Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How Govt Staff Say Yes To Everything

A hospital patient hurled vulgarities at a doctor when he did not get medication he did not need. Truth or fiction? Be careful who you call a liar, since it was PM Lee himself who quoted this instance of how "harsh and uncompromising" Singaporeans can be with front-line government employees.

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.


  1. China does not recognize dual nationality. The Article 3 of China Nationality Law holds that People's Republic of China will not admit the dual nationality of a Chinese citizen. Moreover, the Article 9 of China Nationality Law declares that as soon as a Chinese takes a foreign citizenship, she will automatically lose her Chinese citizenship. Someone at ICA or PSC, or both, must be sleeping behind the wheels. Or bending the rules.

  2. >>China does not recognize dual nationality.
    Perhaps someone should direct this to the local Chinese Embassy?

  3. So she broke the law in China and we are hoping she will not break the bond of the scholarship...Wow...Will she she be punished by the law if she steps into China?

  4. Poor Singaporean8/17/2011 12:12 PM

    Hmm, maybe i should consider changing my surname to Lee-Tan.

  5. While I believe there're some uncouth people who just haven't found the right balance to exercise their new found "right" yet, there are also many more who have become more vocal and assertive in requesting for better service or transparency from our Civil Service.

    They have been so used to telling people, now that they are so not used to be being told. PM unfortunately chose to pick 1 - 2 bad examples to again reflect how Singaporeans demands should be discouraged..

    There's no magic wand from this man. He just want status quo.
    Same for President. He wants people to stick to the constitution rules and select one that fits the rule. But the people wants a PE that will maketh the office and the constitution should reflect that AFTER the choice is made.

    This is one that the people will say NO to. Their choice of PE candidate = TonyTan.

  6. Been to eye clinic myself and the queue is shockingly long.You can wait for hours and still be waiting. To be fair, doctors are stretched beyond their limits. If I were a doctor there I would likely to be impatient and maybe rude too. Something odd to be done. Either we increase the number of doctors or reduce the number of patients. I noticed many waiting are foreigners (or PR). Where is the Singaporean 1st privilege?

  7. PM is still in his ivory tower and the people who are advising him are all in the same ivory tower serving their own interests. Don't use emperor's new clothes. Mr PM change the kings men if you want the facts and the truth. Open your eyes and ears and see for yourself what is going on at the grass root. There are many self-serving traitors disguised as "your humble servants".

  8. True. It is the same story in any dynasty. If there is no check and balance, these grassroot leaders will just tell the ministers half truth. For the sake of PPM/BBM award, why would grassroot leaders tell the MP/Minister that their policy does not work?