Baey Yam Keng not worried about losing votes: I stand by my view (on Sun Xu)
Posted by temasektimes on February 24, 2012
Beleaguered PAP MP Baey Yam Keng who drew public ire over his defense of NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu, remains unfazed by the prospect of losing votes in the next general election as a result of peeving Singaporeans off.
A final year student in Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, Sun sparked a massive outcry among Singaporeans with his offensive remarks on there “being more dogs than humans in Singapore” on his microblog ‘Weibo’ last Saturday.
In the same thread, Sun used the term “瘪三” to describe Singapore uncles, which is a derogatory word typically used in Shanghai to describe the underclass bums in the society. It means a person who is a tramp, bum, good-for-nothing fella, beggar, drifter, loafer, outcast, vagrant, destitute and worthless person.
When told by a fellow netizen not to be too fussy, he replied:
“Bunch of 挫逼. My temper these days is already a lot better.”
“挫逼” is a derogatory word commonly used in mainland China for cursing people, an equivalent of the Hokkien phrase ‘CCB’ used as a vulgarity in Singapore. However Mr Baey does not think otherwise and cast doubts on the ability of Singaporeans to understand slangs commonly used in mainland China.
In an interview with an English tabloid, Mr Baey said Singaporeans have to accept that, within every community, there will be some who will tarnish the reputation of their peers.
“We (also) need to reflect, are we the way they described?” he said.
Mr Baey even tried to obfuscate Sun’s infamous remark on the ‘dogs’ to suggest that he might mean something else:
“Even his comment about the dogs – it might not literally mean that, it might mean something else, even though it is definitely not something positive.”
His comments on the saga were not quite well received by Singaporeans who posted on his Facebook page threatening not to vote for him in 2016.
However, Mr Baey does not seem to be bothered and said he still stands by his views, as well as his intentions, although he is more mindful of how people might read into the things he says.
“Ultimately I think I want people to judge me over a longer period of time. It’s a lot more about what I do and what I say. Look at me as a person, what my values and views are, and whether they are consistent… so I’m taking it in my stride; I cannot let (the incident) hamper what I need to do in the constituency because I shouldn’t,” he said in response to queries from Yahoo News yesterday.
Mr Baey’s latest comment on the fiasco did not go down too well with netizens who continue to lampoon him.
Tampines resident “Bert” was disappointed with Mr Baey:
“Mr Baey, all the while, you sound sensible as an MP. Now you are talking nonsense. Why foreigners first? PAP said Singaporeans will come first before others. You are my MP in Tampines. You let us down by your nonsense statement. Please retract your statement… and admit mistake on your part if you said that in the spur of the moment…”
“Why should a foreigner be place on equal standing with a local student if they are of the same standard? Even if the local is slightly below the foreigner, it is still right to favour the local and not the foreigner. We didn’t pay taxes and send our sons to serve NS for 2 years so that the govt can give our money and sacrifices away to feed all these foreigners who only use this country as a stepping stone and looking down on us?”
During a parliamentary session this week, it was revealed that the Singapore government spends some $36 million dollars on scholarships to over two thousand students each year, or about S$174,00 per scholar. However, only 45 percent of the foreign scholars obtained Second Class Honors and above as compared to 36 percent of locals.
Foreign scholars like Sun Xu at NUS and other Singapore universities have their tuition fees and living expenses all covered by their scholarships. They are also guaranteed a well-paying job upon graduation as part of their bond and the men are exempted from National Service unlike male Singapore citizens who are burdened with a hefty tuition loan and rendered uncompetitive in the job market by their mandatory reservist obligations such as IPPT and ICT.