Singapore – In response to the recent parliamentary speeches by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, where both got solemn and teary-eyed, members from the online community wondered if “crying was the new strategy” among government leaders.
Ms Teo got emotional while delivering her speech during the debate on the President’s Address on Tuesday (September 1). She concluded her speech which addressed the job anxieties among Singaporeans by citing the stories of three workers who shared their concerns with MOM or told her about the help they received from various job-related schemes.
“Please know that you too are always in our hearts. However long this storm lasts, MOM will walk the journey together with you. However tough it may be, we will help you bounce back,” said Ms Teo, teary-eyed.
On a separate account, PM Lee, as he closed his speech in Parliament on Wednesday (September 2) addressing Singapore’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, also got teary-eyed describing a prosperous economy for the country’s future.
After discussing numerous issues involving Singapore’s response to the pandemic affecting various sectors, PM Lee urged everyone to “fight Covid-19 with hope in our hearts, because there is a silver lining.”
He confirmed that the situation has stabilised, thanking the frontline workers for their continued efforts. “We did our utmost to contain the outbreak to keep Singaporeans safe. This meant mobilising all our national resources,” said PM Lee.
In closing his address, the prime minister got teary-eyed as he described a picture of the future. “Our economy will prosper anew. Our children and our grandchildren will continue ascending to the sunlit uplands of a fairer, ever more just and equal society.”
Meanwhile, members from the online community shared mix responses to the memes circulating online of the instances when the government leaders were close to tears. This included then-National Development Minister Lawrence Wong who was overwhelmed with emotion as he spoke of the unsung heroes facing the pandemic during a speech in Parliament on March 25.
“New strategy! Cry when you speak in parliament!” commented Facebook user Madeline Lim in an All Singapore Stuff post highlighting the emotional moments. Others found it “disappointing” to see leaders wayang (a theatrical performance using puppets) instead of “displaying confidence and rally the people.”
Still, some noted that the burden and effects of the pandemic could have been too great, thus eliciting the emotional responses. “Perhaps the magnitude of the pressure is really beyond our imagination, hence perhaps we should respect them,” said Facebook user Gaia Dave Lee.