Singapore — A Progress Singapore Party (PSP) leader has commented again on another National Broadcast, this time that of Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Sunday (June 14). Mr Chan had spoken on the topic, Making A Living In A Covid-19 World.
Mr Leong Mun Wai, the PSP’s Assistant Secretary-General, articulated his thoughts on Mr Chan’s speech in a post uploaded on the party’s home page on Tuesday (June 16).
This comes almost a week after Mr Leong criticised the National Broadcasts of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on June 7 and National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on June 9. He had said that more concrete ideas were needed.
Mr Leong, in his post titled Some Concrete Ideas Finally But No Coherent Plan, said Mr Chan’s speech did not give confidence that he had a thorough understanding of the issues at hand. He felt that maybe “the best” was being kept for Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s National Broadcast on Saturday (June 20)was useful in giving students exposure but pointed out that having an environment conducive for start-ups was just as important as preparing students..
Mr Chan had spoken of free trade agreements (FTAs) as opportunities for businesses and investments. Mr Leong responded that the people would naturally be supportive of Singapore signing more FTAs as long as this did not allow the “uncontrolled entry of foreigners into our country to replace the jobs of our locals”.
Mr Leong called the creation of more jobs “a welcome move” because increasing jobs had to be the top priority now. He noted, however, that there was no mention of how the country was going to recoup some of the jobs that had been lost to foreign Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs).
As for investing more in digital infrastructure, Mr Leong called it good but something that was long overdue.
He commended enabling students to gain overseas exposure through programmes like the “Global Ready Talent Program” and the “70-by-70 MOE Initiative” mentioned by Mr Chan but said that it was equally important to create a conducive start-up environment in the country.
Mr Leong also criticised SkillsFuture as an “ineffective scheme”. In the 2015 Budget, the Government had announced its intentions to invest more than S$1 billion per year on average from 2015 to 2020 in the scheme. Mr Leong said that skills “must be matched with opportunities before it becomes of real value” and since SkillsFuture did not match skills to jobs, it had not been successful. /TISG