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Labour chief Chan Chun Sing speaks at the Temasek Polytechnic graduation ceremony (Source: The Straits Times).

Chan Chun Sing’s remark on perspective of job irks netizens

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing told Singaporeans that it is more important for students to give meaning to their pursuits instead of searching for meaning in all that they do in life.

Speaking at the first session of Temasek Polytechnic's (TP) graduation ceremony where 272 diplomas were handed out to students in the School of Applied Science, Mr Chan said that there are many choices in life and people are often searching for something that will give them meaning. But we will often fail and then we will be disappointed.

The Minister then urged students to change their perspective when it comes to achieving their goals in life and to think about how they can "do justice" to the jobs that they are doing instead of embarking on a search for the perfect job.

He asked, "Is it (more important) to marry the woman you love, or to love the woman you marry?", drawing the link between this issue to a common question in relationships.

The Minister also urged students to remain adaptable in a changing world. citing the example of veterinary technology student Sim Xin Xian, who got a job offer after an internship with a shrimp farm in Sumatra, Indonesia. Despite cultural and language barriers, she adjusted to life there and got along well with her colleagues. Mr Chan said that this is the kind of spirit that the country wants.

"You go to a new place, you don't know the people, you don't know the culture. But with the skill sets that you have acquired you learn to adapt - and you will survive and excel"

Many readers lashed out at the reports of his remarks and commented that the Minister just does not make any sense. Here is a sample of what they wrote:

  • Bernard Kew playing on the remarks of the Minister, wrote, "Vote the Minister you love or love the Minister that has been Voted. Facepalm."
  • Siti Suhana wrote "Says someone who probably has never worked in a blue collar job."
  • Trampas Django wrote, "Most of our women don't marry us locals, they marry foreigners. And we end up getting married to foreigners as well. Anyway, this guy doesn't know what he is talking about"
  • Joan Ark wrote, " I wonder if he married the women he loved or loved the women he married. Either way, his wife is enjoying his 1 million a month pay cheque."
  • Julia Teng Roo Seen wrote, "How does one equate marriage to a job?!? Is this guy even married then, if he is, how does his marriage make him spout such bullshit? And he was delivering this to some fresh diploma grads?? Stop misleading these young people! Get your ideas together, please. Do justice to the job that you are so highly paid for!"
  • Shi Wei wrote, "This comparison just doesn't make sense on so many levels.
    I wonder what the ladies out there would feel if their spouses were to say such a thing to their faces?
    Work is a transactional act, something people do for money above everything else."
  • Marcellus Louis wrote, "What talking him? This Chan Chuan Sing and Josephine always talk rubbish just to try and shape things to go the way they want us to fit in, disgracing PAP and their batch of "young" batch leaders.
    So he is only loving his wife just because he sees his wife as a good medium or tool with connections to help him to get a better life? Instead of loving his wife wholeheartedly that's why he asked her to marry him?
    That's such a scum move if he did that. I think he is self-contradicting himself, he should learn to think more before vomiting junk of sentences that doesn't make sense."
  • JereMe Lim wrote, "Poor analogy, every circumstance is different, there is no one size fits all approach to everything in life. This guy really has a one track mind and I sincerely hope he won't become our PM."
  • Friday RayCal wrote, "Talk rubbish. To marry a person also sure need to search for a one and most important both can get well together and love.Not simply married. Same goes for a job need to search. Job will never come by itself.Need to see or to know is that work scope I'm interested in or can I do it with love interest and especially if you take up a certain diploma or degree in certain skill study or courses we like. Bottom line here is better to do or love the thing or a person and even your work or job that make you stay happy in life. Gundu so don't take things and compare. You think you want to do what you are doing now? You are lucky. You should thank God. You and I believe it's just because of money and with money and background secure of course your wife or girlfriend 100 percent die die love you."
  • See Dick San wrote, "Government will always blame its people, rather than to admit their shortcomings. Anyway, they are humans too. When the majority of human reach an end where they ran out of solutions quick, what they can do is giving excuses, once that runs out, they will do the begging/emotional part. Just like any others in Singapore, no one would admit their mistakes immediately. We'll see."
  • James Soh wrote, "Time to return to the 50s and 60s. Anyhow get a wife (mostly decided by parents) and try your best to love her. Same for jobs, pick up whatever job available and do your best to love it! Oh....no, we can't be that bad, can we?"
  • Christopher Wahid wrote, "WTF. We voted for the Government to see us through Not to teach us how to pull through. That being the case, we already know how to survive, not for these guys whom we voted to tell us to hold and upgrade our jobs.
    The Government should know how it's like to earn 2000 and live a normal life. Where is justice,
    Mr. MP? I don't see any improvements in blue collar jobs. Do you?"
  • Mike Wong wrote, "Do you work for money or do you love the work? Guess he is paid in millions not love! Who would not love his job because of the money? Job and love are contractual agreement either parties not satisfied, either party can file for separation and find the right one. Not sure whose mind is not working, his or mine?"
  • Dennis Cheng wrote, "The benchmark for job satisfaction varies from person to person with different qualification, background, personal requirement and etc. If I have a family with many mouths to feed can I just settle down for a job that pays a meagre salary? The poor fellow will not have enough to put food on the table, not be able to provide education for his children, will not be able to seek adequate medical attention and etc. The poor will not be able to break free from poverty and the cycle will carry on."
  • Kelvin Choo wrote, "Having a job is a transactional relationship. Love isn't, it's mutual."
  • Dan Ang wrote, "He should say that to his fellow cabinet ministers, do justice for the salary they are taking."
  • Frank Chong wrote, "When you're paid $25,000 monthly for doing nothing, damn right you gonna love that job!"
  • Dave Tan wrote, "It's not love the woman you married nor marry the woman you love. It's most women "taken" by foreigners."
  • Lau Pa Sat wrote, "Philosophised by someone who never who hold a normal job."
  • Shaun Hotchand wrote, "Please continue your work and please show warm and some friendliness. Show your care and concern make us understand the two-way. We don't need lectures .."