Sunday, December 25, 2011

Seng Han Tong comments on Blog.TV

Seng Han Tong comments on Blog.TV which has sparked an outcry islandwide continues to be hot topic on the internet.

I am disappointed with Seng Han Tong. My disappointment with Seng Han Tong is not because of his comments (actually I know he intended to quote from SMRT staff) but because, as a veteran politician, he does not know how to choose his words well before saying, hence this furore.

Mr Seng is good in Chinese but I think his spoken English can be further improved. I still recall MP Charles Chong's comments a few years back about "lesser mortals" when he was asked to comment on the Permanent Secretary Tan Yong Soon spending of tens of thousands of dollars on a fine cooking course in Europe, again  that caused a huge furore then as a result of confusion of this phrase "lesser mortal" which is not understood by the public.

In fact, the phrase "lesser mortal" which was so coined by Charles Chong is still so popular today that if you type "lesser mortal" in Google, you will see top results attributed in one way or so to Charles Chong.

Till now, I am not sure what "lesser mortal" means. There does not seem to be proper English in the phrase itself. Is "lesser mortal" a sub-species of human being? I am not sure but I know another Charles: Charles Darwin is the person who proposes the evolution of human species.

I think Charles Chong meant when he says "lesser mortal" is someone who may not be earning as much as what Permanent Secretary Tan Yong Soon earns, but when he use "lesser" with "mortal" it does not bode well to Singaporean who see this phrase together.

In fact, I even found this Youtube video on the internet.

To conclude, I think MPs should think before they speak for the result of speaking incorrectly in this online society can be a bad public relation incident.

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