Fearless MP Vikram Nair is fearful as he's allegedly misquoted?!?!

No, no...I don't think the fearless MP Mr Vikram Nair is indeed fearful as he's allegedly misquoted. (In case you wonder, I'll always refer him with the honorific title of 'fearless' as he was once drinking the 'dark water' at Blk 686B Woodlands where previously the water tank was misused to dump a dead Indonesian maid.)

Fearful? Not at all. Check out his calm, confident statement posted in his Facebook Notes, titled, "The 60/40 Story":

It is a strange feeling to be confronted about something you were supposed to have said when:-

1. You did not say it; and
2. It is the complete opposite of your actual message.

This was the exact experience I had recently, shortly after speaking at a forum organized by the Institute of Policy Studies (“IPS”). Overall, I found the forum very interesting, and learned a great deal, from the IPS Survey, the various speakers and audience members.

I understand that shortly after the conference, various online publications attributed the following quote to me:

“Don’t focus too much on the 40 per cent that didn’t vote for you. We have to remember and keep in mind the interests of the 60 per cent that did.”

This quote was inaccurate. I have not yet identified where exactly this quote originated from, but I understand it was further disseminated by viral methods, such as facebook links, notes and emails. The impression to readers of this quote was that I felt there was no need for the PAP to change and I was somehow going to ignore everyone who did not vote for the PAP. Naturally, this upset many readers. Indeed, I would be upset if I heard that from my MP too.

In fact, the thrust of my entire speech was the complete opposite, and I discussed the different ways in which the PAP was renewing itself, in terms of its people, approach and its policies. I felt there were some things the PAP got right and we needed to retain, but my fundamental message was that I felt change was taking place all round in the party.

This can be seen from my note shortly after the conference, outlining my views on the topic of party renewal: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=216640668373224.

What I actually said, after a speech where I discussed the various ways in which the PAP was changing, was the following:

“I remember when we were going through the early stages and we were telling people, yes we are going to change this and going to change that, one of the things one of my friends reminded me was, you can change, but don’t change for the 40% and ignore the 60% that voted for you. So I guess that is the balance we will keep in mind in the renewal process.

I hope all of you will join me in that journey!”

That remains my message, and I am happy to hear ideas from anyone at all!


Well said, Mr Vikram Nair!

Considering the alleged misquote, I'm curious to learn how the Associated Press writer Heather Tan who 'contributed to this story' shall comment.

The story I'm referring is this one, "Ruling People's Action Party losing some credibility among Singaporeans, survey finds" from Winnipeg Free Press. Screenshot of the alleged remarks by MP Mr Vikram Nair was shown below:



People's Action Party (PAP) MP Vikram Nair says a quote attributed to him at a recent forum was "inaccurate".

Posting a note on his Facebook page on Tuesday titled "The 60/40 story", he said that the "quote" was the opposite of what he meant.

At a recent forum organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on 8 July, Nair -- who represented the PAP -- was one of the panelists discussing about the renewal process of the respective political parties.

The other panelists were Workers' Party's (WP) Pritam Singh and Hazel Poa of the National Solidarity Party (NSP).

In his speech, the Sembawang GRC MP had touched on the various ways in which the PAP is renewing itself, "in terms of its people, approach and its policies".

Towards the end of his speech, Nair had said that, "One of the things one of my friends reminded me was, you can change, but don't change for the 40% and ignore the 60% that voted for you."

He added that this was the balance which his party ought to bear in mind in its renewal process.

However, he was instead quoted by an article dated 8 July by news agency the Associated Press as saying, "Don't focus too much on the 40 per cent that didn't vote for you. We have to remember and keep in mind the interests of the 60 per cent that did."

This "quote" went viral and is believed to have been picked up by various online sites and further disseminated via social media tools such as Facebook.

Netizens and critics alike were quick to hit out at the MP for his "cocky attitude", with some commenting that his words were "very high-handed and paternalistic".

In his Facebook note, Nair said the quote gave an impression that there was no need for the PAP to change and "I was somehow going to ignore everyone who did not vote for the PAP".

"Naturally, this upset many readers. Indeed, I would be upset if I heard that from my MP too," he added.

From Yahoo! News, "PAP MP clarifies ‘inaccurate’ remarks made at forum".

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