Wednesday, August 03, 2011

NTUC President should have held tongue


I write to you as your union member.

You disclosed recently that you invited one of the presidential candidates to speak to fellow union members. The NTUC has always supported values of fair treatment and equal opportunities. It is therefore unfortunate that it has not invited others in similar situations to do the same.

I must also protest your expression of personal views on your preferred presidential candidate. It has never been in the tradition of trade union leadership in Singapore to have one's personal political views expressed in the face of a high likelihood of the NTUC making known its preference.

It is for this reason union leaders must be publicly supportive of the People's Action Party, even though personally they may hold a different view. Anyone who has dared express such a divergent personal view publicly has been swiftly removed from his position as a union leader.

In expressing your personal views, you may have prejudiced the process by which the NTUC
goes about deciding its preferred presidential candidate. In the interest of good governance, you may wish to now detach yourself from such a process.

You have also disturbed that fragile balance that exists between the public and private views of a union leader. You may have set the wrong precedent for union leaders to follow. It is not surprising that other union members have started to follow your example, and are expressing their own personal views on this issue.

Your exemplary act thus frees me to register my disagreement with your choice of presidential candidate. If your criteria is that you "want a person who has got that kind of stature and that kind of exposure, who understands the fundamental role of the President", there are many others within the NTUC, including yourself, who can meet your criteria.

With respect, a unionist does not need to support a person, who cut his links with the NTUC more than a decade ago.

Dharmendra Yadav

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?
Feel free to react below or leave a comment.


Soh W said...

We Singaporeans are the ones to decide & choose our president. We do not need any social or political institutions 2 endorse any candidate & tells us that person is "good & suitable". It never add value or credit to the candidate through your endorsement, but only reflects that the institution is biased & partial, & also reflect an overly close relationship e.g. btw candidate & ruling govt, which will definitely make mr sit up, bcos i want 2 vote 4 a President that is truly independent & not strike "secret" deals that could compromise Singsporeans' interests. These kinds of relationships that are controversial & conflict in interest should b put 2 a stop. NTUC, u r serving the People, not a political party!!

Cynical Investor said...

Don't be so hard on him and the other leaders.

These "personal" endorsements will cost Tony Tan votes.

Also shows up their vanity. They think their personal opinions matters.

Anonymous said...

i, a card carrying member of the NTUC fairprice (current linkpoints to date: $16.73) do solemnly say that i, will support Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

Anonymous said...

What's the problem? This happens in any democratic countries.

Anyway, it doesn't matter whom they endorse. Organisations are not voters.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry mam, just the facts, please..."

Are you from the police?

"NTUC Fairprice"


"Want to see my card?..."


Anonymous said...

Is the post of NTUC President a "politically neutral" position?

Does a person have to resign from his political party membership before becoming NTUC President?
So as to be a true "national" trade union.

Anonymous said...


the comments are a joy to read!