Better to be shrewd than to claim to be shrewd

I refer to the 13 Jul 2013 Straits Times article “To do good, be shrewd” by Mr Kishore Mahbubani [1].

Towards the end of his article, Mr Mahbubani wrote:

I can anticipate the reactions of many readers to this article.
Many will say: “How shrewd of Kishore to use this haze to raise money for the NUS.”
That is precisely the point of this article: To do good, you have to be shrewd.

Mr Mahbubani has probably never heard of the saying self-praise is no praise. If he had been truly shrewd, he would have handed out books in Bahasa Indonesia explaining the dangers of the haze to 10- year-olds after the 1997 haze, instead of just saying it now. He would have bought ample masks for distribution to Singaporeans and affected Indonesians towns instead of just saying it now. In short, he could have been shrewd instead of just claiming to be shrewd.

[1] Straits Times, To do good, be shrewd, 13 Jul 2013, Kishore Mahbubani


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