Defence Minister Was Peeved by MP’s Facebook Post

Following the announcement of Electoral Boundaries, Inderjit Singh, Member of Parliament (MP) of Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC) announced his intention to step down as a MP and informed the public that he will not be running in the coming General Election.

Problem was, he decided to make his announcement over a Facebook post.

The move did not sit well with the Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

2 days after the announcement (26 July), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen spoke to the media about the coming General Election and suggested that MP Singh’s renouncement was not appropriate.

You can post your retirement on Facebook, but I think as an MP who has served 15, 20, even 30 years – that’s not the best way to do it.

– Defence Minister, Ng Eng Hen

What’s the best way to announce your retirement after 19 years of serving the public?

MustShareNews suggests 5 methods that Inderjit Singh should have considered to avoid incurring the wrath of the Defence Minister.

1. Throw a ceremony

According to the Minister Ng, the new process of MPs stepping down and of introducing the succeeding MPs ought to be more “deliberate and dignified“.

Maybe, that was the issue with MP Singh’s Facebook post.

A single Facebook post is simply not dignified enough to announce the retirement of a Member of Parliament.

Perhaps MP Singh should have thrown a grand and solemn ceremony to announce his decision to retire instead.

Maybe something like this —


This completely make sense since Minister Ng is the Defence Minister — a strict military man, who takes no nonsense.

2. Personally inform residents

Minister Ng added that the process of the succession can be smoother by preparing the ground for the retirement of the MP, where the succession process must be sincere and personal from the MP to the residents.

By using his own Facebook account to announce his retirement, MP Singh was obviously not personal enough.

MP Singh really should have visited each and every residential unit of his Kebun Baru ward and personally informed the residents about his plans to step down.

Something like this —

Source, Source, Source, Source

3. Tag relevant Facebook pages in the post

Or maybe, Minister Ng meant it was not personal enough because he wasn’t tagged in MP Singh’s Facebook post.

We underlined the part which may be particularly impersonal in MP Singh’s Facebook post —


MP Singh should have started off his Facebook post in a more personal manner with a more personal touch —

Dear Sirs, Friends, Residents, @Ng Eng Hen – Defence Minister, @Lee Hsien Loong@People’s Action Party, @Ang Mo Kio GRC@Ang Mo Kio Town Council, and @Kebun Baru Bestari RC.

By individually listing out the important individuals and institutes and informing them of his personal decision is definitely more personal and fitting for an MP of 19 years.

4. Bury the hatchet in the Facebook post

Perhaps, it was about the content of MP Singh’s Facebook post.

Try reading the post again —

Note the obvious lack of reference to Defence Minister Ng.

Turn out MP Singh and Defence Minister Ng crossed swords in 2014.

In an interview with the Channel NewsAsia, MP Singh had criticised the promotion structure of the public service — citing the Singapore Armed Forces of which Defence Minister Ng is in charge of.

I’ve seen scholars who are poor ground commanders and yet they get promoted

– Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Inderjit Singh

The remark prompted an immediate response from Minister Ng, who posted a response citing Bobby Lin — the prime example of an excellent ground commander who got promoted despite not being academically inclined.

Defence Minister Ng may be peeved by the absence of MP Singh’s acknowledgement in putting a final word to their skirmish.

Perhaps, MP Singh really should have private messaged a “Sorry” to Minister Ng, or at least include a subtle sentence in the Facebook post to bury the hatchet between MP Singh and Minister Ng.

5. Announce his retirement through through a party press conference

Maybe it wasn’t so much about the message, it was all about how MP Singh delivered it.

MP Singh should have just taken a leaf out of other MPs when they retire — both George Yeo and Lim Hwee Hua called for a party press conferences when they announced their retirement from politics.

After all, a party press conference represents a serious, formal, and dignified affair for anyone.

Lesson to be learnt

Consider this a lesson to be learnt for the MPs or future-MPs-to-be of the majestic ruling party of Singapore, that the best and most appropriate way to announce your retirement for is NOT to post your plans on Facebook.

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Featured Image via IISS, Fabian Lim
With references from Channel NewsAsia, Today Online