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Lawrence Wong: We must approach public discourse with ‘tolerance’ and ‘sensitivity’

Posted by temasektimes on September 22, 2012

In the past, Singaporeans are expected to offer ‘constructive’ alternatives if they are to ‘engage’ the government and now they have to approach public discourse with ‘tolerance’ and ‘sensitivity’ as the ruling seeks to steer the tone and direction of public discourse again in its favor.

Speaking at a Polytechnic Forum on Friday evening, Senior Minister of State for Education and Information, Communications and the Arts Lawrence Wong said Singaporeans must strive to approach public discourse with tolerance and sensitivity.

As usual, the negative experiences of other countries were used to illustrate his point:

“We’ve seen how other countries have become polarised, with differences escalating into violence and unrest. We must avoid these destructive outcomes; we must never let our differences divide us as a society.”

Mr Wong added that it is ‘unfortunate’ that  there have been displays of insensitivity in society from time to time.

However, Mr Wong omitted the fact that the rise in social tension is a direct result of the government’s immigration policies which caused too many foreigners to be accepted into Singapore society within too short a period of time such that there is little time to integrate them completely.



16 Responses to “Lawrence Wong: We must approach public discourse with ‘tolerance’ and ‘sensitivity’”

  1. alamak said

    Dont anyhow tok tok of ‘tolerance’ lah Mr. MiniMinister., Who got to tolerate who? Big Brudder or small fry? Meybe got ask Dr Catherine Lim, she sure authority on this.

  2. mahbok tan said

    I am not going to get ANGRY if my stomach is not hungry…meaning we have work to feed our family and pay our bills.

    For the future we have already prepared , that is our next generation will not be able to pay for their lease house as what we have been able to do ….!!!

    Our GOVT of the DAY prefer not to hear to the citizen , as they are having the mindset that they are same or equivalent to LKY generation…..!!!

    Allo allo allo mini-ser , do not make your citizen be too sensitive with your policies and words when addressing your own citizen.

    To you Lawrence Wong …KNNBCCB….(meaning good day to you) did you go through NS life in the army…!!!

  3. Pink Panty Long said

    Oh, so it’s OUR (Singaporeans) fault again ya? This bunch of soft pinkie pussies just cannot accept criticisms of any kind. If they are ruling countries like Taiwan, Korea, Japan or Hong Kong, just to name afew, where the citizens are alot more vocal and upfront, these bunch of pinkie pussies ministers will surely be reduced to tears!

  4. Pink Panty Long said

    How about putting it in another way. The government brought in millions of DIFFERENCES through it’s open-legs immigration policy without considering and giving a damn to the SENSITIVITY of Singaporeans and they can’t even TOLERATE any alternative voices and true criticisms by the general public of their half-baked policies. Lawrence Wong, please WALK THE TALK & PREACH THIS TO YOUR PINKIE BOSS & HIS PINKIE TEAM. Thanks.

  5. nb la said

    we can choose to be happy. we can choose another government too. there is 2 ways to defeat an opponent. be better than him or wait for him to degrade to below your level. 1st and 2nd is happening concurrently

  6. Populist said

    Too many foreigners. Ah just close down some hospitals and stop building HDB flats will do. Or we could boycott Public Transport as there are too many foreign bus drivers. Impose national service to all Singaporean from age 21 to 70 years old to work in the construction site for 3 day a in a month to ease labor shortage

  7. !. Stop all the foreign workers, be they professionals or semi-skilled workers, from working in Singapore. 2. Stop giving PR status to the existing foreign imports, and stop giving them Citizenship 3. Get back every young and senior citizens who were born, bred, schooled locally to replace the foreigners currently employed and working in Singapore. Singaporeans have contributed enough and still contributing, even though they are facing tough competition with the foreign workers to get themselves employed. And that’s the reason Pinoy, Chinese from all corner of the world, Indians, Ang Mohs and others are seen easily everywhere in Singapore! If this particular policy continues, the existing Singaporean that have contributed to what Singapore is today would eventually be displaced and vanished! I do not know how many are sharing with what I just said, not to worry you too are exercising your right by keeping it to yourself!

  8. P Koh said

    Very well said “We must never let our differences divide us as a society”. How I wish Mr. Wong can understand and take cognisance of the frustrations of Singaporeans caused by the influx of FTs and that the wide differences in ‘culture and upbringing’ is the great divide that is the cause of the present problem. It took half a century to develope the Singaporean identity and would probably take another half a century for the new comers to assimilate into our unique culture. There is no quick fix and all we can do is to practise tolerance as the plagiarism of culture is never an easy thing to do. The need to scrutinize the background of new comers is ever so important now as the native Singaporeans’ composition has seriously been eroded and is difficult to reinstate given the poor procreation mind-set of locals due to the attending high cost of upkeep of children and the run-away price of a roof over their heads. Easier said than done. National Conversation should address these issues with gusto.

  9. spotlessleopard said

    Mr. Wong did not address the Ultra Rich….and the Ultra Poor our GINI ndex, our widening gap between the TOP 10% AND THEBOTTOM 30%…”.SO Mr. Wong what do you think?”

  10. Welovesingapore said

    How to be tolerant when your livelihood equvalent to dignity is stolen from you. How do you approach a less attractive career age and be rendered useless by employer when they can hire a younger FT/PR Nobody want to be less graceful. But the policy of gahman policy has been such that it has ignored the welfare of her citizen and left us tender and vulnerable in this keen global competition without the due consideration for our welfare. We are not destructive, We just want to be fairly treated.

  11. Tan Yan Ren said

    How about getting the GOVT act right and Together before you open your FAT mouth to teach us how to suck eggs…or teach an old dog new tricks…try me one on one infront of the media UNCENSORED…you will DUG for Cover….easy money isnt it Lawrence, being a PAP minister or MP….just say anything and the newspaper publish and what we say that old fart (blackie) call it NOISE!!!!…NOW that’s what PAP call TOLERANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tan Yan Ren said

      I forgot to add YOUR word SENSITIVITY!!!.tell that old black repeat the word NOISE!!!!he said that when he was in office.

  12. fpc said

    you didn’t tell the govt to stop importing ft en masse to stop from being irritated and complain. he wants us to shut up while ft continues to be imported en masse again the future.

    he only works for himself.

  13. Lim said

    I am approaching public discourse with my utmost sensitivity and tolerance Mr Wong – please pity the plight of hundreds of thousands of citizens affected by the road blocks, jams and inconvenience of F1. Your colleague tells us we MUST accept F1 as part of our lives but can we beg a little bit of consideration to relocate the route somewhere less disrupting to our lives please? Of course we understand the huge humungus benefits monetarily-wise that filters down the whole of Singapore to even minions like me and we are eternally grateful for the crumbs that the rich and glamourous throw to us and for even deigning to grace this once-upon-a-time God-forgotten barren island with their eminent presence. How is this for sensitised public discourse and extreme tolerance in public discourse?

    • Robin hood said

      If the F1 circuit is made at vast reclaimed land off Changi Airport the race will be even more exciting with straight run for 3 to 4 km. Scared it’ll be white elephant? Not to worry. There are many crazy rich with ferraris, mesas, lambos, etc waiting to use the circuit. Charge of $200 an hour no problem. No need to race along expressways risking loss of driving licence.

      Also the area can be developed to include theme parks, shopping and eating outlets for family.

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