Creative Weekly: When Political Scandals Inspire Art
Politics in Singapore is usually a boring affair but when it rains, it pours. Never have there been so many Members of Parliament (MPs) resigning within just two days, from both the ruling party and the opposition. June-July 2023 was also a very busy period for the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), which investigated three ministers.
While many articles and think pieces have been and will be written about these scandals, it is also fascinating to unpack the creative visual content inspired by the drama. Singaporeans are a creative lot, with both professional artists and casual memers posting their take on social media to lighten the mood amid a sea of bad news.
For those who do not keep up with local political news or history, I added some context so it is easier to understand and appreciate the content.
A Good Citizen
This strip references the scandals and imagines Founding Father Lee Kuan Yew’s reaction to the news, based on his famous “I will get up” quote.
Not only does LKY start to spin from his grave (idiom), his anger powers the electricity grid of Singapore - a nod to the logo of the Political Action Party which features a lightning bolt.
Toasty imagines PM Lee’s disbelief after discovering the shenanigans of the politicians. From the left, we have:
• The Ridout Road Bungalow Saga involving Ministers K. Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan - CPIB cleared them of any wrongdoing in late-June
• Minister S Iswaran’s corruption probe - investigations ongoing as of end-July
• Extramarital affair between Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui - both resigned on 17 July
• Extramarital affair between Aljunied GRC MP Leon Perera and Workers’ Party leader Nicole Seah - both resigned from the party on 19 July and Leon from parliament
SemiSerious suggests a Third Party be set up to house these politicians involved in extramarital affairs. Former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer, MPs David Ong and Yaw Shin Leong can join them!
Sonny’s strip explores how Singapore’s politicians can achieve absolute incorruptibility, and he digs way back to LKY’s comment that “introducing monogamy was stupid” in 1987.
The ramen chain offered Tan Chuan-Jin and Cheng Li Hui an e-voucher for one ramen bowl each to “talk things out”, following a similar stunt in GE2020 when they offered the same e-voucher to potential candidate Ivan Lim after he withdrew himself from contesting. Although the Ivan Lim post largely drew laughs, netizens were split on whether the latest “offer” was done in good taste. Maybe that was why Leon Perera and Nicole Seah were not issued vouchers.
@memewatchsg A walk down the memory lane of affairs amongst Singapore politicians #tiktoksofsg #tiktoksg #sgfyp #fypsg #tiktokmemes #singapore #singaporetiktok #singaporememe #singaporememes #sgmemes #sgmeme #memesoftiktok #sgviral #sgtrending #sgnews #sgnewsupdate #papsg #chenglihui #tanchuanjin #sgpolitics #sgparliament #singaporepolitics #singaporeparliament #singaporeimagine ♬ Dj Unholy (Remix) - WPWWex
@politiks.sg #tcj #politics #sgpolitics #sgtiktok #singapore #pap #populist #chenglihui #scandal #lhl #leehsienloong #leonperera #nicoleseah #wp #chanchunsing #ccs ♬ original sound - RICO_EDITS
an episode from singapore’s ministry of (home) affairs♬ original sound - cut me some slack pls
Hopefully this post will inspire you to follow local political affairs (no pun intended hor), if you have not already. It will be such a waste if we let the wittiness of our artists fly over our heads.