New heights of violence
The violence between protesters and police officials have escalated to new heights since the emergence of these protests 6 months ago. The latest skirmishes saw protesters set fire to the main gate of Hong Kong’s PolyU to keep police out while an armoured police vehicle was set ablaze with a barrage of petrol bombs on a bridge.
In the face of such a show of force by protesters, police have also started firing live rounds, volleys of tear gas as well as water canons to break up escalations. Besides the two deaths that were reported, the number of people injured because of these escalations continue to grow.
Can the world really sit by and watch Hong Kong burn?
Minister Chan on Hong Kong’s future
When asked about his thoughts on the situation in Hong Kong, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing dished out his take.
He opens with:
“The current situation is at a breaking point. Unless calm is restored,
dialogue commences and constructive actions taken,
there will be grave doubts about HK’s future…”
This sums up accurately the gravity of the situation. That Hong Kong’s very future hangs in the balance.
Of course, Singapore will always stand with Hong Kong as the latter’s success as an economic and financial hub is also important for the region.
(Hong Kong and Singapore)
Minister Chan’s life lessons for Singapore
1. Political system must be damn tok gong
A sound political system needs to represent diverse interests yet help these diverse interests work together. More importantly, the leadership must put the people’s and country’s interests foremost.
In Singapore, the PA, NTUC, REACH and many other agencies help the Singapore government to govern responsively by allowing them to get feedback from the ground (understanding the fears, concerns and aspirations of our people).
Basically we need to have a damn tok gong system, the right political culture, feedback channels so we can make policy adjustments where necessary.
2. Long term relationships > one night stand
Like relationships… policies that take into consideration the long run are more effective.
Governments should also be measured not only in the short term but by whether the policies will make life better for the next generation.
Take housing for example.
Ahem… just because your ah kong very lucky to squat on Newton Road and strike gold, does not mean you should then always have the privilege to stay next to my favourite hawker centre. My many children who work hard should have the chance to buy a Newton condo too.
99 year lease, land sale revenue etc go into the reserves. Think long term!
3. Together we are stronger
Singaporeans are ultimately responsible for our own future – we may have diverse interests but we always need to put the interests of Singapore first. Like the chopstick game every student plays in team building… there is strength in unity.
And like every discipline master would say – “violence is never the answer”. Violence begets violence. We need to do it the Singapore way – talk it out over kopi! Well, that and open dialogues, feedback sessions, constructive channels etc.
4. We are a small dot yo!
A quick reminder that Singapore is a little dot on the map, a small city-state with no natural resources on its own. This should keep us hungry because:
If we have no relevance – Singapore will be ignored.
If we have no opportunities and hope for our people – Singapore will fracture.
If we are not exceptional – Singapore will not last long in history.
We need to work hard and chart our destiny. We have done it thus far and will continue to.
At the end of the day, we want to make sure that Singapore
remains a country where anyone who works hard will have the opportunities
to succeed and be confident of giving their children a better life.
– Spoken #likeaboss, Chan Chun Sing