Serving a New Nation: Baey Lian Peck's Singapore Story (Second Edition)

Serving a New Nation: Baey Lian Peck's Singapore Story (Second Edition)
Ooi Kee Beng, author
Date of publication:  2013
Publisher:  Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Number of pages:  150
Code:  BM492

About the publication

The story of Dr Baey Lian Peck should be well known, but it is not. Not even among Singaporeans, and especially not among the young. This tells us a lot about a Singapore caught in pathological haste and prone towards ignoring values that do not add to the financial bottom line.

The innovativeness of Dr Baey did not only make him a very wealthy man before he was forty, it also made him an indispensable actor in the implementation of urgently constructed national policies. Political leaders such as Dr Toh Chin Chye, Lim Kim San, Chua Sian Chin and Dr Goh Keng Swee picked him to solve pressing problems such as skyrocketing inflation in the early 1970s, the crisis in prisoner ward in the late 1970s, and the drug addiction epidemic in that same latter period. His one condition for taking on public positions was that he should not be paid. It was exactly this independent trait that made him so highly effective.

This book tells his amazing life story, taking us into a surprising world where the qualities that make a good entrepreneur are exactly what make a good public servant … as long as he remains unbound by the bureaucracy.

“Dr Baey has left us and future generations a reservoir of knowledge, experience and expertise in his book which are derived from the major projects and programmes that he helped set up, nurture and run. We cannot dismiss them as just history. There are invaluable lessons to be gained. Sometimes we need to look at the past to understand the present and future. More importantly, he comes across as a strong and inspiring role model in service to the nation.”
—K.V. Veloo, pioneer in Probation and Aftercare who set up SANA (Aftercare) Counselling Service, and Prison Welfare Service. 

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