THAT VIDEO: Raw and scary

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By Tan Bah Bah

This is my humble and raw take on the Young PAP video which has gone viral.

I have absolutely nothing against and, in fact, have the best wishes for all the YPAP participants in the in-house production video. These youngsters have taken a stand, joined the ruling party and become its activists. They do all this openly and for all that they have my respect. Bravo to each and every one of them.

I may not agree with their party on everything though it is my elected government. I may not even believe these are the best youngsters that the PAP has to offer. The video does not seem to suggest any creative chaos or diversity, only parrot-like chirpings.

I remember Lee KuanYew telling us how he could keep his edge and be a better leader because of an intellectual tension between him and Dr Goh Keng Swee. I just cannot see where the intellectual ferment is emerging from among the look-alike, sound-alike video wannabes. The blog universe of Singapore must now be full of sarcastic comments, with some quite hurtful. As they say, the alleged sins of the forefathers are being visited on their subsequent generations.

Once cannot help compare the deadly earnest but scrubby looking Chinese students protesting against the imposition of national service by the British colonial government on May 13 1954 with the well-fed, well dressed but not so well rehearsed (for the vocals, that is) YPAP video actors of May 2014. Come on, lah, as someone told me, Tin Pei Ling now sounds mature and Nicole Seah almost like a Katong auntie.

The real sad part is not the participants, scary though they be to quite a number of Singaporeans wishing for more creative tension and more articulate leaders. They will learn and get better and, who knows, they may develop into tomorrow’s PAP backbenchers or, “branch chairmen, PBM or whatever”.

What I find mystifying is that the ruling party of a very sophisticated global city which has vast resources can end up producing an important communication tool of this absurdly poor quality.

Or is all this controversy a very smart way of creating advance publicity for the YPAP/PAP’s next video – which will be state-of-the-art, no less? Stay tuned? Should I? No, you go ahead, I am reserving my energy for the FIFA World Cup finals.