Roy Ngerng and PM Lee, already embroiled in “the cripple fight” that I expect neither side to really win (but for PM to lose worse), have both just been thrown a wildcard by TTSH’s sacking of blogger Roy Ngerng.
Blog FSAAM broke the news and TTSH’s press release put it down to “misusing company time” (something I’m probably doing right now, but my company doesn’t mind), and that his values were incompatible with TTSH’s. It is not known exactly what these values were.
But as far as placing bets on how this new dimension will play out, I’m sticking to my old bets – the G (and by extension, PM Lee) is going to (maybe already has) screw up the PR game, while Roy will try his best to milk it (and he already has).
Exhibit A: Government PR flop
TTSH is probably well within its rights to sack Roy, but the sacking was followed quickly by a Ministry of Health statement to the press (not available on MOH’s website) that “it supports TTSH’s decision to terminate Mr Ngerng’s contract, as his “actions show a lack of integrity and are incompatible with the values and standards of behaviour expected of hospital employees”.
MOH’s involvement adds credence to the rumour that Roy’s sacking was politically motivated. If TTSH had simply made an operational decision, there would be no need for MOH to open its mouth. Now it looks like the order did come from on high, and that TTSH officials are, of nothing else, being backed by ministry officials.
If MOH felt that had to open its mouth at all, it should have been to say that TTSH makes its own decisions about staff performance. Better yet, it should just have kept quiet. The timing of the sacking alone was enough to win Roy sympathy.
Exhibit B: Roy flips to milk the political angle
Yes, it is a “shift”, as the PAP like to call it, with Roy first claiming that the sacking was justifiable and that he “could have done a lot better over the past few months,” but then following up to say that it was “politically motivated”.
Oh yes, Mr Ngerng is happy to milk the incident, and why wouldn’t he? It seems that he hasn’t got a whole lot of employment options left except in opposition politics.
Looks like the G comms machine is cutting its own legs off, while Roy remains nimble enough to gain some ground, in spite of having made some mistakes.
Meanwhile, there’s a job opening at TTSH for those of you who don’t blog, read blogs or access Facebook at work.