In a Facebook post on Thursday, former People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) Inderjit Singh got in on the debate between Mr Lim Yuin Chien – press secretary to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, and editor-at-large of the Straits Times Han Fook Kwang.
In his post, Mr Inderjit said, “there is this thinking in government that the views expressed by Mr Han and Ms Chua are from a vocal minority. I agree that the responses from the government unfortunately [do] not reflect humility”.
The dialogue that has been going on started with Mr Han’s column, in the Straits Times, titled, ‘Ministers, please speak plainly to the people’. In it, he asked that leaders “use the language of ordinary people”.
To Mr Han’s column came Mr Lim’s reply, which said that Mr Han’s column morphed into a dare to ministers to make sweeping promises”.
Mr Lim ended his column harshly saying, “The easiest five words to utter in politics are: ‘I promise you free lunches.’ But that’s not plain speech. That’s pandering and populism.”
The articles of the two men drew in many comments from netizens and Singaporeans alike.
Even a former Straits Times editor Bertha Henson got in on it with an article on her website.
To all of this, Mr Singh added, “I agree that the responses from the government unfortunately does not reflect humility, as the mindset probably is that a silent majority don’t feel the same. This is why it is useful for more people to speak up sincerely so everyone knows what the real issues Singaporeans are concerned with. Listening with true humility and sincerity is critical if we want a meaningful Singapore conversation. So speak up Singaporeans.”