SINGAPORE: Progress Singapore Party (PSP) secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock has outlined serious ambitions for the upcoming General Election - to win the support of voters and lead as many of his party’s candidates into Parliament.
However, the 80-year-old has not forgotten to embrace the lighter side of outreach, trying to engage younger Singaporeans online with lingo such as “woke” and “hypebeast”.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a walkabout at Bishan North Shopping Mall on Thursday (Jul 2), Dr Tan said: “That is a new generation’s style. I might be of chronological age 80, (but I think my) physical age is younger. At the end of the day, I connect very closely with the youth. I love the youth. I love the young people.”
A former general practitioner, Dr Tan was the MP for Ayer Rajah for 26 years, when he was with the People's Action Party (PAP). The ward is now part of West Coast GRC.
READ: GE2020: Tan Cheng Bock will not take up NCMP seat, calls scheme a 'ploy' to entice voters from opposition
He is now leading PSP’s charge to wrest the constituency from the PAP. And he is confident that his age is no barrier for him to connect with the younger voters.
Dr Tan’s Instagram page has almost 12,000 followers, more than double that of his party’s page. In recent posts, he has been interacting with followers regularly, asking them to send videos on why they love Singapore as well as replying to different comments.
In a video posted on his page on Thursday morning, Dr Tan did a shoutout to some of his followers, and said: “All of you are hypebeast, like me right?”
Hypebeast is a slang term generally referring to a trendy person or one who is devoted to acquiring fashionable items, especially clothing and shoes.
Dr Tan first used the term in a video on Tuesday, and wrote in the caption: “My young friend Jenny taught me ‘young people new words’. I am a hypebeast person. I hope you are too.”
The post garnered more than 22,000 views. One Instagram user commented: “The ultimate hypebeast” referring to Dr Tan while another wrote “this is so adorable”.
On his post on Thursday, Dr Tan also acknowledged another Instagram follower for introducing him to the term “woke”.
“You’ve taught me a new word - woke. It means that I was retired, now I am woke,” said Dr Tan.
The term is slang for being aware of and attentive to important issues in the community, especially issues relating to race and social justice.
Dr Tan also wrote: “I just woke up but it’s not the same meaning. I know … if you see me at a walkabout today, say hi and tell me i'm WOKE.”
When speaking to journalists on Thursday, Dr Tan noted that he was not resistant to new ideas while campaigning as well.
“I have to respect the new style, new terminology. I'd never heard it in my life but now I’ve got to get into the picture. It’s very interesting. Now you all cannot talk in your new lingo, (because) I (will) also know,” he said, responding to a question on the format of the PSP’s e-rallies.