Empty vessels make the most noise

  • Business
  • Thursday, 06 Mar 2003


EVERY one should do an honest day's work. The farmer tills the land to grow a crop and this is the way he makes money. A clerk works in an office and gets his salary. These people have genuine skills, which are productive. An honest day's work merits an honest wage. If a person does not have a skill, how would he get money? One way is to lie, bluff or cheat people and another is to rob and kill. These actions are, of course, condemned outright. 

Between lying to people and murderous robbery, there is a range of things lazy people could do to get money without working for it. A common method is get commissions. By influencing the tenders for contracts, a person could get some kickback. The influential person may even arrange for his relatives or friends to get some projects.  

Very often, these people do nothing but merely get others to do the job. Sometimes, phantom projects would be created and the money siphoned away. Owing to the kickbacks, the resultant work would be sub-standard. On an international scale, dubious international organisations would be set up to act as commissioning agents and the money placed in safe places.  

It is often difficult to pin down and legally persecute these people who obtain commissions. Hence, at various stages of history, a nation would suffer this evil form of corruption, where lazy leaders would siphon off the money produced by the common people. 

How do these lazy people become leaders? These people have the gift of speech. 

People who are too lazy to work will have to learn how to con people. Such a person who becomes a leader is generally an aggressive person who is especially good at talking. As people often mistake such talk for intelligence, he gives the impression that he is capable.  

People have only limited knowledge and limited ways of checking things. They would be fooled, especially susceptible to being swayed by emotional feelings. Such con leaders would seek out emotional issues for they know that if the people could be emotionally swayed, their thinking will be blurred further. These people will then put misplaced trust into the con men. 

This was what happened to a reputable international European bank. They had this young executive in Singapore handling the bank’s transactions in the Singapore region. This young executive had a spectacular run in the exchange game and was the darling of the market. Aggressive and clever at talking, he charmed everybody. Glossy reports were sent to the headquarters in Europe. Hundreds of millions were traded by him. In the end, the European bank woke up to the colossal loss of hundreds of millions. The bank was ruined. 

The deadliness of lazy leaders is intensified by their linking up with each other to con people. The lazy leader is seldom alone, for he alone could not push through the con game. He has to ally himself with other lazy people, who are thus placed in important positions through which they could fleece people.  

This network can be mysterious, for many members may not even know who are the other masks in the set-up. This network makes it difficult for an outsider to prove corruption is going on, and the erstwhile investigator is likely to get some directive or pressure from the top to back off. 

The organisation they control will have many sections; some of them off bounds except to the innermost circles. There will be confusing lines of communication between these layers and units. Constant changes in regulations and procedures throw more bewildering dust into the set-up. Terms like “security, top secret, confidential, national interest, etc” will be pandered to shut prying eyes. 

This network of lazy people is, however, not stable. It would break into falling out of thieves, who would allow their greed to grow to the extent that the cake is no longer big enough. The cake gets smaller and the lazy greedy leaders would struggle against each other, bringing the nation closer and closer to ruin. The people will suffer further from the clashes of these devils, and may even make the further mistake of supporting one devil against another. 

Empty dustbins not only make the most noise, but they drown the voices of the wise. The saying is words are like daggers. The con speech of these lazy leaders is indeed like daggers which will kill the nation. For their words are highly emotional. They would try to hide the true technical errors by appealing to the emotions of the people. They will also emotionally threaten any who suspect their faults. Lazy leaders, being incapable and fearing competition, would try to weed out the capable leaders. The organisation will lack capable leaders who can guide it to success. 

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