Speaking truth to power: Vice or virtue?

Mandarins' and ministers' roles and interests in a political system are different. But mandarins must be able to provide fearless advice.

On Feb 27, Member of Parliament Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) used his speech during debate on the Budget to express worries about the fear among public servants of getting into trouble when speaking up and challenging their bosses.

He warned against having a public service filled with "yes" men and women who are wary that speaking up will affect their appraisal and promotion.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2018, with the headline 'Speaking truth to power: Vice or virtue?'. Subscribe