Saturday, March 1, 2014

Random thoughts: COI on Little India riot

I followed the news on the COI's finding on little India Riot.

They have praises for Lt. Tiffany. 27, from the CDF which broke away from protocol and move the body of the decreased to protect everyone. The committee also praise Sergeant Fadli Shaifuddin, 27 for charging at the rioters in attempts to assert control. Although they question what could have been done better, they have kind words for ASP Tang, the first senior officer on the ground, citing they might give him a medal, if they are in the position to do it. The committee has less flattery view of more senior officers.

The above news lead me thinking: The young were praised for their courage, their commitment to their duty and ability to think on their feet, but have words like "poor judgement" for senior officers. It might me wonder, as I progress in my career, will I be like that? From someone who is full of ideals, passionate, daring, rebellious to a conformist, conservative, routine worker?

Will I become less and less of a risk taker?

When I started my work, I have vision to touch lives, be the best I could be, and I "overworked", in my colleagues' view, I left my workplace at 8-9 pm, only to be back at work by 7.I worked on weekends too. Of course, I didn't had a family then, but hand on my heart, I wouldn't do that now too, even if my family doesn't need me.

It is a reminder to really be humble, and as I progress and manage the younger staff, to be very careful not to unintentionally dose their passion of fire, and to be a mentor than a boss, even if the whole world thinks that is a wrong approach. 

Second, we can only be sure on hindsight, it is really right to charge at the rioters? We know it is properly the right thing to do if the first 90 officers all have the same guts as sergeant Fandi. If I am on the ground, what decision would I have made? I most properly would have take the conservative approach too, retreat, and stand ground.

If you ask me, after being through NS, do I blame my officers for making the wrong decisions? Sure, I do, but I follow them nonetheless. When I am working now, I have the same attitude towards my leaders. I would call them bosses than leaders. I expect them to make decisions to solve problems, if not, empowered me to make the decision, if it is the wrong call, lets share the blame together. One of my boss? She refused to make a decision and do not allow me to make a decision, so things keep hanging there, when reminded of the need to come to a decision, she ask me to approach another boss. What a loser, luckily those involved in the little India Riot didn't have anyone that fall under this worst category.  So lets not be too hard of all those involved in the management or mismanagement of the Riot. Let's learn and move on. 


  1. Hi Sillyinvestor

    Coincidentally I have been thinking about the same incident as you. The young LTA brings to mind my younger colleagues who have more fire and are less tolerant of procedures which they see as senseless. I think we are in the group of people who have experienced more setbacks at work and can see why some procedures are established, but may not be apparent to the younger folks. I think I have moved into the category of the safe approach over time, from the instinctive aggressive approach category as a young man.

    Sometimes leaders may make decisions that appear bad at first glance but are good from a long term strategic point of view. Or they sometimes make decisions that are right at the time, but as the situation changes dynamically, the decision turns out to be unsuitable.

    That is not to say that I disagree with the LTA's action. I think she and the Sergeant showed guts and dedication to their duties. But we should avoid overly critical judgements of the senior leaders. Like you said, its a learning experience, and we should move on.

  2. Agreed! Humble blogger.

    I have a feeling we both work in the same service or sector.

    I believe most procedures are there for a reason but I never agree with everything go by book approach.

    Pardon my Buddhism reference here, the scriptures and chanting point u to the truth, just like the finger that is pointing us to the moon. But what is most important is the moon and the truth and not the finger or the scriptures. I do see a lot of redundancies in the system because of the over zealous leaders.

    Hmm.. I am so cynical, maybe I am
    Young at heart! Everything is awesome!

    Oh yes, thanks for leaving a comment at my blog! Have a good day

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