Sunday, July 17, 2005

What we learned from NKF

What a week.

I know we have all had our two cents' worth to say about TT Durai, Mrs Goh Chok Tong and the mass change of staff at NKF.

Emotions still run high, but they will die down, hopefully, and when the dust settles, I hope NKF will rise up again strong and now even more dedicated to being a beacon of good and service to patients.

I had some serious lessons taught to me by this incident:

1. Pride really comes before a fall
The saying may be old, but it's no less true. TT Durai was a brilliant man who set up a world-class kidney dialysis service at affordable rates for those suffering this chronic illness. I've spoken to a number of people this week who were either involved before in NKF shows or have given large sums to NKF: they respect TT Durai, even now. They cannot discount the good he has done. However, one common observation is that he is an extremely proud man. It was probably his pride that led him to believe he was going to win a retraction from SPH. I am very sure his lawyers would have counselled him otherwise -- or should have at least. Pride killed his career.

I pray for all volunteer workers and NGOs that should we get success in our endeavours to help the needy, that we will not let Pride gain a foothold in our good work. Humility can't be overrated.

2. Don't mess with SPH.

3. Watch what I say.
Mrs Goh Chok Tong's peanuts remark will remain in the annals of infamy, next to Imelda Marcos' 3000 pairs of shoes. Careless words can hurt a nation, as we can now see. Anything that can be quoted out of context, will. So I also pray for anyone in the public eye to have wisdom to measure their words before letting them out the door. Particularly me, famous for foot-in-mouth utterances.

4. Forgive.
Forgiveness is really hard. I cannot begin to imagine the hurt and disappointment felt by thousands of people who had little yet gave hard-earned money to NKF. It seems a mountainous task to ask them to forgive NKF but I'm going to do it anyway. The longer you hold on to the hurt, the longer you let it hurt you. The money is spent, the board and CEO have stepped down, LET'S MOVE ON. Let it go. For me, I have not personally given much to NKF (relative to what I used to earn, that is). I consider all that I sowed into NKF to be good seed, because I have seen patients helped by their dialysis centres.

Our pastor explained last night that for all the "evil" that has been unearthed this week, TT Durai did more than 2 decades of GREAT WORK. He asked us to put ourselves in Durai's shoes: how would you feel if you were him today? Lower than low. In fact, you know the tiny pebbles that fall through the cracks of the road? Lower than that. To have your whole life's work go up in flames because of a seemingly small thing, is a very painful experience we would not wish to experience ourselves. Public hantaming? Let's not do it because we wouldn't want people to do it to us.

So personally, as someone who knows Jesus, I have to do as He would do, which is to forgive, forget, move on, and pray for TT Durai. I pray for him a fresh start, precious lessons learned, and courage to continue on, and humility to grow a new attitude. Bible says, if you pray for your enemies you will heap burning coals upon their heads (not to kill them but to fire up a change in them, is how I read it).

Okay, so ... on to next week!


Blogger lancerlord said...

"TT Durai did more than 2 decades of GREAT WORK."

That's what people don't see. Once you do something 'bad'. All the good go down the drain. Really have to give credit for the things he has done for those who benefitted from his 20 years of hard work.

11:48 AM

Blogger Pkchukiss said...

Durai's $300 subsidy for a $2000 monthly treatment has made dialysis as cheap as BMW's cashback offer to buyers.

While patients continue forking out most of the cash for the dialysis, NKF hoards massive reserves and continues to raise funds, further depriving other charities of much needed donations.

Well done, NKF!

1:20 PM

Blogger vandice said...

Fair comment. One of the saner, more balanced treatment of the entire hoohah which has been hyped to death recently. Thks, Threez, for your series of posts.

I agree esp. with the humility part. I think Durai let success get into his own head. He felt he 'deserved' certain benefits and he began to motivate himself like he motivated his staff, through money. And that was when selflessness became 'self'.

But that does not detract us from the fact that he has been patently dishonest with the public for some years and that goes beyond the realm of humility and to the very moral fiber of the man. As the Chinese saying goes, if the top beam is crooked, the bottom will be too.

What about the ppl that he sued? Is that responsible behavior, given what we know today? What I cannot stomach is that the man brought frivolous charges to court and using public (NKF) resources in an attempt to conceal/discredit the truth. He was willing to shame 3 ppl's good name and empty their pockets to protect his own position. How can such man head a charity?

7:29 PM

Blogger threez said...

I think when you get to a point where you believe you have built such a reputation that you cannot admit you are wrong, then you have bought a licence to cheat. If he believed he was beyond reproach, then he obviously felt even justified to sue people.

Pride's a funny thing. It tricks you into believing your own publicity, and before you know it you are completely deluded and really believe you cannot go wrong.

And that's when things go seriously wrong.

Well we could say God has moved and justice has been meted. Let's watch Gerard Ee, who's squeaky clean as far as I can recall, and see what happens next.

9:59 PM

Blogger Cowboy Caleb said...

oh how low the mighty have fallen.

he never stood a chance against the mob. They lynched him good.

3:56 PM

Blogger ming said...

i am curious what he will do next. he did alot of good and some not so good. i wonder if anyone will believe him for any good anymore.

6:33 PM

Blogger cybeRanger said...

To be a great leader, we need to learn from Jesus... you need to have HIP (Humility, Integrity and Purity)

12:19 PM


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