Contrast the picture presented by a popular bloggerwho had the misfortune of meeting the public sector doctor from hell:
"At 11:45am I made my way back to clinic D and after more waiting was called to see the senior consultant again. He conducted some more tests on my eyes and again I felt he was rude, curt, brisk and very impatient. He was also loud. At one stage he was practically shouting at me as he examined my eyes. “Look at my ear! Look at my ear! Left! Left! Left! Right! Right! Right! Right is here! Right is here! This is right! That is left! Keep quiet! Don’t talk!” He even touched my head to push it down and touched my chin to jerk my head up."
Goodness gracious me, such uncouth violence! What will they resort to next? Rectal examination with a cattle prod?
The other negative instance quoted about Singaporeans during the National Day Rally speech was about a member of the public who was applying for something at a government department, telling the officer serving him that his job was to ensure he qualified as a special case; he wanted the officer to "find the right rule" to make sure this happened. PM asked the audience, "What should the doctor do in this case? If he gives in to the patient's demand to avoid trouble, it would go against professional ethics and even harm the patient."
Suddenly, it's crystal clear how Patrick Tan secured a 12 year disruption from full-time National Service to pursue a non-medical academic course. Suddenly, we can see clearly now how Tin Pei Ling was let off for her transgression of the cooling-off day rules. Suddenly, it makes perfect sense why China gal Xiao Yifei is entitled to dual citizenship, and qualified for a President Scholarship to boot. The magic, people, is to "find the right rule".
So next time you feel like thumping on the service counter and demand, "I also want the special rules", just pause and rephrase the request. "Hey bro, you know what to do, right? My surname also Tan." Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.