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Monday, April 4, 2011

Tin Pei Ling

Is Ms Tin Pei Ling too young for politics at 27? Lee Kuan Yew was 27 when he spoke at the Malaya Hall on 28 January 1950, about Malayan politics.

Is Ms Tin Pei Ling a heartless moneygrabber because she posed with a Kate Spade bag? Even the least brand conscious among us own branded goods. When I started work, someone gave me Saatchi briefcase because she said "Looks maketh the woman". I posed happily because it was polite and gracious, but I never carried the bag. Last year, I received three Longchamps bags. Then, I was given a briefcase of some luxurious brand (I forget which) that I gave to my maid when she went home. I hate briefcases. Backpacks are preferred.

Posing with a Kate Spade gift may just be the polite thing for Pei Ling to do?

Maybe we are reading too much into short snippets of videos and soundbites? She does have 7 years of grassroots volunteering, and it could very well be that it was because she volunteered with her Dad that she met her husband. Besides, I may be wrong, but Principal Private Secretary to PM is not a job for administrative high flyers even though it is close to the PM. If her husband were a true high flyer or white horse, he would be Perm Sec at 40+.

I'm too old to be really enthused by her. She cannot relate to issues that I care deeply about. And she does demonstrate some degree of ignorance about what people care about. But perhaps she was chosen to represent the young working professional (after all, she is herself not extremely senior in her organisation)? She could have been chosen for her enthusiasm throughout 7 years of grassroots work? Did we not want commonfolk who can relate to us rather than those who are way up there with their PhDs?

I think I'll sit back and give her a chance, rather than allow short media snapshots to define my opinion at present. It could well be that she would surprise us. I may eventually dislike Pei Ling as much as I dislike 2 Ministers, but for the moment I think she has some good things going for her...

(1) she is a woman (and compared to a possible PAP man - Jack Neo - she is preferred)... besides, the more there are women, the better. Pei Ling will go through motherhood etc... and as she evolves she will understand the challenges of bringing up kids in an environment where people work 7 days a week and 12 hour days are norm. Perhaps women will have a better deal? We need more women with energy in parliament. It's still very much a man's world in there.

(2) she is a psychologist (the government doesn't use psychology enough in governance)

(3) she is young (and has the time to build continuity)

I also like Foo Mee Har. She is a woman, and she is psychologist.


Anonymous said...

Hello PetuniaLee...I look forward to learning whether Tin Pei Ling is able to reach her goal(s).

Open Kitchen Concept said...

I actually know Ms Foo and I think she is great. I don't know Ms Tin so I can't comment. (Posing with a Kate Spade bag is very odd though to me.. maybe it's because I'm not so young)

Wen-ai said...

Yup, I will give her a chance too. I do have respect for most who eventually decide to serve our country by being a MP or run for an election. Not an easy task indeed!

daelight said...

An acquaintance who knows her describes her someone with a passion to serve the community, but a little naive. As a politician, she must not only be able to protect herself, but also protect, and fight for her constituents. Thus, she must be able to defend herself, and not have to rely on her senior colleagues to do that. The opposition candidates do not have the luxury of learning the ropes like she does, and if they go in fighting and giving their all, all the time under the same scrutiny that she is under, then she will just have to grit her teeth and show she has the same fighting mettle.

That said, I believe that she is easy fodder not because she is a woman, but because she exudes innocence. And given that opposition candidates are often torn apart in the media, it is hardly a surprise when Singaporeans, when presented with an easy target in white, would miss this opportunity to inflict some damage.

petunialee said...

daelight - Thanks for commenting. I think people are just mean. How many of the vicious people commenting on her have personally experienced LKY's wrath. They're all bystanders with a mean streak. I actually saw on a forum, a lady write an article on How to Teach Compassion, and in the same space of a few days, make snide remarks about Tin. Blaming LKY for one's own meanness is just an excuse to excuse one's own evil-ness.

LKY isn't gratuitiously mean. He was fighting for country and policy. What are all these netizens fighting for from behind laptop screens? For them, it's just a thrilling joy ride of meanness.

Malar said...

You really analyze everything! great work! Hope Singapore gets into good hand!

petunialee said...

Malar - I hope so... I do so hope so!!