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Posts Tagged ‘Ong Ye Kung’

No more streaming? Really? What a load of BS

In Public Administration on 09/03/2019 at 10:58 am

Going by alt media reports, the cybernuts have bot into the SDP’s message that the PAP followed the SDP’s recommendation to abolish streaming. But has the PAP really abolished streaming as the SDP claims.

I think not. The PAP govt has actually refined streaming, while saying it has abolished streaming. Stupid SDP, stupid cybernuts. But what to expect from the best enablers the PAP have: with enemies like these, it doesn’t need real friends.

Roy Ngerng is absolutely right. Extract from: PAP’s changes on the education system is nothing but a cosmetic joke

Under the new system, G1 subjects correspond to the Normal (Technical) standard, Ong Ye Kung said. G2 subjects correspond to the Normal (Academic) standard and G3 subjects correspond to the Express standard.

Take the hypothetical situation that students take 3 subjects for their ‘O’ Levels at Secondary 4, with the different G-subject combinations and grades according to the following:

[1] G3 (A grade), G3 (A), G3 (A).
[2] G3 (A), G3 (A), G2 (A)
[3] G3 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[4] G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[5] G2 (A), G2 (A), G1 (A)
[6] G2 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)
[7] G1 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)

Instead of 3 streams, now do we have 7 streams?

An extended version with 4 subjects would look like this:

[1] G3 (A grade), G3 (A), G3 (A), G3 (A)
[2] G3 (A), G3 (A), G3 (A), G2 (A)
[3] G3 (A), G3 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[4] G3 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[5] G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[6] G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A), G1 (A)
[7] G2 (A), G2 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)
[8] G2 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)
[9] G1 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)

Does this now make 9 streams?

Now, take this and multiply by the number of subjects students have to actually take (6 to 8, at least), and then by the more refined grading (A1, A2, B3, B4, etc.).

As such, the ‘Express’, ‘Normal (Academic)’ and ‘Normal (Technical)’ streams have been removed in name, but have they only been replaced by a more refined way of streaming, as outlined in [1] to [7 or 9, or more] above?

Strange, no, why the PAP government announced that streaming will be “removed” but did not say how students will be streamed into the junior colleges, polytechnics and ITEs?

I suppose the good thing now is that students will not have to live with the label of being from certain streams, but will it only be replaced? I was from 8 G3s, or I am from 5 G3s and 3 G2s?

There were two perceptive comments among the usual rants

It will likely work like current JC to University, where there are basic subject prerequisites to take up a subject or course combination.

The impact is that students will likely have to decide career paths much earlier than in the past and pick the G3, G2 subjects early working on their areas of strengths.
The divergent will happen later, students will go to JCs, poly or ITE based on the level and choice of subjects.

And commenting on the above comment

bro, there is a difference between removing streaming and refining streaming.

what the clown pap ong Lj has done is NOT remove but refine.

unless he is so ffffing stupid he cannot say remove streaming when he can only say refine streaming.

under g1 g2 g3 there will still be many in g1 who zero chance right off the bat from poly or U. so actually even without S$m paid to us we know g1 is for ITE and g2 is for poly and g3 is for U.

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Don’t blame kiasu parents, blame PAP govt

In Uncategorized on 26/02/2019 at 11:02 am

So despite TOC carrying education minister’s balls in Wah lan! TOC praises PAP govt, he says more needs to bee done, but that SAP schools remain an OB marker.

This reminded me that “In Love, Money & Parenting”, Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti, write that economic trends are the underlying drivers of various approaches to raising children.

They find that in countries with low inequality, such as Sweden, parents tend to be more permissive. In countries with high inequality, parents are “both more authoritarian and more prone to instil in their children a drive to achieve ambitious goals”.

They cited the US as an example but S’pore sure fits the bill. Think of all the tuition and enrichment lessons etc.

Another insight is “The parenting choices of the rich differ systematically from those of the poor … For example, psychologists have long noted that authoritarian parenting is more prevalent in families with low income.”

And there’s this, that’s not applicable here: “[S]ocial and economic discrimination in labour markets [means that] parents will have weaker incentives to invest in their daughter’s human capital, since the return to such investment is low”.

Related post: More qns for education minister

“Experts” wrong to write-off Ong as next PM

In Political governance, Public Administration on 01/10/2018 at 9:34 am

“Experts” kanna chiat sai a second time: they got to recant their view that he’s no longer in contention to be the next PM. (For the record, I’ve never tot Ong Ye Kung was in the running to be PM. In fact, I tot he was “very mediocre”. In Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure I’ve listed his NTUC and SMRT failings, and more.)

But many “experts” (Think Eugene Tan) did think he could be our next PM, and they had to eat their own faeces and drink their own urine after the latest cabinet reshuffle: Our new PM/ Trumpets pls for me

But given the announcement of a very major change in our education system,


Primary and secondary schools to cut down on exams and tests, as MOE announces sweeping changes to reduce emphasis on grades

In a major move to reduce emphasis on grades, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will do away with examinations and graded assessments for Primary 1 and 2 students from next year.

Mid-year examinations for students in Pri 3, Pri 5, Secondary 1 and Sec 3 will also be removed in phases from 2019 while all students from Pri 3 to Sec 4 or Sec 5 will not have more than one weighted assessment per subject per school term.

In addition, students’ report books will also no longer reflect their class and level positions as well as overall marks, with scores to be rounded off without decimal points.

These changes were announced by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (Sept 28).

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/primary-and-secondary-schools-cut-down-exams-and-tests-moe-announces-sweeping-changes

—————————————————————————–

these experts should now eat more their own faeces and drink more their own urine and repent and recant their writing-off of his chances of becoming PM. There was a really good reason for PM to retain him at MoE: to finalise and announce the above changes, even if “Schools” were in the portfolio of Ng Chee Meng, now NTUC’s Secretary-General.

Me? I don’t think he’s going to be the next PM, but I’m not so cocksure any more.

Firstly, because PM seems to like him: remember he served as Lee Hsien Loong’s Principal Private Secretary (2002–2004). To be fair to him and PM, he did good work when he was concurrently

  • Director of Trade at the Ministry of Trade & Industry (2000–2003)
  • Deputy Chief Negotiator of Singapore-US Free Trade Agreement (2000–2003).

And because he can throw smoke. Not as good as Lawrence Wong (Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?) but still better (Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”) than Heng or Kee Chiu:

S’pore Unis’ NOT on employability list

In Public Administration on 18/09/2018 at 10:10 am

HK U is no 13 and three Oz unis (5th, 6th and 29th) are on the list.  Several PRC unis too.

Which universities will really impress the boss?

Top 30 for employability

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
  2. Stanford University, US
  3. University of California, Los Angeles, US
  4. Harvard University, US
  5. University of Sydney, Australia
  6. University of Melbourne, Australia
  7. University of Cambridge, UK
  8. University of California, Berkeley, US
  9. Tsinghua University, China
  10. University of Oxford, UK
  11. New York University, US
  12. University of Toronto, Canada
  13. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  14. Yale University, US
  15. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  16. Princeton University, US
  17. Columbia University, US
  18. University College London, UK
  19. University of Tokyo, Japan
  20. Peking University, China
  21. Cornell University, US
  22. University of Chicago, US
  23. Seoul National University, South Korea
  24. University of Pennsylvania, US
  25. University of Michigan, US
  26. (equal 25th) University of Waterloo, Canada
  27. Fudan University, China
  28. Waseda University, Japan
  29. University of New South Wales, Australia
  30. Ecole Polytechnique, France

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45481996

Ong Yee Kung should stop talking cock about LGBTs being discriminated against and get our unis onto this list. But then this will be really hard work for him and his track record of success is near zero: Our new PM/ Trumpets pls for me.

He prefers to talk cock:

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

Minister Ong wants a camel?

Akan datang says minister: Non-grad minister

 

Akan datang says minister: Non-grad minister

In Political governance on 13/09/2018 at 11:31 am

Or is Ong Ye Kung talking a good game i.e. talking cock?

This blog doesn’t think much of Ong Ye Kung (Example Our new PM/ Trumpets pls for me).

But here’s something that he said a few weeks ago that should shut up people like the usual cybernuts and people like P(olitician) Ravi quiet for a second.

They are always KPKBing that non-grad cannot make it to the cabinet (let alone to parly if a PAPpy) so waz point of the govt pushing the line that there’s more to life than being a grad? (Btw, don’t they know that there’s more to life than earning millions as cabinet ministers? But then they are true-blue S’poreans well schooled by the PAP: money talks, BS walks. So unlike PJ Thum and Kirsten Han they mean well for S’pore when they criticise the PAP.)

point out that we don’t have a single non-graduate minister today. Can’t the Government more boldly set the tone?

Ong Ye Kung

“We are products of an education system of the past. But today, you look at the education system, we have students who opt for a more applied pathway through the diploma route. So you look at the students now, they’re making their choices very differently from the past. I think when they grow up, if they have interest in politics, what will be the state of ministers in future. It’s hard to say. I think you’ll get a much more diverse group coming from different pathways. I certainly hope so.”

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/ong-ye-kung-education-minister-on-the-record-10651612

Can believe or not?

 

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

In Public Administration on 02/09/2018 at 11:33 am
“Every school being a good school does not mean every school is the same. If every school is the same, every school can’t be a good school.
Ong Ye Kung
Huh?
And to make “Every school a good school” even more meaningless, it’s an aspiration like the Pledge*:
So when we talk about this aspiration or this vision, of every school is a good school, it is really to say, it is possible at some point, every kid can go to a school that suits him or her best and help him or her achieve the best that he or she can be … And that requires every school to be slightly different, to be strong in different areas that play to the strength of the kid. And for that to happen, choice is important.”
Ong Ye Kung is talking cock thru his ass methinks. Time to move Lawrence Wong, good smoke thrower to MoE? Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting
Here’s an interesting article on Doublespeak
Doublespeak: A Weapon Aimed at the Language

Doublespeak is not language. It is anti-language. The purpose of language is to transfer a truth from one mind to another; the purpose of doublespeak is to transfer a falsehood disguised as a truth.

In “Doublespeak” (Harper & Row), William Lutz undertakes to define, analyze and document the term, observing at the outset that it has nothing to do with bad grammar or syntax.

“It is instead a very conscious use of language as a weapon or tool by those in power to achieve their ends at our expense. While some doublespeak is funny, much of it is frightening.”

Lutz says there are four kinds of doublespeak. The first is the simple euphemism, in which a word is used to soften a cruel reality. This use may be benign, as when we say “passed on” or “sleeping with.” The second is jargon, which is useful within a trade or profession, but which may be used to keep outsiders out. The third is gobbledygook, the use of big words and strings of nouns so beloved by bureaucracy. The fourth is inflated language designed to make the ordinary seem extraordinary.

http://articles.latimes.com/1989-11-02/news/vw-112_1_nuclear-weapons

———————————-

*The Aspiration, not the Pledge
“We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity
and progress for our nation.”

Minister Ong wants a camel?

In Public Administration on 03/07/2018 at 4:11 am

The education system which the Government is aiming to develop will be a “combination of the best parts of the Singapore and Swiss systems”, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (June 7).

Mr Ong, who is visiting Switzerland as Education Minister for the third time in as many years, cited the Swiss “dual study system”, which combines classroom study with workplace apprenticeship training, as of particular interest to Singapore.

The participation of industries is another “admirable feature” of the Swiss education system, he added.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/government-aiming-best-singapore-and-swiss-education-system-ong-ye-kung

Well if we manage to combine the Swiss system with our neo Victorian system (very elitist and which is practised today in England only within the private ie public school sector) we have, it’ll be a world first and maybe gd for S’pore. Juz don’t hold yr breath.

Seriously we’ll just have camel, only good for survival in certain conditions.

 

Our new PM/ Trumpets pls for me

In Political governance on 27/04/2018 at 11:05 am

Whoever he turns out to be, it will “Continuity with change.” the slogan of the fictional President Selina Meyer in the television satire Veep.

That was actually stolen from the secret slogan of Goh Chok Tong’s and Jnr Lee’s (still continuing) tenures.

Btw, trumpets pls for me. Nice to see that academic and anti-PAP nuts have finally realised that Ong Ye Kung is not PM material https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/04/26/ntu-prof-next-pm-between-chan-and-heng-ong-is-out/. But only after PM said so.

Lest anyone forgets, I wrote in late March

I never was impressed by Ong Ye Kung (See Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure) and nothing since he became minister and a contender to be PM has changed my mind.

I went on to say

I doubt he’s as good as Prof Tommy Koh makes him out to be: “I have the highest respect for Minister Ong and regard him as credible and the leading candidate to be our next prime minister.”

He was the CEO of the Workforce Development Agency and labour productivity never did improve. His NTUC and SMRT failings I’ve listed in Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure.

Granted he has good communication skills, but so did JBJ, M Ravi and this serial promise breaker: Where’s yr defamation video and jobs rally Lim Tean?.

Ong Ye Kung: “Is he the 4G leader with the killer instinct?”

Chris K, when u next meet the people who claim they are in the know, pls ask them why did they get Ong’s prospects so wrong? Are they really in the know or only pretend they are in the know.

As I used to advise people overseas: the real decision makers here don’t talk a lot to their inner circles, even in private.

OK, OK I was wrong to think that Bayee would not become the Sec-Gen of the Wankers’ Party. I underestimated Bayee’s stupidity and Low’s inner SunTzu and despair at WP’s prospects at the GE. More on this next week.

 

F9: Education Minister Ng Chee Meng

In Political governance, Public Administration, Uncategorized on 05/04/2018 at 10:47 am

Ong Ye Kung minister of Education (Higher Education and Skills) talks the talk reflecting the latest ang moh thinking, example

Singapore’s education system should, as far as possible, reflect the real world that our children are going to grow up and live in. That is why the Government is making changes to take the emphasis away from just academic grades, said … Ong Ye Kung.

But the other education minister (Ng Chee Meng is responsible for schools) doesn’t seem to have a clue about the latest trends in education.

From the PAP’s bible (PAP’s bible challenges “market-based solution”):

EVERY year in Singapore 1% of pupils in the third year of primary school bring home an envelope headed “On government service”. Inside is an invitation to the city-state’s Gifted Education Programme. To receive the overture, pupils must ace tests in maths, English and “general ability”. If their parents accept the offer, the children are taught using a special curriculum.

Singapore’s approach is emblematic of the traditional form of “gifted” education, one that uses intelligence tests with strict thresholds to identify children with seemingly innate ability. Yet in many countries it is being overhauled in two main ways. The first is that educationists are using a broader range of methods to identify highly intelligent children, especially those from poor households. The second is an increasing focus on fostering the attitudes and personality traits found in successful people in an array of disciplines—including those who did not ace intelligence tests.

New research lies behind these shifts … The research also suggests that the nature-or-nurture debate is a false dichotomy. Intelligence is highly heritable and perhaps the best predictor of success. But it is far from the only characteristic that matters for future eminence.

https://www.economist.com/news/international/21739144-new-research-suggests-new-ways-nurture-gifted-children-how-and-why-search-young

It’s impt to kick Ng’s ass because according to the Economist”new research”

shows that countries which do not get the most from their best and brightest face big economic costs.

Ong should show that he can be PM by telling off Ng for sticking to outdated practices and theories (like PSLE). He should remember that Harry became PM by showing S’poreans that Lim Chin Siong was “wrong”.

Ong Ye Kung: “Is he the 4G leader with the killer instinct?”

In Political governance on 28/03/2018 at 11:02 am

I never was impressed by Ong Ye Kung (See Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure) and nothing since he became minister and a contender to be PM has changed my mind.

But a TRE reader who wrote a gd piece about the People’s Choice to be PM (See Look who wants Tharman for PM) has written about Ong, so I reproduce it below for yr reading.

Is he the 4G leader with the killer instinct?

Of the three men reportedly in the running to be the next PM, Ong Ye Kung is the one least talked about and widely seen as least favourite.

He has two things on his resume which set him apart from every other cabinet Minister and 4G leader: he has experienced the bitter taste of defeat at an election and he is the son of a leftist.

Ong was in the PAP’s Aljunied GRC team which suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of the Workers’ Party – marking the first every GRC loss by the PAP. Ong witnessed up close the inglorious end to the Ministerial careers of George Yeo, Lim Hwee Hua and Zainal Abidin Rasheed, all three retiring from politics after the elections.

There is yet another aspect to Ong’s background which makes him stand out from his colleagues. His father Ong Lian Teng was one of 13 Barisan Socialis legislative representatives elected in the 1963 GE.

So Ong has lived through a baptism of fire and high drama and has “jumped ship” from his father. Put together, they may not be bad credentials to boast of because it can be argued that his resolve has been toughened and his mettle and strength of character tested.

But it could have been much sweeter – imagine if Ong had made a comeback for the 2015 GE by helming a team to take on the WP at Aljunied GRC (which was there for the taking). Instead Ong entered Parliament through the backdoor – he was fielded in one of the safest of GRCs for the PAP, the Sembawang GRC.

On paper, Ong is significantly behind in terms of exposure and profile when compared with Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing. But as Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, he is in the thick of two key ministries. He was also Chief Executive of the Workforce Development Agency and Deputy Chief Negotiator for the Singapore-US Free Trade Agreement.

Ong has a very staunch advocate and champion in Prof Tommy Koh, arguably Singapore’s most illustrious diplomat. Last January, Prof Koh told a conference that from his experience working with him, “I have the highest respect for Minister Ong and regard him as credible and the leading candidate to be our next prime minister.”

Those remarks more than anything suddenly shifted the spotlight to Ong because Prof Koh is known to be astute in judgement and judicious in his choice of words. Just over a month ago, Prof Koh again set tongues wagging with a Facebook post of a photo of himself with Ong and the telling endorsement: “He has both high IQ and EQ. He is charismatic and an eloquent speaker. He has good leadership qualities and is very likeable. He is a man of integrity.”

Ong has a stoic, steely focus and set views about what works for the country and the PAP. He has said that one-party rule is the best way for a small country like Singapore to succeed. An indication perhaps that he would be prepared to do what’s necessary to shore up the power and dominance of the PAP.

He is also sharp-tongued – recently chastising MP Louis Lim for saying that public officers dare not speak up for fear of getting into trouble. Ong, who spearheads public innovation efforts, warned against “generalisations that tar the entire (public) service” and rounded it off in a caustic tone: “So I say to Mr Louis Ng, be part of the change, be part of the change . . .” The MP was stung. He beat a hasty retreat, assuring that he would be careful about making generalisations in future.

If made PM, Ong would have beaten the odds, surging ahead of more fancied and more high profile candidates in Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing. He is not to be counted out – yet.

There’s something about Ong which speaks volumes. To get a grip on it, let’s turn to celebrated manga artist Hiroyu Oku who said: “The killer instinct is not perceived by words, but by look.”

Ong Ye Kung has the look of one who is cool, calm, composed – and calculated. He is more caustic and more unnerving than any other 4G politician. He is to be underestimated at one’s peril.

Augustine Low

I doubt he’s as good as Prof Tommy Koh makes him out to be: “I have the highest respect for Minister Ong and regard him as credible and the leading candidate to be our next prime minister.”

He was the CEO of the Workforce Development Agency and labour productivity never did improve. His NTUC and SMRT failings I’ve listed in Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure.

Granted he has good communication skills, but so did JBJ, M Ravi and this serial promise breaker: Where’s yr defamation video and jobs rally Lim Tean?.

Coming back to Ong and the PAP:

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM

Why do we keep getting mediocre ministers?

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

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”

Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure

In Political governance on 17/01/2017 at 4:48 am

If his appointment as minister, and rise and rise since 2012,  is the PAP’s idea of meritocracy, give me nepotism any day (See last para of article in link).

He was Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union) and a non-executive director of SMRT when SMRT’s S’porean and FT drivers had problems with salaries or working conditions. Even Zorro Lim (his ex boss) seemed to criticise him.

Here’s something I wrote after he resigned from NTUC in 2012. Slightly edited.

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Our nation-building constructive media are ignoring the white elephant in the space where of the circles of TLCs/GLCs, PAP, NTUC and the civil service meet: sometimes also known as S’pore Inc.

Once upon a time, Ong Ye Kung, was S’pore Inc’s poster boy of meritocracy.

Just in April 2011, before the May GE, our nation-building constructive media praised him as an example of meritocracy at work. Son of a Barisan Socialist MP (and no friend of one LKY), he was a scholar* who rose to a senior civil service post**, then became a senior NTUC leader, and then a PAP MP candidate. It was whispered that he was Zorro Lim’s anointed successor as NTUC chief; and was tipped by ST as a future candidate for ministerial office. He did became the NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General in June 2011.

But by then his slave worker drawn chariot had gotten stuck in the mud . He was a member of George Yeo’s losing Aljunied GRC team. Worse was to follow in 2012: the wheels came off his chariot of gold and ivory and he was thrown-off, and cast into the darkness and mud and became a person that the constructive, nation-building media knew not.

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)

Apparently, Ong is supposed to join his father-in-law’s property development business: but with this revelations, it should come as no surprise if his in-law’s family has reservations about him: he might mismanage and upset the workers. Property development companies are fragile because of their leverage: they can’t afford executives who can’t execute***.


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And here’s another post (Links to TRE outdated):

TRE says it all about Ong Ye Kung, NTUC & SMRT

In Humour on 10/04/2013 at 6:54 am

TRE posted these articles in the following order on its front page.
NTUC claims credit for unionising SMRT PRC bus drivers

NTUC claims credit for unionising SMRT PRC bus drivers

In a recent hour-long phone interview with 2 journalists from Yahoo! Singapore, former SMRT bus driver…
185 SMRT PRC bus drivers had petitioned MOM in 2010

185 SMRT PRC bus drivers had petitioned MOM in 2010

 

Ong Ye Kung as a director of SMRT should have known about the plight of the bus drivers. But as union leader of the bus driver, he did nothing. And NTUC is now claiming credit for unionisg PRC drivers? Why now only after a strike? But let’s be fair, maybe NTUC leaders are like the many readers of TRE who “hate” all things PRC. See all the negative stories TRE carries from the Western media about China which pander to these readers.


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And if anyone is wondering about the origins and meaning of the term “feet of clay”:

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (Daniel 2:31-33)

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43)

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*From 1993 to 1999, he was in the then Ministry of Communications, where he helped develop the Land Transport White Paper and was part of the team which established Singapore’s Land Transport Authority. Taz right, he was there at the beginning of the great SMRT cock-up.

**He was the Principal Private Secretary to one Lee Hsien Loong, then became the CEO of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency.

***He joined Keppel. And as a shareholder, I’m very glad he took a big salary but did nothing. He’s the fourth kind of guy described below.

General Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, a chief of the German Army between the two world wars, is reoted to have said “I divide my officers into four classes as follows: The clever, the industrious, the lazy, and the stupid. Each officer always possesses two of these qualities.

Those who are clever and industrious I appoint to the General Staff. Use can under certain circumstances be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy qualifies for the highest leadership posts. He has the requisite nerves and the mental clarity for difficult decisions. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be got rid of, for he is too dangerous.”

 

TRE says it all about Ong Ye Kung, NTUC & SMRT

In Humour on 10/04/2013 at 6:54 am
TRE posted these articles in the following order on its front page.
NTUC claims credit for unionising SMRT PRC bus drivers

NTUC claims credit for unionising SMRT PRC bus drivers

In a recent hour-long phone interview with 2 journalists from Yahoo! Singapore, former SMRT bus driver…
185 SMRT PRC bus drivers had petitioned MOM in 2010

185 SMRT PRC bus drivers had petitioned MOM in 2010

 

Ong Ye Kung as a director of SMRT should have known about the plight of the bus drivers. But as union leader of the bus driver, he did nothing. And NTUC is now claiming credit for unionisg PRC drivers? Why now only after a strike? But let’s be fair, maybe NTUC leaders are like the many readers of TRE who “hate” all things PRC. See all the negative stories TRE carries from the Western media about China which pander to these readers.