Expressing his support for globalisation at an audience of Singapore students at a Yale-NUS conference, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that Singaporeans should avoid individual rights over “collective good”.
“If all individual interests are taken into account, the shared interests must necessarily shrink. That kind of domestic politics will polarise communities, as we are witnessing today.”
Slamming “populism”, the Minister said that more Singaporeans are now giving greater attention to individual interests and causing politics to be polarised. Minister Ng Eng Hen added that such polarisation created deeper divisions and “perceived injustices with the status quo”.
“Amid these changes, Singaporeans have to ask themselves several questions. How do we keep Singapore relevant and ensure good jobs here for Singaporeans? What roots us even as more opportunities increase for our younger generation overseas? How does a small state like us help shape the world we live in? What role can we play? How do we avoid the divisiveness that “populism” brings in its aftermath?”
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also criticized US President Donald Trump on his winning, claiming that Trump won because he played on nationalism:
“These developments in part explain Brexit, the Trump victory, and the rise of the anti-EU, anti-immigration parties in Europe.”
The PAP Minister praised globalisation claiming that it has created massive wealth, increased life expectancy and reduced extreme poverty. Minister Ng Eng Hen also expressed support for migration claiming it “provides net benefits to recipient countries”.