Singapore’s Manpower Minister Josephine Teo cried in Parliament yesterday while addressing jobs and workers affected by the recession.
She became the latest politician to put on an emotional display just four months after former national development minister Lawrence Wong wept in parliament while paying tribute to COVID-19 frontline workers. Teo, 52, was concluding her first speech in the 14th Parliament when she teared up while speaking about reviewing hiring practices to benefit more Singaporeans and recognizing companies that pay better wages.
“Please know that you too are always in our hearts. However long this storm lasts, [the Ministry of Manpower] will walk the journey together with you. However tough it may be, we will help you bounce back,” she said.
“Our mission is to help each one of you emerge stronger, by never giving up hope and by working with employers in Singapore to treat you fairly, to make your hard work bear fruit,” she added. “Our work is not yet done.”
The display failed to impress the public, with some skeptics calling it out as an insincere act.
Facebook page Kuanyewism ridiculed Teo with a meme of her alongside other local actresses.
“Congratulations to Minister Josephine Teo for an award winning performance in parliament yesterday,” the post read.
Teo’s tears were just the latest parliamentary act of emotionalism.
In May, 47-year-old Wong, who now serves as education minister, was thanking workers in fields such as healthcare, transportation, tourism, and the media for providing services to their fellow citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak when he appeared to lose his composure, wiping his eyes and sipping a drink before continuing.
“Words are not sufficient to express our appreciation for so many Singaporeans going all out to fight the virus. But I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who is doing their part,” he said.
Other political crybabies in the past also include Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself, who cried in Parliament in 2017 while speaking about his late father Lee Kuan Yew and his feud with his siblings over their father’s Oxley Road home. That same year, former manpower minister Lim Swee Say broke down multiple times in Parliament while sharing case studies of jobseekers.