Singapore – Where Our Leaders Have Roles That Don’t Match Their Credentials

We have paper generals, scholars, and business/economic students leading our country. It is no surprise that they are so out-of-touch with the ground and that they run our country like a business.

Once again we have another paper general being parachuted to oversee Singapore’s pre-school sector from 15 December 2021. You can read more about that here. However, this is not the first time Singapore has appointed someone with no relevant experience to such a high position.

As a matter of fact, many of our leaders do not have the right experience to match whatever they are doing now. Here are some prominent examples.

Our Multi-Ministry Taskforce

Made up of Lawrence Wong (Minister for Finance), Gan Kim Yong (Minister for Trade and Industry), and Ong Ye Kung (Minister of Health). None of them actually have any prior experiences in healthcare.

Multi-Ministry Taskforce

Lawrence Wong has a number of degrees, all of which are either in Economics or Public Administration. He studied overseas under Public Service Commission (PSC) scholarship. Upon graduation, he joined Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). Even when he moved to other ministries, his roles were in the Finance department.

Gan Kim Yong‘s qualifications of even less relevance. He studied Electrical Engineering in Cambridge University under Overseas Merit Scholarship, where he acquired a Bachelors’ and a Masters’. Upon graduation, he joined the civil service in MTI and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). He then left the civil service to join NatSteel Ltd, a steel manufacturing company. What can an engineer contribute to our taskforce? The stupid name “Circuit Breaker”.

Similar to Lawrence Wong, Ong Ye Kung completed his degree in Economics at London School of Economics. He then served in the Ministry of Communications from 1993-1999 before joining the MTI. He also acquired an MBA in 1999.

Why do we need economics/business students running our healthcare industry as the Minister of Health? Arguably, having one of them is enough, perhaps to make decisions related to expenditure when it comes to COVID support funds and the likes. Why do we need 2? And why do we need an engineer? Why do we not have someone from the healthcare industry, or at least a biologist/scientist who knows more about infectious diseases?

Minister for Education – Chan Chun Sing
Chan Chun Sing

Mr “Xiasuay” Chan Chun Sing was from RI/RJC, and he studied economics in Cambridge University under the President’s Scholarship. He then served in SAF from 1987-2011 and was the Chief of Army from 2010-2011. Now, he is a Minister for Education.

How is he fit to lead the education sector? All he can say is that he is a top scorer who has been through the education system here. Does he know the struggles an average or a below-average student has? What about those who are not from elite schools like him? He only knows how to belittle Singaporeans, calling them “xiasuay”.

Other Ministers

Most (if not all) of our ministers are holding onto roles that don’t match their credentials. Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Edwin Tong is a law student, and this man represented Pastor Kong Hee at the City Harvest Church Trial. Not sure how his law experiences have any relevance with MCCY who are supposed to be in charged of Youth Development in the arts and sports. Moreover, he was born in 1969, and he is definitely not a youth.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (Dis)Grace Fu was an auditor with a degree in accountancy and an MBA.

Our Minister for Defense Ng Eng Hen is a surgical oncologist.

Ironically, our Minister for Communication and Information Josephine Teo is one of the worst communicators PAP has ever had. Remember when she talked about “small space” and how she said that no one demanded an apology from her?

“You need a very small space to have sex.”

“I have not come across one single migrant worker himself that has demanded an apology”

Josephine Teo
What can we gather from this?

Not only do they like to select paper generals, they also like to pick scholars that are out-of-touch with the average Singaporean, much less those that are struggling to survive. Moreover, it seems like most of the current PAP ministers have degrees related to economics, business, or law.

Is this why they are running our country like a business that they are so focused on the economy even now where our daily COVID cases are skyrocketing? Does the law background explain their frequent twisting of words to maneuver their way around Singaporeans’ sentiments?

Yes their achievements are commendable, and maybe not everyone has the capability to get the qualifications that they have. However, not everyone has the luck or privilege that they have either. Moreover, this is not how leaders should be chosen. It doesn’t make sense to have a group of leaders with similar backgrounds and privilege.

Why do we not have a group of leaders with a more diverse background?