Speaking at a dialogue attended by 300 polytechnic students at Republic Polytechnic, Minister of State Chan Chun Sing claimed that academic grades are not enough and that employers are “less interested” in them. Following the footsteps of his predecessor Lim Swee Say, the NTUC chief came out with 4 “As” of his own – awareness, analytical skills, adaptive and anticipating change. Minister Chan Chun Sing said that employers are looking for these 4 “As” and young people have to rely on them to be prepared for jobs.
Minister Chan Chun Sing then made another gaffe when he was asked about the deteriorating state of national cohesion, saying that the citizenship is not a “God-given right” and that only hardworking people get to call themselves “Singaporean”:
“To be a Singaporean is not a God-given right, it requires hard work to fight for that right to be called Singaporean.”
The Minister did not explain further what is a “God-given right”, and instead asked the students if they think being called a “Singaporean” is based on the “success the nation is now enjoying”.
The Minister who did not work a day in the private sector also attempted to tackle job creations, and cited a textbook example saying “e-commence is causing disruption to brick-and-motar shops”. Minister Chan Chun Sing then attempted to answer questions about LGBT and welfare for the poor, but skirted around the issues by asking the students back.
Minister Chan Chun Sing is one of the four Ministers shortlisted for the upcoming Prime Minister’s role. The former army general is however losing popularity because of his inexperience and consistent making of inappropriate public statements.