants the highest pay in the land but no responsibility.
    WTF when his sister call him a DISHONOURABLE SON and A LIER got NO BALLS to sue her.Only bully small fry like Roy.He does not even have balls to disclose his wife’s pay.
    WTF why should I serve NS if this MORON brings in shipload of FTs to steal my job.Now we know that CPF and HDB is PLAIN BULLSHIT.
    This MF(MOTHER FUCKER)and his party should be KICKED OUT in the coming elections.
    WTF

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  • conu eat shit:

    LEE KAYU I MASTERBED over your ashes when i realised that you and your government supported the POL POT and the Khmer Rouge.You and your government HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS.
    May you burn in hell.

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  • HarderTruths:

    You would expect $G citizens to put people into power who have a demonstrated work history of success in either public service or private enterprise.

    People make sure that the doctor who treats them is qualified. Business leaders try to employ people who know what they are doing or can learn.

    Yet when $G chooses its political leeders – the most important posts of all, the majority suddenly vote for people with no prior work experience or no ability for the job.

    Even when time and again these misfits show themselves to be somewhat retarded they still seem to be re-elected without question.

    That is why in $G people get what they deserve sooner than later. Only a retarded electorate wants one of its kind in power.

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  • Mark my words:

    In other countries, when there is any serious trouble brewing at home, their leader would cut short their holidays or overseas engagement and return home to deal with the crisis. Here, our leader would remain silent and leave the scene and go away for a holiday.

    Much like when Mas Selamat escaped, instead of the leadership we were expecting, the leader remained silent and out of sight for nearly two weeks before plucking enough courage to face the nation.

    Or when we had the first serious riot after 50 years. Again, we expected leadership and there was none forthcoming. Not from the PM or any of our leaders, nor from the leaders in the SPF whose selection and promotion, like the PAP leaders, were based on their exam scores. No leadership.

    You will find the same situation if Singapore is involved in an external military hostility. The military scholar Generals, like the SPF scholar Generals whose selection and promotion are based solely on their exam grades, will hide or run away from the enemies. Like those scholar commanders at the Little India riot. Mark my words.

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  • Diplomacy the Bala 101:

    Whether it was the truth or not,
    The only issue here is that those words should not have been spoken. It was INSENSITIVE to say who invaded who because the parties are members of ASEAN. To be called the invader is not nice even if it were the truth. But was it the truth? If only he had the foresight to see what a mess his words could have caused.

    Some truths should not be spoken. Eg. If your son is gay, how do you feel if people talk about this truth that your son is gay? Or let’s say your wife had a son with another man. But you thought the son is yours. But it is found to be not the truth. Is it nice if someone say your son is not your biological?

    Or how about this? You are a dishonorable son. And during a seminar a audience posed the question, why are you a dishonorable son. How would you feel?

    Some truths should not be spoken.

    It’s the basic of being DIPLOMATIC. Primary one kids should be taught this. Else they grow up talking nonsense .

    Why that Bala did not advise him to be sensitive?

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  • A Garden in the City:

    leadership?
    cannot even keep SG CLEAN AND GREEN?

    What a GARDEN IN THE CITY?

    thats a joke!

    What are GOVT CLEANING CONTRACTORS DOING?
    What are NEA FIELD INSPECTORS DOING?
    SG is damn litterred and dirty from AMK GRC to CHANGI excep;t near the airport???

    who are the OUTSOURCED CONTRACTORS?

    WHY ARE THEY NOT CLEANING UP OUR ROADS AND PUBLIC SPACES PROPERLY EXCEPT NEAR COMMUNITY CENTRES,SCHOOLS OR NEAR MINISTERS’ HOMES?

    So,what is AGO doing?

    what is NEA OFFICERS PAID FOR?

    TIME TO WIPE OUT THE FILTH!

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  • Guess:

    Not bad brad, At least as naysayers u put up a nice picture.

    Might be pm’s best picture.

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  • lancheow min:

    damn tired of this lancheow min.

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  • TruBlu:

    @lancheow min:

    June 11, 2019 at 10:12 pm (Quote)
    damn tired of this lancheow min.
    ===========================================================================
    me too.
    everyone is.

    can we send him to the dumps?

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  • A moral king's renaissance?:

    “Right action is better than knowledge; but in order to do what is right, we must know what is right….Let my armies be the rocks, and the trees, and the birds in the sky.”
    - Charlemagne

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  • Haigen-Diaz:

    PM’s speech was one more example of contradictory babble. On the one hand the MFA says Singapore had no sympathy for the Khmer Rouge, and had never supported them. On the other hand, LKY’s book reveals that it provided US$55 million in aid to the Cambodian resistance movement against Vietnam. It also gave the first few hundreds of several batches of AK-47 rifles, hand grenades, ammunition and communication equipment to the resistance forces “spearheaded by the Khmer Rouge.”

    Hypocrisy knows no bounds among ‘our leaders’. What happened to the rational human emotions, like, empathy and caring? Are we so emotionally degraded as humans from the never ending human torment that we witness daily across the globe that we fail to see what our elected representatives have become, conduits for their respective political parties ideology.

    Why do world leaders continually think in terms of their respective political agendas and politics, seemingly turning a blind eye to the suffering and displacement of humans the world over. The planet is a living organism, and we are part of it. We do not exist on our own. It is foolish to think that we can bury our heads in the sand and get away with it – that we will be free of the consequences.

    As the world has witnessed before, casting an unbalanced and inexperienced leader into a world adrift is a recipe for disaster. Well, if he is leading the world backwards, it’s kind of hard to praise this person who’s leading the retreat from the front!

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Perfect Aristocrats Party:
    His going jalan jalan after stirring shit just told us something, no? In case of difficult times or war, he’ll be the first to take a flight out of sg. He’ll leave his PLPs to take the bullets for him. And he’ll leave the citizens to die in the country where he’s called a leader.

    Some more while he’s gone into hiding, his PLPs still expect singaporeans to stand by him. What idiots we have in sg really! It’s embarrassing these PLP people still think they’re patriots while those not on the side of the kiasi LEEder are traitors (what his PLPs Tan Can Joke, Cal-Chng and their likes have alleged).

    Singaporeans, open your eyes big big and see! It’s with this kind of LEEder and all his PLPs that sg will be collapse one fine day, not because sg is under the oppositions.

    The Pig Brain is doing what his father does best create shit and leave it to Goh Keng Swee to settle it while he goes overseas

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  • Karma is working:

    Time for old coot to wake up from grave and give his idiotic d*shonourable son a tight slap.

    What do you think?

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  • MarBowling:

    Karma is working:
    June 12, 2019 at 2:14 pm (Quote)
    Time for old coot to wake up from grave and give his idiotic d*shonourable son a tight slap.
    What do you think?

    Response: think old coot did try to get up BUT then his DSon has paid off those Bull Head and Horse Face with $trillions to prevent him from getting up spoiling Mai Hum and Holee Jinx Grand Plans!

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    “Histrionic Personality Disorder” – a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive attention-seeking emotions, usually beginning in early adulthood, including inappropriately seductive behavior and an excessive need for approval [...from Daddy!]. This is the type of leadership we have in S’pore!
    S’poreans who were the 70% voters in 2015 are the most dumb-arsed people who need to go around the region to see what they’re missed out after they voted for the Status Quo. Our neighbouring regions excluding S’pore are growing at >6% p.a. GDP growth & are enjoying higher standards of living not enjoyed in high cost S’pore! They’re having much better lives than S’poreans living in an artificial eco-system stripped of enjoyment & stuffed full of hard labour just to earn a meagre wage to survive in S’pore’s harsh economy. S’poreans have been fooled (time & time again) yet they don’t even know about it. How pathetic!

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  • What about their debts ?:

    @ Our neighbouring regions excluding S’pore are growing at >6% p.a. GDP growth & are enjoying higher standards of living not enjoyed in high cost S’pore!

    What about their debts ?
    A breakdown please.

    >6% ? Only bosses and top management enjoy only. The ordinary are not enjoying except more OT but at the expense of family time or rest time.

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  • Haigen-Diaz:

    @ Rabble-rouser

    Good to see your moniker, bro

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    @ What about their debts ?:
    Please do your own research & conduct your field study at your own expense. I’m not going to spoon feed you with critical info & vital knowledge just to satisfy your inflated ego. You got to raise your own intelligence level or die a fool.
    If you know your facts, you’ll know that S’pore External Debts are among one of the world’s highest indebted nations yet S’pore is just an arbitrage economy trading on intermediary businesses & financial services. S’pore doesn’t have any meaningful manufacturing nor any critical resources. Therefore, S’pore is very vulnerable going forward!
    S’pore’s high cost of living, crony capitalist market structures & real estate bias economy are all fragile elements in a disruptive world. Understand this & you’ll understand why S’pore’s economy is very fragile for the future!

    What about their debts ?: >6% ? Only bosses and top management enjoy only. The ordinary are not enjoying except more OT but at the expense of family time or rest time.

    >6% GDP growth in our region is solid economic growth, real middle class expansion & prosperity, etc. S’pore’s, on the other hand, is quite artificial (constrained by geography, demographics & the law of marginal returns). I’ll not go into further detail because you’re very blur! You need to up your game first!

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  • True Leedership:

    Being your true self is also a demonstration of leedership.

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