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
Nonetheless, I cannot be hindered by this fear of criticisms and become paranoid of doing anything.
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。
类似We Are Singaporeans的节目，可让观众看到我们轻松的一面。