It was reported on Thursday (9 Jan) that a member of the public, Dr Patrick Liew Siow Gian, wrote to ST Forum supporting Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing in his call to bring in “foreign talents” into Singapore.
Referring to Chan’s address in Parliament on Monday (6 Jan), Dr Liew said, “Most people would agree that it is important for Singapore workers to have first priority to jobs. However, we must also appreciate the value-add from attracting an appropriate number of foreign talent to our shores.”
Chan told Parliament on Monday that the purpose of bringing in foreign workers with the right types of skills is to benefit Singaporeans. Dr Liew urged the government to continue to educate Singaporeans on the need for “foreign talents”.
While most Singaporeans would not argue with Chan and Dr Liew to bring in foreigners with real talent to help Singapore, many have observed in their daily interactions with foreign colleagues that quite a number of the foreign staff are just ordinary with no perceivable “talent”.
A netizen lamented online, “Our recruitment director was a Japanese who likes the obedience of Indian talents with every ‘can can’ attitude. They ‘can can’ and then when they cannot, it was the few leftover local IT guys who would fix the problems day in and out.”
Patrick Liew is a grassroots leader
As it turns out, Dr Liew is a grassroots leader with the People’s Association. He was formerly the Chairman of Ayer Rajah Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC), who used to work closely with Chan when he was the Acting Minister at the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
Under MSF, the Responsible Gambling Forum was set up to promote “responsible” gambling practices in Singapore. The forum was co-chaired by Dr Liew himself. Chan told the media at the time that the setting up of the forum “will minimise excessive and problem gambling among patrons”.
According to his own website, Dr Liew has a very impressive resume. He’s got 4 degrees: 1 bachelor’s, 2 masters’ and 1 PhD. He is said to earn a doctorate degree from the University of Southern California and his dissertation revolves around financial literacy and intelligence. He also graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School of Brunel University.
Other information he put up on his website includes:
“Dr. Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange. He is also a founder of Success Resources, arguably the largest seminar organiser in the world and a major shareholder of a company which is listed on the Australia Stock Exchange. Patrick has also established an e-learning company which was rated by Deloitte and Touche as the 11th fastest growing tech company. Previously, he was the Executive Chairman and CEO of a publicly-listed company on SGX-ST. He has also held the regional director position at the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate.”
“Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book.”
“Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised conventions for prominent leaders such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Anthony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, T. Harv Eker, and many others. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations.”
“Patrick won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, the Global Leader Award and five other business awards.”
Writes extensively in support of grassroots and Govt leaders
On his website, Dr Liew also wrote extensively praising and exalting grassroots and government leaders.
For example, in Oct 2013, he wrote to pay tribute to grassroots leaders when he himself was then Ayer Rajah CCC Chairman (‘Ayer Rajah Grassroots & Partners Appreciation Nite 2013 – A Tribute To Grassroots Leaders‘). He wrote, “As we go through the routines of the day and sleep in the comfort and security of our homes, there is a group of people that have worked hard and are working hard to serve us. They are volunteers in the People Association. We call them grassroots leaders.”
“Many of these volunteers make personal sacrifices of time, energy and even money to provide all kinds of services to residents, many of which we are not aware of but are vital to our well being,” he added. “They do not seek any personal rewards or recognition. In fact, their voluntary grassroots services often times affect their work and life. Yet, they live through it and continue to sacrifice for all of us.”
In other words, Dr Liew is saying that grassroots leaders like him continue to provide “voluntary grassroots services” and “sacrifice” for residents in Singapore.
Great honour to go on stage to receive award from President Nathan
In Aug 2016, when former President Nathan died, Dr Liew wrote (‘Farewell Former President Mr S R Nathan‘), “My first close encounter with the late Mr S R Nathan was when I was invited to the Istana in 2007. That year, my company had organised a fund raising event for the President’s Challenge.”
“As a company that believes in working towards radical breakthroughs, we want to do something unprecedented even for our regular social contributions. At that point, we decided to set a national record and have it audited and published in the Singapore Book of Records. We decided to set a record for the biggest number of people to walk on broken glass,” he recalled.
“What was a pleasant surprise was that even though we did not raise the most amount of money in comparison to many other fund-raising initiatives that year, I was invited as the CEO of the company to the Istana to meet Mr Nathan. It was a great honour to our team and especially to me because I was invited to go up a stage and receive an award from him. Since then, I had met Mr Nathan on a few other occasions.”
Dr Liew praised Nathan for being proactive in making things happened, “Many of the changes that he has initiated still stands as a testament to his servant heart, wisdom, discipline, grit, and desire to make a positive difference. Mr Nathan, thank you for all that you’ve done for us and for our children’s children. May you rest in peace. Farewell Big Chief!”
DPM Heng is the leader who can help lead Singapore to next level
Just last month (Dec 2019), he wrote again asking Singaporeans to stand behind DPM Heng Swee Keat (‘Let’s Support Minister Heng Swee Keat‘).
He said, “I hope Minister Heng Swee Keat will become the next Prime Minister of Singapore. His appointment as a Deputy Prime Minister came about after many years of being observed and tested on the ground, and through various assignments on national, small group, and personal levels.”
“Prior to entering the political arena, Minister Heng Swee Keat worked with and was trained by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (the first Prime Minister of Singapore). Mr Lee Kuan Yew once described him as his ‘best principal private secretary’,” he added.
Dr Liew then listed down the many good accomplishments of Heng for all to see:
- As MD of MAS, instrumental in helping Singapore tide over the Global Economic Crisis
- Awarded the “Central Bank Governor of the Year in Asia-Pacific” by the British magazine “The Banker” in February 2011
- Led a citizen engagement exercise on a national level called “Our Singapore Conversation”
- helped pioneer a more consultative and collaborative style of leadership and promote more ground-up initiatives to strengthen Singapore
- Led the SG50, Singapore’s Jubilee Celebrations
- Chaired the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) to help plan for Singapore’s future
- Lead a new ministerial committee to conduct a broad-based review of the Government’s policies and direction
- As the Minister of Education, instrumental in reforming the educational system to prepare students for the new economy
- As the Minister of Finance, led a major exercise to reform MOF to improve its effectiveness and efficiency
- As DPM, assist PM in overseeing the National Research Foundation
“Throughout his career, Minister Heng Swee Keat stood out from the crowd through his leadership, insights, people skills, performance, and results,” Dr Liew said. “What’s key to Minister Heng Swee Keat’s potential appointment as the next Prime Minister is that he was chosen to be the leader by younger ministers and other political office holders after a protracted period of deliberations and discussions.”
Dr Liew also appears to know what’s going on inside PAP saying that Heng was “well liked and supported within the PAP”. He said, “Minister Heng Swee Keat is well-positioned and more than prepared to be the next Prime Minister of Singapore. If there’s a leader who can help lead Singapore to its next level of growth, that leader is Minister Heng Swee Keat.”
And added, “He cannot carry out his roles and responsibilities effectively without adequate support from Singaporeans. Let’s give him the latitude to continue to learn, perform, and take Singapore to another higher level.”