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Singapore’s Future…Whatever is Happening?!

Commentary, Misc, Singapore
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Whatever is happening to Singapore’s future?

Have you guys read the following news that is circulating on social media?

The following quote summarizes the gist of the long press release titled “What Has Happened To Lee Kuan Yew’s Values?”

QUOTE:

“Lee Kuan Yew served as Singapore’s prime minister from 1959 to 1990. Lee Hsien Loong is Singapore’s current prime minister. Wei Ling and Hsien Yang are also the executors and trustees of Lee Kuan Yew’s estate; Hsien Loong was removed in 2011. Wei Ling and Hsien Yang state:

“We have seen a completely different face to our brother Hsien Loong, one that deeply troubles us. Since the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, on 23 March 2015, we have felt threatened by Hsien Loong’s misuse of his position and influence over the Singapore government to drive his personal agenda. We are concerned that the system has few checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government. We feel big brother omnipresent. We fear the use of the organs of state against us and Hsien Yang’s wife, Suet Fern.

If Hsien Loong is prepared to act thus against his younger sister and brother, both contributing members of Singapore’s establishment, to advance his personal agenda, Wei Ling and Hsien Yang worry for Singapore.

The situation is such that Hsien Yang feels compelled to leave Singapore:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I will leave Singapore for the foreseeable future. This is the country that my father, Lee Kuan Yew, loved and built. It has been home for my entire life. Singapore is and remains my country. I have no desire to leave. Hsien Loong is the only reason for my departure.”

 

The above press release and statements were jointly made by Dr. Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang. Emphasis in bold are mine.

This is serious because some pretty strong words have been used.

As an overseas Singaporean citizen who has always been thankful and trusting of our country’s leadership –You can read my praises for PM Lee here and here too– I was quite shocked! 😮

 

Some people have said that this is “fake news”, so we went on reddit to cross-check:

reddit singapore

Wow. According to the above redditors’ logic, it is highly unlikely that those statements are fake news.

 

Further comments by Li Shengwu, Lee Hsien Yang’s son:

li shengwu

 

It would also be really interesting to see how the mainstream media reports this. Or perhaps, disturbing.

And it will be really insightful to see how PM Lee’s Public Relations Team pens a response to this. Come to think about it, this situation is not a good position for any Public Figure to be in.

  • On the one hand, it is not wise to sue your (high-profile) family members for defamation, as the Singaporean public would tend to see this act as “being heartless”. Because why would you sue your kin, instead of being more magnanimous and forgiving?
  • On the other hand, if the Public Figure doesn’t sue, his good name will be questioned. And people will also question the consistency in his decision– Did PM Lee not sue Roy Ngerng to protect his good name, even though some have criticized the act as petty? Shouldn’t PM Lee’s good name be protected at all costs “for the sake of Singapore”?

So one possible logical way out is to pepper the PR response with terms like “It is with great disappointment that I have to make this statement…”, “with great grief”, “regretful”, “would be happy to start a ‘constructive dialogue’ “, etc.

I don’t know– I’m not PM Lee’s PR Consultant. We can only wait and see.

Looks like something major is brewing. 😮 How worrying!

Classy!! How Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong dealt with the BBC reporter’s implied "white man’s burden".

Misc

Have you guys watched the latest snippet of BBC’s interview with PM Lee Hsien Loong shared by Channel News Asia today?

Our PM Lee Hsien Loong BBC appearance was soooo much BURN. WATCH! 😀

 

I especially LOVED how PM Lee responded to the reporter’s condescending assumptions in his line of questioning. So much class!

“The world is a diverse place. Nobody has a monopoly of virtue or wisdom.” –PM Lee Hsien Loong

Here’s a toast to our Prime Minister for standing his ground so well! =)

This is another classic case of a “What is” VS “What should be” conversation. The people who preach that Singapore “should” do this and that– Just look at their track records. Have they done anything constructive for Singapore?

In other words, IF our nation ever vanishes one day, do these “should-sayers” with NO stakes in Singapore have to suffer the consequences?

It’s easy to preach “should”s when you don’t have to be responsible for the livelihood of many, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, of COURSE it is good to have noble ideals. However, in a world of constrained resources and responsibilities, leaders have to make tough trade-offs and choices.

With freedom of expression comes A LOT of responsibility. Will I trust the masses with complete responsibility?

Looking at the UK’s recent excellent choice of BREXIT, OPPS! I think I’ll pass. Thanks and no thanks!

5 Minutes with Mr. Patrick Tay, assistant secretary-general of NTUC.

Misc
patrick tay ntuc

Recently, the report by the Committee of Future Economy has raised considerable interest and concern in Singapore. Against this backdrop, we have the huge privilege of having 5 minutes with Mr. Patrick Tay, the assistant secretary-general of NTUC today. He will share with us some of his thoughts about preparing Team Singapore for the future workforce.

Mr. Tay will also be at the Singapore Management University tomorrow to talk about the opportunities and threats of the future workforce. Do join in if you are interested in this topic!

WW: Hello Mr Patrick Tay! Can you tell us more about yourself and what you are doing?

Patrick Tay: Hello Wan Wei!

I am the assistant secretary-general of National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and am currently overseeing the Future Jobs, Skills and Training (FJST) Department and Legal Services Department.

I Am also an elected Member of Parliament (West Coast GRC) and Chairman for the Manpower Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC).

WW: On Feb 9, the Committee of the Future Economy recommended 7 strategies to take the Singaporean economy forward. Strategy #2 is to utilise and acquire “deep skills”. What is the meaning of “deep skills”?

Patrick Tay: It means we must go beyond trying to attain the highest possible academic qualification to focus on acquiring a personal mastery of skills.

As we embrace digital disruption and technology, we must acquire deep skills to create and add value and utilize these skills effectively on the job.

WW: How do you suggest Singaporeans be prepared for future jobs that do not even exist currently?

Patrick Tay: The future jobs will either be very “Hi-Touch” or very “Hi-Tech” because what can be Digitised, Robotised or Mechanised will be Digitised, Robotised or Mechanised.

Singaporeans can be prepared by being:

  • Agile (flexible to move across, move into and move up);
  • Able (upskill, second skill, multi-skill, deep skill); and
  • Adaptable (to changes).

This is so that Singaporeans stay ready, relevant and resilient….ready with new skills, relevant for new jobs and resilient to new changes.

WW: Singapore’s growth for 2017 does not really seem too optimistic. Singapore is also not a welfare state–so there might not be enough cushioning in the event of layoffs . Do you have some tips for Singaporeans to cope with acquiring deeper skills in the event that they are structurally unemployed?

Patrick Tay: The 2016 growth results of 2% is promising.

I expect continued uncertainties, consolidation and disruptive challenges in 2017.

cfe

There will be industry transformation maps for all 23 clusters/sectors of the economy. What is important will be how we translate that to the ground and properly execute/implement the manpower strategies entrenched in those maps so that workers can benefit.

In this respect, the Labour movement is working closely with tripartite partners and stakeholders to identify what are the future jobs, skills and training needed and to cascade it to all workers sector by sector.

WW: How can Singaporeans continue to be competitive in a region where wages are lower than within the country? Apart from “working harder”, is there anything else we can do?

Patrick Tay: We need to be better than the ‘cheaper’ countries.

We need to create value and have that extra value add to ensure we are always ahead in terms of quality and reliability than those who are ‘cheaper’ than us.

WW: What are some programmes that NTUC has for Singaporeans that will value-add us greatly in 2017, but we are likely not to know about yet? Perhaps because they are not as widely publicised as hoped, or simply too complicated?

Patrick Tay: We are hard at work in expanding the Labour movement network to ensure we look after the interests and welfare of ALL workers and the entire working population in the areas of

  • Care (caring for our workers in need),
  • Fair (ensure fairness, protection and progressive practices), and
  • Grow (helping the working population grow in their jobs and careers).

WW: What is the one biggest misconception that Singaporeans are likely to have about NTUC that is far from the truth?

Patrick Tay: That the Labour movement only looks after rank and file workers.

We now have an expanded Labour movement that look after all workers and the working population in Singapore.

We hope you have enjoyed the interview with Mr Patrick Tay today! Featured picture courtesy of Singapore Press Holdings.