SINGAPORE - Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education Ms Indranee Rajah has spoken up for the man in the centre of a social media controversy.
Earlier this week, a post by Miss Universe Singapore 2013 finalist Jesslyn Tan mocking a man's attire went viral. She has since apologised.
In her Facebook post, Ms Indranee, who has known the man for many years, said:
"A few days ago, the Internet was abuzz with the story of Miss S'pore finalist, Ms Jesslyn Tan, who found the sight of a man with a hole in his T-shirt napping on the MRT so amusing that she snapped a photo of him and put it on her FB with the caption "Holey moley. Sibei trendy worzxxz".
"The post caused a minor Internet storm. Many were critical of it, and Ms Tan has since removed the post and apologised online for being insensitive.
"What's it to me? Well, you see, the man in that pic is my resident, Mr Koh Hee Huat, and I have known him for many years. I want to share a little more about this man who has been unwittingly caught up in this mini furore.
"Mr Koh is a helper at the Ye Shanghai Teochew Muay stall at Bukit Merah View (BMV). The stall opens at night till the early hours of the morning. Those familiar with the area - and certainly all the taxi drivers on the midnight shift - will know this stall and Mr Koh. He's the man who takes the orders from the customers in the queue and dishes out their selections into small plates for the other helper to bring to the tables. He's on his feet from evening until 3.00 am in the morning when the stall closes.
"Every time I've been to the stall after my Friday night MPS ( and that's many times over the years ) he's been there - in good or bad weather, quiet and unassuming, but always hard at work, and responsive to all customers, no matter who they are.
"He makes an honest living to support his mother and his family. His wife works at the same stall. He has a daughter waiting to enter poly.
"In the midst of all the buzz and noise on the topic, I would like to address this from his perspective, so people can understand the impact the episode has had on him.