The first IPS-Nathan Lecture by Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, Ho Kwon Ping took place at the National University of Singapore’s Cultural Theatre on Monday evening. In his lecture, Prof Ho presented his views on how Singapore’s political scene would be shaped in the next fifty years.
In his speech, Mr. Ho had earlier brought up the issue about Singaporeans taking a more active approach towards discontent, such as senior Singaporeans turning up at Hong Lim Park. He also pointed out that the young generation would look towards policy promises by political parties while the older generation might reward the achievements by the parties as they have more at stake to risk.
During the question and answer session, a senior gentleman from the audience took up the microphone said,
“I (refer to) your comment about older people forming the protesters at Hong Lim Park. All the time it is thought that the older generation that understands the PAP government the most because… they knew what were the challenges faced by Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his team.
And you mentioned that it is the young people today that have got wider aspirations and don’t just look at the economical progress.
I would like to share two points and would seek your comments on that.
One is, if you look at the older people, many of them like myself, I served thirty years in the army and I know the system from inside. And how policies are decided.
Number two, being a grandfather, many old people are now very very concerned about the Singapore their grandchildren are going to inherit. So I believe that it would be serious if the government doesn’t understand why the older generation are not going to buy the Pioneer Generation Package as a candy that will be won over…
Because go to any hawker centre wherever, we always say that only the youngsters go on internet media, alternative media; but people are around at the coffeeshops, hawker centres, some of them.
Now just over two weeks ago, I was at Parkway Central market and now people do not whisper why they dislike about what is happening. They talk at the top of their voice and it is very important that the government understands that it is not whispering any more. Thank you.”
Mr. Ho: I think that point should be taken by Mr Janadas Devan who is also head of Information Services of the government.
Janadas Devan: I am not answering that.