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More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

In Uncategorized on 18/08/2017 at 10:07 am

Further to this about Hali’s judgment as SMRT non-executive director in not being aware of MRT problems that ordinary S’poreans were aware of, there’s more about her judgement (or rather lack of it) during her spell as SMRT director and a senior NTUC leader.

She really showed bad judgement because it concerned SMRT’s labour relations.

I wrote this in 2012 about Ong Ye Kung, but it applies to Halimah too given that labour problems don’t just happen overnight. They fester over time. And she should have known about the labour tensions in SMRT given that  she was Deputy Secretary General, Director of the Legal Services Department and Director of the Women’s Development Secretariat.

Earlier this year, SMRT’s S’porean drivers made known publicly their unhappiness over pay proposals that had his endorsement as Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union). As he was also a non-executive director of SMRT, if he were an investment banker, a US judge would have rebuked and censured him for his multiple, conflicting roles.

Then he resigned, effective last month, from NTUC to “join the private sector”.

In perhaps a farewell, good-riddance gesture, FT PRC workers went on strike (illegally) and we learnt:

— they lived in sub-standard accommodation (SMRT admitted this);

— unlike most SBS FT PRC drivers, most of SMRT’s PRC drivers were not union members; and

— Ministry of Manpower reprimanded SMRT for its HR practices.

All this reflects badly on Ong: NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General,  Executive-Secretary of NTWU and SMRT non-executive director. And on the system that allowed him to rise to the top. After all his ex-boss said the following reported on Friday, which given Ong’s multiple roles in SMRT, can reasonably be interpreted as criticism of Ong:

In his first comments on the illegal strike, which saw 171 workers protesting over salary increases and living conditions, the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said the labour dispute “shouldn’t have happened” and “could have been avoided”. [So where was Ong: looking at his monthly CPF statements and being happy?]

NTUC is thus reaching out to SMRT’s management to persuade them “to adopt a more enlightened approach to embrace the union as a partner”, he added. [Hello, NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General was on SMRT’s board, so what waz he doing?]

Mr Lim, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Labour Movement Workplan Seminar, cited the example of SMRT’s rival SBS Transit where nine in 10 of its China bus drivers are union members. Only one in 10 of SMRT’s China bus drivers are union members, according to union sources. [So, why didn’t Ong advise SMRT to help unionise these FTs, and if he did, why didn’t NTUC push harder ehen SMRT refused?]

SBS Transit’s management “recognised the constructive role of the union”, while union leaders “played the role of looking after the interests of the drivers”, said Mr Lim.

“And as a result … they work very closely as one team, it’s a win-win outcome. In terms of how workers are being treated and respected, how management are responsive, how they work together, I think it’s a kind of model that we ought to see more and more in Singapore.” (Today)

Judgment? What judgment?

Coming back to Ong. Given he’s failed at NTUC as Zorro Lim implied above, he’s now said to be a possible PM?

And NTUC is not the only place he failed. He failed here too:

Ong was the Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency from 2005 to 2008. There, he spearheaded many initiatives to build up the Continuing Education and Training infrastructure for Singapore, and made training accessible to the individual worker, including contract workers and the unemployed.

Wikipedia entry

Surely he must share a lot of the blame for the low productivity of S’pore’s work force?

Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Related: Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”

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