candid goh choktong

Jun 24, 2002 Now in his 11th year in office, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong is an economist by training and a politician by choice. Recently, he has been forced to defend the powerful Lee family: Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew; his first son, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lee Hsien Loong; second son, Lee Hsien Yang, CEO of Singapore Telecom; and Temasek Holdings Executive Director Ho Ching, Hsien Loong's wife. Breaking with precedent, Goh discussed the family's hold on business with Singapore Bureau Manager Michael Shari on May 29. .... And the most often-heard criticism of Lee Kuan Yew is that he is chairman of the Government Investment Corp. of Singapore, and that the GIC's rate of return has not been exactly stellar in the past few years. When I took over as Prime Minister [from Lee Kuan Yew in 1990], I appointed him as chairman [of the GIC]. Do we have a better man than he in giving good returns on GIC? The answer is no. Is the management the best in the world? I think the answer is probably not. Is it the best fund manager in the world? I don't think so. Is it the worst? I don't think so. the above is an extract of an article posted in YPAP forum. what i find interesting is the last para on the part of GIC and its performance. choktong said it is not the best and also not the worst. what he said is that it is average or somewhere in between best and worst. he is being so honest and frank.


Anonymous said...

Actually, Tony Tan would have been a better choice for chairman of GIC. Isn't a former banker more appropriate than a lawyer to lead GIC? I shudder to imagine that had Goh Keng Swee been a lawyer by training instead and had been tasked to spearhead S'pore economically, I'm very sure S'pore would have been a lot worse.

redbean said...

in human resource practices, you normally look at the candidates training and experience and see how he can fit into the job. say in a gic position, you are right to say you want someone with an economics background and a lot of industry knowledge for a job match.

then you can say so and so has so many years of experience in the related industry to bring along with him.

but in cases when a candidate has no relevant experience but for some reasons the candidate must be put into the job, then just say the candidate is very intelligent and his experience in other fields will be an advantage as he can provide a new insight into the business.

but if you want to reject the candidate, this is also the best reason. no relevant experience.

so for a good candidate, with or without experience is always to his advantage.