Servant Leaders?

I’m sure that most people like me were skeptical when the PM implored that his team should not lord it over the people and reminded them that they were servants to the people. I was shocked, delighted and then skeptical – in that order. Now I am a bit hopeful.


I see increasing humility with the PM and ministers like Tharman (in the recent television debates). At least they are trying. Unfortunately though, this is sorely lacking among many of the others in their party.

Among some of the other ministers the many instances of ‘patting one’s own shoulder’ is too much to bear. I can’t even tolerate this sort of arrogance among people I know, let alone ministers who are supposed to serve us. It should be the people who say job well done, not the ministers evaluating their own performances. Like my dad loved to quote whenever we got too big for our shoes – Self praise is no praise. It’s good to be grounded and humble, I’m so glad he kept our egos in check, as much as he could.

I’m not the only one that feels this way, so there must be something thoroughly wrong with the current attitude. I hope my feedback is taken as constructive criticism. I truly feel that in terms of efficiency the ruling party had done a great job, but we need more empathy, compassion and just basic respect. If I were to score it right now: Efficiency 10/10. Humility 1/10

This is why I loved the article in the Kent Ridge Common that implored put Singaporeans first and party politics second and this might then be possible:

But there is indeed one strategy that PAP can employ to win the hearts of Singaporeans and to show that they are serious about being servant leaders by putting the needs of Singaporeans before everything else.

This involves, perhaps painfully for them, setting aside petty party politics to consider the needs of Singaporeans as the utmost priority.

Opposition wards — whether current or future ones after this GE — ought to be upgraded and given a facelift. Ageing constituencies that have been the stronghold of opposition parties such as Potong Pasir are in a dire need of capital injection to upgrade its facilities.

Elderly residents do not get lifts that stop on every level of their floor just because their wards have been voting for the opposition have to needlessly suffer the pain of climbing up staircases to reach their homes.
In Singapore where we pride ourselves as being a first world nation, this ought to be a travesty if it is a consequence of petty partisan politics…….

….Giving the Potong Pasir and other opposition wards the upgrades they have been denied so far will surely return some goodness and belief in the ruling party, and to seek to reinforce the notion that for them, Singaporeans and nothing else ought to come first.

Afterall, we’ll always remember the boy at the playground who shares his sweets with the others as being the bigger boy than the one who bullies others into submission of their candies. I think most people don’t want a change in government, but a change in attitude of the government.

Read the full article by Christopher Ong here.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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