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Tan Chuan Jin: Respect the ‘space’ of those who have not been ‘engaged’

Posted by temasektimes on September 24, 2012

Acting Manpower Minister has responded to public criticisms of the ‘National Conversation’ by asking critics to ‘respect’ the space of those who have not been engaged, and to let this group “discuss and speak”.

The ‘National Conversation’ has involved only a group of carefully screened and selected Singaporeans so far and certain sensitive issues were not brought up and discussed openly, leading many skeptics to decry it as another ‘wayang’.

However, Mr Tan, who is also part of the committee facilitating the conversation, noted the different reactions among Singaporeans over the process.

He urged Singaporeans to keep an open mind as the country engages in a national conversation about its future, noting that some Singaporeans may have taken part in previous reviews but many others have not.

Despite the extensive publicity given to the ‘National Conversation’ by the state media, the response from the ground has been lukewarm so far.



10 Responses to “Tan Chuan Jin: Respect the ‘space’ of those who have not been ‘engaged’”

  1. Naivety said

    I couldn’t help observing/commenting that this Paper General, TCJ looks, speaks & talks like a Drug Addict during his performance in Parliament with snap shots as shown on the TV!

    His performance was so pathetic, just reading out from a scripted piece of paper what he wanted to say & his eyes look so sheepishly almost shut as if he has just awaken & not sober yet!

    Hey TCJ! Please note that there are many PMET Sinkaporeans queuing up for your job all the way from Punggol to Tuas End if you’re not serious in you job!!!

  2. P Koh said

    I am totally surprised that with a handful of about 30 carefully selected citizens it is called the “National Conversation”. No wonder the bulk of many unhappy citizens are pissed off. Mr. Tan Chuan Jin, please do not embarrass yourself with such an advice. I had high hopes when I heard that this is a National Conversation and now I cannot help but agree with many out there that it is indeed a National ‘Con-verse-sation’. Come on Mr. Tan, do try to be more authentic if you want to give advice and be more down to earth. According to the Oxford dictionary “National” means “common to or characteristic of whole nation”. I am born and bred in Singapore and love it dearly and will defend it with my life but I just could not stand to see it go into decay with policies that have gone astray and there is no accountability but yet moves are made to cover-up inefficiencies and expect the populace to stomach them. Please wake up to the truth although it is going to be really painful and no more games please. Be serious and move on to do what is right by the government with the Ministers and for the people.

    • James Tan said

      Well said!

    • Connecting goes beyond words said

      Mr TCJ, you can’t build a relationship with everybody in the room when you don’t care about anybody in the room. Supreme Court Justice Louise D. Brandeis observed, “Nine-tenths of the serious controversies that arise in life result from misunderstanding, from one man not knowing the facts which to the other man seem important, or otherwise failing to appreciate his point of view.” whenever you are quick to do that, you stop paying attention to people and miss clues that would otherwise help you to find and reach common ground with them.
      Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie says, “if we hear only a single story about another person or country,we risk a critical misunderstanding. Why? Because we may assume that it tells the whole story about that person or country, and we close our minds to learning more about them. When that happens, it becomes difficult to find common ground.
      This is the problem with you and your paymaster.

  3. andrew myers said

    Tan Chuan Jin,we are utterly disappointed with your comments ,i think you should step down before the next term of the GE because your comments in Paliament are in-sensitive.There are a number of poor people today carrying empty canes and boxes everyday.Look at yourself you are drawing a salary of nearly 50k every mth,does it look good on you .you decided and you tell us .you had bee shifting all these inconsistency for some time in Paliament ,do you think by doing this -you would be voted in Paliament again ?

  4. Lim said

    Who has not being engaged? How to get engaged when they carefully select those `obedient’ bias type of people like PAP activist and grassroot leaders. Some have already been exposed. So Mr Tan don’t talk about critics of your National CONversation not respecting those not engaged – those not engaged are precisely those who do not see eye to eye with the official direction and are deliberately side-lined by the media. The critics are the ones who need to be engaged – not the old faithful. Then can we have meaningful National Conversation.

  5. RICHARD said

    ALL WAYANG.Singaporean can see which now cannot hide.

  6. Robox said

    “[Tan Chuan Jin] urged Singaporeans to keep an open mind as the country engages in a national conversation about its future, noting that some Singaporeans may have taken part in previous reviews but many others have not.”

    He says that as if those who have participated – and I’m sure he is only thinking of the critics – have been actively preventing their pathetic, aggrieved ‘silent majority’ from participating.

  7. aiyoh tcj said

    I think you need some calibration.

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