Law minister celebrates lantern festival...from Peru

Law minister celebrates lantern festival...from Peru
VIRTUAL VISIT: Law Minister K. Shanmugam celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival with residents via Skype.

SINGAPORE - Even from halfway across the globe, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam joined his constituents in their Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations on Saturday night.

In Peru for a three-day official visit, Mr Shanmugam, the MP for Nee Soon GRC, made time to sign on to video calling service Skype to greet Chong Pang residents on a large projector screen at the event held at an HDB void deck.

With a time difference of 13 hours behind Singapore, Mr Shanmugam, who has been an MP since 1988, was online at about 8.20pm Singapore time.

He spent several minutes joining in the festivities and soaking in the atmosphere virtually as residents greeted him with waves and cheers.

About 1,000 residents took part in the three-hour event, carrying lanterns, eating mooncakes and watching performances.

Grassroots volunteer Benjamin Tan said the minister had asked before he left for his trip to South America whether he could join in the celebrations through Skype.

"It was a nice surprise for everyone," said Mr Tan.


"I've never seen a minister Skype with his constituents to celebrate a festival together before and everyone was quite excited about it."

Mr Shanmugam also posted photographs and videos of the event on his Facebook page.

He had earlier posted photos of a separate lantern festival event in Chong Pang where fellow MP, Dr Lim Wee Kiak, led the celebrations.

Earlier this month, Mr Shanmugam's wife, Mrs Seetha Shanmugam, led a team of women from the diplomat corps to experience the Hungry Ghost Festival in Chong Pang.

They attended a dinner and auction, made offerings, burnt paper money and watched a getai performance.

Mrs Shanmugam explained to them the significance of the Chinese cultural traditions.

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