Monthly Archives: May 2008

Horrors of civil service speak – SG style

Been a bit bored today because work’s hit a snag. So instead of producing stuff, I’ve actually been catching up on reading the material I’ve been gathering for my work. On top of that, I’ve also been reading stuff online.

One of the sites I visited was the e-government website for the Singapore government. Now before I umm comment, I would like to state for the record that I have many friends in the civil service. They are intelligent, sensitive and bright human beings who can laugh at themselves. But somehow, the bigger organisation does not seem to shine with the same intelligence as individuals who make up the organsation.

Now first, the website’s address is at That must be in itself a warning that it isn’t going to be very original.

Being unoriginal is fine in my book. After all, everyone copies everyone else.

But horrors! The language. Every sentence I read was a knife that continually stabbed at my heart deeper and deeper. The red of its words were bleeding across my screen and my eyes.

“Our vision is to be an Integrated Government (iGov) that delights customers and connects citizens through the use of infocomm technology.”

How does the Government delight me with e-services? Can it make me a doughnut? Or read me a fairy tale? Maybe it can tickle me subtly with its horrendous language…

“To achieve an iGov, we have to hasten the reworking of backend processes that cut across agencies to strengthen customer-centricity in service delivery. Our next step will be shift the focus from front-end to backend integration, and to advance from integrating services to integrating Government.”

What is an iGovt? Integrated government? What is customer-centricity? It must be Singlish. And horrors!!! “Integration” “Integrating, integrating” In one sentence at that!

Oh and on the Chee vs Lee trial, my friend, who can only make bad jokes had this to say:

SDP got Gandhi, now got Cheesus. Wonder who they have next? Martin Luther King? Oh they got aung san suu CHEE also.


Politics and the courts – a sad day for all

When the courts become the last place where political debate can take place, the country has become a sad sad place.

Chee obviously has a right to pursue the topic through legal means. And in courts is where he gets his day; open trial, immunities, etc.

But to do so in the courts, where politics is supposed to stay out is lowering the standing of the courts. Of course, one can argue were the courts originally even clean of politics in the first place? That is not for me to answer. What I do not want to see is using the courts to hold political debates, as the reports very well show that it is.

Was Chee forced into this? That political openness can only be demonstrated in the courts? Maybe. Possibly. Probably. Would this have been better aired in an open debate outside of the courts. Definitely. Would it have even taken place? Unlikely

Questions and maybes. What is certain is that the courts have become poorer because of it.