Singapore—In the fourth of a series of National Broadcasts, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing spoke on Sunday (June 14) on Making a Living in a COVID-19 World. underlining that the Government’s foremost priority is to grow new businesses and create jobs for Singaporeans.
He said specifically that 100,000 new jobs would be created by next year to cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak. Mr Chan added that there will be more training opportunities to equip workers with new skill sets for the new economy. The Minister emphasised there are many opportunities ahead for Singapore, despite the pandemic.
While much has been written concerning what Mr Chan said, veteran journalist Bertha Henson took particular notice of how the minister delivered his speech. Mr Chan is well-known for his ‘Ah Beng’ or gangster persona, which is significantly different from his more formal and diplomatic peers. The minister’s diction has also been commented upon much in the past, although he has his share of supporters, who call his communication style effective.
I really think CCS should be allowed to speak in his own way…I donno how many times I jerked up at Singapore being…
Ms Henson wrote that even though she had misheard certain words that the Minister said, nevertheless, “I really think CCS should be allowed to speak in his own way,” she wrote in a post on Facebook on Sunday night.
“I donno how many times I jerked up at Singapore being among the worst whatever then realizing he meant world’s. I heard abandon when he meant abundant. Now I am not even sure how to pronounce economy.”
Many netizens chimed in on the words and phrases they had also (mis)heard from Mr Chan.
Alphonsus Tan I heard he pronounced Sheng Siong as Sheng Song ? “ song “?? ?
Irene Lee Alphonsus Tan and bigger countries as ‘bigot’ countries!
Szeyuan Low Yee-Kor-Nor-Mee
Said Khan Peeper? Or people?
Lucas Low Orr-por-tu-ni-tee
Elin Wee Someone should also suggest to his speech writer, never to put the word “erection” in his speeches. “Put up” is a good substitute. It’s not so much the word as the way it was said, I’m not so childish ?
It was a good thing, several netizens commented, that there were subtitles to the speech, so that Mr Chan could be fully understood.
Lim Shyong Piau Bertha Henson I was reading the subtitles. Diction not clear and visually not a sight to behold! ?
Ethel Tan Not everyone is bi-lingual. I think he is trying. I agree subtitles will help greatly. Criticise his language too much we forget the message.
Other netizens praised Mr Chan for his demeanour.
Heng Meng ChyeVincent His calm and steady demeanour is impressive
When one comment said “don’t know why you n others keep harping on Min Chan’s delivery in English…it’s not as if you or any of us I can think of are Prof Higgins.. ?”
Ms Henson pointed out, “he is trade and industry minister, he probably says economy everyday, including to foreigners and international audiences. Why doesn’t anyone try to teach him to say it right?”
In her next post, she asked netizens to comment on the substance of Mr Chan’s speech. Many replied that there did not seem to be anything new in what he said, finding it overly generalized and peppered with motherhood statements.
Delivery aside, what do you think about substance? Note: Rules of engagement firmly in place.
As for the promised 100,000 jobs, netizens asked for specifics on how the Government would accomplish this. —/TISG
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