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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chit Chat with Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong

A participant from a SME voicing her woes to ESM Goh on the difficulty of employing Singaporeans

MParader Connects organized a chit chat session for Singaporeans with Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on 20 June 2011. This session is a face-to-face feedback session which was more meaningful and lively than listening to feedback merely by letters or facebook comments.

The youngest participant, a 15 year old student, having a photo with ESM Goh

There were 60 participants, an increase from the initial fixed number of 40, due to overwhelming response from Singaporeans wanting to engage ESM Goh.

ESM Goh was very open, we chatted about the influx of immigrants, declining birthrate, education, national identity, employment issues....etc. We gain a little insight into the government's reasons behind some of the policies. A staff from REACH was present to collect the feedback.

Before calling it a night, there was a polaroid photo session with ESM Goh who was extremely obliging when requested for his autograph. We were frantically searching for a black marker when ESM Goh announced that his special black pen can write on anything. Hurrah!

Although the session ended at 10.30 pm but some young adults were still engaging ESM Goh with more questions.  It was heartening to see ESM Goh telling the past events in Singapore from his PM days to these young people. Seems like a grandpa telling his grandchildren about the good old days. :)

Hey, if the grandchildren these days are interested to hear about the past, it is a good time to engage them for the benefit of future generations. Singapore is our home, all of us should play a part in making our home a wonderful place to live in.

When I left at 11 pm, ESM Goh was still answering questions despite having to fly to Tokyo the next morning. For a 70 year-old senior, he is extremely fit.

ESM Goh Chok Tong is in Tokyo to receive an award, the Grand Cordon of the Order of Rising Sun, from Japanese Emperor. It is for his contribution to strengthening bilateral ties. While there, he will meet some Japanese leaders and businessmen. Congratulations!

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