10/25/2008

Do we need independent watchdogs

The answer is obvious. The formula of incestuous relationship and thinking that it will work has been proven beyond any doubt that it cannot work. It is just human nature, that when Quan Xi is part of the formula, when knowing who becomes too close for comfort, when you need to watch who you are likely to offend, who is paying your salary, people will compromise their professionalism and do things that are just short of being right and correct. Don't agree? Look at the mess we are in now. These are definitely avoidable if the lines drawn are clear. When business is business, when govt is govt, when people's interests is in conflict with commercial interests, when building a nation and building a business pull away from each other, you need independent bodies to stand firm in their missions. Business, govt, people, private shareholders, nation etc all have opposing interests. Recent events highlighted the inadequacies of many watchdog organisations, need not mention their names to embarrass them, as they struggled amid conflicting interests and blurring of roles. They failed miserably and still put on a front that they are doing their jobs damn well. It is fat hope to think that the present structure and organisations will be changed to provide a clearer distinction of govt, independent watchdogs and commercial interests. But it can be done if there is a strong political will to do so. Watchdog organisations can be mandated, with the blessing from the political masters, to be professional and work independently without having to look over their shoulders. CPIB is an example to emulate. They will also need to have strong individuals, stubborn individuals, passionate individuals, who are prepared to do what they are supposed to do, even standing up against political bigwits to put things right. We used to have such specie of human beans in the establishment. Seems like they are now extinct. But these are the prerequisites, this must be the case or these organisations will lose their credibility and relevance and become jokes in private conversations. And they are at this point in time. Just because the views are not articulated or not printed in the media does not mean that they are well regarded. Yeah, no complaint means everything is fine. There were no complaints about flawed financial products to raise the eyebrows, and no complaints about the flawed mechanism of the financial systems, the stock exchange etc. So everything is fine. Actually there are many complaints but no one is listening. No one wants to ruffle feathers or be the messenger of bad news. Can we walk around naked and deceiving ourselves that all things are fine?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is the point of having independent watchdogs if such watchdogs are still tied to a leash held by the political masters? LTA, CASE, PTC, etc, you name them, they are on a leash. Need we have more?

redbean said...

we need a responsible and confident govt to separate the roles and incestuous relationship if it is to work.

if there is no political will, we can have a lot of wayangs.

Anonymous said...

Now every public service entity is privatised, but in reality are still largely controlled by the Government. to facilitate price increases. So, do we expect the watchdog to bark loudly or bite the invisible hand controlling these entities?

Anonymous said...

Got to flame You for this article.

The Watchdog Organizations (were) are not ineffective. It is the quangxi(relationship/connection) of the Executives in these organizations with those(Executives of organizations being monitored) that they regulate that invalidate their(regulators) functions.

It is therefore the flaws in individuals(people) and not the organizations that are at faults.

Quangxi by the way is more positive than negative. We all need good relations, non confrontational and respectful of each others. Respectful not to cheat, take advantage of, bully, con and other felonies to others.

Nor is Quangxi(relationship/connections) for collusions for frauds.

Too ideal? Yes! but that's what virtues and values are all about.

patriot

Anonymous said...

In the good old days, when the Westerners do business there was no such thing as 'quangxi'. Now the Americans are practising it to perfection, bailing out well-connected entities and long time buddies. This world has indeed lost its virtues and values.

redbean said...

i was watching this kungfu serial and the shaolin monk was chastising a few martial arts experts for learning the art of killing to perfection but fail to learn a little wisdom and compassion from buddhism.

today we have many highly educated and trained supertalents, all very clever in making money, but do not care a dime about humanity, decency and simple virtues.

some even brushed aside these virtues as idealistic, for the stupid.