You’re running ministries, not the military

By | January 21, 2012

Lee Hsien Loong’s thinking in managing his team of ministers is, sadly, a reflection of his military background.

“Negligent or dishonest ministers will be sacked but ministers who do not perform well despite their best efforts will be moved to a less demanding portfolio, or, if necessary, phased out discreetly,” he said.

But he added exits are “delicate matters” and “must be handled with dignity and decorously”.

That’s exactly how it is in the military. No one gets fired because of non-performance. And no one resigns, voluntarily or otherwise. As for the motivation to perform, ask any man in green and you’ll get a pretty good idea where their priorities lie.

All this do not augur well for Singapore. Until Lee Hsien Loong changes his mindset when it comes to managing the ministers, the team of so-called “qualified people” will never be able to reinvent itself.

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