Monday, July 27, 2009

Long Service Awards 2009

On 23 July the CEO Mr Lucas Chow presented long-service awards to about 240 staff of MediaCorp. These staff had worked between 5- 40 years. Most are surprised
the company still dish out this award in view of the financial crisis. Staff I spoke to
to indicated… their families are very happy that MediaCorp recognises loyalty and
dedication. I received the 40-year award last year. I fully understand
how they feel. According to research long-service awards remain one of the
benefits of staff in an organisation which treasures human capital.
I had the opportunities to talk to three recipients all whom I know over the years. Ang Wah Lai, Asaad Sameer and Yeo Kim Pow . I asked them two questions

Can you let me know why stay so long in the company and what are your two memorable events in the company?. Here are their interesting replies.

Wah Lai: "Over the years there are many memorable events.Too many to remember all, but I would like mention these two.During an interview with the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew for the 25th Anniversary of the British Commonwealth I recommended that I record him with a handheld boom to make him stand out from the rest of the Head of states as all of them had a table microphone. May Lin was the Producer and she was not sure that PM can buy the idea. To everyones surprise he just say “That’s different”. The recording came out well and the next thing that surprise us was that he had a photo taken with us.The other I would like to mention is a trip to Oman where we went in a Military Helicopter to the Yemani border to take a look at the war zone from the Omani side.
As to how I stay so long. Our organization is an interesting place to work in as long as we put aside office politicking.In many areas the bosses themselves are also caught up in it. We must inculcate into our staff that such behavior will not be condoned. The organization can then excel as all energies are spend on excellence.I think that this is the principle that brought me this far."

Asaad Sameer: "The single most important reason for my long stay with this company is the people I work with. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with very wonderful people from colleagues, peers, subordinates and bosses. There was never a time when I dreaded going to work or entertained the thought of looking for another job elsewhere. I have fond memories of past colleagues in Engineering like Joseph Ng, Koh Hock Seng, Jimmy De Silva, Lee Yew Kwan, Wong Yew Wah, Ong Kim Bok, Tan Cheng Kee, Leong Ngai Weng, Chang Long Kiat, Lee Soo Wah and Ujagar Singh; to name a few. The 2 Engineering Directors I worked under then, Sebastian Tan and Lam Lychow treated me just like a friend!
My posting to Radio to head the Engineering Division there in 1993 was very memorable. There were many accomplishments during my 14 years there, notable among them were the digitalization of Radio’s operations, launch of DAB and setting-up of a fully automated & unmanned digital MCR. Another proud accomplishment was when I set-up the Technology Business Development Unit in 2001 with the objective of generating new revenue streams from the Internet platform and other technology-related services. This has paved the way for the introduction of many more commercial applications and services on New Media platforms in MediaCorp. "

Kim Pow: "There is no one identifiable factor to explain why I stay so long in MediaCorp. I even wonder whether it is possible to give a satisfactory compact answer as there are both push and pull factors involved along the way and these changes constantly. But if I have to give a short answer, it would be that MediaCorp has managed to meet both my minimal material and intellectual needs throughout the last 30 years except on a few occasions (one of which was when I decided to take study leave to get a Masters in Australia in early 1990). The salary can only be described as decent if one chooses to live a modest lifestyle. At times, the work environment and people issues reaches “toxic” level and work demands can only met at the expense of long term physical and mental wellbeing. However, with the cooperation and support of colleagues/bosses, the frequently under-appreciated understanding of family members and the feeling of satisfaction and achievement from the successful completion of yet another important assignment, one makes quick magical recovery in body, mind and soul from these episodes, hopefully with little long-term ill-effects. I guess when the works are always urgent and constantly need immediate attention, the passage of time went unnoticed and it is rather difficult to account for the years that had gone by. For me, one great attraction is that the work challenges are always intellectually stimulating. Although, I have not changed the company I serve, I have had the opportunity to do a variety of assignments both within the Engineering division ….. spanning the whole breadth of the field of Broadcast Engineering from RF transmission, teletext (analog data broadcasting), building development projects, news computerization, TV signal digitilisation (both baseband and transmission), DVB service planning and lastly introduction of IT-based systems and file-based work-flows, and outside of Engineering as the technical lead of our ill-fated Chinese Satellite Channel (5 years of exposure to a foreign TV environment) and Chinese88 internal portal (2 years of mastering an entirely new field) enterprises. I am thankful for being given so many mind-expanding and experiential opportunities to be involved at a deep level with all the major technological developments that took place in the broadcasting industry.

Perhaps, at the subconscious level, the reason of staying so long is that I joined the broadcasting industry just it entered its most glorious phase. However, sadly, as foretold by doom prophets, left, right and center, the inexorable decline of the broadcasting industry as we knows looks inevitable and imminent. I can therefore tell the world, that I have ascended and declined with a great industry, witnessed its glorious periods and harnessed its many myriad brilliant technical breakthroughs and interacted with the best engineering brains and practitioners. Come to think of it, it is a great way to spend one’s professional life."

Recipients who wish to say something about this occasion please email to me.