Chun Sing says NTUC will do job well even without him

Labour chief Chan Chun Sing declined to be drawn into commenting on whether he is moving to a new role in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.
Labour chief Chan Chun Sing declined to be drawn into commenting on whether he is moving to a new role in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing said he is confident the labour movement will continue to carry out its plans well, even if he were to be moved to a new role in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Chan believes his National Trades Union Congress colleagues "will move on things we believe in and... get them done well", he said yesterday at a media briefing on the labour movement's May Day message for this year. "We are always conscious that if you are around and things get done, that is one level of competency. If you are no longer around and things still get done because there's a collective vision and ownership, that is a higher quality of competency that we all should aspire to."

Mr Chan, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, declined to be drawn into commenting on whether he is moving to a new role after the Cabinet reshuffle, which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. He is viewed as one of the three leading candidates to be Singapore's next prime minister and the talk is that he is likely to be given a new portfolio before Parliament reconvenes on May 7.

When asked about such a possibility, he said: "Where I go, what I do, is the Prime Minister's prerogative, so if there's any change, wait for the Prime Minister's announcement."

He was also asked about the labour movement's sentiments over the possibility of having to say goodbye to him soon. "You're fishing for an answer," he said with a laugh. "I always remind my colleagues, we should be more focused on where the country is going than where one individual is going."

There has been talk that Mr Chan will be the new trade and industry minister, as his past roles were largely in the social and defence fields. He was previously the social and family development minister, and second defence minister.

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2018, with the headline 'Chun Sing says NTUC will do job well even without him'. Print Edition | Subscribe