Singapore — Dr Tan Cheng Bock surprised his Instagram fans on Wednesday (July 1) by posting a video on his account of himself putting a finger through his spectacle frame.
His caption read: “One thing you do not know about me is that my glasses does not have lens. Broadcast over. Going home to rest. Goodbye.”
According to an article in todayonline.com, the Progress Singapore Party chief told the questioning media: “Hypebeast… We all did a trick, so all of you got excited asking how come I am not wearing glasses.”
“I don’t need the glasses after my cataract operation. But well, I am afraid people don’t recognise me if I don’t wear glasses,” he added.
For those who do not know what “hypebeast” means, it is a slang term that refers to someone who enjoys collecting the latest trending fashion items.
As a response to the more than 200 comments on his IG post, Dr Tan wrote: “Thank you all. This means I have been a hype Beast person for 10 years.” The post went viral and as at Friday (July 3), it had 73,304 views, and the number seemed to keep going up.
Seeming to revel in this newfound lingo, Dr Tan even posted another video explaining how he taught his friend Craig what “hypebeast” means in the Teochew dialect.
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The happenings even had the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and one of the current PM’s biggest critics, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, posting on his Facebook page: “Dr Tan Cheng Bock is an Instagram sensation.” The post got 1.2k reactions, 45 comments and was shared 88 times.
A couple of netizens posted how they had “mad respect” for the doctor and that he was an “inspiration”.
The 80-year-old Dr Tan has found a surprising new following among the younger generation because of his Instagram account. His past few posts have even managed to grow his followers from 10k to over 20k currently.
This is not the only time he has got more followers due to his use of slang. In another IG post only a day later, he explained how his other friend taught him a new word called WOKE and how it is not the same as “I just woke up”. He tells his followers: “I know… if you see me at a walkabout today, say hi and tell me im WOKE. But I might forget because it’s a new word…”
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Good morning to my online friends @monicabaey @wendgoh @xxnli @ashposed @fj.az @charlenesu. My other friend @pardonmyfrxnch taught me a new word. It’s called WOKE. I just woke up but it’s not the same meaning. I know…if you see me at a walkabout today, say hi and tell me im WOKE. But I might forget because it’s a new word. See you at Bishan today.
Since then, the younger generation has taken it upon themselves to tutor the older gentleman on the proper use of other slang words and cheering him on for his efforts. Some suggested that he hashtag himself, while another told him he’s LIT.
According to todayonline.com, when asked whether his new-found joy of using slang is his way to “woo young voters” in the July 10 elections, he joked: “I can bully you all.” But, moreover, he truly enjoys the younger generation.
He also shared that he feels it is important to “respect” how youths engage online, sharing: “Now I got to get into the picture. It is very interesting. So now, you cannot talk in your new lingo. I will know!” /TISG