Friday, August 04, 2006

The college alumni arranged an informal chat session for our JC1 student leadership and the 2 newly elected MPs who are also college alumni. Coincidentally, the 2 were students in the same year, though they never met each other on campus before.

Arriving in non-standard t-shirt and jeans, they showed they intended to keep the session as comfortably informal as possible. It was nice that they chatted about their experiences as students in college and traced their separate paths towards local politics. They were emphatic about their preference for CCA activities rather than their academics, and in fact it was through working on their own projects that they developed the confidence to take on more and more responsible leadership roles.

They used their own personal anecdotes to explain how our grassroots democracy works, and that despite their own youthful dissenting voices, the political leadership was willing to listen to them and gave them a chance to put their proposals for improvements to the community into action. Today, because they were successful in their follow-through, they were invited to become part of the political leadership themselves.

So today, they have become The Man. But at least this incarnation seems more approachable, more consultative and less know-it-all dictatorial than before. They present a more "we are all in the same boat" leadership style as opposed to the "swab the decks, ye swabs, 'cos I'm the cap'n, an' what I says, goes" approach that we've come to expect from members of our dominant political party. They did, however, occasionally slip into repeating some tired old cliches, e.g., "Singapore is unique...," "we must be prepared to face the challenges ahead...," "Singapore is a small country..." But they did seem to genuinely want to engage rather than nag, which made today's dialogue more lively than we had anticipated.

Meantime, June left for Sydney, Australia today. She'll be there for a week on her company's annual incentive tour (i.e., corporate all-expenses-paid vacation). And my bed's full of consumables again. Heh.

No comments: