Photo of Chan Chun Sing from Straits Times

Speaking at a science forum in front of researchers, Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing embarrassed himself again asking the audience if they are “bilingual” in making money out from their scientific research. The former army general apparently did not understand the definition of “bilingual” and misused the word throughout his speech.

Calling for the researchers to monetise their work, the former army general called for the science community to be “first-type bilingual” in making money:

“Although Singapore’s scientific community has served the country well over the years, its members need to be bilingual in business, social issues and storytelling to ensure that the country continues to thrive. The first type of bilingualism involves marrying scientific outputs with industry. Every time I meet the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), I asked: Have we done all we can to translate many of the good scientific output we have to connect the loop from research and innovation to enterprise?”

The airhead millionaire minister then said science need to be “bilingual in story-telling, touch lives and inspiring”:

“Science also needs to be bilingual to touch the lives of the common man and, with the art of storytelling, to inspire the next generation of scientists. Conversely, government officials also need to be bilingual with science, so that they can make regulations more agile to allow Singapore to progress quicker than its competitors, though he did not specify which laws.”

This is not the first time Minister Chan Chun Sing embarrassed himself in public with self-coined terms. At a US-Singapore business forum last month, the Minister called for American investors to “kee-chiu”. Days earlier, he announced to the state media that he has a “100-year plan” to govern Singapore.

Minister Chan Chun Sing is currently the favourite to take over Lee Hsien Loong as Singapore’s next Prime Minister.