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Tan Chuan Jin: The Singapore identity is ‘alive and kicking’

Posted by temasektimes on July 24, 2012

The relentless influx of foreigners into Singapore in the last five years have changed the island’s demographics to beyond any recognition leading to an erosion of the nascent Singapore identity which has been built up painstakingly since 1965, however according to Minister of State for Manpower Tan Chuan Jin, the Singapore identity is still ‘alive and kicking’.

Speaking during an interview with FM 93.8 ‘Live Ask Programme’ last week, Mr Tan said the Singapore identity is for each individual to discover for themselves and not something which the state can dictate.

He is optimistic that the Singapore identity is alive and growing:

“The Singaporean identity is alive and kicking. We are tied up in a web of relationships, memories, and experiences we all share and that, collectively, with our own individual interpretation, makes up what it means to be Singaporean.”

Mr Tan also calls on Singaporeans to work together with one another to build a future for Singapore:

“We should be proud of it, and work together in whatever capacities to really build a future that we can call our own, and can provide for our children.”

About forty percent of Singapore’s population is now made up of foreigners. Of the remaining 60 percent who are ‘citizens’, an increasing number are born overseas.


48 Responses to “Tan Chuan Jin: The Singapore identity is ‘alive and kicking’”

  1. Arshad said

    “About forty percent of Singapore’s population is now made up of foreigners. Of the remaining 60 percent who are ‘citizens’, an increasing number are born overseas.”

    Yes, that means if you include the new citizens, foreigners now make up more than 50 percent of the population!

    What Singaporean indentity are you talking about when Singaporeans are a minority in their own country.

  2. Lim said

    There seems to be a very thick brain barrier that prevents reality from seeping into official minds. The Singapore identity has been consigned to the trash bin long long ago by deliberate govt immigration policies – just like the old RI identity has been replaced by elitist rich snobbish kids when it went independent. What Singapore identity and alive some more? Delusions? Our identity is SIngalog (sin with tagalog) or Sino-sing (Mainland China with Singapore) with Singalog identity most prevalent in fast food outlets and restaurants while the Sino-sing refers to the identity of old Singapore men flesh union with Sino-hens everywhere. The Singaporean identity is same as Do DO bird – dead and buried, overwhelmed by foreign colonisation and imposition of alien culture.

  3. Victor said

    I guess he is hallucinating with the millions salary package. It’s been history since the Government and Singaporeans acted in 1 accord.

    With 40% foreigners, is it possible to have a Singapore identity? Maybe a rojak identity.

    What future is this guy talking about or who’se future? Future for the Elites and foreigners or true blue Singaporeans?

    Our children?? If we want a future for our children, we need to a government that takes care of local more than foreigners.

    I guess that can only happen after 2016.

  4. Vic said

    Yes, the Singaporean identity is alive and kicking, in the deep blue sea. If a life boat does not come soon, it is going to submerge.

  5. Jaded said

    what a load of crap! he cannot even define what the Singaporean identity is!

    • Azzeidine said

      true. what is the Singapore identity? our ex-president Nathan said that the common Singapore identity has yet to developed last March 2012. if our own leaders could not even define this or even know what this obscure identity is, do you think we will buy your garbage? it might be the citizen’s job to foster this so-called identity but with the government pushing garbage down our throat like this one or foreign policy or effectiveness of our transport, do you actually think this identity will magically appear?

    • Chloe said

      Singapore identity is, I believe, built on national myths and legends such as singing the national anthem every morning in school, learning about national education on national defence day, learning about Singapore’s history in high school; all these are controlled by the government to steer us to where they want us to be so that we remain passive and submissive when new policies are implemented. They infiltrate not only our schools, but also the media, such as broadcasting new national theme songs every year when national day gets near to incalculate a sense of ‘patriotism’ in our nation. I don’t know why you guys keep saying that there is no national identity, but there definitely is, for we are moulded to what the PAP wants us to be so that they can carry out their policies while citizens believe whole-heartedly that everything is going just fine. Apparently now we realise it is all an act, but it is too late for although we have awaken from our illusion (supporting PAP by voting for them) they have caused too many changes in Singapore for the alterations to be reversible. Tell me how do you get rid of all the foreigners who you are so unhappy with? And how do you bring back Singaporeans who have migrated overseas and those who are born there? Patriotism used to be in fever, but now it is dead. I’m not saying that patriotism is entirely bad, but sometimes it can be used in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. Maybe power corrupts? I don’t know. Most people can’t even be bothered to watch national day on television anymore!

  6. Crap... said

    Stop all the BS-ing.. PAP has singlehandedly destroyed Singapore’s identity.. Still have the cheek to make claims..

    • where's Singapore? said

      we even got an identity meh?? I thought it was all poured into the singapore river after the floodgate was opened to foreigners?? But I strongly agree with you, that this guy still have the cheek to make claims….looks like he thinks by “talking nice” can sweep the problem they created under the carpet.

  7. Chloe said

    What a shocking statistics of people who are foreigners!
    Well, again, what do you expect?
    We are definitely ‘alive’ with rage and looking forward to ‘kicking’ you out of the parliament!
    Wait and see…

  8. GodBlessSG said

    Memories are just nothing but memories and they are in the past.
    Mr Tan Chuan Jin Sir, please think of the present housing, transportation, inflationary and job problems. And also our Singapore future. Do you think this is the correct direction Singapore should be moving towards?

  9. But half dead.

  10. C.H. Tan said

    Don’t understand why our Mr. Tan says that and where he get all this feedback from??????

    • icefire said

      i think he got the feedback from those so call grassroot leader who keep getting funds from unknown sources to have buffet among themselves when rhe residences in the area us crying for assistances

      • We Singaporeans said

        grassroot leader ?? you mean run dogs & those pigs !!

      • jaded said

        newly minted citizens grassroots leaders?

      • where's Singapore? said

        grassroots people – all “sama sama” lah!!! U “scratch my back, I scratch yours”…..let’s keep singing the same happy song…..singapore “boleh” la!

  11. U_SEE_ME_NO_UP_AH? said

    What Singapore identity, what pride, what future, what hope? Get real! It’s now more like Singapore is currently undergoing a “ROJAK” identity crisis. Not a big issue if the foreigners learn to assimilate into our culture and not vice versa. Some common traits of what Singaporeans find intolerable and obnoxious are their attitude problem, filthy bad habits, ill manners, unethical and inconsiderate behavior, lack of civic consciousness, etc. However, in all fairness, I must add that there are also many foreigners, regardless of their ethnic background who can still be able to fit in well in our society without any problems.

    • where's Singapore? said

      Agree! years ago we always have foreigners (the much refined, respectful of people type) like the expatriates in our midst and WE HAVE NO PROBLEM with them. Now, these bunch of foreigners ……”shaking head” u said it all…..OBNOXIOUS, INCONSIDERATE, UNETHICAL…… wait till they represent us overseas as “citizens of singapore” and bring shame to our name…..

  12. Overseas Singaporean said

    I think he meant… “kicking the bucket”

  13. mahbok tan said

    Before year 2000 , our population demographic , are like this Chinese 73% , malays 14% Indians 9% and others 4%.
    Can anyone suggest the new population demographic….????? Chinese 85% Indian 10% malays 2% Pinoy 3% others 1%….he he he he …….welcome to CHINAPODAH…….!!!!

  14. newhik said

    Think Mr Tan is listening only to those PA people who likes to sugarcoat the truth. Its either this or our dear MPs are simply too arrogant and naive to believe that the people will accept BS comments like this

  15. hihihi said

    alive and kicking? more like struggling.

  16. just curious said

    “Mr Tan said the Singapore identity is for each individual to discover for themselves and not something which the state can dictate.”
    I wonder if he has any idea of what identity has our Singapore spirit been left with… after all the foreign influx.

  17. Ron said

    I can point to a HK identity: True freedom of expression and willing to do peaceful street demostrations. Mahjong, gambling, horse-racing…anything that can make money. Highly competitive, do not trust others easily, etc.

    I cannot point to any unique Singapore identity except the fear to challenge the status quo. Hence the Silent Majority

  18. tuck u understand! said

    alive but barely kicking

  19. lolkey said

    if you can give me wealth and comfort, I’ll serve my identity up in a plate and it is all well. If not, it is all blood and country to get the foreigners who stole our “precious” identity out.

    This is the Singapore identity that is alive and kicking from day 1.

  20. seah said

    alamak why you talk like that,you dont feel the ground at all

  21. Wicked Brain said

    An Integrated Spirit and Integrated Identity?

  22. solaris8899 said

    Mr Tan, sir, i dont understand what you said – Singaporean identity is alive and kicking?

  23. nocando said

    i only trust what i see. he needs to know that he does not have any magical power to make ppl believe whatever he want us to believe.

  24. Action & Reaction said

    Thanks to 40% foreigners and dun know how many new citizens in 60%.
    But not to worry, we will still be alive in 2016 kicking you and your party out!

  25. Jin Ai Talk Cock said

    To claim that the Singaporean identity is alive & kicking is like saying the sun is going to rise from the West henceforth. What a joker he is!

  26. True sinkie said

    Load of bull as usual

  27. True BLUE Sinkie said

    What Singapore identity is Tan Chuan Jin talking about? Is he in the dark or still living in the ivory tower? Take a walk around the heartlands, walk into any office or factory, drop by at the NTUC supermarket, join the folks at the hawker centers and he understands what we mean by having lost our identity.

  28. gtqw said

    Tan Chuan Jin Tan Chuan Jin Tan Chuan Jin

  29. pitbull said

    are you so bloody daft ?? what sinkipore identity ? we even have signboard in pinoy language now !!
    wake you !!!

    • where's Singapore? said

      oh, dont be surprised next time before you get served by a pinoy at the counter, u’ll be asked “can u speak tagalog”??

      • where's Singapore? said

        i already kena one china chinese at NTUC asking me “ni hui chiang hua yi, mah” when I asked him about some beef steaks to buy…..I thought ex-PM LEE KY said English is our working language??

      • banana S'porean chinese? said

        What is wrong to speak in Mandarin between a PRC Chinese and a S’porean Chinese? Unless the S’porean Chinese does not know how to speak Mandarin.

  30. Fed Up Singaporean said

    That’s funny, most of the PRC I know insist that Singaporeans are China people and claim Singapore is China too.

  31. kampong Spirit said

    Singapore used to have a strong kampong spirit during the older days. People care for one another gracefully without expecting any returns. Doors to houses are left open because they trust one another. Not like now that surveillance cameras are all over the shop. The connection was stronger then. Will there be another nationwide campaign to bring back this kampong spirit or are we too focused on aiming at all rounded No 1?

  32. Seb said

    These idiots have sold us out! We must get rid of them in 2016. Make them take public transport and queue up for everything…they have lost all sense of reality.

  33. Exaggerated said

    Once a upon a time, Singapore does not have an identity of itself. Until the descendants of the foreign immigrants began to proliferate on the tiny island, we began to grow as one, slowly developing our stand and identity. Not very define but is slowly developing. We began to see something unique about Singaporeans and are towards the direction of building it stronger and refining it better.

    Then came the policies of foreigners pouring into Singapore and historical sites and buildings removed. All the years in developing our own identity have gone down the drain. (Please bear in mind, identity cannot be present just like instant noodles can be ready in matter of minutes.) We are really good in destroying ourselves in the name and pursuit of progress, excellence and prosperity. Are we really that lousy that we cannot even strike a good balance in pursuing such progress?

    While the PAPs are blinded by whatever reasons, they really do not understand what is happening or have the valor and dignity to voice up and do what is right to strike a balance. Singapore is nothing but a piece of land, like a boring factory churning out products. nothing special or interesting to boast about.

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