6/23/2007

help yourself

'Whether it is a charity or even among companies, from time to time you would have a case that comes up with someone who helps himself to the money. Ultimately, you're dealing with the vulnerability of the human weakness to temptation.' Gerard Ee Now this is a profound statement from the Chairman of the new NKF. I have been pondering over it again and again and I think I will be pondering over it over the whole weekend. How many people have been helping themselves to the money and laughing all the way to the bank? Then again I am very thankful that, perhaps this island is really blessed that we don't have so many people helping themselves to the money. At least the record shows that there were very few. Maybe Gerard is wrong. Or maybe he is right. Or maybe we are living in an island that is not occupied by humans, so there is no human weakness to temptation. The NKF and the latest St John Hospital case are just exceptions. Whew.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Before you are tempted to help yourself with the kitty make sure you have the legal part covered first and you will be alright.

Matilah_Singapura said...

It isn't that human greed and surrender to temptation which are the problems. You are occasionally going to get people who defraud, steal and murder. No amount of effort is going to stop this from occurring, because human will is inviolable.

Therefore the only way is to have (specific) protection against the immoral actions of others. In the case of corporations, govt and organisations what is required is TRANSPARENCY and PROPER PERIODIC AUDITS of all systems, not just financial.

The most interesting thing to come out of the NKF was that it was YEARS before the various schemes and shenanigans came to light.

But in Singapore, "transparency" and "accountability" is not really part of the moral fabric, as the govt itself sets a poor example in this regard.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Anonymous said...

Therefore the only way is to have (specific) protection against the immoral actions of others. In the case of corporations, govt and organisations what is required is TRANSPARENCY and PROPER PERIODIC AUDITS of all systems, not just financial.


ok

redbean said...

all of you made perfect sense. but anyone listening?

go and re read the animal farm and also animal kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Evolving into a society with no conscience, ethics or morality.

Sickening indeed!

Anonymous said...

Therefore the only way is to have (specific) protection against the immoral actions of others. In the case of corporations, govt and organisations what is required is TRANSPARENCY and PROPER PERIODIC AUDITS of all systems, not just financial.




The only way to be totally transparent and accountable is to have a system where full and detailed disclosure of events, memos, spendings etc is published every few decades for the public's eyes. And it cannot be just selective disclosures.

This is what the US govt is doing. Even CIA's top secrets are declassified after a few decades (today's news). It is a mandatory requirement that double checks on compliance and ensure total disclosure and transparency in their civil service.

Anonymous said...

Are all this happenings the result of society being blinded by material things to the total exclusion of religious beliefs. Armagaedon is indeed near.

Anonymous said...

Armaggedon is indeed near!
God saves us all.

C'os it's human who's been the greatest & badest of all trouble-makers. Really. They get the systems they built. The gahmen they promoted & uphold.

We are way beyond human help.

redbean said...

Evolving into a society with no conscience, ethics or morality.

Not true. It is a new set of conscience, ethics and morality.

It is all self interest, greed and money. Our new conscience, ethics and morality.

Anonymous said...

It is all self interest, greed and money. Our new conscience, ethics and morality.


then? what do you think?

Anonymous said...

During sun yat sen's time, everyone becomes nationalistic and patriotic; the strong man in Mao also caused the same effects.

This may prove that social consciousness are somehow influenced by the role models in the governing instuitions.

If we compare these past events to our present social culture, it may suggest that these "self interest, greed and money" and "new conscience, ethics and morality" must have its origins somewhere as it cant be moulded from nowhere can it?

Just a thought....

Matilah_Singapura said...

Actually it doesn't bother me. I avoid, to the best of my ability, and to whatever extent is possible anything that has government involvement in it, because sooner or later corruption will occur.

Absolute power corrupts. A government, with absolute powers, without checks, balances and transparency... well, you get the picture.

Any private organisation which is linked to government is also shielded from being scrutinised and criticised.

Look at the drastic circumstances which brought about the downfall of the NKF—without the threat of defamation law suits (heavy stuff indeed) none of the shenanigans would have come into public light.

redbean said...

anonymous,

the official position is to pay people what they think they are worth to prevent greed. and by doing so money is not longer an issue in the equation. and officially morality, moral authority is still very important.

it is the people that read it wrongly and follow wrongly. to the people, those in public service should not be paid so much. but the people could not understand that if these people are not paid so much they would not serve or would be poached by other companies willing to pay them more.

so people think that greed is the official ideology. how wrong are they.

redbean said...

and i agree with matilah that all systems start with having good and decent men. but over time, either they too got seduced by power and greed, or their successors will be.

those who did not fall into the trap are those that did not stay long enough to allow their greed and self interest to take over. over time, all gets too clever and tell themselves that since everything can be taken, they just help themselves to it when no one is watching. or they think no one is watching.

this golden rule never fails. the americans are wise by not allowing any president to say longer than 2 terms. this is an effective way to curb corruption at high places and the abuse of power.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Correction: No, not all systems.

The ones that spoil eventually are UNSUSTAINABLE systems, and are usually CENTRALLY controlled.

You can get the idea from nature: the self sustaining systems have evolved over time, and they are not centrally controlled. There is no one who or which "centrally controls" Nature.

Spontaneous order.

Anonymous said...

this golden rule never fails. the americans are wise by not allowing any president to say longer than 2 terms. this is an effective way to curb corruption at high places and the abuse of power.


but we were told revolving door govt not good for singapore?

Matilah_Singapura said...

A revolving door govt is ALWAYS a bad ide, not just for S'pore, but for any country. What happens is that the temporary govt pillages the country and the people, and then get thrown out=but not before they've passed legislation to AUGMENT state powers—which is why in a place like the US govt power gets bigger, mor pervasive and invasive with each successive administration.

And it doesn't matter which way the political compass points: democratic or Republican— what matters is that state/federal power INCREASES, the temporary incumbents "maximise" their short time in office.

Human beings are, generally speaking utility maximisers. This is one of the reasons why welfare states invariably fail, and public good invariably lose their value: when something is "given for nothing" people, being "utility maximisers" will use up those "free" goods to the greatest extent possible.

Notice that when they give away free school books, or free "Hello Kitty", fights nearly break out between people.

To a similar extent, that is the problem of DEMOCRACY—every voter is a "utility maximiser" and will therefore vote according to how he thinks his vote would satisfy his self-interest.

So... if the voter has school kids, he will vote for a political candidate who promises to do "more for schools". If the voter has aged parents, he'll vote for the politician who is "sensitive" to the needs of the elderly. And so on.

What is forgotten here is that every "right" comes with a "responsibility". So if you say "children have a right to be in school" or "the elderly have a right to welfare", then that means someone has to be RESPONSIBLE for making that RIGHT a reality. In a democracy that "someone" could be anyone, but often it is the MINORITY who didn't vote for schools or elderly needs, and may not have voted at all! But they still end up PAYING!

If there is going to be a "government", which IMO is a bad idea to begin with, then the "BEST" form is a minimal government made up of the BEST people chosen from a given population—i.e. the natural "elites".

redbean said...

we cannot have the revolving door system because we are unique. and in order to be successful in our unique situation, we need another lky to succeed him. otherwise we will be in deep trouble.

unfortunately i can't see anyone in that mold.

revolving door or not, communism or democracy, all are systems that can be good and can be bad. it is the intention of the people that are in the leadership position to turn it whatever ways.

if you have a bad guy, a democracy can become a dictatorship. a good guy can turn communism into capitalism.

semantics, my friends.