Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has received widespread praise for his “hard work and dedication” after releasing his second “Day in the Life of a Minister” video. Published last Wednesday, the video follows the Minister over the hefty 18 hours he puts in, managing his responsibilities as a top Government leader.
The video, which is narrated entirely by Shanmugam himself, shows that the Minister’s day begins at 6.30am and that he likes to exercise and have some quiet time to himself, to prepare for the day ahead.
The video shows what a devoted pet owner Shanmugam is before following him on his hectic schedule that begins with a ground visit to the Home Team Tactical Centre. From there, the Minister moves to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he is mostly occupied with meetings – including a meeting with an undisclosed foreign intelligence agency.
At 4.15pm, Shanmugam arrives at the Ministry of Law where he is again swept up in meetings. The Minister narrates that he is focusing on the civil justice system during this electoral term, after enacting reforms on the family justice system in the past.
The Minister makes the time to meet with Oogachaga representatives. Counsellor Dharesheni Nedumaran who works with the non-profit reveals that some of the key issues that affect the community are HIV rates and drug use among gay and bisexual men.
Revealing that Nedumaran and Oogachaga activist Bryan Choong asked if he could provide financial assistance since “they are running short of money,” Shanmugam added that the pair do “very important work for a part of our community that I think is under served.”
The Minister added: “Organisations that help reduce HIV, help reduce drug abuse, give emotional support and so on – in my view – should be helped.”
Following his meeting with the activists, Shanmugam meets with former US official Stanley Roth before leaving the Law Ministry to visit his residents at the Wellness Kampung centre at Chong Pang, within his Nee Soon GRC ward. The Minister exhorts the importance of wellness given Singapore’s ageing population.
At 7.35pm, the Minister moves to a meeting with the King of Jordan before visiting the Frontline Unit Police Coast Guard at 9.30pm. Shanmugam finally reaches home after 11pm. Again showing the Minister’s kindness to his rescue dogs, the video ends as Shanmugam continues working at his home office, close to midnight.
Minister Shanmugam said that this video was created with the intention of explaining to the people some of the things Ministers do. He added on Facebook that the video “shot some time ago soon after I went back to Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore (MHA). But I held it back, to sense the experience at MHA for a longer period, before posting it.”
Three years ago, in 2015, the Minister released the first “Day in the Life of a Minister” video. During that time he was Law and Foreign Affairs Minister:
Shanmugam was elected into parliament in 1988 and became Minister for Law two decades later, in 2008. He became Home Affairs Minister in 2010 before moving to the Foreign Affairs Ministry after the 2011 elections. Shanmugam was re-appointed to the interior ministry after the 2015 elections.
Noted to be one of the top members of the ruling party, being the only Minister to helm two full ministries, Shanmugam was re-elected to the People’s Action Party Central Executive Committee (CEC) last Sunday.
Responding to rumours that he would be appointed as the party’s assistant secretary-general and deputy prime minister, especially since he stood to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s direct right as the CEC election results were revealed, the Minister said that such “breathless speculation” may be “off the mark.”
He told the press: “I can understand the speculation based on the photograph at the party conference and my relative seniority. But these assessments are based on a snapshot, of a point in time, rather than a deep understanding of how the PAP operates and how transition works.”
Meanwhile, Shanmugam’s second ‘Day in the Life of a Minister’ video has gained widespread attention on social media, with over a hundred thousand views and the praise of several netizens who expressed their admiration for his dedication to the nation: