Earlier this year a PAP official was seen telling Singaporeans that are unhappy with the state of affairs in the country that they should leave for other nations if they want to be happy. The message was sent out through social media and it stirred some controversy with many suggesting that it is a sign that the party leadership is losing touch with the common citizen.
The message came from a facebook post by PAP Assistant Secretary Calvin Teo. The message from Teo read,
“Some who always want to migrate out of Singapore, please do so quickly. There are many waiting to come in. Ppl going out happy, ppl coming in also happy, everybody happy.”
Understandably, this message did not resonate well with some of the citizens and it was met with a heated response from many. As an answer to some of the criticism, Teo later posted,
“…Not I happy that Singaporean moving out. It is those wanna move out, then move out, so that they can be happy. And the normal Singaporean can be happy, as there is no more nagging.”
These comments come across in a way that is rather callous and lacking in understanding. Many of the citizens that express unhappiness do so not out of a dislike for their country, but due to a level of dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the current condition. This is probably hard for a person of Teo’s position to relate to, as he is in a much better position to deal with many of the problems that face the average citizen.
However, it is important for individuals from all social positions and ethnic groups to try to understand each other if the country is to exist in harmony. Instead of advising unsatisfied citizens to leave, maybe as a leader, he should take some time to understand their concerns.