Wednesday, 9 September 2015

GE2015: Tan Chuan-Jin urges Singaporeans to consider broad national issues when voting

By Laura Elizabeth Philomin, TODAY, 9 Sep 2015

On the last day of campaigning, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin outlined four broad issues that he said Singaporeans should consider in the upcoming polls on Friday (Sept 11). Voters should think about how and why it is important to keep Singapore relevant, the importance of strong leadership, the type of political system, as well as the kind of society and nation they want, said Mr Tan at a press conference today lasting almost one and a half hours.

Given the intensifying global competition, Singaporeans have to ask how the country has continued to stay relevant, said Mr Tan, the anchor Minister for the People’s Action Party (PAP) five-man team standing in Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency.

Minister Tan Chuan-Jin offers 4 considerations for voters to mull over during Cooling Off Day tomorrow. Firstly, how to keep Singapore relevant? #GE2015
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Republic is not immune to pressure facing other countries such as wage stagnation and unemployment, and as the elderly population increases in proportion, will Singapore’s economy still have the same level of verve and dynamism, he questioned.

“Can we again defy the odds and carve out a different future for ourselves? … I’m not sure whether that is given but that’s something Singaporeans would perhaps like to consider and think about in terms of governance, in terms of leadership transition and in terms of politics,” he said.

Moving on to his second point about leadership, Mr Tan said the election is about choosing leaders who can look beyond the election cycle, are rooted in values and have the courage to make decisions for the future instead of swaying with the wind and providing what people want even though this may ultimately hurt them.

This is evident in areas such as healthcare and retirement adequacy, where even some of the progressive democracies have to start figuring out how to keep their promises as their population being to age, said Mr Tan.

“How (to) do it without burdening the younger generation who … will have to bear the burden of maintaining the cost of those systems. So could we be one country to perhaps look beyond this, and be able to remain dynamic and not be anchored down by the here and now but also look at the long term,” he added. He cited the example of SkillsFuture as one initiative which could help turn Singapore’s ageing demographic into a strength instead of a weakness.

“Do we want leaders rooted in values…Or will we see leaders who will sway with the wind and provide what people want at that stage, although it may ultimately hurt us?” Tan Chuan-Jin on ensuring strong leadership for Singapore. #GE2015
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

On the kind of political system that Singapore would need, Mr Tan noted there has been a diversity of views, not just from political parties, but from the people as well. He added that the government has already begun and will continue to involve and work with people who are concerned about issues.

Lastly, Singaporeans also have to think about the kind of society and nation they want, said Mr Tan, who reiterated that it is not something the government can do alone.

If more individuals — in school, at work, and at home — start reaching out to others, it creates a virtuous cycle of helping the less privileged and disadvantaged and building community ties for nation building, he said.

“Our work as parliamentarian isn’t just about lawmaking … it’s about translating some of these conceptually big ideas … into something that we can do on the ground in very real ways,” he added.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who was also present at the press conference, spoke about the need to focus on the days after the election. Adding that his focus at this stage of the campaign is to help cool down voters to think through messages from both the PAP and opposition parties, Mr Goh stressed the importance of building a new consensus to unite the people and move on together as a country.

Responding to a question on the Workers’ Party’s (WP) claim that it is ready to manage another town council, Mr Tan said that managing an older and maturing estate like Marine Parade is not just an issue of competency but also integrity of values because town councils are managing funds on behalf of the residents.

Mr Tan and his team, which include Mr Goh, Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef, Mr Seah Kian Peng and Mr Edwin Tong, are up against a WP team in the polls on Friday.

“What is the implication of a weak mandate?” Tan Chuan-Jin on the political system needed in Singapore even as it evolves. #GE2015
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What is the kind of society and nation that voters want Singapore to be? Minister Tan Chuan-Jin says "it's something all of us need to be on that journey together" and not something "that can be mandated". #GE2015
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

We have walked this journey faithfully with you for many years. With integrity, sincerity and dedication. We ask for...
Posted by Tan Chuan-Jin on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment