Goh vs Obama – worlds apart?

In the 30 October, Saturday, edition of the Straits Times (page A14), it was reported that NTU student Lim Zi Rui was telling SM Goh about how younger Singaporeans no longer feel a sense of belonging to the country. Here is the exchange, as reported by the Straits Times (bold emphasis ours):

“This is your country,” SM Goh replied. “What do you want me to do to make you feel you belong?”

“For my part, don’t worry about me,” Mr Lim said. “I will definitely do something, if I can, for Singapore. But I can tell you honestly that the sentiment on the ground is a bit different.”

“If that is prevalent among young people over here, we’ve got a real problem,” SM Goh said. “If the majority feel they don’t belong here, then we have a fundamental problem. Then I would ask myself: What am I doing here? Why should I be working for people who don’t feel they belong over here?

(Read Yahoo’s report of the exchange here.)


American president Barack Obama, after having won the US presidency:

“And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.