By S Preethiba, Associate Commentary Editor
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE — At the annual Kent Ridge Ministerial Forum, Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing shared his thoughts with students on the topic of “2020s Singapore: Transition amidst disruption in Singapore”.
The 2019 Edition of the forum was held last Friday (August 30) at the National University of Singapore. It is also a flagship forum organized by the NUS Political Association (NUSPA).
A total of around 150 students and staffs from the various institutes of higher learning and junior colleges attended the forum.
The discussion kick started around two main issues: the biggest challenges facing Singapore and the biggest opportunities for Singapore.
During the forum, it was discussed that “a fragmented world in which no particular global order prevails” would be a great challenge to nations, including Singapore.
Should such a situation arise, countries might be “put to test to choose sides”.
However, Mr Chan said that Singapore’s extensive and diverse connectivity could offset those challenges, thus providing reason for optimism.
Wrapping up the first part of the discussion on Singapore’s economy, Mr Chan listed some key strategies that the country will continue to pursue: ensuring long-term stability and social cohesion, helping businesses and workers to adapt and transform, and strengthening connectivity in the areas of data, finance, technology, regulations and talent.
The forum then proceeded on to question and answer segment, where students clarified issues surrounding employability, climate change and resource allocation in Singapore.
Regarding employability, students raised concerns on their ability to secure jobs upon their graduation. Mr Chan shared that the situation is not all doom and gloom and highlighted qualities such as regional awareness and adaptability that would set them apart and make them attractive to potential employers.
On the climate front, Mr Chan stressed that in addition to individual, community and national efforts to mitigate climate change, “everyone (around the world) needs to be responsible” to collectively tackle the global crisis ...so that “Singapore would not be doubly disadvantaged”.
Questions on resource allocation alluded to Singapore’s fiscal challenges. Mr Chan shared that the provision of social welfare is a major issue.
Mr Chan emphasized that Singapore’s approach to tackle inequality has and will continue to be one of “targeted help so as to achieve equal outcomes”.
The forum concluded with Mr Chan urging students to “keep the dream of Singapore alive by making sure that yet another generation of Singaporeans would be able to succeed,'' just as they did. -
About the author: Preethiba is a year 2 economics major, who likes reading and catching up on current issues and discussing political and economical issues. She is also an avid football fan and is a fan of Liverpool.
If you have any thoughts or opinions regarding the event or the issues discussed, please feel free to respond to us by commenting below or writing in to us!