Saving Singapore’s SOE – scrap it!


Isn’t something to read that India could save US$2billion if FOSS is adopted at 50% levels in India. Compare that with the S$1.x billion that has been earmarked and being spent on the Standard Operating Environment (euphamistaically called SOEasy) in Singapore. The migration of the existing Lotus Notes databases to the new fangled MS Sharepoint IS not included in the costs – yet no one in the establishment is spilling the beans. The people who want to do the right thing are being sidelined and or silenced. From all accounts, the top tier of the civil service and the cabinet is shielded from the mess and the waste. The middle management mandarins (aka scholars) are too happy in their “escalator career” that there will not be any ruffling of feathers and change of status quo.

A friend of mine who went to school at Nanyang Technological University recounts a visit of the campus by Old Man Lee who, when seeing students run up a sidewalk wet from rain and slipping and falling, saying to the then NTU president “why are there no covered walkways? I told you to get that it done that last time” – or close to that. Lo and behold, the sidewalks at NTU are now covered. If OM Lee still has to be there to get things done right, perhaps he does deserve to live long. From the grapevine, I hear that the Wireless@SG and the current Next Generation Network projects are all a result of OM Lee being asked by foreigners why Singapore does not have it.

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