Singapore in uncharted territory, says Tony Tan
He said Singaporeans must be aware of global economic issues and how they may affect the country. -myp
Wed, Aug 03, 2011
Singaporeans must be aware of global economic issues and how they may affect the country, presidential hopeful Tony Tan said yesterday.
Citing the current United States debt crisis as an example, Dr Tan, 71, asked whether uncertainties on a global level would "overwhelm" Singaporeans.
"We are in uncharted territory here. What does it mean for the jobs? How can (workers) keep themselves relevant?...Will prices continue to rise?" he said.
"I see major difficulties that lie ahead of Singapore."
Making sure that workers "have the skills in order to raise their productivity if costs rise", is crucial, he added.
Dr Tan was speaking to reporters at the NTUC Centre in Marina Boulevard, after an hour-long closed-door dialogue session in which he fielded questions from union leaders.
The dialogue, organised by the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute, aims to engage key personalities on issues affecting the workforce.
The former deputy prime minister - one of five potential candidates vying to contest the upcoming presidential election - described union workers as the "heart" of Singapore's economy.
Explaining his role at the dialogue, Dr Tan said that many of the union leaders are understandably "very worried" about the implications of such a crisis.
"So I wanted to discuss with them all of these issues, give them a better understanding of what is happening, what could happen, and see how we could all work together in order to help them overcome some of these difficulties."
Asked if the labour movement would be endorsing Dr Tan in his presidential bid, Mr John De Payva, president of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said that it has not formally decided to do so.
"We are mindful of who we think should be president but we have not decided whether to endorse. We may, we may not," he said, adding that a formal decision would come only after discussions with NTUC's Central Committee and its union leaders.
However, Mr De Payva said that Dr Tan "fits the bill" of what NTUC wants in a president: someone with stature, exposure and an understanding of the fundamentals of the role of the president.
Dr Tan - who has had links to the labour movement since 1979, when he became chairman of NTUC's Investment Committee - was invited to the dialogue at the request of union leaders.
A week away and when I come back and still Ex-DPM Tony’s airtime given by his ex-company SPH is unrivalled compare to the other Presidential hopeful.
Employing the same old PAP’s tactic, now he is threatening Singaporean by highlighting the bleak global economy, the probably high unemployment rates etc etc….
Oh spare me Tony, I head the same thing over and over again by the Men In White.
So this is exactly why we need a change of government as they had screwed up over the years and had not been held accountable for and are still drawing their million dollars salaries.
Tony what I want to hear from you is how you will check on the government if you are elected and what plans you have for making life of ordinary Singaporean better.
Oh and please be honest about your son’s deferment. We all knew about white horse privileges in the SAF so don’t lie to us please.
I think he will apologize and cry next.