By: John Gan
It seems these days, the ruling politicians are increasingly contradicting each other. One says one thing while the other says a different thing.
It was reported in TODAY that Minister-in-PMO Chan Chun Sing said: “Singaporean core does not mean S’poreans only”.
TODAY reported, “Labour chief Chan Chun Sing cautioned against mistakenly creating a ‘Singaporeans only’ attitude in the country’s bid to develop a Singaporean core, which is more about creating ‘a diverse team of talents from cross-sector, cross-cultural backgrounds and international exposure’.”
If Singaporean core does not mean Singaporeans only, why then put the word ‘Singaporean’ in front of the word ‘core’ in the first place?
So, in the mind of Chan Chun Sing, do the followings apply?

  • ‘British plane’ does not mean British only – the plane can belong to another country.
  • ‘Falkland War’ does not mean the war between UK and Argentina in Falkland – it can mean a war in another place.
  • ‘American President’ does not mean the President of USA – it can mean the President of another nation.
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Clearly, when DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam spoke at the May Day Dinner last year (, he is less confused than Chan Chun Sing.
Mr Tharman mentioned the term ‘Singaporean core’ twice in his speech and it clearly refers to Singaporeans only:
“The Labour Movement has also been actively involved in pushing for collective representation of PMEs under the amended Industrial Relations Act and the introduction of the Fair Consideration Framework. Together with our strategies to develop new competitive strengths in our economy, these initiatives will help ensure that our Singaporean PMEs have good career opportunities, and that we retain a strong Singaporean core in our workforce…”
“The longstanding trust and understanding between the tripartite partners is a real advantage as we go forward. Let us build on this trust, and work together to strengthen opportunities for all Singaporeans, keep a strong Singaporean core, and to strengthen the values that have made Singapore successful.”
Perhaps Mr Tharman might want to send Chan Chun Sing for further English lessons first before allowing him to come back to the Cabinet to work.