Han Hui Hui Turns Pop Star
On Saturday (17 Nov), social activist Han Hui Hui surprised a Facebook audience with a song.
The song’s cheery nature hides a darker message. Unsurprisingly, the song’s lyrics are a thinly-veiled criticism of the government.
The live performance
After a short introduction, she primes the audience by saying that she “will not take credit for whatever is going to happen”.
She then rolls into the first line of the song with bashful excitement.
Potentially a chart-topping single
Before we get into the review, here are the lyrics:
We are known as a fine city
because we get fined for everything
We stay with our parents till age 35
cause singles can’t apply HDB
We don’t recycle any plastic bags
but we purify our pee
When I’m hungry at the food court I see
elderly are working as the cleaners
Ministers say elderly want to work
collecting cardboards is called exercise
Will I ever live till eighty five
to collect my CPF?
What’s wrong with Singapore?
The IBs always feel so sore
And if you’re not the best
then you’re just one of the rest
My oh my Singapore
What exactly are we voting for?
What is not expressly permitted
The song doesn’t have a super catchy tune. But at the very least, Ms Han manages to keep to just 1 tune throughout the song.
A few hiccups maybe, but that’s because some lines weren’t properly written.
The first verse opens with a praise for our “fine city”. But the next line immediately makes it clear that “fine” refers to citizens getting slapped fines for everything. Though this play on words is way too overused, we’ll pardon Ms Han since she’s a first time songwriter.
She also laments in the same verse that she may not live till 85 to collect the money in her CPF account. But a short trip to Google will tell you that you can take out some of your money once you reach 55. But to be charitable, you can only withdraw a portion of it from age 55.
Then in the third verse, Ms Han makes a slightly depressing, but honest observation about reality. We applaud her for being down to earth, especially when so many songs like to romanticise the future.
Singer and social activist
In case you didn’t recognise Ms Han, she was responsible for the infamous #ReturnOurCPF rally at Hong Lim Park in 2014. She was later fined for failing to apply for a permit. She also ran – unsuccessfully – for Radin Mas SMC in 2015.
‘Go ahead, sue me’ seems to be the trend among activists nowadays.
Some may also know her as her more flamboyant alter-ego Han Hui Ying. The K-pop-loving alter-ego has sung many times before on her social media page. So Saturday’s performance may not be surprising to everyone.
No news on an album
An audience member commented during Ms Han’s live performance with a heart-eyed emoticon. A second later, another viewer, probably wanting to show that he was a bigger fan, commented with a larger heart-eyed emoticon.
Another viewer remarked: “Not bad la.”
An avid viewer even requested that Ms Han write and perform similar songs for other concerns.
We’re not sure if Ms Han plans to release more singles in the future. Maybe if this song receives enough attention, she’ll consider writing more. Or, heck, even start a career as a singer and songwriter.
Featured image from Facebook.
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