PAP's Shanmugam throws shade at 'slick PR videos' put out by other parties in GE2020

PHOTO: Berita Harian video screengrab

Judging purely on aesthetics and cinematography, the Workers’ Party (WP) deserve all the praise for the videos they put out as soon as Parliament dissolved on June 23. 

The first was a teaser of things to come, including the surprising return of former National Solidarity Party candidate Nicole Seah. The full video uploaded the following day (June 24) is a gorgeously shot introduction to WP’s GE2020 candidates and what they’re standing for as an opposition party. 

Our party members share how our walk with Singapore continues this General Election. Make your vote count. #GE2020 For...

Posted by The Workers' Party on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The video was enormously well-received, sparking more than a few commentaries on social media over how polished and cinematic it all looked. But it appears that one man isn’t a fan of such stylish videos, and he just happens to be Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam. 

Prior to Nomination Day (June 30), the anchor minister leading the People’s Action Party (PAP) team in Nee Soon GRC had a coffeeshop chat with Malay news publication Berita Harian. One of the questions posed was how the ruling political party would be adapting their strategies in an ongoing pandemic, to which Shanmugam fired a volley: a “slick PR video” isn’t going to solve real-world issues. 

Mengapa Encik K Shanmugam sifatkan GE2020 sebagai pilihan raya paling penting dalam sejarah? Ikuti wawancara 'mengeteh' bersama beliau! Untuk laporan penuh, klik https://bit.ly/2CN8Xtz

Posted by Berita Harian Singapura on Sunday, June 28, 2020

To be clear, the minister did not precisely mention WP by name, but the implication is self-evident. Malay social affairs Twitter account @Pengkritique isolated the portion of the video in which Shanmugam threw some shade. 

“We cannot pretend that the next one year is gonna be easy — it’s gonna be tough. And it’s not gonna be solved by us putting a slick PR video. I mean we can but it’s not honest to the soul of the [PAP]. 

“Slick PR videos can work… when you’re not expected to provide solutions,” he said, smiling.

https://twitter.com/Pengkritique/status/1277623949459812352

WP remains undeterred though — Aljunied GRC candidate Sylvia Lim has just released a video profile of herself and her love for Toto’s Africa. 

Just so you know where I’m coming from...

Posted by Sylvia Lim on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ilyas@asiaone.com