29 Oct 2006

Wee Siem Kim's PR fiasco

posted by yuen ...

wee siew kim/wee shu min, singapore elite members

I would like to comment on the PR fiasco suffered by Member of Parliament Wee Siem Kim, a senior executive in the Singapore Technology Group, and his daughter Shu Min, a high school student, concerning the value of the elite in a society.

One of the frequent themes in Mr Lee Kuan Yew's speeches is "Asians care more about good government than democracy", that developing the self-discipline of the citizens has to come before democracy. LKY's statement was easily misconstrued: self-discipline is not the same as obedience to authority. In fact, it is more applicable to the people in authority than those under it. The lack of self discipline displayed by Chen Shuibian and his family members and associates in Taiwan, and not quite as seriously, by Mahathir in Malaysia, not only have great impact in themselves, it also sets examples that make it harder to ask the ordinary people to show self-discipline.

In other words, self-discipline first has to prevail among the members of the elite, that they should use their power and wealth with restraint, that they should be scrupulous in their methods to acquire power and wealth. Further, only with awareness for the need for self-discipline would they be in a position to establish relevant monitoring and prosecution systems to impose discipline on the whole society.

A society in which the elite thinks that discipline applied only to others and not themselves soon finds that even the most efficient monitoring system would break down as the people in charge of enforcing discipline lose confidence about whether they can apply the same rules to everyone, and then learn to twist the rules to gain benefit for themselves. In other words, failure of elite members to apply self-discipline soon corrupts the whole society.

Whatever their superior points, elite members should be constantly asking themselves: what do I give back to society for my privileged status? They should think of the example of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, for this is what distringuishes a cultured society from a crude one. The CEO earning 1M a year should be asking whether they are 100 times more indispensible than the cleaner who makes 10K, and even those whose management had produced huge profits for the organization should be asking whether the cleaner had benefited from the achievement, whether the CEO has done enough to keep everyone working in the organization motivated, for the long term benefit of the organization.


Anonymous said...

This article relates well to another below article
dd 26 oct 2006:

"Defendants discover police witness listening in on court proceedings"

Anonymous said...

If we follow Alex Xie's standards, we should have seen many resignation from the elite. But what all this shows is that once you are with the pappies your are untoucable.

Anonymous said...

Wee Shu Min
Is she devastated?
Far from it, ex-classmate says she’s ‘laughing’ at and ‘mocking’ web responses. Weikiatblog.
Oct 30, 2006

"I was a top student from RJC (Raffles Junior College). Just graduated a few years ago. Most people that I know in RJC were just too full of themselves.

They thought that since they are from RJC, they are the smartest in Singapore. Unfortunately, many of my RJC friends have low EQ and common sense.

Most only know how to memorise and practice questions and possess very weak critical thinking skills."

"To follow up on what fellow Rafflesian, Gene, said above, I would like
to emphasise that the majority of us from RJC are not like Shu Min.

In fact, few of us sympathise with her current "plight" (not that she
is taking it badly, she was in fact laughing and mocking at the
responses on various websites).

What had happened also did not surprise us because she is well known in school to have an inflated sense of superiority and low tolerance of the pedestrian and the uncultured.

But please remember that one Wee Shu Min does not make RJC. The rest of us from RJC should not be impeached because of her."

"I'm a classmate of Shu Min in RGS and RJC. Many of us don't know her
well because she does move around in her own exclusive circle of the
smart and well-connected.

And yes, she is conceited, overbearing and thinks that she and her clique own the world. But, I do think some of the comments here are excessive, even unreasonable.

You can fault her character and her worldview, but is there a need to descend to vulgarity?"

"As a Rafflesian, I am saddened that our good name has been smeared by
the poison pen of one elitist female.

The saddest part of this episode is that she reminds me of the remark made by newbie Michael Palmer, "Before I joined the grassroots organisation, I never knew there were poor people in developed countries".

Anonymous said...

then, i would think he must belonging to the pretty well off and fortunate class of ppl