Singapore Media Watch

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

MPs to perform hip hop dance moves at Chingay Parade next February - CNA

By May Wong
Channel NewsAsia
Posted: 03 October 2006 1650 hrs

SINGAPORE: Members of Parliament from the post-65 generation will be performing hip hop dance moves at the Chingay Parade next year.

The parade will be held along Orchard Road on February 23 and 24. The 12 post-65 MPs will perform for 1 minute with 300 hip hop dancers at the Chingay Parade.

"The whole process was very enjoyable because the Post-65 MPs, the P-65 team, are very close, so we had a lot of fun doing it. It's more because of the closeness that we have and learning a new dance skills that we're coming forward to also participate in the Chingay," said Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary, Community Development, Youth and Sports Ministry.

A few of them are not embarrassed to admit that hip hop is not their cup of tea. "I have two left feet, I can't dance but I enjoyed myself. I showed my kids what I did, then they went "mum, loosen up a bit!" My kids can dance but I can't," said Jessica Tan, MP, East Coast GRC.

"That's part of the fun - to laugh at yourself, to have a sense of humour about everything and that's what we're trying to do as P-65 MPs, trying to connect with the youth and having fun with them, that's the main thing," said Chris de souza, MP, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.

"All of us are having fun. It's not important whether we perform well, we dance well or whether we look professional on tv or during the parade.

Most importantly, we have to connect with the youths of today," said Lam Pin Min, MP, Ang Mo Kio GRC. Aside from the MPs' performance, the Chingay Parade will feature colourful floats and various activities. Stretching along Orchard Road from Liat Towers to Orchard Plaza, it's expected to attract some 200,000 people. - CNA /dt

Review by the Editorial Team

We can see that May Wong has put in alot of painstaking effort to send a clear message to a targeted population - the Post-65ers: The PAP is fun, hip and cool!

Take a look at the words in bold, unbashingly and even unshamingly promoting the young PAP MPs as fun-loving people the young can identify and connect with.

Are these MPs really sincere to engage us or are they just going after our votes in GE 2011? PM Lee has stressed not a few times during his post-election speech and National Day's rally that the PAP must reinvent itself in order to attract young voters.

The post-65ers will form a sizeable segment of the electorate in a few years' time and winning their support will be crucial in order for the PAP to continue their rule in Singapore. Unlike their parents, young Singaporeans are less deferential to authority, dislike being talk down to and prefer to be treated on par with their elders.

To many young Singaporeans who did not go through the infant years of nationhood with PAP, the ruling elite appears to be aloof, patriarchal and authoritarian. The PAP knows it and is trying desperately hard to change its image through its young MPs.

Here lies the irony with its approach: while making a serious attempt to woo the young, the Old Guard is omnipresent in the island's affairs to remind Singaporeans who is the real boss. Where are the young MPs? We hardly felt their presence.

Recent events such as the arrest of a young artist for expressing dissent on the internet, police harrassing of citizens at Hong Lim Park during Dr Chee's rally and most notably, MM Lee's threat of using the army to oust any opposition party who may win future GEs does not quite commensurate with the "fun" image they are trying to promote.

The message intended for the post-65ers appears to be mixed: we want you to be on our side and not on the "other" side. In other words, "fun" is allowed as long the OB markers are kept strictly in place. This is at most a half-hearted measure to put up a reasonable facade of being aware of our presence which otherwise lack both purpose and substance.

Can "hip, hop and dance" win our hearts and minds? As a young Singaporean, I feel that if the PAP is sincere and serious of engaging us, it should

1. Respect us: We are not shallow, superficial and innocent teenagers who are easily impressed by your antics. We have a mind to think, to probe and to analyze. We do know of many inadequacies in the current political climate and system of Singapore. Please stop treating us like fools and start taking us seriously.

2. Listen to what we have to say instead of brushing our opinions aside. PM Lee has been urging Singaporeans to speak up, but did he ever listen carefully to what we have to say in the first place? Are our voices well represented in the media, civil society and the Parliament?

3. Open up, discuss and debate national issues freely without any restrictions. We want to hear their own personal views (not the party's stand) on recent controversies Singapore is embroiled in, such as the IMF's criticism of Singapore as "authoritarian", the purchase of Shin Corp by Temasek and MM Lee's comments on our neighbors and we want them to hear our views too. Only then can we have a voice and real engagement can begin.

Engagement to win votes and engagement in nation-building are two different matters together. Whether the post-65er generation will be moved by the PAP's overtures remains to be seen. As one Chinese saying goes: "Huan4 tang1 bu2 huan4 yao4" - Changing the soup but not the ingredients, the taste will remain the same. From what we have "tasted" for the past few years, I doubt the "receipe" will be changed anytime soon. In the meantime, let our new PAP MPs continue to hop to their tune while we dance to ours.


  • PAP has not failed to amaze me time and again since the election (price hikes, IMF/WB, FEER, etc.). Now they have insulted their electorate by treating the post-65ers as idiots. No self respecting youth will associate a paternalistic party as being cool.

    Another sign of how misunderstood the PAP is!

    By Blogger chris chan, at 10:02 AM  

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