Photo of Chan Chun Sing from Todayonline

Speaking to his constituents from Tanjong Pagar GRC, Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday (Aug 11) paid lips service to Malaysia offering empty praises and nothing concrete in return:

“Despite a recent spate of back-and-forth over the water agreement and a “game-changing” rail project, Singapore and Malaysia share more common interests than differences. Our relationship is not dependent on one single project. We will work with every Malaysian government of the day, on the basis of mutual benefit and mutual respect. We se opportunities for us to work together for mutual benefit. So, it’s on this basis that we will continue to make sure that no one single issue will dominate bilateral ties between the two countries. We hope and we look forward to working closely with our new Malaysian counterparts to take the relationship forward.”

The former army general with no working experience then commented that Singapore will “in good time” not need draw raw water from Malaysia:

“Singapore, since independence in 1965, has built up its water capacity and diversified its water sources. These include desalinated water and NEWater — used water that is put through micro-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection. The progress Singapore has made on water security has given confidence that the issue will – in good time – cease to be a recurring point of contention between both countries.”

Minister Chan Chun Sing then preached about opportunities in crisis and gave his unsolicited opinion on the US-China trade war:

“In every crisis there are both challenges and opportunities. For Singapore, as a small trading nation, we must be very keen to understand where those challenges and opportunities might be. We are working very hard to ensure that we don’t end up in the crossfire. What is the hardest to predict, is the trade spat’s impact on global confidence, which if shaken, could affect the world and every country will be hit gravely. Do not underestimate the different economic forces driving the two global powers. The US economy, for instance, is grappling with deep structural challenges. Economic tensions between Washington and Beijing have also been building for decades, over complex issues like alleged intellectual-property theft and access to sensitive market segments such as telecommunications and high-technology. In the face of uncertainties in the global economy, the Government has taken steps over the years to ensure the resilience of Singapore’s economy. Apart from developing strong trading networks, the Republic has diversified its economy into a wider range of markets, enabling it to navigate disruptions. As a small country with very little bargaining power, Singapore must keep at this, by seeking new markets and strengthening its network of free-trade agreements with like-minded partners. We must continue to go forth and seek new countries and new markets… This is to insulate against any potential trade disruption. We must round up enough like-minded partners that will stem the tide of unilateralism in the global trading system.”

The former military general who is poised to take over Lee Hsien Loong as the next Prime Minister then continued his nonsense that he has a 100-year plan to improve the lives of Singaporeans and that he will be spending more money to “surpass the achievements of the previous generation”:

“More broadly, the Government has a plan to improve the lives of Singaporeans over the next 50 to 100 years, including new investments in education, public housing, and healthcare. We’re not done building Singapore yet,” he added. “Because we have put in place long-term plans in the areas of education, housing, healthcare and economic development, we can be confident that we will surpass the achievements of even the previous generation.”