Friday, March 16, 2007

What do you call such behaviour?

Today reports the following. It is the latest chapter in the rise and fall of PY. And I simply has to put the whole article here for my own keepsake hehe.

A loaded farewell
Philip Yeo uses MM Lee's name to assure scientists and put things on the record

Tan Hui Leng

SINGAPORE'S biomedical research champion Philip Yeo bid farewell to his yet-to-be-realised dream, but not without making clear that there is no change in the Government's thrust despite a high-profile debate sparked off by neurologist Lee Wei Ling.

That storm, as Mr Yeo described it, shocked not only local scholars but also the big-name scientists wooed, and sometimes cajoled, by the man himself to do research here.

He also invoked the stature and clout of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew to send this message to the whales (brand-name scientists) and guppies (younger Singapore scientists).

"Let me quote Mr Lee: 'This issue has been deliberated over a period of several months in Cabinet and decided by Mr Goh Chok Tong and his Cabinet. The policy has been continued by Mr Lee Hsien Loong and his Cabinet. We have made significant investments in time and resources. We have to get the most out of what we have put in,'" said Mr Yeo, the outgoing chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) in a thank-you lunch hosted by Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang on Wednesday.
Mr Yeo — who was quoted as saying in December that he would have liked to continue with his A*Star mission for two more years — will step down as chairman at the end of this month to head Spring Singapore

That Mr Yeo chose to invoke the Minister Mentor's name to reassure the biomedical community was not surprising, a source close to A*Star told Today.

After all, when Dr Lee fired the first salvo in the big biomed debate in February, she told Reuters that she had raised her concerns about Singapore's biomedical policy with her father, Mr Lee.

And in a reply to a question on whether the Government was listening to her concerns that Singapore's biomedical sciences might be heading down the wrong road, Dr Lee told the news agency: "All I can say is that maybe they are having a rethink."

A*Star later said in a statement that "there is no rethink or change in the Government's biomedical sciences policy".

Still, the debate continued.

The source said: "The (Yeo-Lee) debate has spooked the top names who gave up their bright careers in their countries to come to Singapore. They were upset and uncertain.

"The use of Mr Lee's quote by Mr Philip Yeo has to be seen in this context. Who else can allay the fears of the 'whales' and bring this debate to a close?"

When asked to comment on Mr Yeo's latest remarks, Dr Lee, who is director of the National Neuroscience Institute, told Today: "I stand by my views ... Sometimes, the observer on the ground has a truer picture than the observer from the helicopter."

Apart from hoping to have the last word on the debate, Mr Yeo's speech was also notable for what he was trying to say in between the lines.

Lest Singaporeans forget, Mr Yeo, 60, reminded his audience that he had played a key role in developing Singapore's "second wing", which saw the development of the Batam Industrial Park and his "favourite", Bintan Beach International Resorts.

In 1998, he also had to put aside a joint industrial project with China in Wuxi to "assist in turning around the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park", which was not progressing as fast as its planners had initially hoped.

The source told Today: "I think Mr Yeo was using the occasion to put on record his achievements and possibly to show that if, for some reason, there is a departure from his thrust, then it was not his decision."

Mr Yeo also gave his audience an insight into just how close he was to the Minister Mentor. More than once, Mr Yeo made a different career choice because of Mr Lee's intervention.

In the mid-1980s, for example, Mr Yeo said he would have joined Singapore Airlines if not for Mr Lee's advice for him to move to the Economic Development Board (EDB). In 2000, when he was mulling over a lucrative career as chairman of a Singapore-based holding company, it was again Mr Lee who asked him to stay on and "carry on with my life-sciences pursuit" at the EDB.

And last year, after Mr Yeo announced that he was leaving A*Star, Mr Lee "asked me to help out with international projects as Special Adviser for Economic Development at the Prime Minister's Office".

As Mr Yeo looked back at his years in the civil service, he seemed to have one regret: Not spending enough time with his family.

He quoted a "rebuke, albeit a respectful one" from his son, Gene, who sent him this message:

Daughter's doing great at Brandeis
Son's slogging at Salk
Both missing dad
Did not spend as much time with family.

"In this Year of the Pig, I intend to reserve some time for my family," Mr Yeo said as he ended his speech on a wistful note — so atypical of the hard-driving, hard-talking untouchable star.

Destination SIA?

At his farewell lunch, Mr Yeo wondered aloud if an offer made over 20 years ago for him to lead SIA was still valid.

In August 1985, Mr Goh Keng Swee, then the chairman of the Monetary Auth-ority of Singapore, had advised Mr Yeo not to join the EDB. But then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew told Mr Yeo that he should join the EDB "as I was needed there".

"Mr Lee also said that I could go to SIA at a later date. I wonder if the offer had an expiry date," Mr Yeo quipped.

As usual PY makes a lot of noise. Except this time it sounds like ITE – It's the End! Hahahaha!

1. The fact that PY is to leave sooner (end of this month) than the two more yrs he hoped for says a lot already. And joining the relatively obscure SPRING Singapore is a big step down and confirms the decline in his fortune.

2. Bringing out LKY’s name and throwing it around is quite shameful. It is not unlike the behaviour of a eunuch in an imperial court. The eunuch has lost power and is now bawling out loud trying to get as much attention as possible for himself from anyone who cares to listen.

3. Today calls it a loaded farewell. Very true! When no one bothers to listen to a eunuch anymore what does the eunuch do? That's right, go public and play to the gallery. Bringing out his son’s email is downright cringing and shameless. Actually it reminds me of TT Durai whose daughter wrote a letter that was read out in parliament. You know one’s time is up when they have nothing else more to say other than start talking about past glory and inconsequential family matters.

4. Today writes, "It is not often that a Singaporean civil servant uses a farewell lunch to talk about his successes. But then again, Mr Yeo is no normal civil servant." Today is being very polite. (Must be polite lah wait PY threaten to sue then how?) Certainly PY is no normal civil servant; he is an abnormally arrogant, ungracious civil servant who should have retired a long time ago.

5. Going on and on endlessly about Mr Lee this Mr Lee that sounds like the tune of a desparate sycophant. To top it off PY brings in the SIA offer (20 yrs ago) that has obviously lapsed a long long time ago. Oh my god this is getting so embarrassing. If I am Mr Lee I will be very put off and embarrassed... one of my eunuchs is begging in public using my name! Quick put it down before it turns rabid!


nofearSingapore said...

Hi recruit ong,
Your observations are very perceptive!
Like they say, every dog has its day ( not that I am saying anyone is a male dog).
PY seems to have spare time considering that he allegedly became active in blogosphere and was even exchanging comments with commoners and bloggers! How nice of him


Recruit Ong said...

male dog? more like a bitch hahahaha!

PY active in blogoshpere?? Correct lor must be very free after kena "downgraded".. hehe