GEORGE YEO: S’POREANS MORE VOCAL NOW AS GOVT MORE LENIENT ON DISSENT

Former PAP minister of foreign affairs George Yeo said yesterday that Singaporeans are more vocal these days as compared to the 1990s because of social media and the government’s more lenient stance towards dissent.

The 60 year-old chairman of Kerry Logistics Network says that civic participation these days is “much healthier”, but warned that the change brings about new tensions and also possibilities.

“Old hierarchies are being undermined by its disintermediating effect,” said Mr Yeo. He says that the changes brought about social media would even redefine the boundaries of relationships between children and parents, students and teachers, and citizens and the Government. “In the past, it was based on hierarchies. (But) this structure is being undermined, corroded by technology, creating more web-like relations.”

“So one has to be prepared to learn from others, the old from the young, from peers.”

Yeo joined Facebook in 2008, being among one of the first few PAP ministers to do so. He led the team at Aljunied GRC, which the People’s Action Party lost to the Workers’ Party in the 2011 general election.

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