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The Curious Case of Azmoon,Yaacob and the AMP

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The Straits Times reported on 30 April, 2013, that former AMP board director Nizam Ismail publicly stated that he had decided to resign after being told by the AMP Chairman Azmoon that TWO ministers had taken issue with some online comments he had made and that he had spoken at the Population White Paper protest in February and a Workers’ Party youth wing forum in March.

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Nizam had clarified that he had taken part in his own personal capacity at both events and further clarified that he did check with the AMP board beforehand and there was no objection. But, he had been told by the AMP chairman subsequently, that the govt would cut funding for AMP if he did not ‘tone down’.

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According to the Straits Times, AMP chairman, Azmoon Ahmad and Dr Yaacob Ibrahim the Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs had both publicly denied govt interference with the management of AMP.

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It is apparent that from the govt’s point of view, telling AMP of the consequence (a funding cut) if Nizam did not ‘tone down’, does not amount to interfering with its management. Certainly, the govt did not tell AMP what to do, not in so many words. It merely has to drape AMP over a barrel and let it decide for itself what to do!

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In a way, this is really an acid test of the strength of character and mettle of the AMP board of directors, on whether they are determined to be true masters of their own destinies, and in what they want to do for their community, and the value they place on their association’s freedom and independence of action within the law, without govt interference.

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IMO, the episode seems to show what is lacking in the present lot of AMP’s leaders, with the exception of Nizam Ismail. Money is certainly an important means in order to achieve one’s objectives and ends. But, isn’t principles equally if not more important? When you surrender once, you are feeding the govt’s habit of expecting you to give in again the next time, the time after that, and the time after that, again and again and again.

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The board of directors could have told the govt to go fly a kite or take a hike, politely of course, with its funding and honour the fact that Nizam’s activities have received their prior concurrence. But in the event, the AMP chose not to do this or felt it could not, and Nizam took responsibility for getting the AMP into this jam by leaving his AMP posts.

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The govt has once again successfully applied the ‘Nixonian’ doctrine of ‘getting someone by the balls and the rest would come to you’ to effectively manage the AMP ‘without’ ‘interference with the management of AMP’. IMO, what a pathetic way to govern.

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1 Comment

  1. […] Mind: Info-graphics : Income Inequality in Singapore…. – Thetwophilo’s Blog : The Curious Case of Azmoon,Yaacob and the AMP – Where Bears Roam Free: More hogwash from the PAPpies on the AMP-Nizam fallout – Tan […]

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