Singapore—Despite the negative feedback that emerged after the leaked audio recording of Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing at a recent closed-door meeting with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), many netizens are now saying they respect him more than ever for the frank and forthright manner with which he spoke. For them, the diplomatic bluntness from Mr Chan was both refreshing and relatable, and they say he is another Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s founding Prime Minister.
“He is a good minister. He is indeed another Lee Kuan Yew for he dares to say things as they are, in an honest manner.”
The Trade and Industry Minister himself said in a Facebook post that he provided “a frank assessment to the business leaders” and that he does not “mince my words when presenting hard truths and trade-offs.”
In the recording of the meeting he can be heard saying such things as “Why did the run happen? You know, run on the supermarket, right? …I damn ashamed. You know why? Xia suay… We embarrass ourselves, disgraceful, we disgrace ourselves… No paper, water also can. So why do we behave so idiotically? I cannot tahan. Then the selfish idiot go and take all the alcohol swab, because got no more clean wipe right?”
For this, Mr Chan was called out for what was perceived as derogatory name-calling, his use of Singlish, among other “offences.” But instead of garnering condemnation from the public that he serves, some netizens have praised Mr Chan for the very same reasons that others have called him out, and said that the leak was possibly “a blessing in disguise.”
For one netizen, Mr Chan “is definitely the man of the year in my book.”
Another netizen went so far as to calling him another Lee Kuan Yew.
Others praised him for being “honest” and for being so “in touch with the ground,” which they said came as a surprise.
That he was so relatable, others said, made him an effective communicator.
Several said that their impression of Mr Chan has changed for the better.
And if he was less than complimentary to some Singaporeans, this was not undeserved.
Mr Chan may have just won himself some new voters because of the incident.
One netizen pointed out a valid concern that the leak, however “beneficial” it may have been, would have a dampening effect on leaders wanting to voice their opinions frankly.
Others also decried the breach of the closed-door meeting, saying that the person who leaked the audio clip must be exposed.
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