Parliament: Don’t be afraid to speak up, but don’t generalise?

I refer to the article “Ong Ye Kung to Louis Ng: Generalisations tar public service ‘with same brush’” (Channel NewsAsia, Mar 1).

It states that “Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (Mar 1) issued a sharp rebuttal to Member of Parliament Louis Ng’s comments on Tuesday that public officers dare not speak up for fear of getting into trouble.

In response, Mr Ong Ye Kung who also leads public service innovation efforts, said: “Where the public service has fallen short, it will address the problem. But when generalisations that tar the entire service with the same brush are made in public and worse, further spread through media, it does not do justice to our officers and it discourages and undermines improvement efforts.”

As to “”Mr Louis Ng … you can do your part too,” said Mr Ong to his fellow People’s Action Party MP.

“If some civil servant tells you they dare not speak up, you can assure them from your own experience that you’ve always spoken up and never got into trouble. If they feel the system does not allow them to make a difference, ask them what is it you want to change.”

“So I say to Mr Louis Ng, be part of the change. Be part of the change,” he concluded. “Work with and encourage the public service as it strives to transform itself to build a better Singapore.”

Later, Mr Ng thanked Mr Ong for clarifying that “all public officers can speak up without fear of getting into trouble”.

“I’m keen to be part of the solution, which is why I spent the past year meeting, listening to and working with public officers, and now share their concerns with everyone,” said Mr Ng. “And I’ll take Minister Ong’s advice and will be more careful about generalisation of public officers.” – don’t you find it to be kind of self-contradictory?

As an analogy – isn’t it akin to saying you don’t have to be afraid to speak up, but almost in the same breath – chides the person who spoke up – that he should not generalise and tar everyone?


Leong Sze Hian



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5 Responses to “Parliament: Don’t be afraid to speak up, but don’t generalise?”

  • oxygen:

    OYK GOT HIS MOUTH inside his a*se. How many times have peasants wrote to public service WHO DECIDED IT IS WISER TO KEEP DUMD, STAY DUMB AND CAWK-TALKING to public challenge to failed policies, hoping that the “irritation” will go away? LBW, jamban-woman fame knows the public service dead worm mentality of see no evil, hear no evil and do no evil of paralysis when confronted of a solution wanting from her constituents.


    OYK IS ANOTHER 4G FAILED APPRENTICE – the type that is arrogant, slack and out of touch. In fact, in the first outing, he lost the race to get elected even by the GRC backdoor in a group constituent of highest ministerial representation – already strongest bunker fortification. The weight of his presence adds nothing to that GRC survival fight of “peasants repentance” threat from PAST TENSE.

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  • LIONS:

    With ministers like ong ye kung,SG N sgs image will be tarred internationally sooner than later.
    This guy seems beholden to lee ah long for helping him to enter parliament under skirts n becoming a minister without even being observed for his performance?

    He thinks he is PM material,me thinks he is a national liability.
    Get rid of arrogance,get rid of oyk.

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  • HarderTruths:

    I am grateful to OYK.

    His speech has cured my constipation.

    Thank you OYK – even my backside doctor is not as good as you. You can make anyone shit. No problem.

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  • opposition dude:

    Ong definitely has potential to be the next PM, he pretends all is well just like the current goondu. I don’t hear him speaking up about the massive influx of aliens let in or the train disruptions for that matter though.

    Speak up Ong, practice what you preach!

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  • N.Jungne:

    They will all be praising and carrying Ms Grace Fu as ONE who dares to speak up. Meanwhile LCL got slap by Sylvia for having the wrong person to lead. Any way we need more Popcorns while we watch the Fall of Hum Lee and the rest.

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