20160807 Quitter paper generals joining ‘private sector’ is a joke

I refer to ST article, “LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong quits; MOT says he will be joining private sector”.

Singaporeans should be more discerning when they read propaganda papers like the ST: No former generals who had served more than 2 decades have joined the real private sector. This is because they do not have the competence and credibility demanded by the private sector.

ST’s definition of ‘private sector’ = government-linked companies or GLCs. GLCs were created using tax dollars and are all controlled by the government through PAP appointed CEOs and their directors. As GLCs are vastly different from non GLCs, a distinction needs to be made. A CEO who performs well in a GLC is also unlikely to be hired to helm a non GLC.

It is unsurprising that Chew has resigned as, under his leadership, our MRT system, and now LRT, has gone from bad to worse.

Another SAF scholar, Chew had a smooth sailing 26-year military career in the navy. In 2011, PAP had decided to reward him with the position of CEO PUB as well as other directorships despite his ZERO relevant experience.

But less than 3 years into the job, PAP appointed Chew to head LTA in December 2014. In less than 2 years as CEO LTA. , Chew now throws in the towel and has decided it would be more worthwhile to be a quitter.
(This will likely turn out to be Chew’s smartest move because he should be aware by now that an MRT system designed for a 4 million population can never be nursed back to health under our mindless immigration/population policy.)

Chew has been speculated to be joining Singapore Technologies group whose board of directors include:

– Chairman Kwa Chong Seng (nephew of LKY’s wife, Kwa Geok Choo)
– CEO and President Tan Pheng Hock (Colombo Plan Scholar with links to numerous GLCs)
– Lieutenant General Perry Lim (no need to explain)
– Ex paper general Ng Chee Kern (same as above)

With directors who are all government-linked and with the government calling the shots, does the ST group even remotely resemble a company in the real private sector?

NO paper general with 2 to 3 decades of military experience will be employed in the real private sector and paid a similar amount of tax dollars in a GLC. Even foreign military companies shun our paper generals for obvious reasons.

Another well known quitter, a household name by now, is ex paper general Ng Yat Chung. Under PAP’s unique model of meri-crony-tocracy, Ng became CEO NOL in 2011. After more than 4 years on the job, it dawned upon CEO Ng that NOL’s ‘premium service’ model should have been discarded years ago. By then, it was too late: NOL was on its way to be delisted and sold to a foreign company.

Ng admitted that NOL was only “a bit slow and reluctant” to change. So Ng decided it would be better for him to join the quitters camp.

Ng should apologise to MP Goh who had been credited with NOL’s past success. Selling Goh’s 48-year old ‘baby’ is confirmation of failure on a magnitude never seen before. Shouldn’t Lau Goh also be lecturing Ng on his unacceptable quitter’s mentality?

Will a CEO who achieved this set of results be hired by any company in the real private sector?


Paper generals who quit are good at only one thing – value destruction. Why would any private sector company employ these jokers with parachutes?

Whenever a ST headline screams paper generals joining the private sector, rest assured it is a joke. The reasons should be obvious by now.

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5 Responses to 20160807 Quitter paper generals joining ‘private sector’ is a joke

  1. George says:

    “Soldiers are less adapted to society because they may not have the skills the job market wants and not be familiar with workplace culture. And that’s why they need more support from the government” – Chinese Army officer.

    Ain’t that the truth. These generals cannot make it on the real world one lah even though they proclaim loudly they are rare local talents. They can never get a job with a real MNC lah… That’s why must go around the temasek circle or the GLC circles

  2. George says:

    Instead of getting retrenched they get a new job! This gives meritocracy a real bad name in Singapore

  3. Kenny Chong says:

    The biggest disconnect is that in the SAF, generals have an army of people around him to do everything for him including drawing maps, writing ops orders, preparing his meals, carrying and cleaning his weapons, shining his boots, polishing his trophies etc. These people are all paid by taxpayers and the generals have zero accountability over P&L. In the private sector, if a CEO wants all these luxuries, his P&L will be impacted and he will have to answer to shareholders why he should enjoy such extravagance at the expense of profit.

    • Confused says:

      You are very right. In private practice, the directors are “betting” with their own monies and only get to be paid well if the company performs wel. Our Generals? Betting with our monies. Worst still, pay themselves better than the private practice without having to bet a single cent of theirs. Where got pain if lost?

  4. Rodney Yeo says:

    ARMY generals should not be given high level jobs without proving themselves. Being a captain once in the army for 17 years, I too had difficulties in adjusting to the civilian job. But I learnt the had way after twenty years to prove myself. These generals should not be given such jobs, it would be a disgrace, as most of them fall short of expectations.

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