Civil servants: Take better care of your Minister’s bosses

Take care of your Minister, by all means. But take better care of your Minister’s bosses: The people of Singapore who elected him, pay his salary (and yours) and can fire him (at the polls) if he performs poorly.

A blog by Straits Times correspondent Christopher Tan (“Pre-empted by the Internet”) revealed some interesting behind the scenes excitement that took place when the big announcement of the revisions to the Off-peak Car (OPC) scheme got leaked on the Net two days before the Minister for Transport could announce it.

The LTA (Land Transport Authority) gave a closed door press briefing last Friday, banning any recording devices and ordering journalists to embargo the news until Transport Minister Raymond Lim announced it in a speech at a grassroots event on Sunday. But lo and behold, the news got leaked on the Internet that very night.

With this leak, the ST wanted to run the story on Saturday, but was not given permission to by the LTA. So it got run on Sunday morning — still ahead of the Minister’s speech.

What I find disconcerting was the journalist’s description that “the authority’s (LTA) panic was palpable. After all, the leak had stolen the thunder from a Minister’s Sunday speech.

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