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9/18/2010

Singaporeans unappreciative of Vivian

Scouting around cyberspace, the immediate impression is that many Singaporeans are angry, very angry, with Vivian for the way YOG had turned out. No one cares how well the game was managed and how perfectly were the opening and closing ceremonies that showed to the world how efficient we were as a people. We could managed and organised big time world events. And the YOG was there to prove our worth. One particular vibe about Vivian is the blown budget by some 300%. The final bill for the game came to $387m. And Singaporeans were unhappy. Singaporeans should look at the whole thing in proper perspective. Vivian was actually very prudent and careful about public money and would not anyhow give them away, even for $10. That is his reputation. He emphasised his thrifty management style in Parliament. According to Vivian, the blown budget was his fault. Yes, but not because he was careless in managing the money. It was the reversed. He constantly and repeatedly reminded the Organising Committee of the YOG to be careful about the money spent. It was OPM after all. And he squeezed the budget to keep it small and that no one dared to over spent. And his conscientiousness in controlling the expenditure turned out to be his undoing. Under his guidance, the Organising Committee became too careful and tried their best to present as small a budget as possible. They tried to cut corners, lower the quality of the things needed for the game. I think the food for the volunteers was a good example. If only the Committee had been forthwith and direct and presented a reasonable budget that was closer to the real thing! If only Vivian would have been more generous and let them quote and spend whatever the Committee wanted! Then the original budget presented could even be $500m. And Vivian could then tell them to cut cost, and the final bill, $387m. It would be a different story. He could even claimed credit for saving more than $100m! Or a discount or a subsidy or whatever you want to call it. And everyone will praise him instead of blaming him. His fault now lies in his thriftiness and honesty in working with the truth. Only if he would have followed the unscrupulous business or commercial gimmicks of generous discounts after jacking up the prices, things would have been different. The people must relook at the whole issue and say a big thank you to Vivian for a job well done. And if he had not been thrifty, the bill could be $500m. Singaporeans must be more understanding and appreciative. It is not an easy job to start with. _________________

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are truly ungrateful! With all the hard works and scrimping every cent he could n all he got from the citizenry were sarcasms, brickbats and outright accusations of incompetencies and sloppiness. Even well before the YOG started, some bloggers who are in the profession of games organizing oredi saw much issues and as the Event progressed, more accusations of blunders were revealed.
Luckily, most Singaporeans, except for some bloggers, have oredi forgottened about YOG. They cant afford to think about such a useless event, they got to think of their meals, their jobs, their roofs and the futures of their children.
However, V Balakrishnan should'nt be blamed disproportionately for his short comings. Compare the extra expenditure for the YOG with the Amount lost by GIC and Temasek Holding, it was chicken and yet Minister Bala had lots of efforts put in and not like those specialists in GIC and TH who just made phonecalls and played with the computer keyboards.
Minister Bala might as well forget about his political carreer, it is not worth the pay he is getting, even though it runs into million Sin Dollars per annum. As a doctor(dentist) he could make many times more to practice as a doc.

Wally Buffet said...

Excuse me bro.

Is he a teeth or an eye doctor?

I oso read somewhere he ran a hospital before joining the political trade. True ah?

Anonymous said...

Big APOLOGY!

A can too many.

Eye Doctor is correct Sir.

Sorry sorry ah.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
what thrift are you talking about? The Yog exceeded original budget by more than twice again.

Anonymous said...

LOL - another great satirical piece. Unfornunately some people may take it seriously.

Anonymous said...

I find the ST Forum on the topic 'Singapore young worries MM' and the comments, very interesting.

Personally, I am beginning to find that older Singaporeans are beginning to be more appreciative of old oppositon members such as David Marshal, Lim Chin Siong, Chia Thye Poh, Lim Hock Siew and many more, even controversial figure liked Lim Yew Hock, Ong Eng Guan and of course JB Jeyaretnam etc.

On the contrary, Singaporeans are also beginning to query about MM Lee Kuan Yew's work with the Japanese during their occupation of Singapore in the 1940s with suspect. It also seems that more negative sentiments are been expressed, such as those in the Thread mentioned as well as many others in blogoland.

There are three regulars here namely, Mr Redbean, Patriot and Wally, who claimed to be oldies. Maybe they could enlighten readers regarding the political and social backgrounds of our earlier history. And what are their opinions and readings that lead to the common sentiments about our past and present politicians.

I am looking eagerly forward to hear from them here and I believed many here would wished the same.

Anonymous said...

Civil servants are paid a salary to do their job. This is not a voluntary position (and even if it were, I would hold them to the same following standards).

A budget should reflect realistic spending. This is the basis of making good organisational, planning, and operational decisions. To me, there isn't a fine line between being prudent and being foolish (penny-wise, pound foolish). Every shortcut or cost-cutting measure has its consequences. That has to be taken into account when putting forth a budget. Even if we disregarded the ballooning technology costs, the budgeting process gets a straight F.

That said, for the amount of time the committee had to organise the entire event, it was well done on the whole.

harper_apt@yahoo.com

Jason Kho said...

Yes, I'm sure you would be ecstatic and not blame your contractors, your business partners, or anyone you deal with when you are under quoted by almost 300%, and you would appreciate them for being thrifty with the original quote. Very sound reasoning indeed.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Ok, let me apologise for the way I write my posts. Actually there are many ways of reading them. It can be read literally, cynically, angrily, jokingly or comb it with a fine magnifying glass.

I assure you everyone will come out with a different take of my postings. Some will laugh, some will cry, some will get angry, some will smile quitely.

Hope this explain everything: )

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

And welcome, harper and Jason Kho to the blog.

And a reminder, please read and re read my post if you got that funny feeling after the first read: )

Cheers.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Let me give a quickie reply to anon 9:13. As a student of history, we often raised this question, Does history make great men or great men make history?

Often it is the circumstances that dictate how things will turn out. When the Japanese were the ruler here, anyone who opposed them were beheaded, and some turned martyrs. Those who worked with the conquerers were spared and rewarded.

When the British were the rulers, the same thing applied. Swim with the tide and join the winning side. That is one wisdom that never fails.

And did we fought for our independence? Yes or no. We talked, we pleaded, and timing was on our side. The British were too poor to maintain their empire and wanted someone to takeover, and still sharing the same interests, and would cooperate and play their game.

Did our independent fighters fought in the battle fields or on the streets, facing the bullets of the colonialists? No.

The independence of Malaya and Singapore were served on a silver platter unlike those in other Asean or African states. South Africa, Rhodesia, Uganda etc, all paid a heavy price for their independence.

There was a confluence of events to make things easier for us. If there was a need to fight and shed blood, only the foolhardy like Lim Chin Siong and his comrades would do it.

The smarter ones will fight in the negotiating table. It would get them no where if the British were not ready to relinquish their control then.

And everything is history.

Be A Gentleman said...

Don't worry Dr Vivian, you are entitled to use your yearly salary to pay for the additional tens of millions.

Dr Vivian should be given the chance to foot the huge bills and allow him to pass this installment to his children,grand children and great grand children to settle.

With great respect and confident of Dr Vivian as a honourable and respectable gentleman will agreed with this arrangement.

fatt said...

Fantastic insight. Unfortunately, it only highlights the lack of business acumen in the YOG committee and the unfortunate V. Dr V seems to have the best intentions but he's surrounding himself with 'CAN DO' people instead of 'GET REAL' folks. The money has already been spent. Hopefully, the next big expenditure won't be so vulgar in amount and reeking of incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not he helped to cut down on the money, or whether or not the original stated budget was too low.
387 Millions! IS A LOT OF MONEY!

Even if the original budget is raised up before the actual event, Singaporeans will not and cannot accept it!

If you do your Maths, with Singapore population of only 5 Million people, a spending of 387Million dollars equate to a spending of $77 per capita!

That is A LOT OF MONEY for a 2 weeks event. Do we really need to spend so much money at all???
The charity organizations in Singapore are not even getting that much money!

Now forget about the amount of money each Singaporeans contributed. I don't have real statistics here but let's assume 100000 people are involved in this event (which is an exaggerated figure already!). 387Millions divide by 100000 people amounts to a spending of 3870 dollars per head. Assume we pay their air ticket of say 2000, it is still 1870 dollars per head for 2 weeks, or 133 dollars per head per day....

Do you think this figure is justified? AT ALL???? 100+ dollars per day???? DO NOTE THAT MANY SINGAPOREANS ARE NOT EVEN EARNING THAT MUCH A DAY!!!!! And my head count figure IS exaggerated. What is the no. involved is only 10000 people??? That would be 10x per head or $1000 per day! I can live in 5 stars hotel with and indulge myself in luxury with that kind of budget you know???

What is more, we forgotten that there are sponsors who also contributes some money to the event. Yet the amount spent can escalate till that amount??? Ridiculous!

Do note also that IOC estimates the budget to be only 30 Million! It goes to show that the money is OVERSPENT. Period.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

There are actuall 4 regulars here. Don't forget about Matilah Singapura.

The blog will be more boisterous if we have more regulars here. Everyone is welcome to share his 2c worth.

As for the YOG, looks at it from Vivian's perspective. You want a local event, regional event or international event?

International event, style, quality, standard, must spend lah. What is $387m? And the parliamentarians all seemed too happy to say otherwise.

The event might be well done, but $387m? Mind you, no fleecing. Or else it could be $1b.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

And welcome to the blog Be a Gentleman and fatt.

Anonymous said...

Charities here are fighting for every dollar and here we just blew 387 million. Anyone to verify this amount ? Could even be 500million.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

For a small company with a budget of $1m and blown to $3.5m it would have gone bust. But Singapore is so rich, losing tens of billions also no sweat.

We have gone drunk or mad by the big numbers that a few hundred millions are nothing, really, nothing.

Anonymous said...

Well, if Singapore so rich like what you say. USE IT TO HELP THE NEEDY!
Not spend on useless stuffs like these! So what if we can create a good image for the event? Overbudget itself is a bad bad bad bad image to the world, showing off to the world that we are arrogant with our wealth!

Matilah_Singapura said...

I think too many fuckers are expecting too much from a civil servant.

It seems that people have forgotten the truism:

The people get the government they deserve

In other words, the PAP is correct: what Singaporeans have is THE BEST govt the country can muster.

That being said, you can't hold a person accountable to money which is not his. Why should he care how he spends it? Would you... be honest now, before you shoot your "holier-than-thou" mouths off.

Think of 387 mill as "marketing money" -- money spent to lift up the national image of Singapore as a terrific host and a can-do country, the best in the world.

Anyway, the money is "free money" -- it was taken from the people for the govt to do whatever and however it pleases.

You fuckers are bickering over nothing.

Viva la Vivian! Give him more money to spend!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Singapore need that kind of image at all. What is more, it is a bad image. It is so embarrassing for me as a Singaporean to learn that foreign media are getting interested in covering the overbudgeting more that the YOG event itself. Soooo embarrassing..

What is more if Singapore is sooo rich, give everyone free education! Help the needy! We earn those money with hard work and they spent it like this. How could they!

Singapore need babies right? With our hard work and yet money all taken up by gov to spend like this... who still want to have babies? And you know, if Singapore is so rich to spend that kind of money, and if its peanuts for Singapore to lose tens of billions, then why not give a baby bonus of 100000 each? or 1 million? You know, 10 billions is peanuts only and that will potentially bring Singapore 10000 babies for a baby bonus of 1 million each!

Enough said. No matter how rich Singapore is, money is WRONGLY SPENT.

Yes, Singaporeans were supportive of the bid of YOG, but should the budget has been known to be this high, NOBODY would support at all.

Anonymous said...

Why cant they spent your hard earned money? They are your bosses leh ! If a lifeless flame cost 7 millions, wat is spending ten or hundreds of thousand on each person for the YOG ? The participants are peole you know ? Definitely much more important than a flame dont you think so ? That shows that they have indeed been very frugal, oh, thrifty said Beannie.

Anonymous said...

Anyone knows how much it cost China to have the (Main)Olympic Flame brought to the Last Olympic Games in China ?

Matilah_Singapura said...

to anon 218:

The essentially progressive liberal foreign press are a bunch of idiots who seize every opportunity to "hammer" Singapore.

Personally, I could care less about criticism from journalists, especially those of dreamy-wishful-thinking post-modern liberals.

The best criticism of Singapore IMO is done by Singaporeans - fuck the media, especially the "outsiders".

Gong "over-budget" IMO can be worn as a badge of honour:

"We are a country who will do what it takes to put on a good show and because we're better than you, we can well afford it. We are Singapore, and don't you -- second-rate countries all of you -- forget it. In fact, we will spend the money (which is nothing to us) so you WON'T forget us!"

How's that?

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