Singapore 2025

What of Singapore towards 2025? Thoughts of a Singaporean.

NTUC 50th Anniversary Celebrations

I happened to be at the Singapore Management University library last Friday evening, only to be interrupted by a rather distracting noise coming from some event outside the library. I got out of the library and noticed a gathering of about, I don’t know, maybe 200-250 people listening to a man on the stage, who I later learnt was John de Pavya, the President of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC). I made my way into the crowd and listened to him, but could not help but to notice one or two characters around me whose sole purpose appeared to be to get others to clap their hands! Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, ‘Brother’ Lim Swee Say came on stage next delivered a short speech, and was later joined in later by his “tripartite partners” – i.e. Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong and Minister of State Lee Yi Shan.

But what hit me was the relatively rather small size of this gathering, especially considering the momentousness of this event – the 50th year anniversary of Singapore’s largest trade union – which has 60 affiliated unions under its charge. Separately, with the NTUC picking up the sceptre of ensuring every Singaporean benefits from economic growth, I found the crowd size abjectly underwhelming. But what I thought equally curious was how Channel News Asia put a figure on the number of people who will attend the NTUC 50 Rally later this year (date unknown).

“As part of the anniversary celebrations, a series of signature events has been planned. The events include a book launch and the NTUC 50 Rally that will take place in May.

The NTUC 50 Rally will be graced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and is expected to attract some 8,500 participants this year.”

Source: Labour movement kicks off 50th anniversary celebrations: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1103342/1/.html

The celebrations did feel rather contrived. Apart from the dancing lights on the NTUC building across the road, and the 50 taxis parked outside the SMU library that blared their horns as the crowd made its way to the NTUC building at Bras Basah after the event, I just felt our unions could do so much more to represent the real interests of our workers. The skeptic in me couldn’t help but to think the fireworks and light show seemed to represent a metaphor for distraction more than anything. And I thought the event could have been carried out a little further away from the library!

Written by singapore 2025

12/01/2011 at 6:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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