By Lim Woei Lin
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing challenged NTU students on Wednesday (5 Apr) night to avoid complacency and instead target the global market.
“We should not look inwards, but treat the world as our market,” Mr Chan said, speaking to an audience of about 400 students at NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media auditorium.
Mr Chan was the guest speaker in this year’s NTU Ministerial Forum organised by the Students’ Union. He spoke on the topic “Advancing Our Competitiveness in the New Economy”.
“Competitiveness can be created by individuals’ capability, responsibility and willingness to evolve,” Mr Chan said as he asked students to get out of their comfort zone and pursue something beyond their specialisations.
“We are in charge of our destiny and as long as we stay hungry for progress and not grow complacent, we can stay relevant,” he added.
During his hour-long talk, Mr Chan, who also holds the position of secretary-general in the National Trades Union Congress, asked the audience several questions and used the responses to structure his talk.
Audience members participated in the polls by giving one-word answers, and a live view of the responses was shown on screen.
When he asked the students in the auditorium what they thought was the biggest challenge to Singapore’s stability, the most common answer was “complacency”.
Mr Chan also emphasised the need to give back to the community to ensure continual growth as a nation.
“Success is not due to individual effort, but also enabled by family and society,” he said. “It is our responsibility to reach out and take care of those who are less successful as we move on, no matter how fast or far we run.”
Expressing his confidence in the younger generation, Mr Chan said: “Singapore will be successful if you lend your shoulders for the next generation to stand taller and see further. You have the basic ingredients for SG100, to be successful as an individual and as a nation.”
Previous speakers at the Ministerial Forum include Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2014, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in 2015, and Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam in 2016.
Additional reporting by Wong Jing Hui