Screenshot of Tan Chuan Jin from CNA video

When questioned by a student what is the government’s plan for wildlife in Singapore, Minister for Social and Family Affairs (MSF) Tan Chuan Jin responded in exasperation saying that he “can’t do everything” and that the animal welfare group should be responsible:

“The needs of the nation are complex. Don’t always ask what the government is doing about it. The government can’t do everything. Animal welfare groups are raising awareness, which can help the society understand what can be done to co-exist with wildlife.”

Another student from St Joseph’s Institution what qualities are required of leaders to handle the diplomatic tensions between Singapore with China and United States, and Minister Tan Chuan Jin gave a non-response:

“It would be best if we do not side anyone. There are four considerations when it comes to looking at the best interests for our nation – Singapore as a society, individual Singaporeans, present needs and future needs. But bilateral relations remain very important. We are a price taker. Our space in the world didn’t happen by chance. It was carved out.”

The former army general Minister was speaking at an open forum on animal welfare organised by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).