It’s not everyday a Member of Parliament diverts from the usual route of formal discussions and stately speeches. Well, PAP MP Lee Bee Wah surprised the rest of Parliament on Thursday (Feb 28), by making reference to the anthem of the prominent English football club, Liverpool FC in expressing her praise and support for DPM and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat. Netizens, however, had a mixed response.
Ms Lee did not fall short on praising Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister for his recent 2020 Budget Statement. She began her speech by saying “I congratulate our Finance Minister for presenting this very caring and heart-warming budget which will take us through the difficult circumstances caused by Covid-19.”
According to a report by Mothership, the key points Ms Lee discussed included the discrimination faced by local contractors, the decreasing of rent for offices, commercial properties, and taxis, as well as why it is more important that the elderly have a home to live in than it is to ensure that they have a retirement fund.
After elaborating on her points and making suggestions, she reverted to expressing her appreciation for DPM Heng’s “thoughtfulness and insightfulness” with regard to his planning out a way to work around the negative effects of Covid-19 especially given that the novel coronavirus “only came to attention in January.” Drawing on the uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 threat, Ms Lee expressed her support for Mr Heng. “I think it is very fitting that we assure DPM that we stand behind him and he is not alone.”
However, on top of that, the defining make-or-break moment for football fans arrived, as Ms Lee recited a portion of the football club’s anthem to close her speech. “Perhaps my thoughts will be best expressed by quoting the lyrics from the Liverpool FC song about when you’re walking through a storm,” she said as members of Parliament expressed their amusement. “Hold your head up high. Don’t be afraid of the dark because at the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky.”
After telling the speaker of Parliament that she would not sing because she “can’t,” the speaker responded with thanks, amid the laughter of Parliament.
“Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone. You’ll never walk alone,” she said, addressing the message to Mr Heng.
Though Ms Lee’s speech ended with smiles from Parliament given the entertaining deviation from the usual formalities of Government gatherings, netizens had a mixed response to her reference.
Some took to Facebook to express their disappointment over MPs expressing praise in Parliament instead of debating on issues that are of high importance to Singapore. A few Liverpool fans, however, were not as amused as other members of Parliament were at the reference to the football club. One fan even called it “cringe-worthy.”
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