Photo of Chan Chun Sing from CNA

Unable to handle an interview on addressing income inequality, Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing yesterday (May 21) made a tonne of motherhood statements calling for Singaporeans to “have a global mindset and global skillsets” so Singapore can “transcend our constraints”. The former army general who has never worked a day in the private sector, said Singaporeans must learn how to “make contribution to the world” but did not explain or give any specific:

“Singaporeans must have a global mindset and global skillsets in order to understand how these changes will affect Singapore and the type of opportunities they bring. The global mindset refers to the way we look at the rest of the outside world. How we can value add to them, what are their interests, what are their institutions, who are the individuals that can shape the global environment. We must have a deep understanding of how all these forces interact in order for us to be able to meaningfully make a contribution to the world. As for skillsets, Singaporeans must be able to work outside the country in order to tap the opportunities that emerging economies can provide. That is a way for us to transcend our constraints as a small country, whereby we seize opportunities not just in Singapore but also beyond Singapore.”

The “4G” Minister tipped to be the next Prime Minister did not explain which “global skillset” he was referring to as well, which comes not a surprise considering his military background. The former chief of army spend over 26 years in the Singapore Armed Force, and were offered a MP position under the corrupted GRC electoral system. Chan Chun Sing was promoted to a minister in 2015, but he had been shuffling to and fro in several ministries.

When questioned about social mobility and income inequality, Minister Chan Chun Sing deflected the question and said that his definition of success means how well the next generation is doing. The millionaire minister ended his interview with a pep talk:

“Singapore defines its success by how well the next generation does. While we may be small in terms of our population, in terms of the size of our country, we cannot be small in terms of our ambition and drive. And if we – this current generation and future generation of Singaporeans – can continue to have the same kind of drive, the same kind of ambition as our pioneer generation, then there is absolutely nothing to say that we cannot achieve even more than what our pioneer generations achieved for us. We don’t define success just for this generation alone, we define our success by how able we are to allow the next generation to do even better than us. And I think this is the distinguishing feature for every generation of Singapore and Singaporeans.”