4/21/2006

lky dialogue: of forms and substance

There are still a lot of comments on this dialogue, criticisms of the youth and how useful this is for the future. However, most of the criticism were more about form than substance, about respect for LKY than about the issues raised. For the traditional and conservatives, they would have to accept that the world is changing and respect for the elders not only cannot be taken for granted, the forms will also have to change. In the corporate world, many western MNCs adopted the first name basis even when addressing the CEOs. This is quite a cultural shock to some Asians brought up to address any senior as uncles and aunties, and soldiers who have to address everyone senior as sirs and students to teachers as sir and madam. Many cannot stomach a 20 year old assistant calling his 60 year old CEO John or Mike. It just don't sound right to them, but it is a way of life in many MNCs. The way people are addressed, or the way people talk to one another, may not be an indicator of disrespectful or rudeness. Respecting someone does not mean that one must speak meekly and keep calling sir in the beginning and at the end. In a public forum people are expected to speak and argue over issues. It is not a lecture or a family dressing down session or a grandfather passing words of wisdom to the young. What the shit. Why am I wasting time on forms than substance.

2 comments:

whiplash said...

To me those who say we should be eternally grateful to that man is missing a very important point. He was elected to do the job. The people who elected him expected him to do a good job. The question of gratitude therefore doesn't exist, period. Also, the fact that his peers in many other countries do not do a good job or as good as he did is also irrelevant.

redbean said...

that is another way of looking at things. one can also say hey look, he enjoys it and gets all the glory and recognisation as someone who has made a difference. his name is in history. that is enough recognisation.

and in the present day context, when people are being paid market value, like an employee being paid to do a job, yes, he better do a good job or he be fired. and if he screws it up, he answers for it. it is purely business, a contractual relationship. grateful has lesser meaning then.

and i do not believe in all the bull about sacrifice. no one ask anyone to sacrifice. it is now all self interest. what is in it for me?

this is a stark difference from the first generation of leaders when what is for me is secondary. many comes forward for an ideal, a national cause. there would always be the people who hitch a ride for personal interests. this cannot be avoided.

but today, it is the reverse. more will be going in for personal interests than for an ideal or to want to serve the people.

April 21, 2006 10:35 AM