Those who think that a Singaporean core can include foreigners, keechiu! It seems that Minister Chan Chun Sing does. That is if you just read the headlines of the report in TODAY: “Singaporean core does not mean S’poreans only, says Chun Sing”. Then theindependent.sg took it one step further with this headline for their article: “Chan says Singaporean core can include foreigners”.
Boys and girls, this is what the game of “telephone” is trying to teach us. If you aren’t careful, the message you are trying to pass on gets corrupted a little at each step until the end result becomes garbled rubbish.
In this case, you start off with a speech that tries to have snappy cliche sounding phrases like Singaporean core “cannot be exclusive and inward looking” that blurs the message. Then you have a headline of the report in TODAY that is quite terrible leaves the key message by Minister Chan Chun Sing open to misinterpretation. So by the time it got to that article in theindependent.sg all you are left with is that – garbled rubbish that is completely not what Minister Chan Chun Sing meant.
I can’t find the transcript of Minister Chan’s entire speech online. The next best thing I could do was to read the entire report on TODAY and watch Minster Chan’s speech in full (link here). Scroll to 25:30. That’s where he said this about the Singapore core: “We believe in urging and working with all the companies to build a strong Singapore core. But that Singapore core does not mean that it is a all Singaporean workforce only.”
It is clear that the key message that Minister Chan wanted to make was this: The labour force in Singapore must have a Singaporean core. But building a Singaporean core doesn’t mean that there will only be Singaporeans in Singapore’s labour force. Instead, even as we build the Singaporean core, we will still need to allow foreigners with the appropriate skills and talents to work in Singapore.
That message makes perfect sense. Anyone who thinks that the Singapore’s labour force must not have foreigners are as dumb as Donald Trump. For a country like Singapore, that kind of thinking is a surefire way to economic doom. Heck, not just for a country like Singapore. Even for USA, that kind of thinking will lead to its demise. World renowned scientist, Michio Kaku explained it excellently here:
So… NTUC speechwriters… write better speech can? And… TODAY, maybe next time don’t have such rubbish headline can?
[Featured image: Chan Chun Sing at a dialogue. Image from ST by Lim Yaohui]