Sit. Stand. Bark. Good boy.
According to Singaporeans infuriated by the government-owned transport operator SMRT’s blatant display of corruption and cronyism, ex-military officers and colonels are dogs loyal only to the ruling party PAP.
The distasteful description of officers from the Singapore Armed Force and uniformed groups however are not without good reasons.
Earlier in July, former colonel Alvin Kek was jailed 2 weeks for drink driving. The married repeat offender was reported to be caught with his China national mistress at the time of offence. Despite so, SMRT announced that they will continue to hire ex-colonel Alvin Kek and handed down a bonus cut and demotion to appease the public.
Then yesterday (Aug 1), SMRT announced the appointment of two more ex-colonels to be Head of Human Resources. The move sparked an outrage from the public, and according to an employee from SMRT, invoked resentment within the organisation.
Senior managers in SMRT felt that they have been left out of promotions and been forced to report to “a superior who is equivalent to a fresh graduate”. True enough, none of the ex-colonels have a single day of working experience in the private sector and know next to nothing about a railway company.
Military men have a poor record in both the public and private sector in Singapore. However, the increase in appointments of ex-military officers is a move endorsed by dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – who himself was a Brigadier General. Lee Hsien Loong became a “general” through nepotism, because his father was the former Prime Minister.
Lee Hsien Loong placed the ex-military officers in key state-owned corporations and ministerial positions as they are loyal only to the Prime Minister. Like dogs, the officers would act as per Lee Hsien Loong’s instruction without question.