By The Way

Mentors, recuperation and an appearance by an ex-MP: What politicians are talking about

The Straits Times looks at what politicians, and the politically related, are up to, in this weekly series. PHOTOS: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM

The Straits Times looks at what politicians, and the politically related, are up to, in this weekly series.

Mentor and mentee bond keeping strong

Looks like one of the closer mentor-mentee relationships here in recent years is going strong.

On Monday (Jan 10), Manpower Minister Tan See Leng posted about how he met up with Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong to have dinner at a newly renovated cafe in Marine Parade - Dr Tan's current ward and ESM Goh's former one.

He gave a shout-out to the work that GoodLife! Makan in Marine Terrace does to foster interaction between younger residents and their seniors, and thanked the team for hosting him and ESM Goh.

Dr Tan, who was elected in the 2020 General Election, understudied ESM Goh for two years before taking over his seat.

The recent dinner is just the latest in a long line of engagements - and meals - the duo have had together, which include sunset wefies and snaps at the beach.

Not long after the election, ESM Goh said in a Facebook post that Dr Tan still updates him regularly about his work in Marine Parade. Dr Tan also invites his senior to community events, including a National Day and Long Service Awards ceremony at Joo Chiat Community Club last July.

The duo also appear to share a passion for cakes. ESM Goh previously posted about how he and Dr Tan shared a banana cheese cake at a PS Cafe outlet. And on ESM Goh's 80th birthday last May, Dr Tan sent him a cake of his favourite kueh.

"The green kueh salat is courtesy of Minister Tan See Leng. My favourite kueh, and his too. Glad that See Leng is bonding well with the Marine Parade people," ESM Goh said.

Sometimes, getting rest is best

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng shocked many when he revealed last week that he had been diagnosed with Stage 1 nose cancer two months ago and had been undergoing treatment.

He told The Straits Times that in spite of this, he intends to keep to his routines as much as possible, and Mr Baey appears determined to do so.

Eagle-eyed viewers of Parliament earlier this week spotted him in the House, and on Tuesday, he took to Facebook to let his followers know that he was doing well.

"I excused myself early from Parliament sitting yesterday to go home for lunch," he said. "I then took a nap before working on my e-mails."

The extra time he set aside for himself seemed to have done him good, as he said it gave him enough energy to attend to residents' concerns during a virtual Meet-the-People Session that evening.

On Thursday, Mr Baey said that he had less than 10 radiation treatment sessions to go and will complete 35 of such sessions on Jan 26.

He shared that each session lasts just seven minutes and does not cause any pain or discomfort, but the daily routine and side effects can take a toll.

Mr Baey thanked the team of radiation therapists at the National Cancer Centre, including one who he said guided him through the procedure, prepared him for the side effects and encouraged him to persevere.

“Sometimes, when I had to adjust the timing, she would accommodate my requests. It’s a blessing to all patients to have such dedicated healthcare workers be there with us,” he said.

Budget and chill

Most folks are used to seeing Finance Minister Lawrence Wong in a formal setting, delivering updates about Singapore's Covid-19 situation as co-chairman of the task force tackling the disease or suited up in Parliament.

But earlier this week, netizens got a closer look at a more relaxed Mr Wong in  a comfortable polo T-shirt and boat shoes - quite a departure from his usual disposition.

The minister took to Instagram on Monday (Jan 10) to upload a series of videos featuring him chatting with four Singaporeans about Budget 2022, which he will deliver on Feb 18.

"Every year, the Government comes together to discuss how we prioritise our finite resources. These discussions last a few weeks, and range from how we will continue supporting Singaporeans now, to how we will also build a brighter future for all," he said.

Stressing how the Budget is about Singapore and its people, Mr Wong said that he has been sitting down with different groups of Singaporeans to hear both their hopes and dreams, and also their needs and concerns.

This is not the first time Mr Wong has shown his lighter side via social media. He has been known to post about his guitar playing on Instagram, the latest being on Dec 24 when he jammed to a Christmas tune.

He said then: "Playing the guitar helps me to unwind. So I have a 'jamming corner' in my room. And since it's Xmas, here's a little tune to get you in the festive mood :)"

Blast from the recent past

A Facebook post by Associate Professor Jamus Lim on Sunday (Jan 9) left some wondering: How recent is recent?

The post, pegged to a visit by the Workers' Party (WP) team in Sengkang to a church in the area, was intended to highlight the important work that religious institutions play in the community.

"As part of our continuing effort to connect with various religious institutions in #SengkangGRC, #TeamSengkang recently visited Sengkang Methodist Church (SKMC), the only Christian church in #Anchorvale," said Prof Lim.

But some netizens were left confused after seeing it, as the photos attached curiously showed that Ms Raeesah Khan was part of the visit.

In all three pictures, Ms Khan could be seen as part of the WP team that visited the church, alongside Prof Lim and his fellow group representation constituency teammate, Mr Louis Chua.

Ms Khan had resigned from the WP last November after she admitted to lying in Parliament.

Some, such as Facebook user Choo Hong Peng, ventured that she could still be volunteering with the WP.

Another user, Jeff Tan, asked: "Why Raeesah Khan still follow (the group), (didn't) she resign or step down from WP?". He was not alone, with at least five other netizens posing similar questions.

Prof Lim addressed this in the comments section, and clarified that the visit was before Nov 30 last year.

"Yes, the visit occurred before her resignation," he said.

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