Live musical performances at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre by the river are a (free) treat for passers-by in the area and an opportunity for local artists to showcase their talent.
If you’re a member of the audience, it is only right to sit down, watch and listen to the performance, right? Bare minimum things.
In a video shared by Singapore label Panik Records, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development Sim Ann had entered midway through an acoustic set by Benny’s – one of their artists.
The concert was part of the WWF Earth Hour Festival at Esplanade event on Mar. 25 where the minister was believed to be a Guest-of-Honor.
Instead of taking her seat immediately, Sim was brought to be introduced to a row of people by the organizer who stood up to shake hands and acknowledged her. The niceties awkwardly and excruciatingly lasted more than a quick moment and the camera panned back to the performer on stage who looked a little uncomfortable trying to sing but keeping her eye on Sim.
Photos and videos of the incident were shared widely on social media and the label soon shared a statement saying that they had contacted the minister and spoken to her directly about the incident.
“Together with Benny’s, we spoke to Senior Minister of State Sim Ann on the phone and she has since apologized on the call for what had transpired,” Panik Records wrote.
They also said that they had a good discussion about the music industry and said that “having our representatives treat our artists with the respect they deserve is a good first step, and we are glad to have had that conversation with Minister Sim Ann.”
While it seems that the chapter with the parties involved has been well done and dusted, the same can’t be said of the public.
There were mixed reactions, with some saying that Sim’s actions were disrespectful to the artist and others blaming the label for being too petty or sensitive.
Haters gonna hate
The post was not spared by some angry sorts trying to stir the pot.
Some failed to see what the big deal is and maintained that Sim was only trying to do her job.
Many countered back saying that while they understood why she had to do what she did, there is also a time and place to shake hands and have a quick chat with members of the public – and that is definitely not in the middle of a musical performance.
“Ministers need to not be so CB”
Social media personality Mr Brown also weighed in on the incident in an on-brand way via Twitter.
Ministers need to not be so CB. https://t.co/KgbwqfvX8D— mrbrown (@mrbrown) March 28, 2023
He went on to break down what went wrong and what could’ve been done better – like the organizers who need to take accountability for ushering her in at such a time and also Sim herself who could have put a stop to the mini meet-and-greet and encouraged the people to watch the set first and then chat later.
User Muhammad Faizal wraps up the incident most succinctly.
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