Ho Ching is one who wears many hats.
Other than being the CEO of Temasek Holdings and the wife of PM Lee, she’s also one of the most active Facebook users in Singapore, sharing so much contents that one wonders if she ever sleeps.
Sometimes, she can be a safe-distancing ambassador:
And now, you can add one more title to her: the defender of Charles Yeo.
Who is Charles Yeo?
If you didn’t already know, this is Charles Yeo.
The 30-year-old Reform Party candidate for Ang Mo Kio GRC is a criminal defense litigation lawyer and has joined the opposition party since 2011. And as you can probably tell from the video, he’s just like many of us: having a little difficulty speaking standard Mandarin, though he can breeze through non-standard Mandarin (Mandarin mixed with other languages) in an interview with Zaobao.
During the political broadcast, there has been no plan for him speak in Mandarin; his teammate, Darren Soh was supposed to give the party message in Mandarin but as he was taken sick, Charles Yeo has to pick up the slack.
Needless to say, the Internet went crazy over him and started to meme-ify him with videos and memes:
— YEOLO™ (@tzehern_) July 3, 2020
While Charles Yeo has taken it in his stride, Ho Ching felt that the videos should be removed since Charles Yeo didn’t just stand in for his teammate: he was brave to so do.
Ho Ching Urges People to Remove Charles Yeo Videos & Applauded His Efforts
The (probably) most active Facebook user took it to Facebook after polling day to reflect her thoughts on the Charlies Yeo saga (if it’s even a saga in the first place).
She thought that we shouldn’t make fun of him because he was being brave to “step up to the plate, to stand in for his team mate who was not able to deliver the Chinese speech for whatever reason. He didn’t shrink away from what was obviously a difficult task for him.”
Secondly, she gave him “very high marks for doing his best to deliver his message despite his language handicap. That takes courage.”
If you can’t read, here’s what she’s written:
I think we should not make fun of Charles Yeo for his attempt to deliver his team’s Chinese message.
He was brave on 2 counts.
First, he was willing to step up to the plate, to stand in for his team mate who was not able to deliver the Chinese speech for whatever reason. He didn’t shrink away from what was obviously a difficult task for him.
This strong sense of responsibility to his team is laudable.
Second, I give him very high marks for doing his best to deliver his message despite his language handicap. That takes courage.
This willingness to try is how we all can learn and improve over time.
Yes, it is painful to see his struggle, but that is no reason to make fun of him or his courageous effort.
So for all the folks who are making or circulating memes to laugh at him, please stop.
Please do take down your videos, and other social media material, out of respect for another human being who had just been trying to do his best.
Thank you, and a good weekend to everyone.
Just as we shouldn’t laugh at Charles Yeo for struggling with Chinese, we shouldn’t look down on others for not speaking pukka English.
In Singapore, many of us speak Chinese with a characteristic Hokkien or southern Chinese style of short sharp tones. That is the result of having 40% Hokkien, the largest dialect group among the Singaporean Chinese.
Likewise, we speak English with a variety of lilts, reflecting the composition of our diverse population – Malay, southern Chinese, Tamil, plus a sprinkling of Queen’s English and other sub groups like Australian, American, French or Latino English.
Let’s encourage and support everyone who is learning and trying their best.
Just for your info, the part after “PS” is edited in this morning instead.
Yeah, the wife of our head of state isn’t just an active user, but a proficient user, too.
Comments Support Charles Yeo
Most people in the comments section agree with Ho Ching:
And this deserves the comment of the century:
And while people agree that we should applaud his courage, it seems like people don’t agree with his team taking over a GRC.
Losing the Final Battle
In the battleground he was fielded in, whereby he fought alongside with RP Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam, RP Chairman Andy Zhu, Noraini Yunus and Darren Soh in Ang Mo Kio GRC, he lost to the PAP team that comprises PM Lee Hsien Loong, Darryl David, Gan Thiam Poh, Ng Ling Ling and Nadia Ahmad Samdin.
They got 28.09% of the votes.
It’s, however, an improvement from the 2015 election by the Reform Party (which didn’t include Charles Yeo). Back then, they had garnered only 21.37% of the votes.
Also, Charles mentioned that if the opposition gets less than 35% to 40% of the vote share, he might want to leave Singapore.
With the opposition getting a respectable 38.76% of the vote share, we can safely say that Charles would most likely remain in Singapore, and for all you know, he might be back next election.
And on a side note, politicians have been talking about NCMP (Non-Constituency Member of Parliament) in recent days. So, what’s an NCMP? Do you know that it’s just like an MP but the allowance is much lower? Watch this video to find out more: