Friday, March 14, 2014

Monetizing Volunteers

A typical Volunteer Welfare Organisation (VWO) welcomes volunteers who wish to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate, alleviate the pain and suffering of the needy, and allow them to live their lives to the full. Some volunteer opportunities package activities like:
  • Providing tuition to primary school students
  • Assisting in after-school care for children
  • Befriending elderly residents
  • Engaging in recreational activities for the elderly

For free. No obligation or hidden agenda involved, the objectives are strictly led by the heart. For funding purposes, donations, from pockets of the volunteers or supportive third parties, pay the bills.

The National Council of Social Services (NCSS) now wants to get a firmer grip on the VWOs. "We hope that in 10, 15 years .. we will groom a new generation of social service leaders," said the minister leading the charge. The scheme will involve social service scholarship holders, who will probably be stuck with the obligatory government bond. Each year 8 candidates are picked from NCSS scholarship holders or outstanding social service professionals for further training  or seconded to the ministry, NCSS or other VWOs. Deployed  to wherever the government sees fit. One senior social worker expressed doubt about the practicality of moving staff across different fields of work e.g. folks who enjoy working with young children may not have the skill set to deal with senior citizens. A scarier thought is that VWOs will lose their painstakingly recruited and altruistically nurtured volunteers to a central pool controlled by the NCSS.

VWOs funded by the ministry will be incentivized by getting more, and made to share the salary benchmarks in the sector. Before we forget, our public servants' pay are indexed to the top earners. Why do we get the feeling that the most expensive city in the world will be getting even pricier?

The worry is not just about VWOs being swamped by mercenary professionals, with all manner of KPIs tuned to the GDP goal. We have seen how the People's Association (PA) do gooders end up being politicized. Will the VWO vanguard be sharing the same fate?


  1. You ask whether the vanguard VWOs will be sharing the fate of the PA. No prizes for guessing. Control is the key word in this little red dot, the obsession of the great leader. The scholarship recipients will be held in high regard for their great abilities, by the mere fact of being recognised by the powers that be. They will now be the new "vanguard" of the brave new world. Everyone else move aside. The control is complete. Read about how Francis Seow was suspected of trying to enter politics by simply standing for election as President of the AAS in his book, To Catch A Tatar.

    1. All societies have to be registered with the Registrar of Societies.
      There is a reason for this.

      What is missing?
      A public declaration of the political affiliations of the office holders of all the societies and VWOs.

  2. Quite true. Most likely, PAP will be mobilizing these volunteers to go for their election rallies just like how they do to the PA volunteers. The PAP is trying to get a grip on every Singaporean to do their dirty bidding.

  3. "We hope that in 10, 15 years .. we will groom a new generation of social service leaders," said the minister leading the charge.

    I thought PAP Ministers are also social service leaders.
    But then PAP Ministers are paid millions.
    But other social service leaders are expected to work for free.

    Is this the "hypocrisy" that former Minister George Yeo talked about?

  4. These copycats civil servants, you must admire their audacity! They must be inspired by Unca Sam's recent revision of their GDP upwards in 2013 when dollars and cents were attached to artistic creations and innovations and patents!

    You see, if the social workers were part of your garmen, then their hours clocked is counted towards GDP, regardless if they are garmen employees or volunteers. The fact is both groups do the same job. So your garmen is trying to usurp the hours put in by the volunteers and count it towards GDP growth lor. .... and the ultimate prize is of course to squeeze GDP (and bonus) growth out of thin air by using volunteer social workers who pay their own SMRT fares lor!! really cannot beat the stingy v bala.

  5. "we most expensive city in the world will be getting even pricier?"

    We are not only the most expensive city in the world but also the most expensive country in the the world. Remember Singapore is both a city and a country, and if the city is most expensive, therefore the country been a city itself is also the most expensive. You wonder why Sham has said Singapore is not a country but a city. It is double jeopardy that Singapore is both the most expensive country and city in the world. We should be inducted into Genuine World Record !

    Check this out.

    And Singapore is the only country as city, and the rest is city of a country. If that does not qualify Singapore as the most expensive country in the world, then what it is ?

    1. Peel away the gloss and you'll find a monopolistic behemoth - that's the price we pay for control.

  6. I think someone up there is panicking that their effort to improve national productivity is falling behind their stated target hence a desperate attempt to see where they scrape some "output" for no inputs.

    But from bringing VWO into state control, it would then only be a tiny step to count the students selling flags every weekend as gainful productive services to add to GDP growth. I knew they would bend down low for their year end bonus, but this covert attempt to count volunteers to boost GDP really put them on top of the greed chart.

  7. Looks like they want to take control of VWOs & tighten the rope against activists who are anti-establishment lest they become a force to be reckon with. Otherwise why would they themselves want to set up another one representing foreign workers when there are already several VWOs representing foreign workers' interests.

    Be warned that VWOs will soon be politicised to defend the incompetent Govt just like how they manipulate PA, unions, kindergardens, etc. in times of certain crisis.

    1. National Service (Conscription) is the most effective indoctrination.
      In Sin, kids are indoctrinated at kindergartens and fortified with Sin History written according to the dictations of the Ruling Party since Independence. And with National Service, most Sinkies are almost completely brainwashed by the time they reach adulthood.
      Contrary to PAPs belief, such complete indoctrination of the citizenry is not going to do them, the Pappies, much good. 物极必反, meaning extremism shall ultimately yield opposite(unfavourable) result. The time will come for the Citizenry to realize the Manipulation and Exploitation by the Rulers.

      There are signs that most Sinkies are beginning to have the right perspective about the Leadership. Not only that it is a self serving leadership, it is also making use of the People to fulfill their lusts for power and wealth.
      The Leaders have no qualm in exploiting the People to hold on to power and enriching themselves.


    2. The worms are beginning to turn.

  8. excuse me borrow thread