Who is Indranee to tell us to be grateful?

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At a recent Parliament session, Indranee Rajah, a senior minister of state said “We should be grateful that a person of such standing has agreed to dedicate himself to the public cause” in reference to Ex-MP MP Hri Kumar Nair’s appointment as deputy Attorney General. Her reasons on why we should be grateful included citing how he took up the job “despite the considerable personal and financial cost to him” and that he “earns significantly less than what he used to earn”.

She had said this in response to Workers’ Party MP Sylvia Lim comment that filling a constitutional post with a party politician is not ideal as the appointment “carries a risk of undermining public confidence in the AGC’s stated mission of fair and independent prosecutions, and it is a risk that is best avoided”.

Veteran lawyer Hri Kumar Nair, known for his vociferous comments on the opposition when he was a PAP MP, is the first former politician appointed as DAG.

My post here is not about Hri but about Indranee’s patronising response. It is irksome as it is not the first time PAP leaders (and their fervent supporters)  have told us we should be GRATEFUL to them for making “sacrifices” when they take up a top dog government job. Saying this simply reflects their elitist and calculative mindset.

Like everyone, we make a career choice after weighing the pros and cons. Everyone of us forego something when we let go of one job for another. We make the choice, we live with it.We do not tell those who benefit from our employment to be grateful no matter how taxing that job is.

The poorly paid elderly aunty and uncle cleaning public toilets do not ask for gratitude so why should those in high-flying jobs?

Fact is those in high-flying jobs like Ministers and top guns in government posts have many benefits including high pay, power (lots of it), fame, recognition and access to a  vast network of who’s who in business and politics. What then is their sacrifice when weighed against what they gain?

Sure, some may lose a bit in pay when they move from private to public sector (but how many of such people are there?)  and they may lose some privacy being a public figure. Here, we have to ask them about their intrinsic motivation which is supposed to give greater satisfaction than tangibles like money. Are they not getting heaps of satisfaction by doing a job of their choice? It’s not like they were coerced into it.

Do teachers tell their students to grateful?
Do doctors and nurses tell their patients to be grateful?
Did Obama tell his people to be grateful when he was President?

NO.

Respect has to be earned, Gratitude has to be heartfelt. Both cannot be demanded.

So, can PAP please stop telling us to be grateful? We will let you know when we are.

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9 Responses to Who is Indranee to tell us to be grateful?

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 6 Mar 2017 – The Singapore Daily

  2. Sinkie says:

    I’m sure Hri made a very careful comparison of pros & cons when he decided to become a DyAG. Usually people who earn huge amounts and then quit to take on another job with lower pay (but still very substantial) are those who have already achieved financial independence for their family, and are looking for extrinsic rewards such as better work-life balance, healthier living, mental wellbeing etc. I have a couple of friends in the legal sector & they can attest to cases like this among senior lawyers & partners, albeit a small minority. Instead of working 24-36 hrs non-stop & over weekends in the legal private sector especially when involving huge clients with millions or even 10s of millions of legal fees involved, now he can look forward to a fixed 5-day work week from 0830-1800 (Fri knock off at 1730), no need to work on PH or weekends.

    • Excellent point raised. This is indeed another motivation for him to leave the frenetic job as a private lawyer for one that is less demanding. It is well known that lawyers in big firms work extremely long hours till way past midnight even though they may earn big bucks.

  3. “It’s a privilege to serve” Chen Show Mao

  4. hm leong says:

    If he think he is losing too much then don’t take the job. We of lot of people to replace him.

  5. observor says:

    Indranee shows the shallowness and narrowness of her outlook with such remarks.
    Is a job really Only about money? Is that why all those MPs became MPs – only so
    they earn $16k a month working part-time?
    As you point out, what price power? Lots of power? How about helping make
    decisions for a nation’s people and future? Isn’t Indranee counting on her
    “standing” to convince people with whatever she claims?
    Does job interest and satisfaction also never enter the picture?
    If Indranee wants to argue in favour of questionable govt decisions, she really
    needs to do more than trot out old and weak reasons.

    • The problem with such people is they have been in that crony system for too long and she was also mentored by LKY. Such people have much to lose from their job to the power they wield. Over time they become more and more unscrupulous and even try to rationalise that they are doing all this for the supposed greater good. Fooling themselves and trying to fool us.

  6. JOHANNES says:

    INDRALEE, Infact you should grateful to us TAXPAYERS, because without us, I don’t think you can enjoy your million dollars salary.

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