Wednesday, July 22, 2009

That CEO appointment was too much for him to handle


Nothisyear was flipping through files of documents, hot and flustered, then followed by typing furiously on his computer. Every few minutes, some profanities were sputtered. Meanwhile, someone knocked on his door and walked in. Nothisyear looked up and found Ah Tan.

AH TAN: Wow, pal, you look like shit!
NOTHISYEAR (signed): Damn, you're telling me! Tan, I don't think I can do this anymore! I'm walking away!
AH TAN (stumped): What? Why? I thought you were doing pretty well these few months?
NOTHISYEAR (shaking his head): Tan, you've got no idea how haphazard this place is!
AH TAN: But I thought you were already making headway saving the company? I remembered you were so ecstatic when you shared your ideas with me!
NOTHISYEAR (agitated): Tan, I don't wanna hang around staring at the demise of this institution!
AH TAN: Hey pal, you needa bolster up your morale man! Where have all your exhilaration gone?
NOTHISYEAR (sternly): Tan, you've got no idea how murkey this institution is! I thought this appointment would look pretty fancy on my resume, but boy was I wrong!

Nothisyear leaned back heavily on his chair and signed again, shaking his head again.

NOTHISYEAR: Tan, I know I had started quite a number of initiatives with the objective to strengthen the foundation of this institution. But looking at how the previous guy, I meant lady, had botched up, I would be deluding myself that this institution could see its previous long lost glory!
AH TAN (eyes wide opened): Wow, it's that bad huh?
NOTHISYEAR (leaning towards Ah Tan): You know, after I had taken over the appointment, I had to recreate all the policies, work processes and systems! Basically I'm reinventing this institution!

Ah Tan laughed gleefully at Nothisyear's last remark. Nothisyear bursted into laughter too and punched Ah Tan lightly on his shoulder.

NOTHISYEAR: Hey! Stop taunting me!
AH TAN: But things should turn out fine after your initiatives started to be implemented right?
NOTHISYEAR (hestitating): Well, should be... but there'll still be red tapes to be bucked, and I'm not sure how seriously these red tapes will encumber my ideas.
AH TAN (rubbing his chin): Oh yeah, the red tapes...
NOTHISYEAR: And besides, this institution has made so many unfathomable investments in the past that, I'm not sure how many punches I have to receive before my initiatives even started to take effect! And the worst thing is, the public might even think that I'm responsible for these investment losses! They'll say 'hey, this new guy ain't making any difference! Look! The institution is still making losses!'
AH TAN: Yah, it sucks when you've to clear the shit left behind by your predecessor!

Nothisyear slammed his palms on the table and stood up.

NOTHISYEAR: Anyway, enough is enough! I'm getting out of here, man!
AH TAN (stood up from his seat): Seriously?
NOTHISYEAR (nodding): Yap, serously! Let's go for some beer! I'll hand my letter to the board tomorrow!

Nothisyear took his coat and walked over to Tan, putting his hand around Tan's shoulder.

AH TAN: No regrets?
NOTHISYEAR (laughing): No way!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New NMPs in the House

A brand new slate of NMPs in the House

SINGAPORE: It will be a slate of completely new faces in the House, all nine of them – the maximum number of Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) allowed by the Constitution. But you might recognise a few familiar names.

One surprise is former national swimmer and Olympian Joscelin Yeo, who makes the move from pool to politics; while ex-current affairs television presenter Viswa Sadasivan will simply be taking his long-time involvement on government panels to the next level.

On Monday evening, an email sent out by the Select Committee, tasked with whittling down the list of 46 applications, revealed the results of their deliberations.

Subject to President S R Nathan's formal approval, the nine picked to give voice to non-partisan, alternative views in Parliament comprise an entrepreneur, a decorated unionist, a top honcho at a Big Four accountancy firm, a vocal sociologist, a shipping industry leader, a communications consultant, a sportswoman, a community service veteran and an artistic director.

Former NMPs Mr Siew Kum Hong and Mr Gautam Banerjee, both of whom had sought second terms, were conspicuously absent from the list.

The newbies, who will be sworn in before Parliament sits on July 20, were selected after interviews held over three days last week.

The sportswoman, former national swimmer and Olympian Joscelin Yeo, said,"some of the things close to my heart are sports and youth."

The communications consultant, ex-current affairs television presenter Viswa Sadasivan, said,"I would like to form a loose resource panel of individuals with domain knowledge in specific areas like economics, social work, education, defence policies and so on ... so I'll be able to tap on their expertise which I might articulate (through) my views in Parliament."

The artistic director, The Substation co-artistic director Audrey Wong, said,"to develop a stronger education programme where we give young people insights into arts and culture, and how the arts and society are intertwined."

The decorated unionist, Terry Lee, said he would focus on workers' welfare and employability - especially with Singapore in recession.

The entrepreneur, Calvin Cheng, said,"At no time is having a strong, unique and proud cultural identity more important than right now, when we throw open our doors to the world."

The vocal sociologist, National University of Singapore sociologist Paulin Straughan, said,"As more Singaporeans marry foreigners and grow their families here, we must find an innovative way to help these children maintain their bi-cultural identity."

TODAY was unable to contact the top honcho at a Big Four accountancy firm, Ernst & Young Associates managing director Mildred Tan; the shipping industry leader, Teo Siong Seng; and the community service veteran, executive director of Presbyterian Community Services Laurence Wee.

Let's hope that these NMPs could really contribute, especially by putting on table topics that the government kept aloof from. And hope that they will not be as crass as some MPs hiding behind GRCs.