The PAP: New faces, unseen faces
The front page of The Straits Times on 22 March, and 29 March:
Both stories feature the new crop of politicians that the ruling PAP (People’s Action Party) is fielding in this year’s General Elections – rumoured to be taking place sometime in May, or even as soon as late April.
Notice the difference ?
The picture of Desmond Choo, Ong Ye Kung and Janil Puthucheary (top) has them up close, smiling, relaxed. In other words, looking for all the world like their victory is assured, a troika supremely confident of their qualifications for, and chances of, leading the country. PAP men indeed.
The one of Tin Pei Ling (bottom), however, in a rare departure, presents a view of her back instead. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone’s back on the front page of ST. Not only is her visage occluded – which is unusual for a politician in the news, especially up-and-coming ones gracing the front page – the photograph actually shows her being grilled by a bunch of reporters, their mics literally shoved into her (unseen) face. It looks less like a meet and greet, and more a press conference to announce some scandal or disaster or other.
Actually, ‘scandal’ wouldn’t be a bad way to put it. Ms. Tin, all of 27 years old, has been on the receiving end of much flak – for her youth, her perceived inexperience, her juvenile deportment and, most damning of all apparently, being married to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s private secretary.
Is The Straits Times‘ er, rearview image of her to be understood as visual commentary then ? How crafty.
Shoutouts to ?? and XY for the links.