Singapore — Independent filmmaker Lynn Lee has urged Ms Ho Ching to donate half her salary to charity if she really has so much time to spend on social media, after she threw shade online at Workers’ Party (WP) Secretary-General Pritam Singh.
A day after the recent General Election, in which the WP won an unprecedented 10 seats in Parliament, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong formally designated Mr Singh as the country’s first Leader of the Opposition (LO).
This week, the Government set out Mr Singh’s duties and privileges as LO and revealed that he will be given parliamentary privileges, access to government data and briefings on issues of national interest, staff support and an LO allowance that is double the allowance of an elected MP.
Hours after it was announced that his annual package will be S$385,000, Mr Singh revealed that he would be donating half his additional allowance to charitable causes. His decision drew intense praise from Singaporeans who felt that the opposition politician was walking the talk.
Not all Singaporeans, however, were appreciative of Mr Singh’s generosity. Establishment figure Calvin Cheng suggested that Mr Singh’s gesture was theatrics and criticised him for making a public announcement of his donation.
Ms Ho, who is the wife of PM Lee and Chief Executive of sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, shared Mr Cheng’s post on her personal Facebook page. She also seemed to throw shade at Mr Singh in another post in which she wrote:
“There are lots of folks who donated and continue to donate quietly, without making any public announcement. Some folks make public announcement of part of their donations, and still maintain privacy on the rest of their regular donations. Other continue to donate anonymously. Yet others put their donations into their wills.
“But of course, not all are angels. There are folks who will scheme to get money from others in their families, or friends, some by stealth, others by outright manipulation and cheating. Take all kinds — and only some may be caught by law. Everyone has to answer to their conscience, the Almighty, and their karma in time to come.”
The cryptic message was taken to be a dig at Mr Singh. While some people commenting on the post agreed with Ms Ho, others criticised her views.
Ms Lee was one of the many who did not appreciate Ms Ho’s comments. In a Facebook post of her own, the Singaporean said that the Temasek Holdings CEO should donate half of her pay to charity if she really does manage her own Facebook account. She wrote:
“Does Ho Ching manage her own FB account? If so, she should really donate half her salary to charity because there’s no way anyone can spend that much time posting, sharing and subtweeting, AND still run a sovereign wealth fund.”
Ms Lee was referring to Ms Ho’s habit of flood-posting her Facebook page with several links throughout the course of each day.
Ms Ho is notoriously active on Facebook and goes on intense sharing sprees of Internet links almost every single day. The sheer number of posts she publishes each day has led people to question whether the Temasek Holdings CEO really has so much time to spend on social media or whether she uses a bot.
Seconding Ms Lee’s views, prominent blogger Andrew Loh added in a comment: “You would think that the CEO would be fully focused on her job, given how her company’s asset value has dropped for the first time in 4 years, instead of worrying about whether other people make donations to whoever or not.”