31 July 2007

Books read this Month

It has been a long while since I picked up a book to read. In the past I used to read quite a bit, averaging about 20-30 books a year. For this year, this is my 1st book in 7 months (other than some PC/Website related books). Sin and dissappointments has really taken a bad toll on me and my individual growth. Sin is really a bad master.

This book is entitled: A Mandarin and the Making of Public Policy, Reflections by Ngiam Tong Dow. It is edited by Simon Tay, and published by NUS Press in 2006.

Strengths of this book:

It contains many candid stories of Ngiam's life in the Civil Service (He was Perm Sec for many Boards & Ministries) and inside stories on Singapore's leaders. One of his more memorable analogies is that of the Government giving too many handouts so that the monkey has now become an un-controllable gorilla. Another is that of soft power, e.g. market research company (Boeing Company) rather than pure production companies (which Singapore cannot compete on).

Weakness:

It contains a few repetitive stories; only has one man's version of the truth.

Lessons to apply:

1) Be more flexible, don't whine when difficulties come.

2) Compete on your strengths - know your strengths.

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