Singapore — The inability to apologise exposes the inherent insecurity of the country’s leaders, according to local pastor and LGBTQ advocate Miak Siew in a Facebook post on Friday (April 24).
With reference to the foreign worker situation in the country, he adds that this failure to apologise is related to the leaders’ reluctance to work with non-government organisations that have been critical of officials but that have done valuable work within the communities.
Singapore has several organisations on the rights of foreign workers, and Miak Siew mentions HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics) and TCW2 (Transient Workers Count Too).
The pastor writes: “The inability to apologise exposes the inherent insecurity of our leaders. They have built a myth around their exceptionalism (perhaps to justify them remaining in power, or their obscenely high pay).”
The opposite of this refusal to embrace humility, which is “taking responsibility and apologising”, reflects strength and confidence, Miak Siew adds. He cites the example of the Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who took responsibility publicly earlier this week.
Ms Tsai apologised for “major shortcomings” within the military after it was discovered that an infection cluster had broken out among sailors on a naval vessel that had been on a goodwill mission to Palau.
She said in a broadcast: “I am the Commander-in-Chief, the military’s business is my business and my responsibility.”
The pastor writes: “Was it her fault that the sailors got infected? Not really. But as the President, she took responsibility. That is good leadership.”
In contrast, Miak Siew writes that the “egos and the pride of our leaders have forced them to mask their failures”.
He pointed out that “the egos and the pride of our leaders have forced them to mask their failures”.
“One clear strategic solution is to instead work with those who criticise you (who are really very willing to come in and help) to address the situation in the foreign worker dormitories. It is a win-win – you direct their energy to work on the problem instead of criticising you, if they fail, they cannot criticise you since they were the ones working on it, right?” he opined.
Some people commented on the pastor’s Facebook.
Miak Siew (also Siew Meng Ee) is known as Singapore’s first openly gay Christian pastor. /TISG