Singapore—Dr Jamus Lim, the Member of Parliament from the Workers’ Party (Sengkang GRC) who became immensely popular during the campaign period leading up to the General Election last July, said in a Nov 5 Facebook post that he had been working out with some volunteers, sharing photos of them at a gym.
It seems as though Dr Lim was promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, but it was his mask that caught the attention of many of his followers. The WP MP was sporting a black face mask that read, “Cockles.”
Dr Lim wrote that he had been working out with Yudhishthra Nathan, whom he described as “our long-time volunteer,” at ActiveSG Sengkang Sports Centre gym at Anchorvale Community Center. Dr Lim is in charge of the Anchorvale constituency of Sengkang.
Hr added, “Yudhish is currently doing his PhD in Earth Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and needs to do (apparently intense) sediment coring for sea level research. So he’s building up #StrengthforScience.”
The MP added a link to ActiveHealth SG, a community page created earlier this week, and introduced the members of the team there to his followers.
“There are myriad reasons to start on an ActiveHealth SG journey. The team there—Douglas, J-Ing, and Shou Hern—stressed that everyone can get active; not everyone needs to be the buff-n-chiseled, or lean-n-mean, type (I’m certainly neither).”
He added that he loved the “gritty motto” of ActiveHealth SG,“better beats perfect”!
And while many commenters commended him on his message advocating for good health, “It appears that your mask stole the thunder of your message,” wrote one netizen.
In his first exposure in the national spotlight at the GE2020 Political Debate on July 1, just as the campaign period was beginning, Dr Lim gave new life to an almost forgotten phrase.
During the debate, Singapore Democratic Party’s Dr Chee Soon Juan had highlighted inequalities in the education system. Dr Lim, an Associate Professor in Economics, said that, as an educator, what Dr Chee had said “warms the cockles of my heart”.
After being elected as Sengkang’s MPs, the WP thanked the residents, with Dr Lim saying it “warms the cockles of our hearts to be able to work for the people of Singapore, and for all Singaporeans,” holding up a finger heart as he spoke.
It has become a catchphrase completely associated with Dr Lim, with commenters on his Facebook post calling him “Mr Cockles” and asking him where he got the mask.
A month after the GE, Dr Lim joked that he had been banned from saying “cockles” at Sengkang, but as it turned out, he was under no such ban from sporting articles that bore the word.
As one commenter pointed out, the mask is available via Fleshimp on Instagram, in case anyone wants to buy one.