Archive for the ‘Baey Yam Keng says’ Category

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

Vulnerable or Vulnerable Not / 残而不废 自食其力

Baey Yam Keng  Baey Yam Keng

English translation MyPaper 8 May 2012

Vulnerable or Vulnerable Not

During “Kopi Talk” last month, a kind lady highlighted a wheel-chair bound middle-age man who wheels himself daily to his makeshift news-stand every morning and home every night.  She observed that sometimes, he has to stop along the way to catch a breather.  Like most passers-by, this lady would always offer a helping hand whenever she catches sight of him.

To make his daily travel more convenient, this kind lady suggested that we help him get a motorised wheelchair.  I am touched by her thoughtfulness and supported the suggestion.  We could apply for a grant from CDC or other welfare organizations. However, as a motorised wheelchair is not cheap, the usual grants may only be sufficient to cover the cost of a regular wheelchair.  However, we can always mobilise the grassroots and the community to raise funds to purchase a motorised wheelchair.

As I was walking towards the carpark after “Kopi Talk”, I chanced upon the wheelchair-bound uncle at the news-stand. I related the suggestion to him and sought his opinion on the proposal. He was most grateful for the kind gesture but mentioned that he already has a motorised wheelchair.  He was using it in the past, but his health deteriorated as he was not exercising his arms.  Eventually he chose to give it up.

The wheelchair-bound uncle is a polio patient from young.  He was abandoned as a child, and has learnt to be independent.  His wife is also wheelchair-bound.  She too does not use a motorised one because she is not confident enough to control it.  Due to their circumstances, they decided not to start a family as they are not confident of providing a good life for their children.

At the moment, they live in an HDB rental flat, and have no problems with their daily needs.  However, when the couple eventually succumbs to old age and illness, with no children to look after their needs, community and governmental aid will have to come in to take care of them.

When I was serving at Queenstown, we gave out ration packs to more than 200 low-income residents every month. Amongst them was a mute couple, with the husband suffering from renal dysfunction. I often spot them cheerfully pedalling their bicycles around the neighbourhood to collect paper cardboard for a living.

Even though the couple leads an impoverished life in a rental flat, subsists on the monthly ration packs and probably also receives Public Assistance, I have not received any appeal from them for additional assistance during my 5 years as their MP.

When Samaritans see some unfortunate or elderly people selling newspapers or tissue paper packets, collects cardboard, clears dishes and cleans the streets in Singapore, some may be surprised at the sight and question why the government seems to turn a blind eye to these fellow Singaporeans.

The wheelchair-bound uncle, as well as the mute couple, for instance, receive assistance from the government or community in one way or another, but have not failed to continue with their abilities to earn their keep. They have made the decision and chosen their way of life.  They do this to kill time, to keep themselves physically active, or perhaps to preserve their dignity.

The good intention of providing a motorised wheelchair was to effectively reduce the physical demand on the user.  However, when we understand the situation better, we may discover that the wheelchair-bound actually prefers to take charge their own destiny.

Taking care of residents is my responsibility as an MP.  I have to assure residents that they are welcomed to approach me with their concerns and to know how to contact me. More importantly, they should have confidence in me that I am able to help them with their problems. I also require the assistance of my grassroots leaders and the community to help me reach out to residents and encourage them to accept help if they are in genuine need. There will always be opportunities later on to return the favour back to the community.

I will also continue to interact actively with residents so that they are comfortable with me and willing to share their concerns with me.  It is only through effective communication and interaction that problems could be understood and resolved.

I respect the decision of the wheelchair-bound uncle.  I have asked the town council to study the route he takes between his flat and the news-stand for any obstruction in his way.  We can do a part to enhance the barrier-free accessibility so that he can continue with his path of life in a smoother manner.

《我报》8-5-2012  炎下之意(专栏)文/马炎庆  

残而不废 自食其力

上个月“咖啡开讲”交流会上,有位好心的女士提起,一位坐轮椅的中年男子,每天早上很吃力地自己用手从家里推轮椅到他的报摊,晚上又吃力地推回家。有时候累了没办法得停下来,休息片刻再继续。女士看他很辛苦,只要碰上了就会帮他推一段路,其他路人也会主动助他一臂之力。

好心的女士问我,可不可以帮他找一台电动轮椅,以方便他出入。我被女士的善意感动,当场表示支持。我们首先会向社理会(CDC)或其他福利团体申请资金,但电动轮椅价格不菲,一般的援助可能只限于普通轮椅,那我们可以发动基层和群众,筹款买台电动轮椅给他。

“咖啡开讲”结束后,我前往停车场的路上,碰巧遇上了在报摊的轮椅叔叔。我上前向他阐述了好心女士的建议,并问他对我们的计划意下如何。轮椅叔叔非常感激,不过,他说,他其实已经有一台电动轮椅了。那时,他用了一阵子,因为双手闲着没有劳动,反而身体不舒服,所以他还是选择用回手推轮椅。

轮椅叔叔患有小儿麻痹症,从小被父母遗弃,几十年来学会了自食其力。他的妻子也坐轮椅,但她对控制电动轮椅没有把握,所以,也选择用手推轮椅。他们知道自己的情况,照顾自己还勉强可以,所以决定不要有孩子。在他们身上,我看到一股不想麻烦别人、凡事靠自己的坚强毅力。

目前,他们住政府租赁组屋,日常生活不成问题,但总会有一天他们年老了或生病了,又没有子女奉养,国家社区得负起照顾他们的责任。

坐在轮椅上,双手掌控命运

之前在女皇镇服务时,每个月会定期分发干粮礼包给200多名低收入居民。当中就有一对哑巴夫妇,丈夫还患有肾病。在区内经常看到他们一脸笑容,骑着脚车,收集纸皮过活。

他们虽然生活清苦,除了每个月的干粮礼包,他们住租赁组屋,也应该有领取公共援助金,当他们的议员那五年,他们从来没有要求过什么其他的援助。问了他们好几次,有没有任何方面我帮得上忙,他们无法说出来,但我从他们的笑脸,看得出他们知足常乐,基层和邻居们也确定他们的生活没问题。

社会上的好心人看到一些不幸人士,或年长者卖报纸、卖纸巾、检纸皮、收碗碟、做清洁工,总会引发怜悯之心,并惊叹新加坡为什么还有这么多贫困的人,甚至质问政府为什么不帮他们,忍心让他们受苦?

就如轮椅叔叔和哑巴夫妇,他们接受了政府或社区某些方面的帮助,但还是选择靠自己赚点生活费。打发时间也好,用手劳动也好,这是他们的决定,他们的生活,或许更是他们的尊严。

好心人要给电动轮椅,完全出自好意,因为看到别人吃力的挣扎,认为有电力代劳肯定会更好。可是,当我们进一步了解个别情况后便会发现,坐轮椅者其实宁愿用自己的双手控制自己的命运。

若撑下去,接受帮助没什么不好

身为议员,照顾居民是我的义务。我得让居民们知道,需要帮助时随时可以找我、可以如何找到我,最重要的是,可以安心有信心地来找我。我也需要基层领袖和公众的协助,散播讯息,甚至鼓励他们,如果真的撑不下去了,不要再勉强,接受社会的帮助并没有什么不好,以后有能力、有机会时,还是可以回馈社会,饮水思源。

我也必须通过言行举止,让人们乐于接近我、与我交谈分享。只有通过有效的沟通,才能了解实际情况,对症下药。

对于轮椅叔叔的处境,既然他目前不需要任何帮忙,我尊重他的意愿。我已交代市镇会研究他来回报摊的路途,是否有梯级或任何路障,尽可能加强无障碍设施,让轮椅叔叔在继续掌控自己人生旅途的当儿,可以行驶得更顺畅顺心。

The Boy Who Cried Wolf / 狼来了!熊来了?绑匪来了!?

A grizzly bear was featured rummaging through a rubbish bin for food in Singapore in a video on Youtube the year before last. Fearing an impending public attack, members of the Police Force, Wildlife Reserves and Animal Concerns Research and Education Society went on an island-wide hunt for the bear. It was later discovered that the bear was, in fact, a man in disguise as a marketing gimmick for a shaving product.

Singapore is not inhabited by any grizzlies and neither was a bear on the loose from the zoo. Nevertheless, we could not deny the remote possibility that the bear could have swum from across the straits or been smuggled into the country.  Therefore the grandiose search team was deployed and resources by relevant authorities were wasted.

Rumours of child abduction spread like wildfire across the nation last month, with two cases reportedly having taken place in Tampines.  One spurious story tells of a primary three boy led away by a man, and another recounted the forced dragging of a young girl from a childcare centre into a minivan. Several concerned residents contacted me to ascertain the rumours.

It is almost impossible that a little girl would have been allowed to go to a childcare centre without adult company. There would have been other people near the centre and it is unlikely that they would turn a blind eye to the victim in the event of abduction. However, I still got in touch with Tampines Neighborhood Police, which then reassured that there were no reports of child abduction.

Two days later, police verified that the primary three boy skipped classes and was found near his house at 11 that same morning. The person who started the rumour of the little girl’s kidnap was later also found to have circulated unsubstantiated information regarding the set up of a road block in Tampines. Police has confirmed that this person did not have reliable sources and was merely informed through hearsay.

There is a wealth of information and oddities on the internet.  It is important to filter out the non-credible materials.  Unlike verbal exchanges that are gone with the wind, information disseminated through new media is akin to words in black and white, often with far-reaching effects and influence. It is therefore crucial to exercise a reasonable level of responsibility and sensibility when sharing information. Information from one individual could be dismissed as personal bias, but when more and more people spread the same information, it could be perceived as the truth.

It serves the relevant authorities no purpose in hiding the truth. In the case of child abduction, the police force would most definitely heighten public alert and beef up investigation. Hence, we should not subscribe to make believe and illogical hearsays.

We teach our children not to emulate the boy who cried wolf, and we should also not act the grizzly to attract unwarranted attention. We must always be on our guard to battle against external threats. Even though the abduction reports were bogus, nobody can promise that there are no wolves in sheep’s clothing. While we must maintain our confidence, we must not take our security for granted and strive to keep up our vigilance and discerning ability.

by   Baey Yam Keng 

《我报》10-4-2012 炎下之意(专栏)文/马炎庆 

狼来了! 

从前的牧童,在山上放羊发闷了,顽皮地跟村民开玩笑。看着他们慌慌张张跑上山来赶狼,却扑了个空,觉得很好玩,于是再次玩弄村民。可是,真的有狼出现时,村民却不要第三次上当,结果牧童的羊被狼吃了。

 

熊来了?

前年的一段youtube短片中,一只熊在新加坡某个角落翻搜垃圾桶像在找东西吃。公众担心被野兽攻击,警方、动物园和保护动物组织人员于是展开了搜寻活动,后来真相大白,短片原来是某个品牌剃须器搞的宣传片,熊其实是人扮的。

新加坡没有野生熊,动物园的熊也证实没有逃走,但万一熊是从邻国游泳或被人成功走私偷渡入境,那怎么办?这个可能性虽然渺茫,但也不能百分百铁定不会发生。毕竟公众的安全最重要,有关当局不敢掉以轻心,结果,人力资源被浪费了。至于商家到底想怎么样把熊和剃须器联系起来,葫芦里卖的是什么药,就不得而知,因为这个不妥的创意点子夭折了。

 

绑匪来了!?

上个月底,手机短讯、电邮和互联网盛传,新加坡不同角落有几个儿童被拐带或差点被陌生人牵走。其中有两宗还“发生”在淡滨尼。据说,一名小学三年级的男孩上学时,在学校门口被一个男子带走。另一个小女孩儿则在托儿所外被一名女郎强行拉进一辆小货车。谣言传得沸沸扬扬,我就接到好几个居民的询问,大家都很担心孩子的安危,想要确定真相。

一个不到七岁的小女孩,不可能没有在成人的陪伴下去托儿所,托儿所附近也应该会有其他人在场,他们不可能看到有人为非作歹而置身事外。不过,宁可信其有,不可信其无,我于是联络上淡滨尼邻里警岗查个究竟。结果,警方确定并没有接获任何孩子被拐带的报告。

两天后,警方发出文告,澄清小三学生是自己逃课,并于当天早上11时,被发现在住家附近。

至于小女孩被绑票的案件,原来是以讹传讹。第一个在网上发布消息的人还爆料,说警方在淡滨尼一带设置路障。警方追溯源头时发现,该人其实没有亲身经历或目睹事件,完全道听途说,甚至加盐添醋。结果,这则传言却在网上不断被转发,闹得满城风雨。

网络讯息丰富 并非事事可信

网络世界无奇不有,讯息丰富,但不是事事可信。

现代科技让我们可以很快地分享消息,但手机短讯、电邮和互联网留言,不像言语一般,说了可以当被风吹走。人言可畏,现代科技传达的讯息有如白纸黑字,传播影响力更大。所以,自己不确定或不信服的消息,千万不要加以渲染。一传十,十传百。一个人的言论可能只是偏见,10个人附和也许就会被当成大多数人的看法,100人都这么说时,就会演变成千真万确的“事实”!

我们要有信心,如果真有其事,有关当局是没有理由掩盖真相的,因为纸包不住火。如果真的有拐带孩童集团的不法行为,警方肯定会加以调查,并发出警惕,提醒公众小心。否则,不法之徒更嚣张,更多孩童会失踪,警方的工作岂不是更繁重?所以,这是无根据,也是没逻辑的理论。

 

不可失去信心和判断力

我们教小孩子不要去学那个为了好玩而说谎的牧童,我们也不可以扮熊去引起别人的注意。村民不会第三次上当,伪造恐慌者自己却成了一只狗熊。自己的小孩自己要照顾好,不要认为绑架事件只是“谣传”而就戒心大减。披着羊皮的恶狼可能真的会出现。

警方绝对不会像村民那样,一朝被蛇咬,十年怕井绳,但是,公众如果对事情的真真假假,失去判断力和信心,那社会风气要亡羊补牢就太迟了。

 

Link : The Boy Who Cried Wolf  / 狼来了!熊来了?绑匪来了!?

 

行人道。斑马线。交通灯/ Pavement, Zebra Crossing, Traffic Lights

《我报》27-3-2012
炎下之意(专栏)文/马炎庆

行人道。斑马线。交通灯 

前个周末的“咖啡开讲”交流会上,有位淡滨尼的居民就针对有些脚车骑士在行人道上的鲁莽行为,表示不满。

有关当局已在进行加宽行人道的工程,好让行人和脚车骑士有更大的空间共处。

可是,行人道的空间再大,人心的空间若不放大,也无济于事。脚车是铁马,速度比步行快,撞到的伤害力大。脚车骑士有义务照顾行人的安危,看到有行人在前方,应该自动放慢速度,按车铃也不要急躁,尤其上了年龄的行人,需要多一些时间反应,急促的铃声反而让他们紧张。

另一方面,如果行人认为,行人道是他们的地盘,可以随性,甚至大摇大摆地走,知道有脚车要经过,却故意不让步,纠纷就会这么开始了

在柬埔寨学会过马路的窍门 

我在路上行驶时,注意到很多行人在过马路时有点大意,一面走一面看着手机,甚至在发简讯。

马路如虎口,就算是在斑马线,或是交通灯绿人亮着的时候,也要左右看一看,查一查车辆是否停了下来。虽然在指定过道过马路完全没错,法律也会站在行人这一边,可是,万一发生意外,吃亏的肯定是行人。就算交警法官会判肇祸司机有罪,扣分、罚款,甚至坐牢,但受伤的是行人,痛的是自己的身躯,值得吗?

十多年前去了柬埔寨,马路上的汽车、电单车和脚车挤得水泄不通,要过马路却找不到斑马线或交通灯。

后来,发现车子都不会开得很快,却也不会停下来让行人过马路,当地人都是慢慢地顺着交通,一步一步地走过去。不久,我也学会了过马路的窍门。

行人和交通融为一体,顺水推舟般地就可以缓缓地、安全地从马路这一边走到另一边。

与人相处,要理性规划,感性配合 

新加坡是一个讲法律的地方,什么可以做,什么不可以做,都明文规定。执法者也很有效率,抄牌、警告、罚款或坐牢,总会有一招生效。可是,我们是否认为凡事有法律保护,有警察抓坏人,而就掉以轻心,警惕心大减?或者,变得事事都依法行事?认为“这是法律规定,这就是我的权利”、“那是他的错,我为什么要让步?需要妥协的人应该是他!”。

斑马线和交通灯固然是现代社会的基本交通设施, 但我们不可变成没有斑马线和交通灯就不懂得如何安全地过马路,更不要认为斑马线和交通灯就一定是万无一失的安全之道。

人与人之间的相处,公共空间的同享,除了有理性的规划,也要有感性的配合。凡事不要太计较,尽量为他人着想。

忍一时风平浪静,退一步海阔天空。

 

Translation

Pavement, Zebra Crossing, Traffic Lights

During the “KopiTalk” session held at Tampines North two weeks ago, a resident expressed unhappiness over the reckless behaviour of some cyclists on the pavement.

The relevant authorities are carrying out plans to widen the pavement so as to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.

Unless we strive to be more gracious and magnanimous, this will continue to pose as a problem regardless of the width of the walkway. The bicycle is akin to an iron horse capable of a traveling speed many times higher than that of a pedestrian. Therefore, cyclists have the added responsibility of keeping their acceleration and environment in check.  When ringing the bell, they should exercise judgment and discretion, especially when alerting the elderly who require a relatively longer reaction time. Impatience will only create unnecessary burden and distress.

On the other hand, disputes are seemingly unavoidable if pedestrians insist on hogging the entire walkway and refuse to give way to an oncoming cyclist.

Learning the knack of road crossing in Cambodia

It is not an uncommon sight to spot pedestrians staring hard into their mobile phones or actively engaged in their text messages when crossing the road.

As the Chinese saying goes “The roads are no less dangerous than a tiger’s jarring mouth”, it is therefore crucial to make a quick visual scan of both your left and right to ensure that the traffic has come to a halt before crossing the road. In spite of the conscientious efforts to abide by the traffic regulations, it does not render one invulnerable to the traffic hazards. In the unfortunate event of a road accident, even if the driver eventually received the fair punishment meted out, the injured pedestrian remains the one bearing the physical anguish, wallowing in his sorry plight. Is this even worthy of a justification?

During my trip to Cambodia more than ten years ago, I found it almost an impossible mission to cross the roads in the sea of motorists and pedestrians when there was no proper traffic infrastructure. It took me some time to finally realize that the pedestrians had to move along with the streaming vehicles in order to get to the other side of the road.  While people do not drive fast, motorists would also not stop to give way to pedestrians.   Hence, the trick to crossing the roads with ease in Cambodia – pedestrians blending in with the traffic.

Rational planning interweaved with sensible complementarities makes the art of harmonious living

Singapore is a law-abiding nation with what we know to be the “to do’s” and “not to do’s” explicitly spelt out. Law enforcers are also efficient to issue summons, warnings, composition fines or even mete out the penalty of imprisonment, all of which will indubitably serve their respective purposes. However, can we just outsource our security to our polished and efficient Home Team and therefore subscribe to a lower level of vigilance and surveillance against external jeopardy? On the contrary, will we tailor every aspect of our lives in accordance with the law and ride on the privileges legally prescribed, and refuse to make compromises?

The zebra crossings and traffic lights are modern infrastructure that lend assistance to moderate traffic flow. Nevertheless, we must never take their usually functional and robust capability for granted and gets trapped in the assumption that these tools are unassailable and fail-safe.  Neither should we lose our innate ability to negotiate traffic in the absence of these provisions.

Building interpersonal relationships and living together in a common space not only ask for sagacious planning but also jive with the virtue of emotional and mental forbearance. Sometimes it serves us better to be less fastidious and to exercise greater consideration towards the needs of others.

Patience and tolerance in the fit of rage begets serenity and harmony.

   Baey Yam Keng

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Excuse me, are you Somebody?某某人的什么人 – by Baey Yam Keng

Translated version :

My child scored the second highest in her class for a recent Maths common test, but her achievement was undermined by a classmate to be due to her father being an MP.

I was told by a fellow MP that he made his appearance as the parent of his daughter for the very first time during her polytechnic graduation ceremony.  It was only then that her classmates knew about their relationship.

A Minister chose not to see his son off during his enlistment, but showed up only at his passing-out parade, so as to avoid any unnecessary attention during the course of his basic military training.

Just because one is related to someone, one would be seen in a different light or tasked to meet higher expectations.

It is not uncommon to find ourselves asking a doctor friend if his children would follow in his footsteps, or expect an artist friend’s children to be artistically talented too.  We can easily find a few such examples: Wee Cho Yaw and Wee Ee Chong in the banking sector, theatre doyen Kuo Pao Kun and daughter Kuo Jian Hong, Patrick and Nicholas Tse in the entertainment sphere, David Tao Sr. and David Tao in the Mandopop industry.  In politics, there are the Kennedys and the Bush father and sons in the USA, the Nehru-Ghandi family in India, the Bhuttos in Pakistan, the Aquinos in the Philippines, General Aung San and Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar and of course, Lee Kuan Yew and and Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore.

Whether it is nature or nurture, following the footsteps could have been a natural course of events or even a well deserved accession.  Sometimes, it is not a personal choice.  For example, the constitution would have to be changed if Prince Charles were not to inherit the throne from Queen Elizabeth II or if Maha Vajiralongkorn were not coronated following Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s reign. Being born into royalty brings with it wealth and luxury, but sometimes life is far from being a bed of roses when there are family disputes, infightings, and even usurpation.

I told my child, “You do not have tuition, therefore you deserve every mark you have earned yourself.  Others may not realize it, but I am aware and more importantly, you know what you have put in.  You should be proud of yourself and not be bothered by what others say.  On the other hand, you cannot be conceited but continue to be diligent.  Due to my public role, there is more public interest and scrutiny.  Your classmate may not necessarily understand what I do, but I am sure his comments meant no malice. It is crucial that you do not take things for granted or feel privileged in any way just because your father is an MP.  On the contrary, there are higher expectations of you precisely because you are the child of an MP.  As long as you do your best according to your conscience, there is no need for any self-imposed pressure.  Be courageous enough to own up to any wrongdoing, for every mistake we make will prove to be a learning experience.  In this common test, you had told your teacher she had given you an extra half mark.  I am proud of your honesty.  We should not take credit if we have not put in the effort.  As long as you commit yourself to your tasks, what you learn in the process and gain from the results are yours to keep, forever.” 

MyPaper, 13 March 2012

<我报》13-3-2012
炎下之意(专栏)文/马炎庆

某某人的什么人 

我孩子最近的数学统一测验考得了全班第二高分。可是,有一位同学却在班上说他能取得这样的成绩,是因为他的爸爸是议员!

一位国会同僚告诉我他出席女儿理工学院毕业典礼的时候,才是他第一次以家长的身份露面,女儿的同学那时才知道他们之间的关系。

一名部长在儿子服兵役入伍时,坚持不去送他,等到他基本军训后才出席结业典礼,好让儿子低调完成军训。

很自然的,就因为某某人是某某人的什么人,大家就会另眼相看,或有所期待。

我们很自然会问当医生的朋友,他们的孩子会不会也行医,或是艺术家朋友,他们的孩子是否有这方面的天分。这些”like father like son”的例子不少:银行界的黄祖耀和黄一宗、戏剧界的郭宝昆和郭践红、演艺界的谢贤和谢霆峰、歌唱界的陶大伟和陶喆。国际政界的就有美国的肯尼迪家族和布什父子、印度的尼赫鲁、英迪拉和拉吉夫甘地、巴基斯坦的佐勒菲卡尔和贝娜姬布托、菲律宾的贝尼格诺阿奎诺、科拉桑和诺诺阿奎诺、缅甸的翁山将军和翁山淑枝,和新加坡的李光耀和李显龙。

无论是耳濡目染也好,或是基因遗传也好,子承父业有时顺其自然,有时众望所归,有时却逼不得已,毫无选择。例如皇位的继承,如果英女王伊丽莎白不传位给查尔斯太子,或泰王普密蓬不传位给哇栖拉隆功王储,还得修改宪法。出生皇室家族,虽然可以享尽荣华富贵,但是有时候却身不由己。更悲凉的是自己家人明争暗斗,夺取皇位,或是大势所趋,成为末代皇帝,潦倒终身。

  • 我跟孩子说:
    你没有补习老师,你的数学成绩是你用功努力,靠自己得来的。别人不知道,爸爸看得到,你自己也最清楚。你应该引以为豪,不要在乎别人说什么。不过,你也不可以因为这次考得不错就骄傲自满,还是得继续努力。爸爸因为工作性质,言行举止会比较引人注意。同学对爸爸的工作可能不了解,他只是随口讲讲,没有什么恶意。重要的是,你不要以为你是议员的孩子,而自以为是。可是,就因为你是议员的孩子,别人反而对你会有更高的要求。但你不要给自己太大的压力,只要你站得正,走得直,凡事尽力而为,你将问心无愧。
    如果做错了,要勇于承认改过,从中学习。你的数学统一测验发现老师多给了你半分,你诚实地告诉老师,这么做是对的。不是你应得的东西,不要去占有。只要你用心去做你该做的事,过程的经历和取得的收获,将会永远属于你。

 

Source :   Baey Yam Keng

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