A pretentious move for me to carry baby ? 上载抱婴儿照片 被网民批评造作.

Baey Yam Keng
English Translation

Some days ago, a netizen commented on a Facebook picture of me carrying a baby in my arms, taken during one of my weekly block visits.

  • He thought it was just a pretentious move and highlighted that cradling a baby or shaking hands with others does not genuinely reflect a loving or friendly personality.

Another netizen remarked against this:

  • When he drops in to visit, you accused him for being pretentious and when he doesn’t, you slam him for being indifferent.  When he smiles, you brush it off as a smirk, but when he doesn’t, you chastise him for being a snob.”

I am grateful for both comments.  After all, social media is a platform for interaction.

After six years as a MP, I have learnt that for whatever we do, we have to prepared that there will be both approving and disapproving voices.  The same applies to government policies which are devised to take care of the interests of the vast majority, but cannot prevent a minority from being affected negatively.

We should always give our best in what we reckon should be done.  However, we cannot allow success rule over our heads.  We should also listen and learn from feedback and criticisms so as to improve the way we do things and the lives of our fellow countrymen.

The mass media has been quite kind to me and I am grateful for the various opportunities it has provided me.

I am no thespian, but have bitten the bullet to act in front of camera, eg as the father of Zhu Ying Tai in Butterfly Lovers during the Ren Ci Hospital charity show, and as a Rohan monk, Persian Prince and a herbalist for the Speak Mandarin campaign.

Even though I am tone deaf, I went on the “Don’t Forget Your Lyrics” game show to help raise funds for Queenstown Multiservice Centre.

In response to a question by a resident during KopiTalk on my involvement at the recent Stars Award, I explained that I was there to present the “Best Current Affairs Reporting” and “Best News Reporting” Awards in my capacity as the deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Information, Communications & the Arts.

A game show such as “We are Singaporeans” would allow people to see the less meditative side of us.

While we take our role seriously to look after various matters in the constituency, take care of residents’ needs and debate on national issues in parliament, at times, we can also appreciate good humour and let our hair down.

Till today, people still remember my appearance in “Gatekeepers” gameshow some years ago, and that I managed answer all the questions correctly.  I always smiled and replied that it would be rather embarrassing if I fail to of take on questions from the primary school curriculum!

It is therefore important to strike a good balance between exposing our unfamiliarity in such “extracurricular activities”, and taking on such challenges gamely.

Some feel that showing up on these programmes is a waste of time.   They felt it would have been more productive for MPs to attend community events and look after the needs of residents.

Without a single doubt, the interest of my constituency and public service is my top priority as a MP.  Only when my schedule permits, will I consider accepting such media invites.

In my opinion, media exposure and public service are not mutually exclusive.  Not all residents take part in community activities and the public can also get to know me better through the media.

People will not be any less demanding in their expectations of me just because I can carry babies well, post many pictures on Facebook or appear on TV frequently.  As an MP, my first and foremost duty is to serve with sincerity and humility, ensure that all matters within the constituency are properly managed, and that the needs and concerns of residents are adequately addressed.  We will ultimately be subject to the appraisal by residents and their rating during elections.

Baey Yam Keng
Published in MyPaper 5 Jun 2012

几天前,有一名网友对我在Facebook上载一张沿户走访时抱婴儿的照片有所意见,认为我在造作,并强调,抱婴儿不代表我们有爱心,跟人握手不代表我们友善。

另一名网友针对这评语作出反应:“有拜访就说他造作,没拜访又说他没做。他笑又说他假笑,他没笑又说他骄傲。”

我感谢这两名网友的分享,毕竟社交媒体就是一个让大家交流的平台。

当了六年的议员,我学到无论我们做什么,总会有人赞赏有人批评,就如政策一样,照顾到国家大多数人民的利益,却无法确保没有人会受到负面影响。

可是,我不能担心有人批评就凡事不敢做。

Nonetheless, I cannot be hindered by this fear of criticisms and become paranoid of doing anything. 

  认为该做的,就尽力把事情做好,有成绩不可沾沾自喜,有批评有建议,应该好好聆听接纳,为的只是要把事情做得更好,让国人的生活过得更好。

居民也质问他:为何去颁《红星大奖》?

我跟大众传播媒体颇有缘,不时有机会尝试一些平时没机会尝试的新鲜事。

我没有演戏的天份,却硬着头皮为仁慈医院的筹款节目,演了祝英台的父亲、为推广华语运动而变装扮演罗汉、波斯王子和草药师。

五音不全的我,还上Don’t Forget Your Lyrics斗唱游戏节目,一心希望替女皇镇日间康复中心筹款。

有居民在KopiTalk问我,为什么会去颁《红星大奖》,我解释说,我是以新闻、通讯与艺术部政府国会委员会(GPC)副主席的身份,表扬最佳时事报道和新闻报道。

类似We Are Singaporeans的节目,可让观众看到我们轻松的一面。

我们除了平时要很认真地处理选区内的大小事物、细心照顾居民,以及在国会讨论国家议题,其实我们也可以开开玩笑,自娱娱人。

形象与挑战之间求平衡

到现在,还有人会提起看到我几年前上《小兵迎大将》,对我能够答对所有问题,表示赞许。

我会笑着回应说,都是小学的课文范围,如果我都答不了,岂不是很丢脸?

就因为这些“课外活动”不是做议员平时会接触或擅长的,我们还得顾及到形象问题,另一方面,也要豁然接受新的挑战,在两个考量之间取得平衡。

有人觉得上这些节目浪费时间,倒不如花这些时间出席社区活动或照顾选民。

我肯定得把我的选区和公务职责放在第一位,时间许可才会考虑和接受媒体的邀请。

我也认为,在媒体曝光和为民服务之间,其实并不会互相抵触。不是每一位电视观众都有参与社区活动,如果他们可以从媒体更加认识我,也不是件坏事。

我知道选民不会因为我会抱婴儿、在Facebook上载很多照片、或频频上电视,而对我的表现特别宽容。身为议员,最重要的终究是认真是好好处理选区的事务,有效和有心地为选民服务。我们有没有做到、做得好不好,选民会知道,选民也会在大选为我们评分。

《我报》5-6-2012, 炎下之意(专栏),文/马炎庆

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