By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
Speaking to 300 students at the Polytechnic Forum 2016 yesterday, Minister Chan Chun Sing tackled various questions posed by the students.
He told the poly students that they should go beyond just relying on good grades alone to find jobs. He said that they should possess the four “As” — an awareness of current affairs, analytical skills, being able to adapt to various scenarios, and to anticipate change.
He also told the students that being a Singaporean is “not a God-given right”.
“Success, security cohesion is not what we can promise you … all of you have to work hard to stay ahead of changes and stay competitive,” he said. “To be a Singaporean is not a God-given right, it requires hard work to fight for that right to be called Singaporean.”
Singaporeans fighting for their basic survival – by driving cabs
Indeed, his government has opened the floodgates in recent years to get many foreigners to work and to compete with Singaporeans in Singapore. To compete not just for jobs but also in career promotions.
Singaporeans now have to fight very hard, not just to be called Singaporeans, but also for their own basic survival. These days, many Singaporean PMETs are being forced to drive taxis or become Uber drivers, despite having years of working experience in their respective industry.
Take for example, Mr Chin, a former IT Engineer in the computer industry for 10 years, was retrenched when the company restructured to cut costs. But later, he found out that his job was actually taken over by a “foreign talent” who was cheaper. He was unemployed for awhile and many of his job applications went unanswered. Finally, disgusted by the inflow of foreign talents crowding the IT industry, he decided to quit the industry altogether to drive a cab.
In another example, a former general manager Mr Long Khin Keong also ended up driving a cab. He used to work in the oil and gas industry, drawing about $15,000 a month. For 6 years, he can’t find a suitable job. Finally, he also decided to drive a cab in order to feed his family. These days, it takes 8 months for him to earn the $15,000 as a cab driver. “I’m not asking to become a GM again, I just want to be somewhere I can contribute with my experience,” he said.
Chan: You decide what kind of Singapore you want
Back at the forum while responding to the various issues thrown at him by the students, Minister Chan said that while the Government today may have a position on each of these issues, future generations will have to decide for themselves what kind of Singapore they want.
“You have to decide for your generation what option you want to pursue,” he said.
When fielding questions, Mr Chan urged students to think of the effects of policies on different segments of society, and whether they were appropriate for the times. He also encouraged them to be inquisitive and to think for themselves.
It’s interesting to note that Chan’s present generation of government has decided to opt for a 6.9 million population for Singapore to help grow its economy (i.e, throwing bodies into the economy to increase consumption). One of his elite member of the establishment even called for the number to be increased to 10 million.
With millions of foreigners flooding Singapore in the near future, even if the next generation of government wants to reduce the population, they are going to have a hard time doing so. Hence, what Chan’s government is doing now will not leave the next generation of government much choice, despite what he is telling the poly students.