Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CAO - Fallen But Not Out

Give Everyone Another Chance ...

Please refer to the ST's Thursday, 24 Jun 10, report "Ex-CAO boss a V-P in state-owned firm."

Mr Chen JiuLin, the ex-CEO of China Aviation Oil (CAO) is said to have been penning articles for a magazine and giving lectures to MBA students at his alma mater Peking University. He now joins CGGC International, a state-owned enterprise (SoE), as its Vice President (VP).

It is commendable that a/the fallen man is given another chance to prove himself. Can we see the same happening in Singapore? Our Society should be more forgiving and magnanimous instead of slamming the door on fallen man. More should be done to help, or at least allow the reformed person to contribute positively, instead of castigating and stitching a stigma on him.

Nobody can claim to be cleaner than clean and has never make any mistakes? Why pigeonholed a fallen man as undesirable for higher office over a past mistake? 

It is unfortunate that when a person had a brush with the Law, however inconsequential or major, he is deemed to be unfit to be role model, let alone make a comeback, even after he had paid the price for his indiscretion. I believe, many a time, the indiscretion is the result of good intent and judgement turned horribly wrong, especially white collar issues.

Let me quote Mr Harvey A. Silvergate, a prominent defense attorney who has represented Michael Milken during the appellate process, in his book "Three Felonies a Day": “Milken’s biggest problem was that some of his most ingenious but entirely lawful maneuvers were viewed, by those who initially did not understand them, as felonious, precisely because they were novel – and often extremely profitable.”

If we cannot, and refused to, help our fellow countryman, who will?

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