Photo of Major General Chan Chun Sing

NTUC Chief and Minister-without-portfolio Chan Chun Sing left a scathing remark for Singaporeans chilling them for being obsessive with academic grades. At the public forum discussion addressing Singapore university students, Minister Chan Chun Sing cited the example of the management at Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), saying they do not have straights As results, and Singaporeans should emulate them by constantly thinking about “who is going to take their lunch”. Chan Chun Sing was making inferring reference to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s 2013 comment about foreigners stealing lunches of Singaporeans if they ever start to think about work-life balance.

“If you think this is all theory and propaganda, do you know that the Monetary Authority of Singapore did a study of the top echelons, on how many had four As or a perfect score in school, and the answer was zero?

But we have a group of people whose minds are highly agile and aware of what’s going on, constantly asking who’s going to move my cheese and take my lunch. These people survive. So if anybody tells you having four As means you’ve made it for life, they are bluffing you.”

The former SAF scholar and chief of army also complained about Singaporeans’ competitive spirit, saying that Singaporeans are becoming a “yardstick” society:

““I spoke to group of parents who said the system was too difficult, too rigid, too much tuition… So I asked, ‘Will you stop sending your son to tuition?’ And they said yes, they will stop if their neighbours stop first.

…Don’t become a yardstick society in which we aimlessly, blindly chase goals regardless of what we’re good at.

…This is something I fear for our society – where everyone goes after the same thing, the same yardstick, and we end up in what sociologists call a ‘prisoner’s dilemma’.”

Minister Chan Chun Sing also trumpeted about Singapore’s brand of “Meritocracy” by citing himself as an example of “a single-parent family child” attaining success by becoming a Minister.