Winning Loyalty

I am, what you’d call a late entrant in the area of watching Korean dramas. With the exception of a few meals at Korean restaurants and enjoying the odd bit of eye candy of Korean girl groups, I was never into Korean soft culture until the circuit breaker, when I found myself with sometime and easy access to Netflix.

One of my most recent discoveries was a series called “Whisper,” which tells the story of an honest judge and policewoman who team up to bring down a very corrupt but very powerful law firm that has built up its business in the arms trade. The most interesting character in this drama is the head of this law firm – main villain. He is the son of a “slave” who built an empire through brains and hard work. The man is a spider in a web of connections with those with power. If he wasn’t a character in a Korean drama, he’d probably be on the cover of Forbes Magazine.

The crux of the entire series is the scene when he teaches his daughter how to gain the loyalty of person to the extent that the person will do literally anything for them. His advice is as follows:

Take Away EVERYTHING they have;
Help them climb up when they reach rock bottom

If you look at this advice, you’ll realise that the man in a genius. Who wouldn’t want to be loyal to the people who helped them when they were down?

Every bit of “feel-good” and “self-help” wisdom tells you that the people who really care about you, are the ones who are there for you when you are down and out and are unable to offer yourself, let alone anyone else anything of any possible value. The human brain is such that once we get out of the proverbial doldrums, we’re bound to think better and act more favorably to those who bothered speaking to us when we were down.

The villain in Whisper is correct in his second point. We are inevitably loyal to those who helped us when we were down. What most of us tend to don’t do is to question the first piece of advice, especially when it comes to our “friends” who are in positions of power and influence. I mean, who on earth would even question the person who was there for us when we were at our lowest point?

Yet, its an important piece of advice, especially when you apply it to the current global economic disaster caused by the current pandemic. Most of us have reached or are reaching low points in our personal finances. Jobs and other sources of income are hard to come by, yet bills like mortgages need to be serviced. Nobody has any clue as to how when an economic recovery will happen and even then, it will be sometime before any of us see a recovery in our personal finances.

In such situations, we’re bound to accept a helping hand regardless of where it comes from. If you look at “talking points” and conversations that people had before the circuit breaker in April, it was on the topic of government assistance.

Singapore’s government was perhaps one of the more sophisticated in dealing with this. The government announced in February that was preparing for an economic slowdown and proceeded to make sure that the public knew that it was asking the president permission to draw down from the reserves (which is a “given” in practice as the president is “selected” by the government). There were also great pains to announce there were an unprecedented four budgets, which were designed to help us get through the economic storm.

It was only at the end of June, when the government decided to call for a snap election and it was only after the election that the government announced that the economy had been in a double-digit recession. You have to hand it to the government to timing things well. The first payout came in April, while we were getting used to life under lockdown. The second was in June, a month before the election.

In fairness to the Singapore government, it’s not the only one to try and pull this off. Donald Trump’s biggest political stunt was to try and get the stimulus cheques sent out to have his signature. Think about it – you can say what you want about the man prescribing medications he has no business prescribing and mismanaging things because the feelings that matter are not the ones that you talk about but the ones you have when you look at that cheque and then look at your bills.

Politicians know that we’re less critical towards our “benefactors” in downturns. We’re in no position to start questioning sources of money, when the need to pay bills remains pressing and money is a scarce commodity. Who in their right mind is going to question the motives of the guy offering something that you need most?

The saying that we should always remember the people who helped us in hard times rings true. However, at the same time, it’s also important to remember how we got into the hard times and the role that our benefactors may have had in putting us there.

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

 

 

 

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15 Responses to “Winning Loyalty”

  • xoxo:

    Hahaha!
    $600 for rock-bottom sgs!
    Is that how PAP is trying to win votes?
    Maybe but 10 pct from the 70 pct last GE(2015) didnt buy in?
    Instead,these sgs WOKE UP!

    LOOT BIG TIME FROM RESERVES N GIVE OEANYTS($600) to gain *LOYALTY*?
    HOW DAFT.( THANKS LKY FOR REMINDING us about how daft sgs/leeders can be).

    Thrn,afterGE,$cheme of more ways to collect more money?

    Only 60 pct of sgs still remain DAFT.
    But even if that is less than 2/3, it is ironic the PAP still has 83 $eats???

    The arithmatics is wro g!!!

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  • Sojoürner:

    Magnificent piece! being a fan of Korean genres, myself.
    Will add complimentary & complimentary analysis when have the time.

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Is this a TABLOID or a place to discuss TUMASIK aka Singapore… it’s Past – Present & Future???

    I can watch or READ shit & gossips @ Utube or silly Blogs not at TRE leh!!!

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  • Partial truth?:

    Truth is everybody need friends but the one u need to thanks is your enemies or competitors. Without them u wont excel.

    Watch the movie facebook , shows loyalty otherwise ?

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  • Don't Be Stupid:

    The person who help you when you are down is actually taking the money from your own fixed deposit and give it to you.

    Its your own money not from Pinky’s wallet.

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  • xoxo:

    And,BTW,WHY shud we protect jobs held by FAKE FTs like ceca-FTs n PEEnoys?

    Let them be naturally attritioned by way of current POLICIES of PR.
    THEN WHEN COVID IS OVER N *RETRENCHED* POSITIONS GET RE-INSTATED,JOBLESS SGS CAN FILL THE POSTS???

    OR,is the PAP more concerned with TAKING GOOD CARE OF FTs/PRs more so than our OWN JOBLESS CITIZENS?

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Watch “To Singapore with LOVE” @ U-Tube an hour-long Documentary on Democracy & “TRUTH” and how it was DESTROYED not the BullShit “hard truth” that makes one constipate…

    Support and Seeking for “TRUTH” is difficult but Love of Illusions and Fantasy is EASY!!!

    So…TRE… seek the “TRUTH” and not the Fantasy of Illusions for easy watching…I can watch THAT @ You-Tube and the many other areas NOT @TRE hor!!!

    Watch Ivy Singh Lim on ” Gentle Warrior ” @ U-Tube too where “TRUTH” is plain and simple and enjoy the countryside view we once enjoyed all over Singapore

    This is WHAT Singapore is all ABOUT!!! a Sea-Town not a Sin-City

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  • opposition dude:

    Only the silly gratitude voters would vote for PAP because they were given money ha ha ha. In this day and age more have come round to the understanding that it’s the government’s duty to look after citizens, that is what they were elected for. PAP’s heydays are over when they were winning elections with over 70% of the votes. These days they have to accept the 60% like it or not.

    If things get really jialat I would not be surprised at an early election. Voters don’t give a damn anymore and if retrenchments are coming in thick and fast I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a lot of anger on the ground by next June. So many out of work and companies being fussy in hiring or not hiring results in a lot of anger. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of us lost our jobs within the next year either.

    So all we can do is hope the axe doesn’t fall on us.

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  • Politicians help themselves:

    Ya loh, don’t be stupid to think the gov is helping you.

    Take out $23,225 each from OUR piggy bank, but give us only $600 or a bit more. Then, where did the remainder go? Somebody got very very rich from this “help”.

    Don't Be Stupid:
    The person who help you when you are down is actually taking the money from your own fixed deposit and give it to you.

    Its your own money not from Pinky’s wallet.

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  • Ali's disingenuous loyalty:

    Re: Take Away EVERYTHING they have;
    Help them climb up when they reach rock bottom. If you look at this advice, you’ll realise that the man is a Genius. Who wouldn’t want to be loyal to the people who helped them when they were down?)

    Just keep your smartass brainstorming to youself …. if you mati mati must write SOMETHING … like Pappies tweaking away our retirement savings to zilch???

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  • Cotton Sheep:

    Ali's disingenuous loyalty:
    Re: Take Away EVERYTHING they have;
    Help them climb up when they reach rock bottom. If you look at this advice, you’ll realise that the man is a Genius. Who wouldn’t want to be loyal to the people who helped them when they were down?)

    Just keep your smartass brainstorming to youself …. if you mati mati must write SOMETHING … like Pappies tweaking away our retirement savings to zilch???

    I think you left out the gist in Ali’s last paragraphs that people forgets what/who put them in the shit-hole in the first place.

    Tang Li:

    Politicians know that we’re less critical towards our “benefactors” in downturns. We’re in no position to start questioning sources of money, when the need to pay bills remains pressing and money is a scarce commodity. Who in their right mind is going to question the motives of the guy offering something that you need most?

    The saying that we should always remember the people who helped us in hard times rings true. However, at the same time, it’s also important to remember how we got into the hard times and the role that our benefactors may have had in putting us there.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Targeted help please:

    Better to have targeted help…more effective than the one size fit all approach now.
    The $100B support would have done a better job with targeted approach to help where it is most needed.
    More companies would have been saved and jobs saved.Also more individual that needed badly would have the needed help faster and adequate assistance.
    Should not have given to those companies or individual that do not need it…too rigid in the implementation .

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  • S100m per annum wage:

    our advice is even better.

    pay folks like keechiu and sepert S$m pa. they will lie to protect you by all means.

    no jobs for cotton sheep but plenty jobs for aliens? keechiu says need to hire many more aliens so that more cotton sheep can be employed. what a ffffing lie.

    very small HDB rental unit at atrocious prices so much so cannot afford many children because space too tight even to stretch so unable to ffff comfortably? sexpert says no need much space to ffff. another ffffing lie.

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  • beholdeness in asian voice:

    when then Mr JB Jeyaretnam told the cotton sheep then cj was beholden to then lee kuan yew, many knew he was telling the truth.

    alas.

    in an Asian context, unless the beholding or the beholden wants the truth to be revealed, no manner of prodding shall reveal the truth.

    moreover, besides twisting the true rule of law into abuse by having pap PA reporting the the secretary general of the ruling political party, the rules are also twisted to have cpib spf bank negara agc all reporting to the same ONE person.

    as if that ONE person can do no wrong. no shame. just ask Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Mr Li ShengWu for the truth.

    more than this.

    all judges, especially the cj, cannot be appointed unless that ONE person nods. so just by innocently saying something true, agc turns its publicly funded guns on truth sayer, citing contempt of court law aka do not speak truth when you know it is truth.

    so in a den of thieves putting on a wayang for cotton sheep to see, all with dirty hands all clapping at each other’s appointment in the den stealing sheep cotton.

    and 61% sheep all say, no problem.

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    beholdeness in asian voice:
    when then Mr JB Jeyaretnam told the cotton sheep then cj was beholden to then lee kuan yew, many knew he was telling the truth.

    alas.

    in an Asian context, unless the beholding or the beholden wants the truth to be revealed, no manner of prodding shall reveal the truth.

    moreover, besides twisting the true rule of law into abuse by having pap PA reporting the the secretary general of the ruling political party, the rules are also twisted to have cpib spf bank negara agc all reporting to the same ONE person.

    as if that ONE person can do no wrong. no shame. just ask Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Mr Li ShengWu for the truth.

    more than this.

    all judges, especially the cj, cannot be appointed unless that ONE person nods. so just by innocently saying something true, agc turns its publicly funded guns on truth sayer, citing contempt of court law aka do not speak truth when you know it is truth.

    so in a den of thieves putting on a wayang for cotton sheep to see, all with dirty hands all clapping at each other’s appointment in the den stealing sheep cotton.

    and 61% sheep all say, no problem.

    Very well PUT Bro…and may I add:

    “There is no level playing field, I get two eggs you lower Mortals get one when buying ‘Char Kway Teow’”

    LEEgal CORRUPTION…Plain and simply put by a Bastard accuse of Corruption by JBJ in the Scotts 28 and Jade @ Nassim Road…that was why a wavering and Beholden Chief Justice was on the STAND…receiving a taste of bitter medicine he dispenses instead of giving under ORDERS to whoever the Bastard says is GUILTY

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