17 June 2005


A rather well-known Singaporean has started blogging. He is Tan Kin Lian, CEO of NTUC Income (yes, that company insuring your life, health and car). Here's his blog.

Those who personally know Tan Kin Lian or have previously read about him in the media will have some idea of what the man is like.

Tan Kin Lian will not wow you with his brilliant writing (his writing is just not brilliant). He's not controversial like Steve McDermott, or funny like Mr Brown, or sexy like XiaXue. Don't even expect to see any site meters, fancy photos, bloggerhacks etc on Tan's blog.

Tan is a very basic guy. He's down-to-earth, simple and unpretentious. Therein lies his appeal. He came from a poor family background, worked hard through the years to rise to where he is today, but he's never lost touch with his humble roots. He will never flame you. He won't even be rude. And unlike the chairman of a certain statutory board in Singapore, Tan will definitely not threaten to sue bloggers for defamation. Tan is not slick or polished, but he is gracious.

Tan is a very practical guy, with lots of ideas. Nothing airy-fairy or abstract for him, please. But if you want a solid, workable solution to a practical, real-life problem, you could try tapping Tan. He's simultaneously sensible and creative. If you see how NTUC Income has been expanding into all kinds of new business areas over the past six or seven years, then you have some idea of how his brain works.

Incidentally, Tan has always been lurking and floating around the Internet. I met him for the first time, years and years ago, in a wild-&-woolly place called soc.culture.singapore. He's a good guy. Trust me.

[Prediction: Someone from SPH will read my post and decide to write an article about Tan Kin Lian's blog in the Sunday Times. But this time, unlike what happened in the Acidflask saga, the journalist won't claim that he "broke the story".]


takchek said...

I guess it is rare for someone like him to rise to the top of the GLC hierarchy. Will there still be such people like him heading a GLC (and being close to the ground) years later? Esp with the govt 'parachuting' scholars everywhere?

Anonymous said...

I didn't think very much for his ideas to float the Singapore dollar downwards.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

I don't think that NTUC Income is generally regarded as a GLC. If NTUC Income was a GLC, TKL wouldn't have become its CEO. He doesn't have all the usual prerequisites - President's Scholarship, SAF Scholarship etc etc.

The Void Deck said...

Brudder! Wahhhh tok kong find!

jeffyen said...

About the 'prediction' at the last paragraph, I'd be waiting in anticipation. :)

Sleepless in Singapore said...

You are right. He doesn't write exciting stuff.

But then being a celebrity and a member of the establishment, he has be extra careful.

As for me, I would rather write from the heart; otherwise it's not worth the time. However, being the KS (kiasi) Singaporean, I dare not use my real name; even though I am no celebrity, even though I try my best to be responsible.

Please drop my my site (www.badnewsonthedoorstep.blogspot.com) sometime.