Let’s be kind to Swee Say

Swee Say said several things he wanted to do to correct the crimes against Singaporean talents in Parliament. These were quoted in a thread in TRE titled ‘Lim: FTs still needed to transfer knowledge to us’.  Here are a few paragraphs of this article.

“The MOM is also looking at how we can support those companies that are able to help us to transfer the know-how and the capabilities to our workforce, over the near term.”

“If we identify that certain areas of skills are in deficit and if we feel that those sources of expertise are available out there, somewhere in the world, we would like to work with companies to bring those expertise to Singapore and put in place a know-how transfer programme so that over time, this skills deficit can be narrowed,….

Mr Lim also revealed that his ministry is acting on concerns over firms with foreign HR directors, who may prefer to hire their own kinds.

“In fact, this is an area I’m looking into as well,” he said.

But he seems to have his doubts over such complaints from Singaporean PMEs.

“I’m not accusing them of being biased. But I would like to know if this concern by many PMEs is founded or unfounded.’

For saying the above, which was nothing new, many commentators took him to task with very stern remarks. I can’t blame them for I too wanted to say the same things. But on hindsight, I think the commentators are being too harsh on Swee Say. Though the concept of transfer of skills and knowledge were 30 years old, practiced 30 years ago but somewhere in time forgotten and lost, it is not fair to expect Swee Say to know these things. He was in NTUC and not in charge of productivity and the transfer of knowledge and knowhow to Singaporeans. He was not in charge of creating a Singaporean core of expertise in the banking and finance and IT industries. He was not in charge of hiring of foreigners to replace Singaporean PMETs. He did not know that Singaporeans were discriminated in the hiring process.  

He just took over this hot seat a couple of months ago and needs time to know what is going on. These problems have been there for years and not resolved, how to expect someone new to the job to know them and solve them immediately?

Let’s not blame him and be kinder to him. At least he is trying to understand the problems in his new job and he needs to know what went wrong and needs time to under concepts like transfer of skills and knowhow. You can’t expect him to know that this was the mantra of the day 30 years ago.

Let’s give him the chance to do the right thing and to correct the wrongs against Singaporeans in the industries. He has very little time to do so as the GE is around the corner.  He has to work very fast if he wants results to show that has indeed done something good for the PMETs and to build a Singaporean core.

And I think he is on the right track, tackle the HR heads and the companies with a lot of foreigners first. He has to be serious and any wayang will only expose his insincerity. All the eyes are on him now as the problems are serious and well known. If he cannot prove anything to his credit, the GE will be very harsh on him and his party.

Whatever you like, he is the best bet among all the MOM ministers in the past. He is the only one that appears to be serious in wanting to do something real. And he knows that time is against him and he cannot wayang anymore like past MOM ministers. The problem is going to hit his party very hard if not tackle immediately and seriously.

Ok, I have done my part to speak up for Swee Say. Now it is his part to produce the results.

PSIf only Swee Say has taken over the MOM 20 years ago, maybe things would not be so bad.


Anonymous said...

"He just took over this hot seat a couple of months ago and needs time to know what is going on. These problems have been there for years and not resolved, how to expect someone new to the job to know them and solve them immediately?"

Is Lim Swee Say a member of PAP's Prime Minister's cabinet over the last 10 years?
You mean Ah Loong's previous cabinet Minister never spoke about this problem during cabinet meetings over the last 10 years?
So either Ah Loong's previous cabinet minister was derelict in his duty for not identifying the problem OR Lim Swee Say was not paying attention during cabinet meetings tio bo?

Either way, do you think we should hold the entire PAP government responsible?

Did the discrimination, replacement and retrenchment of Singaporean employees start yesterday or many years ago?
Is it true that it's been happening over many years under the eyes (whether blind or not) of the PAP government?

If we don't blame PAP then who do we blame?

Anonymous said...

Yes! You are right! We MUST MUST be kind to Mr Lim!

Mr Lim had just left an EXTREMELY EXTREMELY colourful
career in NTUC.

Mr Lim was the BEST BEST union chief!

We are very BLESSED BLESSED that he is now in MOM for

I m very confident that Mr Lim will be the BEST BEST
manpower minister pushing policies good for Singaporeans.

Will he?

We shall see.


jjgg said...

RB ..you so easily impressed by this posturing? All his years in NTUC...workers lot improved or did NTUC become just another money milking machine. way past sell by date.

Anonymous said...

"PS。If only Swee Say has taken over the MOM 20 years ago, maybe things would not be so bad."

If only Singaporeans had voted wisely 20 years ago, maybe things would not be so bad.
So when did things started going bad?
When LKY "retired" his old guards to (ha ha) renew leadership?
When LKY started grooming scholars-generals to become Millionaire Ministers?

PS: How come with so many regular leadership renewal exercise in PAP, LKY himself has never left the political scene?

Virgo 49 said...

It takes 56 man / woman / child years to furnish an accounts.

So, different portfolio even though related takes another five to six years before he can grasp the problems

By the time erection Liao. Be kind give him chance. In between also got yo spare some time collect tooth pivks

Anonymous said...

SG50 HUMOR . So much talk on skill future and core . Then public service and related cannot behave just like private companies . Anyhow put blame on employee and no respect for Labor Law . Hands-On Green Matters

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thanks Virgo, for promoting my ang tau tng in TRE.

And for those who disagree with my post, just treat it as someone suggested, SG50 humour.

I know many would have very strong views on this matter. Now is election time and I am trying to say the right thing. : )

Anonymous said...

Vote PAP for more good years.

See. I also say the right things.
This is a pro PAP website you know.

Anonymous said...

Swee Say's Legacy

"薪佳播好声音-Voice of Aristocrats" Upturn the downturn Song:


Anonymous said...

what Swee Swee talker is saying is that Singapore, being a first world country, needs foreign workers from second/third world counries like China and India to transfer their knowledge to us. I think he needs to pay a visit to IMH. Not to get his hair in order, but his head.

Anonymous said...


Let all the Cabinet Members to learn the Trades and tricks.

Sinkies are ever compromising except when ot comes to themselves.

Are Sinkies given time to learn the Skills or are they replaced by aliens.

The Author has starts campaigning for PAP. Election is near.

Anonymous said...

Ya lor.

Are they not supposed to be well versed with their jobs and responsibilities. Are they not having experts assisting them in their respective ministries. These experts are at their command and disposal. Are the Ministers not supposed to be helicopters that command views others are unable to see?

If they lack the Skill and Competency, why are they appointed to the Offices ?

Anonymous said...

Alas, helicopter views are outdated even in America with 'Helicopter Ben' out of office. Now, it is 'Yelling' that is calling the shots.

If Hillary gets into the Oval Office, America will be wearing skirts.

Anonymous said...

Could be either Hillary Clinton or Carly Fiorina ( ex-HP CEO ).

In Taiwan 2016 PE, it is likely DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing Wen vs KMT Vice-Chairwoman Hung Tsiu Chu and Taiwan is almost guaranteed having a female President by 2016.

Now only left sinkieland still MCP-type political landscape. .... Any chance female PM like ...... any suggestion. .....?

Anonymous said...

Halimah Yacob can ?

She must be one of the most friendly cabinet member by far.

It is oso time for a female pm for a change. It may upturn the fortune of Sin.

Virgo 49 said...

Lily Neo, all the old folks got Saviour liao!

Free medical benefits for all old folks.

Free nursing homes for all who needs care in nursing homes.

Monthly subsidy of 500 dollars for all old folks.

Papigs asked where the monies come from??

LN: All Ministers/MPS past and present to have all their assets and wealth donated 80% to the Treasury.

Used the word donated not confiscated to give you all faces.

All current MPs and Ministers to draw 2000 and 5000 monthly. It's an honour to serve the country. 1000 can afford a HDB flat. You all draw 2 and 5k, lots of monies you know.

Minister of Defence no buy these expensive war toys and planes. Waste of monies! Got a Nation to defend meh??

If want to play these adolescent male games, go to amusement galleries. Recommended Genting, lots of games and varieties.

So got Lily Neo as PM, ho seh liao.

Anonymous said...

It is indeed not easy to find a potential candidate.....

The potential candidate must meet the criteria of "very good" ( in Chinese 很好,in Hokkien "JIN HO" ) in many aspects.....

There are many world class, some of the most powerful women in the world, right here in Sinkieland ...... so some or one surely is in the midst ..... somehow just cannot recall the name, seems so elusive, no luck (HENG HENG) today to have any recollections....

Anyone HENG (lucky) enough to recall any JIN HO ( very good, 很好) potential female candidate?

Maybe RB can sponsor a small price for anyone with the correct guess such as a harddisk or some token foreign bank shares or some palm oil seeds ...... Sounds good? To manage 1st world sinkieland, only a very good, 很好 ( JIN HO ) female candidate will do :))) ........

b said...

Cannot blame him for saying incorrect stuff because he works and lives in a glass tower. The system must change so they work and live on the ground.

b said...

One best way is to cut their pay to $2k per month so they can understand how families cope with $2k per month pay.