No megaphone, but microphone diplomacy as Singaporean pens song on Terrex vehicles

No megaphone, but microphone diplomacy as Singaporean pens song on Terrex vehicles
The SAF's nine Terrex infantry carriers at a Hong Kong Customs storage facility last month, after being seized on Nov 23 while they were on their way back from a military exercise in Taiwan.
PHOTO: Apple Daily

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

In the realm of statecraft, soft power can amplify loudly when wielded correctly.

Moments after Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said in Parliament yesterday (Jan 9) there was no need to engage in megaphone diplomacy over the Terrex vehicles confiscation, a Singaporean has taken to the microphone, singing about the nine armoured vehicles.

'Give me back my Terrex chia' is a song posted on Youtube yesterday by Alvin Oon.

Inspired by dialect songs from the old days, the kitschy song is peppered with colloquial phrases, such as "cannot suka suka (as you please) take from me".

"It took me two days to write the lyrics and tune, arrange the music, record all the vocals, do a quick mix the tracks and edit the video," Mr Oon told AsiaOne.

Mr Oon, who is self-employed in the creative entertainment field, added: "The inspiration for this song is to express how we, the average Singaporean, view this ongoing deadlock, to put into context the situation concisely in a humorous song."

"Maybe a light-hearted song will lessen the tensions and see the return of Singapore's nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles," Mr Oon wrote on his Facebook page.

on Facebook

SONG DIPLOMACY - GIVE ME BACK MY TERREX CHIA Maybe a light-hearted song will lessen the tensions and see the return of...

Posted by Alvin Oon on Monday, 9 January 2017

The song has since been shared on community Facebook pages such as The Reservist and SAF Professional Reading Programme.

"Music soothes the soul and humour give us an outlet to smile and release tension. It is my hope that such a simple tool can make everyone take a step back to be more gracious and kinder to one another for a better world to live in," said the 49-year-old, who was an infantryman back in his National Service days.

Not to be outdone, blogger and satirist Mr Brown came up with his own song about the seized vehicles.

The song is set to the tune of the Chinese New Year favourite "Gong Xi Gong Xi", and features lyrics like: "How long do you need to check, give us our Terrex back".

on Facebook

CNY coming, don't liddat leh. [Lyrics and vocals: Marc Nair and mrbrown]

Posted by mrbrown on Tuesday, 10 January 2017

If megaphone diplomacy is an out-of-bounds (OB) marker, how about some microphone diplomacy?

grongloh@sph.com.sg

on SPH Brightcove

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