SINGAPORE: In response to presidential hopeful George Goh’s recent dialogue on the advantage of having imperfect English, many netizens have joined an online conversation, sharing their thoughts on possibly having him as president.
In recent news, businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Mr Goh has announced his bid to run for president and had an open dialogue with a number of entrepreneurs at Singapore Management University. During the event, Mr Goh spoke of how not having perfect English worked to his advantage. He also shared that his experience helped him pitch to potential business partners such as Gerry Harvey.
He argues his case that broken English helped add to his authenticity. According to a recent news report, Mr Goh said, “When you want to sell to a billionaire, don’t speak too well,” adding, “Sorry (if) I teach you the wrong way.” He was also reported to have said, “If you speak perfect English, you cannot get the deal done. A little bit authentic is better.”
A handful of netizens joined in response to the news, sharing their two cents.
While some people commented on his English skills, others shared their take on his sincerity.
“No perfect English, never mind…after all, a lot of Singaporeans speak Singlish,” said one.
Another wrote, “I had not been wrong that Mr Goh has a pure heart–his sincerity and authenticity!” The online user went on say, “In early Singapore, so many poor, uneducated Chinese hailed from China and they built very successful conglomerates and big companies in Singspore that are still thriving today. Hence, I agree with Mr Goh that speaking “perfect English” is not the be-all and end-all. So many of those humble pioneer businessmen had such hunger, took risks and kept on learning to ensure their businesses thrive, hence, a sound understanding of the business is needed.”
“He is honest. No criminal record” said another.
However, several users took a different tone.
“You need more than sincerity to lead Singapore in the current turbulent world,” one pointed out. “You need the attributes of the founding fathers to govern Singapore.”
Another user created an imaginary future situation and asked, “What can happen if you don’t understand the meaning of the question and give a wrong answer that affects the country’s relationship (with another)? Knowledge is important too, you may sometimes not understand the question…how (will you) give an answer?”
On another note, several users expressed their support for Mr Goh.