Friday, December 21, 2007

You decide: which is the real letter to ST forum

Quite shocking actually at how much the orginal letter was changed. I need to verify the original contents from the author though.

But just look at how the contents were twisted! I nearly went into convulsions. And to think ST dared to put the writer's name (Agung Santoso Ongko) at the end of it!

Pay rise for top civil servants timely (ST published forum letter)

I READ with great relief the article about ministers and top civil servants getting a 4-21 per cent pay rise next month (ST, Dec 14).

We can now be assured that only the most competent people will serve the country. With the rise in their remuneration, we have secured their steadfast service, as well as their continued fervour and dedication to fight for our cause. It could not be more timely. When inflation is soaring and some Singaporeans 'can barely stay afloat' (The Sunday Times, Dec 2), we need, more than ever, the best possible team of civil servants to lead us through the difficulties.

We cannot afford to lose them to the private sector, and have to retain them at all costs. This is especially so as these senior civil servants have been in the public sector for so long that they are likely to seek fresh experience in the private sector.

With the festive season coming, I hope that they will not forget to share the joy of receiving with the less fortunate. Therefore, I appeal to them to follow Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's lead in giving to the poor and spreading the blessings.

Writer's clarification:
I'm so glad somebody finally smelt a hint of my original intention for this Forum entry. Honestly, I read with GREAT HORROR the published version of my own e-mail on ST Forum 18/12/2007. Whatever was published on the Forum page on 18/12/2007 may be similar to what I had originally written, but the omissions made by the editors have actually changed its intended meaning altogether. I have reproduced below my original article as I had sent it to the ST editors:

"
I read with great relief the ST article “Ministers, top civil servants to get 4% to 21% pay rise in Jan” published on 13 December 2007. We can now rest doubly assured that only the most competent people will serve the country. With the rise in their remuneration, we have successfully secured their most steadfast service, as well as their continued fervour and dedication in fighting for our cause. Certainly, it cannot be timelier. At this point, when inflation is soaring and some Singaporeans “can barely stay afloat” (The Sunday Times 02 December 2007), we are in dire need, more than ever, for the best possible team of civil servants to lead us through all these difficulties. We cannot afford to lose them to the private sector, and have to fight to retain them at all costs. This is especially so, as these senior civil servants have been dwelling in the public sector for such a long time that they are more likely indeed to seek a fresh experience in the private sector.

With the festive season coming, though, I sincerely hope that they will not forget to share the joy of receiving with the less fortunate in our midst, for the total annual increment that every senior civil servant is set to receive can actually support approximately 1,000 other Singaporeans. Therefore, I appeal to our senior civil servants to follow PM Lee's lead in giving back to the poor and spreading the blessings. What that increase means to you means infinitely more to them.
"

If it has not become apparent to you by now, I had meant this piece to be satirical. And I admit that I may have failed miserably. I admit that it may be my own incompetent, ambiguous writing that has resulted in the gross misunderstanding. It is indeed possible that my vagueness has led to the editors misreading my intentions and viewing all the hyperboles and superlatives as redundant emphasis on my support for the pay rise. I shall, however, leave it to you readers to decide for yourself.

I hope I have made my position clear, though: that I am strongly opposed to the unwise timing of the ministerial pay rise, and that if it happens anyway, I call for those benefiting from it to share with those among us who live on $290 a month, and are saving every single cent just to continue surviving.

- Agung Santoso Ongko

---
The pen is mightier than the sword.

7 comments:

QQ*librarian said...

Haha, really! When I read the letter in ST, I was deciding whether to throw up on the spot. That's why cannot believe everything in newspapers.

spyer said...

What can you expect from our esteemed party newsletter? Editors to have a conscience?

I just cannot believe these state trained editors ever sleep without having nightmares. They fear their masters more than death itself.

Santa Claus said...

the editors have their job to do...
so you can't really blame them...

ST is the NATIONAL PAPERS... so that says it all

Anonymous said...

They are not christened the Running Dogs and Poor Prostitutes for nothing, you know.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Hi I would like to ask - what's the source of the writer's clarification? That is, where is it originally appear?

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from Shitty Stimes??

Kaffein said...

Hi Mr Wang,
Well, got it from http://singaporemind.blogspot.com/2007/12/citizen-grateful-for-civil-service-pay.html

Can't blame ST for publishing the 'brutal' truth. But it's a great injustice to the orginal content.

I do not think ST will publish the original letter though. So it will be hard to verify the true contents.