Guess special will be the recurrent theme for the PAP.
At the People’s Action Party (PAP) first rally of this General Election, held in the historic neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru, Cabinet Minister Chan Chun Sing issued a rallying call to keep Singapore “special”.
“We want to keep this country special; we are not content to be normal. Other people with big land mass, with huge resources can be normal, but we are determined that even with our finite resources, we will continue to be special,” he said on Wednesday (Sep 2) evening at the rally for the Radin Mas Electoral Division, held at Delta Hockey Pitch in Tiong Bahru.
“Never believe people who tell you, ‘we want to make Singapore ordinary. If Singapore is run of the mill, who will come here to invest, who will come here to create jobs? You are right – nobody!” he said.
Mr Chan, the Labour chief and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office who leads the Tanjong Pagar team, asked residents to think about who really cared for them and their families – those who walked the streets quietly every day, and helped them solve their issues big and small – or someone who turns up every four years and says, “vote for us so we can go to Parliament to speak”.
As for helping the poor, Mr Chan, who previously headed the Ministry for Social and Family Development, pledged that the PAP would mobilise the community to take care of one another.
“Many think just because you give money you can solve the problem. No. If you have walked the ground and talked to community leaders, you’ll know better. They need care. They need concern. They don’t need people to make grand speeches,” he said.
As for those who promise “to use the reserves to do this and that”, Mr Chan said the Government was saving up funds for the future generation. “With our ageing population, we don’t want our young to be burdened with the need to take care of a large ageing population if we have not saved up. This is being responsible, this is about long-term thinking.”
Otherwise, in 2030, he said: “Our young would have to shoulder the burden of all challenges themselves and some might decide they have a better future elsewhere.”
He also acknowledged that PMETs faced many challenges. “Our way of doing things is to make sure our PMETs are the most competitive ones” in the region and beyond, just like how the Government helped blue-collar workers in the 1970s, Mr Chan added.