Saturday, August 7, 2010

There's A Good Story Here Somewhere

The press claimed that DBS and IBM jointly released a blow-by-blow account of how the online banking system went on the blink and caused island wide havoc. But at the end of the day, we are not even shown what exactly was the offending cable. Just like PUB never did release a photograph of the clogged drain.

All we know is that two employees at the bottom of the food chain won't be allowed anywhere near DBS computers again. Their laughable repair antics rival the bungling efforts of the Watergate burglars. Instead of doing a continuity check of the suspect cable, whatever it is, they simply plugged it in and out, as if that would coax the hardware to co-operate. Instructions to do that actually came from IBM's overseas support centre, location of which Asean General Manager Cordelia Chung curiously declined to disclose. If chewing gum were not banned in Singapore, they'd probably have a few sticks in their standard issue IBM service kit too. The least management could have done is to release a copy of the repair procedure that tripped their best brains. Are they afraid some techie from Sim Lim Square will teach them a better way to go about it? At lower rates? A smoking gun is always the best tool to kill off conspiracy theories.

Once upon a time, the adage was that if you buy IBM, you can't go wrong. That alone justified the high price tag and monopoly of the corporate market. But when things go horribly wrong, the gaze should be on the business side of things as well as the technical. MAS only went so far to suggest that DBS should diversify their outsource providers, nobody has yet dared raise a finger at the errant vendor. DBS CEO Piyush Gupta himself would not hear of initiating legal action against their favourite vendor. Throwing good money after bad never solves problems. Setting aside another $230 million is no assurance that the money will be spent on decent cables. What they should do is call for an independent third party to audit the whole shebang.

Watergate brought down Tricky Dicky. But where are our equivalents of Woodward and Bernstein? The local mainstream media likes to conjure up journalistic awards and pad themselves on the back, but where's the beef to show for it? And that "scoop" about the capture of Mas Selamant, notice all the details and photographs of the hideout came from Malaysian papers. Come on guys, start earning your pay!


  1. The local mainstream media earn its keeps through the auspices of PAP and engaging in partisan politics. Anyone who has the slightest bit of journalistic integrity and professionalism would not be working for local mainstream media... That's the indefensible cold hard truth.

  2. The obvious question that is left unanswered is why is it that IBM can still be allowed to declined to reveal the country of their overseas support ?

    One can only imagine that it is probably on the instruction of DBS which must have some interest not to reveal the source ?

    How sensitive can this type of confidential information be ?

    And it is so easy to put the blame on 2 scapegoats at the bottom of the hierarchy. The blame game would just have stopped at that.

  3. Just to add :

    Is it that they better not reveal that DBS prefers providing employment opportunities to some Indian engineers rather than those unemployed Singaporean engineers in Singapore ?

    There has got to be one damn good reason.

  4. Hey i got a important observation to make...
    on the note of your last sentence - "Come on guys, start earning your pay!"

    All I have to say is this... "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys..."

    Someone go dig some facts...

  5. People from the senior management like to watch out for each other and help their fellow senior even when detrimental to their shareholders in order to pave the way to jump ship in the future, 官官相护

  6. i believed 官官相护 is also a "Asian Value"