Mothers are outraged… oh alright, my mother said I should not speak with absolute certainty because you know, never say never? SOME mothers are upset today by the remarks of Mr Cheo Chai Chen from the National Solidarity Party (NSP).
(Yes, that party that has been in the limelight for different reasons during the past weeks, ranging from New face Kevryn Lim, two recent resignations from Hazal Poa and Mohamed Fazli Talip, and yes, Steve Chia, he who lost to the trolls.)
According to Today newspaper, the 64-year-old former Nee Soon Central MP, Mr Cheo Chia Chen, had said:
The PAP’s Tin Pei Ling has been working very hard. But she has just given birth, so voters should let her go home and rest, and take care of her child. In general, mothers love their children, so they spend a lot of time with them. If voters choose her, she might focus more on her child than on her voters. This is her weakness.
Whoa…. Say what….?
What about the rest of the working mothers? And what the repeated effort and calls for stay-at-home mothers to return to the workforce? *OUCH….!*
(credit: Tin Pei Ling’s Facebook)
Tin Pei Ling, contesting under the People’s Action Party, in a three-cornered fight for the single-seat MacPherson ward with Mr Cheo and Mr Bernard Chen, 29, from the Workers’ Party. She has just given birth to a son, Kee Hau, on Aug 5, and this is her first child.
Anyway, Tin Pei Ling did not take that lying dowm. Here’s her comeback via a Facebook post.
To be fair, when asked about his remarks later, Mr Cheo had reportedly said,
It was a joke. I did not mean it to be taken seriously.
He sounds more like a joke to me, to be honest.
Nice to see her PAP cadres backing her up.
And lo and behold!
That’s riiiight! NSP’s own Kevryn Lim is a single mother! So even she has something to sad to her party-mate,
Here are some reactions from the people I’ve spoken with.
Cos NSP has no strength to prove, they can only try to attack other’s strength to bring them down
– Ms Deng XH (20s), Sales & Marketing Manager
Motherhood, for all its well-documented joys has become a point for envy, resentment and guilt lah.. Every mother, working or not, struggles and envies what the other has, Everyone is thinking and making their own choices, Mothers should be respect for that, even if it means that the outcome is different from what you believe in
– Ms Ird (20s), Asst Manager / Mother
Precisely that she is a working mother that she will understand the difficulties faced by working mothers and can implement and fight for more help for them. On the other hand, Mr Cheo had just proven that he’s still in the olden mindset and cannot embrace changes. Will he apply the same standards to other issues that is also not within his expected standard way of things?
– Ms K.T (30s), Homemaker / Mother
Trying to pull down your rival via such statement gives me second thoughts about this man as he is skewing towards sexual discrimination instead of focusing on what he can do as an individual or a man for thepublic. If he cannot practice equality in fair competition, I am worried how fair will the public and working mums be treated under his reformation, should he gets the votes. If it’s just on the statement itself, one word – ridiculous. Being a mother requires a woman to be strong, a working mother even more so. As such, finding a balance in life also equates to striking a balance in policy making. It’s more of a strength than weakness.
– Ms B.L (30s) / Banking Professional
I always respected working mums as they do not only need to cope in the office sphere, they have to double up in the private sphere as well. It’s such an irony how due to the tight labour market and the increasing cost of living, women are encouraged to work. Likewise, due to the declining birth rate, women are encouraged to have more children. Yet now, at this point, they are trying to undermine the contribution of Tin Pei Lin and all that she has done just because she gave birth. I always feel like women also get the shorter end of the stick in everything and that includes career. And the way NSP took this as a point shows how narrow minded he and his party is? It’s like shooting their own foot?
– Ms G.F (20s) / HR Professional
I think it’s quite an insult to working mums if he put his words this way. Nothing wrong with working mums, and I thought his party has a single mum as well? I thought she wanted to fight for the benefits of mother? In such a case, she should jolly well how much hard work n efforts have to be put into and not using such words to boo the other party. Yea, they are contesting in my estate! But I won’t give them my votes. First, I already don’t have a good impression of the female candidate in his team, though I do agree that single mums should be given more support and help, but there are still certain things that should be restricted as well though. So his words fight upon on TPL is really.. bite his own backside. Talk without thinking.
– Ms E.T (20s) / Student
I asked a couple of men too!
This comment is cruel and inconsiderate by Cheo Chai Chen. It is chauvinist . For an elderly person and a seasoned politician like him to utter this as a joke, it is quite shameful. Well at least he now attract all the hate-comments from all quarters and to think that it is funny in the first place and not be taken seriously at all- the electorate too knows not to take NSP seriously as well.
– Mr D.L (40s), MD
His concerns is definitely unfounded. I take being an MP as another kind of job, just that it is on a bigger scale. We have seen many successful women who held big portfolios on MNCs and still managed to juggle work and being a homemaker. It is, after all, about time management – akin to how regular people with regular job (and some with long working hours) manage their schedule. I don’t see her less of a mother by becoming an MP, or less of an MP when she is a mother. With proper time management, she can have the dual role and still be effective in the respective capacity. It is never about a person’s marital status that defines one’s capability. A capable person, could be taking care of many children and ailing parent, yet still holding a full-time job and excel in it – because she has a system to manage all these roles effectively.
– Mr B.M (30s), Account Manager