Saturday, November 15, 2014

Example of good communication from Ms Henson

The government repeatedly fails to communicate well enough. The latest example was Khaw Boon Wan failure to anticipate and explain why foreign workers were used in an anti-riot exercise leading to be criticized heavily by netizens and the relevant NGOs.

Preceding Khaw, S. Iswaran scored worse and they can't blame the media for misquoting them!

On the other hand Bertha Henson is more in touch with the ground. She already anticipated how some readers might react. Near the end of her blog post there was another example.

If you cannot communicate you cannot get support for the right policies. Most of the time what the masses want are not the best for all of us and you have to sell complex, unobvious, alternative ideas successfully. As they keep failing to reach us successfully, others with beguiling ideas have come forward with alternatives that are popular but likely to bring regrets later.


  1. Bertha correctly anticipated how we'd react, as you pointed out.
    But to me, the picture merely validated the "kiasu / don't get involved" Singaporean. The people providing first aid - and presumably knows what to do instinctively - were angmo's. I'm not surprised by that - they tend to be more civic minded and had probably been trained on what to do in emergencies too. The only Singaporean in the picture is a Malay. Again, not surprised. In many other cases where the police give awards to civic minded citizens for acts of kindness, most of the time, they are Malays. I say this, commendably. You do not frequently see local chinese. When I was a student, I participated in flag selling exercises for charity. I foolishly thought that targeting Raffles Place is the right place to go since there're many white collar workers there. I quickly learn that many are too busy. The most responsive are those with the least to give. To me, the picture tells the stereotype of Singapore today. The angmos - mid level staff? expats? - responded and knew what to do. A Malay Singaporean responded and he happened to be a junior staff. And yes, the report made it clear that after overcoming their initial shock, the vast majority of Singaporeans crowding round merely filmed what's going on to be posted on social media.

  2. I must also complement the lady in biege (presumably 27 year old Ms Tan from UOB) who did a good job trying to attend to the wounds of the injured.