SINGAPORE: Prominent economist Dr Yeoh Lam Keong has pointed out that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ho Ching, has forgotten to mention him in her post celebrating the members of Hollywood star Michelle Yeoh’s family in Singapore.
Mdm Ho has been praising the actress since she became the first Asian to win the best actress award at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday (12 Mar). In one of many Facebook posts, she spoke about the successful Yeoh family of Ipoh and how they have made their mark in Singapore.
Dr Yeoh is Michelle Yeoh’s cousin but Mdm Ho missed mentioning him in her post, while she spoke of Ms Yeoh’s granduncle Dr Yeoh Ghim Seng, a former People’s Action Party (PAP) MP and Speaker of Parliament.
Pointing out that the Prime Minister’s wife has excluded him from her list of Michelle Yeoh’s relatives in Singapore, Dr Yeoh Lam Keong also said today (15 Mar) that Mdm Ho also mentioned that their family includes political activists but he is unsure who these individuals might be.
The conspicuous exclusion of the economist from Mdm Ho’s list has led some online users to ask whether the omission was merely a slip or something more intentional since Dr Yeoh has been critical of certain Government policies in the past.
Widely regarded as one of Singapore’s leading economists and public intellectuals, Dr Yeoh has held several prominent positions in the public and private sectors. He was the Chief Economist at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) from 1989 to 2001, where he was responsible for managing the investment portfolio and advising on economic policy.
After leaving GIC, Dr Yeoh joined the National University of Singapore (NUS) as an adjunct professor and Senior Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He has also been a Senior Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Singapore.
Dr Yeoh is known for his views on economic inequality and social welfare policies. He has been a vocal advocate for greater redistribution of wealth in Singapore and has argued that the government should do more to help low-income and vulnerable groups. He has been a vocal critic of government policies that he sees as harmful to the interests of ordinary Singaporeans.
In May 2019, the Singaporean government issued a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) against Dr Yeoh for a Facebook post in which he criticised the government’s approach to social welfare policies and suggested that it could do more to help the needy.
The PAP government claimed that the correction direction was issued as the post contained false statements of fact that could mislead the public. It argued that Dr Yeoh had misrepresented the government’s spending on social welfare programs and that his post could undermine public confidence in the government.
Dr Yeoh, however, disputed the government’s interpretation of his post and argued that the correction direction was an attempt to silence him and prevent him from speaking out on issues of public interest. He also questioned the government’s use of POFMA, which he argued could be used to stifle legitimate criticism and debate.
The case generated significant controversy in Singapore, with some critics accusing the government of using POFMA to silence dissent and suppress free speech.
Michelle Yeoh’s granduncle was an ex-PAP MP and Speaker of Parliament: Ho Ching recalls
Send in your scoops to firstname.lastname@example.org