Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Disconnected CEO Continues to Lay Down the Law

The public generally dislikes having retiring military personnel be appointed in key roles in the civil service, or certain stat boards, fearing that they may be out of touch with current affairs, and may bring the perceived rigid culture of the military into the civilian world.

While I believe we should not be too quick to paint all current and ex-SAF regulars with the same brush, a recent condascending remark to a group of now-clubless players and staff by Mr. Lim Chin, a former army Colonel who is currently the CEO of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League, threatens to further reinforce the public perception that military men cannot adapt to the outside world.

In an excerpt of the leaked audio recording from the meeting, Mr. Lim reportedly told the players and staff that:

"One thing clear is that, the chairman of the club, and the management committee, is above all of you. You are the players, nobody is bigger than the club, and the chairman is the club."
"I think you all need to know where you stand as a staff, as a player, as a coach. Do not ever question the chairman on his worth to the committee. He is a volunteer, and they (the committee) are all volunteers taking pain to come here."

"Some of the reasons you may not accept well and good, I cannot force you to accept every answer that we give you, but we are giving you the truth. If you cannot accept the truth then we cannot help you in any way."

I am not undermining Mr. Lim's achievements as an SAF commander, seeing that he had risen to the appointment of Chief Artillery Officer during his time in service, which is a more than commendable honour for any professional soldier.

However, one needs to remember that these people are football players with short careers and very wobbly rice bowls due to lack of job security. They are men with families to feed, and they are merely seeking clarification on the actions and decisions undertaken by the ones who may have a profound effect on their ability to feed their families. Mr. Lim claims to want to make the League stronger, but are these decisions doing the League any good when all it will do is serve to further convince Singaporeans that football is far from being a viable career in Singapore?

I have utmost respect for a great majority of the SAF regulars and commanders I have worked under as an NSF and worked with as a sponsor of NDP 2012, and I hope that they do not become unnecessary victims of one man's folly because they do not deserve it.

One thing for sure, I have never had a superior rub his rank in my face while in service, that it's such a wonder to me that something like this happened in a non-uniformed situation.

To Mr. Lim, I wonder how you can sleep soundly at night. It must be that comfortable chair in your office, that delectable salary and nice sports car.

Written by our contributor Basil Yeo