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Calvin Cheng: I have full faith in the PAP, what worries me is our people

'Singapore First' is a suicide call, we have to be open to the world

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Singapore — Former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng says he has full faith in the leadership of the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the Government, but he is worried about the people.

A SUNDAY RANT

I have full faith in the leadership of the PAP, and thus our elected Government.

Even though the…

Posted by Calvin Cheng on Sunday, 25 April 2021

In a Facebook post he called “a Sunday rant” on April 26, he wrote: “There is a segment of Singaporeans who have islander psychosis.” They “spew anti-foreigner hate” and are “very similar to MAGA (Make America Great Again) Trump supporters”.

“’America First!’ might be a rallying call, but ‘Singapore First!’ is a suicide call” he added.

“Singapore was founded as an open trading hub, grew rich after 1965 by inviting foreign investment and foreigners to come here, and cannot survive if we close up and shut the world off.

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“In fact, the response to Covid is not to close borders but to open up as fast as we can, and to very, very sparingly implement employment travel bans, and only for very short periods of time.”

Covid is forcing other countries to close up, but this is an opportunity for Singapore to step up and be “the new hub for the world”. “We need to open to the world even more, bring in the best digital and medical industry talent, re-invent ourselves and secure our future for another 50 years,” he added.

As for the Government, he said, “Even though the succession isn’t clear, the team as a whole is strong.

“What gives me more optimism is that there are key 3G leaders who are still young and vigorous,” he wrote, mentioning third-generation leaders such as Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam, outgoing Health Minister Gan Kim Yong who will become Minister for Trade and Industry in May, and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. “They are all around 60,” he added, noting: “In the corporate world nowadays, they would be young and have a good 10 – 15 years ahead of them.”

Mr Shanmugam, he said, had been a “rock in the Ministries of Home Affairs and Law”.

Looking outwards, he wrote: “The China vs West wars are going to get worse. This is another opportunity for Singapore. Many China tech companies are moving their global headquarters to Singapore. But we don’t have enough tech talent, and we need to reverse the quotas for tech. That is, these companies need to be allowed to have MORE foreigners than locals. Otherwise, they won’t make their global HQ here.”

He added “I thus get very angry when I see all the closed-minded, myopic comments on social media. Our future will be ruined if these people have their way. And unfortunately, we have one-man-one-vote, and politicians are sometimes afraid of making these people angry.”

Denise Teh is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISGFollow us on Social Media

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