Li Hongyi - The making of a future leader

The case is now officially in the msm. A very interesting case study on the integrity of our system and the development of a fine young man. Personally I feel that the case is very well handled and with a lot of transparency. As for Hongyi, he is starting to cut his spurs. It is good to be young, to test the waters, get your feet wet and learn from the experience. We were all brash young things once. We have our own tales of innocence and flirting with the authority. It is the right of all young men to make controversial decisions and to learn along the way. The last historical Hongyi turned out to be a fine emperor. This modern Hongyi could follow the same path. Everyone should enjoy the passage of youth as a growing up process and to live to remember the good times.


Abao said...

Which Hongyi in history are you reffering to RedBean? I dont recall any emperor with the mandate of heaven called "Hong Yi".

redbean said...

hi abao,

i think chien lung was known as hongyi when he was a prince.

Lost4ever said...

Chien Lung is "Hong Li", and he oversaw the ending of the last golden age in China, cause he screwed it up with extravaganza expenses and left his son with a empty treasury, and nothing left to fight against the brits & the western powers.

Will rather u guys dun associate "HongYi" with "HongLi", else we may all be more sorry than ever in the future.

LHL is already way below his father, and u better dun expect too much of the 3rd generation, where they were born with a golden spoon.

Anonymous said...

its a positive publicity for hongyi.Dares to question auhority and get things fixed. good candidate for PAP GRC in few years time...his parents will feel proud now.

Anonymous said...

I hope the authorities will thoroughly look into how the complaints of AWOL were ignored and clear up the mess.

Becos courage aside, I am actually very concerned abt the weakness of the system as highlighed in view of the high expectations everyone has of this very impt pillar of our society, the SAF.

Mr LeeCS said...

I feel nothing wrong with LHY's email. he have tried to following the chain of command, unfortunatly, his superior did not take any action. hence, he have to risk himself for the cause of justice.

redbean said...

putting aside the names and who's who and looking at the issues objectively, i agree that hongyi had done the right thing.

we were seeing a very lax situation in a military set up, of condoning a lack of discipline and neglect of duty. both were very serious. and instead of going the safer and backdoor way, he confronted the problem himself and exposing himself to criticism.

some may think that he has a strong advantage that nothing serious would have happen to him. this i also agree.

it is also good that the parents kept their hands off and let him do it his way and learn from it.

yes, the pillar of our defence cannot be allowed to go on that way and things were fixed after this event. hongyi had his record blemished for a bigger good which must be seen positively.

it is surprising that no one other than him would blow the whistle.

Anonymous said...

The point is not that there is anything wrong with his email, it is generally accepted that the young man was courageous and thankfully so for everybody espec the SAF. But that is not the big issue. Period.

The more impt issue is that there is something VERY WRONG with the way the superiors ignored his rightful feedback to them... becos it happened in an impt instituition which everyone have expected to be ultra orderly and systematic. That is the major setback.

Anonymous said...

I have alot of questions which I think some may also have tot abt, for example;
1.Who is that person who went AWOL?
2.Was he given special privileges and why?
3.Were there a cover up afterwards?

4. Is there more than meets the eye?

It is natural to be curious.

redbean said...

i agree with the concern raised. even a complaint from someone well connected was being ignored for quite a serious breach of discipline. would anything have been done if the complaint was by any peasant's son?

what the hell is going on there? any similarities to nkf?

Anonymous said...

Can see from the reactions that just becos he is who he is, everyone here seems to go out of their way to be defensive and kind.
And I am sure that young man wud feel uncomfortable abt that position too. Almost everyone is talking abt and referring abt the person as if it was such as issue. Is it hard to focus on bigger things like the intituition?

Are you missing the trees for the forest? The big issue is not abt his breaking the rules where he already had been reprimanded. The issue is abt the complaint itself.

See the irony, if he is not who he is then it is much easier for everyone to look at the complaint rather than at the person. Becos the problem he created by skipping reporting ranks PALES in comparision to the integrity of the system and instituition, the problems of which this young man was trying to point out to the authorities to rectify.

redbean said...

in many of the other blogs or forum, the issue is the personalities. we shall address issues rather than personalities here. otherwise we will lose credibility and become like all other talkshops, exchanging barbs and incriminations.

and welcome, mrleecs.

Anonymous said...

I doubt they will ever release the info and it is not their policy to do so but I am all the more curious abt that person who went AWOL.
Is he related to a who's who bigwig?
That puzzled me alot; also how long has this AWOL thing been going on..

redbean said...

for confidentiality the name will not be out unless unavoidable. maybe you can scour other blogs and you may chance to see it.

try your luck. nothing of such nature will be a secret for long.

Anonymous said...

Of course personalities play a big part, as much as the issue itself. Redbean asked if anything would have been done if the complaint was by any other peasant's son. The other point is would the consequences have been different if the complaint had been made by any other peasant's son.

This bears some semblance to A*star scholar Chen Jiahao's spat with the then A*star chairman.

Anonymous said...

Becos if AWOL is indeed looked at differently for different people then this whole thing abt national service and national defence must be one big joke!!!

So that young man has done all of us a big favour by his insistence on getting the message thru to his superiors, and he was courageous.

Anonymous said...

This episode has thrown out certain flaws;

Would anyone from a less influential background have dared stood up and pointed out the problem?
(therefore the problem will continue to grow)
Would the complaint by someone from a less influential background be totally or effectively ignored?
Is the current system robust enough to manage and check out such problems in the absence of complaints?

Anonymous said...

To elaborate on my stmt:

Would the complaint by someone from a less influential background be totally or effectively ignored?

that's why that young man skipped reporting ranks.

Anonymous said...

in the first place it is their problem, but this incident will definitely helps to improve our army and therefore a positive move. so we should let it rest with our men in green to sort their problem in the best way they can. aiyah these are geniuses in there smarter than you and blur redbean.:)

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hey you judgmental fuckers — Cut the bugger a bit of slack lah.

It isn't his fault his parents are "famous".

Anyway he acted with his own initiative — right or wrong, he had the guts to act on his own beliefs.

...and he's facing the consequences as his own person.

redbean said...

if only all chicken singaporeans will stand up to foul play like hongyi.

this is a culture that is extinct and needs to be revived. not easy though.

Anonymous said...

I am already finding it quite meaningless to rant here. It is a lonely exercise. But your comments invoked my thoughts abt our people, particularly the well educated ones who doesnt seems to step forward to help the community but will run in front to ensure their own promotions and well being. This is the singaporean problem, and it is contagious.

Therefore what this chap did to sound out the problem to the authority is quite unique in that he obviously didnt do it for himself, but for the community at large.

Sadly though, this is such a rare thing here. Normally MOST people, particularly the smart ones simply avoid getting into controversial situations, turn a blind eye to problems like these that doesnt affect them exclusively and become invisible and low key when the community needed them. Are we the most selfish and self centered people in the universe?

Btw they are not chicken singaporeans, just cold and calculating. And it is infectious.

Anonymous said...

can't help feeling that this is not a happening by chance. He is not only a "white horse" what many regard him as, but definitely more than that. it dont make sense that he couldn't get his complaint through via proper channel or even accorded a right response, for no officers designated their respectable positions there, in their right mind,would choose to take his presence casually. But it has to take a unique person like him that a purely military matter could be aired to the public.

is this a prelude to up the rigor rule? could he have done a project and found it slack?

redbean said...

you are right that the smart singaporeans are too comfortable and too smart to rock the boat. just collect the millionaires and enjoy life.

that is how this system will collapse and why many of them are grabbing as much as possible to build a second home somewhere just in case.

Anonymous said...

why is Li Hongyi in Signals and not commando, infantry, guards or combat engineers if he is that talented ???

Anonymous said...

Talented or not, it does not make a difference. His rise to the top will be very fast.

redbean said...

when the ranting stops. with the msm openly admitting that their role is what it is today, and without another avenue for alternative views, and with all the talents busy lining their pockets and not wanting to rock the boat, the end will come much faster.

the nkf is a harbinger of what things are if everyone shut up and hear nothing, see nothing and say nothing.

the ranting here and in many blogs and forums are read by many, locals and foreigners. they are just like the little litters people thrown out of their windows. if they are not swept away, a rubbish dumb will take place below the block in a matter of time.

the people cannot have any hope of the money grabbers doing anything or saying anything. every one is happily enjoying the golden years.

once the golden year is reached, you know what comes next?

Anonymous said...

quite proud to read that we have a responsible young man in our ranks.


Anonymous said...

2LT Lee did not mean to whistleblow as he sent an internal email.

The person who whistleblowed was the first person who copied and posted the email on the Net knowing the outcome could go both ways at his own risk.

This person is the real hero.

Anonymous said...

If I am not wrong, AWOL is a straight DB with handcuffs. I have seen enough people go in for that. Some book in 2 hours late also got AWOL charge and go DB.

I have also seen people go in DB for insubordination, those small type like arguing back.

Those times, Singaporeans behave like prisoners in camps with no knowledge of their rights.

SAF got full of unclear rules that can be interpreted as the CO like. If there is consistent justice, LTA X should be on the way to DB and so too the OC and those involved for helping a AWOLer.

It seems the media never learn their lesson and is at overdrive again making Lee Hongyi look like a hero. The criticisms printed are so mild. Plenty of damage control. It seems they rather sacrifice SAF’s reputation than Lee Hongyi’s reputation.

My analysis is he is no hero or zero. All he did was a rash act that opened a 40 years old can of worms in SAF. Anyone could have done what he did, only that what will be the consequences.

Anybody else might be considered as mad and go to IMH for mass emailing so many people over some personal differences and displeasure with a bunch of colleagues and superiors.

The incident had highlight some points.

White Horse mentality and practice is still very much prevalent in SAF despite what MP Cedric Foo clarified in Parliament years ago.

Rules alone is not enough to change this fact. Age old traditions and culture must take a beating to change this fact.

When applying discipline and rules, prejudice and biaseness is still very much prevalent in SAF which led to many batches of NS men being more cynical than ever after leaving NS as compare before joining NS.

Rules and discipline when applied unfairly and inconsistently can only cause SAF to self destruct in any situation.

Hopefully during war time, the enemies can differentiate between who is white horse and who is not so that white horse can continue to enjoy different

Anyway, welcome to the real world Lee Hongyi, I guess he must be sheltered too long thus was unprepared and shock for what he experienced in this incident which many Singaporeans had gone through without much difference

You seem to agree it is fine for 2LT Lee to get away lightly with what he did just because of his status. So you agree it is fine to have double standards when implementing discipline and rules in SAF.

Then what is the difference between LTA X and 2LT Lee ??

Not just officers suffer injustice and complain privately in SAF, all NSFs of all ranks suffer injustice and complain privately in SAF.

All these could just be a show to introduce the future PM.

Anonymous said...

I think we can simplify the whole issue.

This is just conflicts among colleagues and maybe his superiors felt it was a normal case and use the "traditional" SAF method to deal with it.

2LT Lee was not happy with the result and felt not enough blood was drawn and thus did what he did base on his own abnormal status as PM's son.

I am not sure, but LTA X and 2LT Lee are similiar in some sense that both had light punishment for their offences.

Anonymous said...

Whatever lah, it is an opportunity to let Singaporeans know that someone is entering the arena and we should start to know who he is, just like the cable car accident allowed another personality to enter the arena and claim all the credit for the rescue efforts. Sounds familiar?

redbean said...

my premise on this issue is that hongyi is a bright young man. he knew what he was doing and who he was, and the publicity for exposing the case. and he knew that if it was a matter of petty personal differences he would have enough sense or be advised not to blow it.

it is to his benefit not to rock the boat. why bother?

let me hazard a guess on what could have happened. he knew something was drastically wrong. he wanted to right it. spoke to his parents. they told him he was now an officer, to think through the problem and decide what he thought would be the right thing to do, and do it. just my guess.

or he could just make up his mind to do something which he thought needed to be done. ok, knowing his position, he might feel more comfortable to do it. that is human.

he did tried to get it through the proper channel but it did not work. so he hit the wall.

i don't think it was all for some personal grievances or glory. he is smart enough not to go for such things. that is my assessment of any smart young man. in this case, his exposure to bureaucracy and how the organisation works will make him think twice on what he wanted to do.

redbean said...

forgot to add that hongyi comes from a very well informed and knowledgeable family. not the ordinary heartlanders that may still second guess about how things will turn out.

let's not belittle him to think that he is just another brash young man.

Anonymous said...

I'm tending to agree with the post that said the 2 of them are similar in that they were both let off easily for their offences. Much has been said about skipping the entire chain of command and reporting directly to the person right at the top. Even if it is true that the OC supposedly did not take any action despite being convinced beyond doubt about the report, the punishment was for the OC to mete out. Whatever his parentage, 2LT Lee will still be a 2LT and hence should show respect and obedience to the service by accepting the decision made by a superior. What is the point of having such a complicated rank structure if any low ranking officer can just skip the whole chain of command and complain to the minister?

It is definitely sad that the camp's level of discipline allows for such behaviour but that said, SAF matters should stay within SAF and not chain-lettered to the extent it finds its way to the scrutiny of the public

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps, i have another view, the people already know what happens in the SAF, comon, we all have to serve, however, perhaps this could be part of a long term agenda, for instance, didnt his father, the current PM, serve as a 'brigadier general' i use that term in inverted commas, since he's currently the world record holder for a general without combat experience.
now would people look back when his son is up for elections and thing 'hey isnt that the guy who blew the whiste, etc etc?

long term propaganda is what i think it is, if anyone else did that, it would be instantly covered up and made to disappear....

now i wonder who is going to be the PAP front man in a couple of years?

think about that. you may support him now for his 'valiant actions' but for all you know, it may be a ruse, the news media in singapore is known to be an agent of the government, giving props to the current ruling party for years, and showing the opposition in a poor light.
in this country of not so free press and lack of civil liberties, perhaps we are just all part of a long term plan to keep the lee family in power for years to come.

Anonymous said...

was bring out this hot topic wif some friends and one commented that 'his actions were wrong, he ruined the career of a regular'

in my humble opinion, the regular deserves it..he broke the law, and he was not duly punished and an nsf was punished for sth lesser..Reminder SAF is a NSF / NSmen army..if the regular does not show an example, how wld the ppl below react? i also feel the commander shld be given a reprimand or punishment too if he is found to be guilty of negliance..

jus my 2 cents worth..i'm open to other opinions..

chang! said...

The incident raises many questions. Lt Li was charged and reprimanded. His record has been tainted and thus renders him unsuitable for rapid ‘white horse’ promotion and unworthy to be a scholarship recipient. Precedent is not in his favor. Let’s see what further action SAF will be taking on this issue.

Also those that was court-martialled because of Lt Li’s complaint. Were they given due process and have been given a fair trial. Were punishment meted out a fair one. The SAF must now shed more lights on the case so that the public would be left with no doubt as to the SAF integrity.

Lt Li possesses such fine qualities. If he is to make the SAF his career, he will have to practice camaraderie. Such things like standing by his officers and men, respecting his immediate superiors and to resolve conflicts objectively and by not getting personal. His pedigree should not get to his head.

redbean said...

hi chang, welcome to the blog.

as spectators, and as singaporeans, we must be interested in such issues. it will have an impact to how our country will be run and where it is heading.

hongyi being a prince, and the well being of the saf, will be headline news when something happened.

justice must be done and be seen to be done. once an issue like this comes out into the open, there should be no attempt to cover up or it will only get worst.

the nkf is a fine example of how many people tried to pull wool over the public's eyes and ended up regretting what they had said and done.

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kamenriderv3 said...

personally i never believed great leader father produces great offspring. like in the case of our PM. smiling sacrcastic face all the time. complete 180 from dad. no where near his calibre. now bringing grandson who hasnt proved anything on his own merit. fed with a silver spoon i dont think i want such a leader. oh wait who died and made him a leader?