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Teenage Son Considering PR

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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby x9200 » Sun, 12 Jun 2016 4:27 pm

earthfriendly wrote:I am not sure how specific he needs to be e.g. I have to walk up to the photocopy machine and make a thousand copies of the SAF propagandistic marketing material on Monday. On Tuesday, I have to sit thru 3 hours of meeting on how SAF can attract new recruits by luring them with grants etc. ???

Is this what he was forced to do? Don't get me wrong, I just try to understand his case. I have this basic problem to accept that somebody first pays heavy money to educate someone just to abuse him such way. It just makes no sense to me. This leaving aside the ethical aspects.

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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 12 Jun 2016 6:16 pm

x9200 wrote:
earthfriendly wrote:I am not sure how specific he needs to be e.g. I have to walk up to the photocopy machine and make a thousand copies of the SAF propagandistic marketing material on Monday. On Tuesday, I have to sit thru 3 hours of meeting on how SAF can attract new recruits by luring them with grants etc. ???

Is this what he was forced to do? Don't get me wrong, I just try to understand his case. I have this basic problem to accept that somebody first pays heavy money to educate someone just to abuse him such way. It just makes no sense to me. This leaving aside the ethical aspects.


This is asia. There's no bloody win-win here. It's almost always I win -you lose.
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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 12 Jun 2016 11:05 pm

They need to staff SAF with capable personnels. And take this mission seriously. They are not being intentionally abusive. However, due to their own fear and the way they view the universe (zero sum game), they have become abusive. And they don't know how to accomplish their goal without being abusive. The culture needs to change. Time to learn on how to come up with win-win solutions. First thing I would say, learn to recognize and work on your fear. And we can take it from there.

Singapore may not have a monarchy but seems like it is run by fascist emperor.
Last edited by earthfriendly on Mon, 13 Jun 2016 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 12 Jun 2016 11:32 pm

This form of thinking and govt paralyses everyone in the country. Top to bottom. Everyone's feet is now stuck in cement. Immovable. Inflexible. And common sense goes out the door. Common sense says "buh bye" . And the nation is now cloaked in a blanket of irrational fear. Even kiasuiasm is rooted in this irrational fear.

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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby taxico » Wed, 15 Jun 2016 6:15 pm

a little bit tempted to reply. some of allan ooi's friends/peers/colleagues were my seniors in the military... i note here that it's a pretty "prestigious thing" (among the middle/upper-middle class) to be awarded an LSA (Medicine).

his peers that have stayed on (also air force MOs that have completed the Dip AvMed) have been lite-cols for at least a few years by now, and if he had stayed on beyond his first 6 year contract, he would have completed his (non-surgical) fellowship about 2 years ago - all on the government's dime.

sure, you give up your freedom as a military MO, but that comes with the territory. nobody forces a medical student to accept the LSA and it's pretty much in demand, regardless of whether it's "Medicine" or not. and beyond having your schooling expenses covered (tuition, lodging, laptop grant, etc), you get PAID a decent salary while you're at med school!

i do not disagree that they don't let go once you've signed on (they continue to dangle carrots while you're serving), but they have made it known from day #1 what the "tradeoffs" are.

many medical students choose to pay for their studies themselves... and they would STILL have to serve a 5-6 year service commitment (5 years SC, 6 years SPR) at government hospitals/polyclinics... this does not include resuming NS for about 1.5 years (after studies), about one year of which is spent serving as a military MO.

together, combined, is about the length of the LSA (medicine) bond. if you sign on as a military MO, the MOH bond/service commitment runs concurrently with your MINDEF bond.

while i don't think any ONE party is entirely to blame, i feel it would only be fair to at least bring MINDEF's perspective into the picture...

http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_ ... t.img.html

Posted: 08 Apr 2009, 0800 hours (GMT +8)
MINDEF's Forum Letter on Issues Concerning CPT (Dr) Allan Ooi

We refer to the letter published in the media between 31 Mar and 2 Apr from the family of the late CPT (Dr) Allan Ooi. MINDEF would have preferred to keep these exchanges private out of respect for the late CPT (Dr) Ooi and his family. Nonetheless, as the letter has raised several issues, it is necessary for MINDEF to provide some factual clarifications.

The six-month Aviation Medicine course that CPT (Dr) Ooi attended in the United Kingdom (UK) from Jan to Jul 2008 had a three-year bond, which was to be served concurrently with his 12-year Local Study Award (Medicine) bond. This was explained to CPT (Dr) Ooi when he and his two sureties signed the deed for the course on 19 Dec 2007 before he left for the UK. On the same day, MINDEF also sent an email to confirm this with CPT (Dr) Ooi. He acknowledged receiving the email and thanked MINDEF for the clarification. The three-year bond is completely within his 12-year Local Study Award (Medicine) bond. It is thus untrue that his 12-year bond would be "prolonged by another three years for one six-month course".

CPT (Dr) Ooi returned on 7 Jul 2008 from his course in the UK. Sixteen days later, on 23 Jul 2008, while serving at the Aeromedical Centre, he informed his superior that he was unhappy at work and was considering leaving the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). According to MINDEF's records, CPT (Dr) Ooi wrote to Head of Manpower at Headquarters Medical Corps on 12 Aug 2008 (not "Jul 2008" as stated in the family's letter), expressing his wish to resign from the SAF. The Head of Manpower replied on 20 Aug 2008, informing him how he could obtain the application form for early release, and explaining the process involved. But CPT (Dr) Ooi did not apply for early release.

On 3 Oct 2008, CPT (Dr) Ooi's superior interviewed him, and offered him the option of a posting to an appointment which would interest him. He asked CPT (Dr) Ooi to indicate what posting he would like. CPT (Dr) Ooi thanked his superior and promised to respond in two weeks' time. However, instead of doing so, CPT (Dr) Ooi went Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) on 15 Oct 2008.

All officers who join the SAF and take up sponsorship know that they have a moral obligation to serve out the full period of their bonds, beyond their legal obligation to pay the liquidated damages if they do not fulfil the bond. The SAF invests substantial public funds and time to train these officers. Officers can serve in a wide range of leadership and specialist roles that cater to their different interests and aptitudes while fulfilling the SAF's needs. On their part, officers are expected to do their best to fulfil their obligations to the organisation, unless there are strong extenuating circumstances like medical reasons that prevent them from doing so.

CPT (Dr) Ooi's family asked for an inquiry into MINDEF's policies and processes, on the premise that this would avert a similar tragedy. MINDEF had convened a Board of Inquiry on 11 Mar 2009, which concluded that matters related to the late CPT (Dr) Ooi's service with the SAF had been managed appropriately. While the late CPT (Dr) Ooi had expressed unhappiness with his job in the Aeromedical Centre and stated his wish to resign, he had subsequently gone AWOL despite being informed about other job options.

MINDEF expresses its sympathies to the family of the late CPT (Dr) Ooi, and will continue to be as open and helpful as possible to them. MINDEF will also provide the facts of the case to the public while respecting the privacy of the family.


Colonel Darius Lim
Director Public Affairs
Ministry of Defence
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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:05 am

All officers who join the SAF and take up sponsorship know that they have a moral obligation to serve out the full period of their bonds, beyond their legal obligation to pay the liquidated damages if they do not fulfil the bond


Really, so Allan Ooi, could have easily paid off the bond, which his family could easily afford. You silly Allan Ooi. For blaming the SAF and killing yourself for no reason.

So convenient to write and post these words and letter that are pleasing to the eyes. But in reality, when interacting with the SAF, how does it work?

And also, not everyone is unhappy working for SAF. We are not saying everyone is unhappy there. We are only talking about those who are unhappy working there. What recourses are available and how easy is it to work things out with them, internally. How open are they for negotiation? Are they willing to see it from the point of view of the party that wants to part way?

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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:13 am

Anyway, a bond is an outdated concept. The idea that you need to use a contract(leash) to hold onto an employee. Employment is considered at will, both the employer and employee can terminate the relationship anytime when the other party's performance is not up to satisfaction. And it is not possible (even illegal) to enforce an employment bond. At least in the USA.

http://www.trackitt.com/usa-discussion- ... al-illegal

Maybe it works differently for govt agencies?
Last edited by earthfriendly on Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: RE: Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:18 am

earthfriendly wrote:Anyway, a bond is an outdated concept. The idea that you need to use a contract(leash) to hold onto an employee. Employment is considered at will, both the employer and employee can terminate the relationship anytime when the other party's performance is not up to satisfaction.

Maybe it works differently for govt agencies?

It may be outdated but when a party invests $ on another person what recourse does investing party have if the beneficiary decides to take it all and return nothing ?

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Re: RE: Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby x9200 » Thu, 16 Jun 2016 5:37 am

ecureilx wrote:
earthfriendly wrote:Anyway, a bond is an outdated concept. The idea that you need to use a contract(leash) to hold onto an employee. Employment is considered at will, both the employer and employee can terminate the relationship anytime when the other party's performance is not up to satisfaction.

Maybe it works differently for govt agencies?

It may be outdated but when a party invests $ on another person what recourse does investing party have if the beneficiary decides to take it all and return nothing ?

If the employee and the employer can not get along for whatever reason, over longer term it is not going to benefit the employer for sure. The investment will be lost anyway. Although the bond has elements of slavery it IMHO actually poses higher risk to the employers. It's a lottery taking into account personality and skills of the future employee and the situation of the employer in X years. So the answer is, the company should not attract pre-graduates using baits and then forcing them into something they may not like, but offer good packages to those worth them and already on the job market. Unfortunately, as the negative/positive effects of both options are not that evident, bonds are still popular. Besides, Singapore is a specific job market.

I was happy to agree with EF at least on one point.

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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:09 am

A waste of a life.
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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby taxico » Fri, 17 Jun 2016 12:40 pm

i am a graduate of a medical school in NY state.

a condition of entry at the time was to serve as a primary care physician (in a designated lacking/short-staffed area) for 2 years if/when i get my MD.

if i remember correctly, the same applied for students entering the PA program.

my parents and i signed the documents BEFORE i was enrolled in school as a freshman (pre-med equivalent and i was under 18 at the time).

beyond my parents asking me if i was sure that was what i wanted, nobody counseled me about it, but i knew about it before i applied - i can read and comprehend english.

for me, it was the trade-off i was willing to accept to enter an american medical school a aged 16+ and be able to complete my basic medical college education in 6 years.

however the importance of our service to the community was something that was brought up regularly during my studies, by peers, seniors and teachers.

the "unspoken" penalty was $75k - unspoken because medical schools don't churn out doctors that primarily specialize in "aesthetics" - doctors are trained primarily to fulfill a greater need than that of lining one's pocketbook/interests.

this fee was fairly applied because of our tuition was much lower than that of other schools... i would equate it as basically a grant or award given by NY DOE.

and if i didn't serve, and/or don't pay, it's as good as being guilty of misconduct and i could have had my license suspended or revoked (!!!). (many) graduates that chose not to fulfill their obligation have had legal and professional action taken against them by the DOH/DOE. the departments have arms and memories as long as gov.sg...

did i want to serve after i graduated? not every day. some days i regretted it more than others, and went through a lot A LOT of temptations of just paying my way out. but in retrospect, it was the right thing to have sucked it up and gone through it.

i was admitted close to the late 90s. whether you call it a service commitment or a bond, it is still legally administered (as part of the New York Education Law) on new students every year in the great state of NY.

beyond the difference in fees, penalties and commitment periods, i see no difference in the SPIRIT of the requirements applied by MINDEF or MOH on locally trained doctors.
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Re: Teenage Son Considering PR

Postby PNGMK » Fri, 17 Jun 2016 2:39 pm

Australia is recruiting doctors for rural locations on a similar scheme.
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