More Waterworks In Parliament As MP Louis Ng Calls For Extended Parental Leave
For Singapore politicians, it’s damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If they don’t show emotion, they will be described as unfeeling. But if they shed tears, they will be accused of “wayang”.
The civil service has been accused of being unfeeling and out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Singaporeans. It’s gotten so bad that MP Louis Ng of Nee Soon GRC even said that public service in Singapore had “lost its heart”, reported Today.
Lots Of Heart
Well, one person who seemingly has a lot of heart is Mr Ng himself — as the nation could see after the fought back tears in a recent speech in Parliament.
Recounting his own experience as his newborn twins were born prematurely in February, Mr Ng called for extended parental leave for parents who faced similar challenges, as well as those who bear multiple babies.
Watch his impassioned speech on Monday (July 31) here:
The speech even attracted the admiration of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who shared it on his Facebook page.
PM Lee himself is no stranger to shedding tears in Parliament — just last month, during the parliamentary hearing on the 38 Oxley Road saga, he teared up while recalling his late father, founding father Lee Kuan Yew.
And who can forget the sight of Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say breaking down 3 times in Parliament in March, when he related the story of a single mother suffering from a brain tumour?
Not Impressed By Tears
However, netizens seemed to be unimpressed with Mr Ng’s tears.
Many just accused him and other politicians of “wayang”.
Others were cynical over the recent trend of politicians crying in Parliament.
Some pointed out that politicians only fight for certain issues, like parental leave for premature babies, when they experience them themselves — but they are silent when issues like the MRT breakdowns don’t affect them.
A few chose to be envious of his perceived high pay.
And others asked where’s the sympathy for other people who face problems too, like the poor elderly, or single people who have to take care of elderly parents.
However, some netizens did support Mr Ng, saying that the feeling of helplessness of having a premature baby is real.
And erm, some just chose to focus on Mr Ng’s hairstyle.
Passion In Parliament
There’s nothing wrong with showing some passion in Parliament, as it humanises politicians and shows the world that they have a heart after all.
But what the people don’t like is if they think the tears are being used to gain brownie points, or they are only being used to draw attention to certain issues that affect the politician personally.
So while we do sympathise with Mr Ng’s troubles, we hope that politicians will use tears in Parliament in an honest way.
Featured image from YouTube