SINGAPORE: Singapore must have the strongest leadership team possible for others to “take us seriously and be willing to work with us”, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Monday (May 14) during the debate on the President’s address.
Mr Chan said it is “not enough” to find the strongest set of individuals but there is a need too to mould them into the strongest team possible. This sense of teamwork, he added, does not just exist within one generation but also between generations.
“Our leadership model is to have overlapping generations of leadership teams to help the next generation do even better,” the minister said. “This provides continuity in our interaction with others and for us to compete at the highest global level with consistency in vision and execution with purpose.
“All these leadership traits – commitment, teamwork, courage to evolve, a sense of mission – are what we will need to keep our systems special,” he added.
Mr Chan also pointed out that his belief is for the need of political leaders, not just politicians, to lead the country. These are leaders who weigh the options carefully before acting decisively and never opting for the most expedient idea or a solution for personal interests or short-term gains.
“It also means not shying away from making difficult or unpopular decisions, but being guided by that resolve to always do what is in the best interests of Singapore and Singaporeans - never shirking responsibilities towards our current and future generations,” he said.
Additionally, there is a need to keep politics “constructive” and not make it just about winning votes, Mr Chan stressed.
To win the heart and votes of the people, he said the Government must work hard to develop sound policies for the country’s common future.
“To win votes by stoking anger and unhappiness may be a common practice in politics elsewhere. This is negative politics and is not constructive,” the minister added.
“THANK YOU MR LOW”
Mr Chan, whom many have identified as being one of the frontrunners to succeed current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, also took the opportunity to thank former Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang for his contributions.
Mr Low had recently handed over the reins as the opposition party’s secretary-general to Mr Pritam Singh, although he remains in its Central Executive Council.
He said while Mr Low sat on the opposite bench, he is a fellow Singaporean and very much part of Team Singapore.
“While we may not always agree with his perspectives or methods, we nevertheless appreciate his efforts to work together to build a better Singapore,” Mr Chan said. “Although Mr Low may have different perspectives, but from his speeches, we can detect his pride in Singapore and his determination to defend our sovereignty.
“Thank you Mr Low.”
The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) Government also looks forward to working with Mr Singh and the WP to “put Singapore’s and Singaporeans’ interest first, always”, Mr Chan added.