Photo of Chan Chun Sing from Straits Times

Speaking at an event held by the elite society for Cambridge and Harvard graduates yesterday (Jan 10), Minister of State Chan Chun Sing went on a self-praising barrage singing how the ruling party government is a trusted regime and why Singaporeans need to continue to trust the government.

The former army general who has never won in a one-to-one election waxed lyrical about leadership and brought out Lee Kuan Yew’s name to reinforce his arguments:

“To earn the trust of the people, each generation of Singapore’s leaders needs to be upfront, accountable and find new ways to communicate with people. Gaining the trust and confidence of the people is key… The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew had called it his team’s “greatest asset”. Having this trust enables effective leaders who do not shirk away from making difficult but necessary decisions, such as introducing mandatory National Service when Singapore needed a credible defence force, or requiring land acquisitions so that land can be redeveloped and used more efficiently. To win this trust, leaders have to first be upfront with people, and help Singaporeans understand the issues at stake and the trade-offs involved in policy considerations – spending more time on the “why” rather than the “what” and “how”.”

The PAP Minister also emphasised the role of propaganda and the need for government to “communicate” their policies with the people:

“Second, in a fast-paced digital age where a diversity of views can be accessed at one’s fingertips, leaders must keep finding new ways to communicate with different generations. If we do this well, we will harness the collective power of our thinking and actions.”

Minister Chan Chun Sing then maxed out his hypocrisy about the need to be accountable and responsible – when the government has failed to deliver an answer on recent corruption cases on Keppel, OKP Holdings, SMRT and Ang Mo Kio GRC:

“Third, leaders must be accountable and responsible. That means making good on our promises. And when there are problems, we work hard to put things right immediately. Some policies may take longer to bring about results, and these must be made clear from the start so that Singaporeans know what to expect. Being consultative and nimble in meeting the needs of Singaporeans, while maintaining finite resources responsibly, are instrumental in ensuring that Singapore does not face a trust deficit, and run the risk of citizens disconnecting with or disenfranchised by the Government. We have seen this happen in other countries, and we can’t take for granted that it won’t happen in Singapore.”

The Prime Minister’s favourite then called for Singaporeans to support the government and claimed that only with trust the country can be successful:

“Ultimately, people and government must work together to keep Singapore successful. So long as we have this trust, and stay united in facing the challenges, there’s no reason for us to not be able to succeed as a country.”