Old and new friendships and the secret to social media engagement: What politicians are up to this week

SINGAPORE – The Straits Times appears to be like at what politicians, and the politically associated, are up to in this weekly collection.

In this version, we check out MPs catching up with their counterparts from round the world, and decide up some social media ideas from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who this week celebrated 10 years on social media and has greater than 1.7 million followers on Facebook.

Look out for the newest version of the collection each Friday, and try previous ones right here.

Meeting mates right here…

Top of the political calendar this week was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s three-day official go to to Singapore.

During her go to, Ms Ardern and PM Lee introduced a new space of collaboration in local weather change and the inexperienced economic system, following their assembly at the Istana.

Other politicians additionally used the alternative to meet up with Ms Ardern.

Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) tried his greatest to cover his pleasure as he headed to a gala dinner with Ms Ardern, held at Gardens by the Bay on Tuesday (April 19), saying in a put up that he had at all times needed to meet her and was excited that Singapore and New Zealand will work extra carefully to struggle local weather change.

This was adopted the similar night by a wefie with Ms Ardern.

Two Cheshire grins in two images: somebody will need to have been somewhat starstruck!

No chief go to is full with out an change of state presents, a practice carefully tied to the delicate work of worldwide diplomacy. But private presents have a spot too.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, who was accompanying minister for the go to, shared footage of the presents that each ladies exchanged earlier than Ms Ardern left on Wednesday for Japan.

Ms Indranee gifted Ms Ardern with regionally designed and crafted eco-jewellery – a pair of asymmetrical earrings from Amado Gudek made out of bioresin and native fallen wooden – whereas Ms Ardern offered her with a compact umbrella with seascape art work by Kiwi graphic designer Greg Straight.

“She assured me (it’s) storm and wind proof!” quipped Ms Indranee.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition and Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh stated on Tuesday that he took a courtesy name at Parliament House with the Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore, Dato’ Dr Azfar Mohamad Mustafar.

They mentioned developments in Singapore and Malaysia, and additionally talked about the a lot anticipated reopening of land borders between the two neighbours – which happened on April 1.

Also on an official go to right here this week was Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi, who known as on PM Lee and met with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and different leaders.

This was the Johor Menteri Besar’s first official journey to Singapore since he took workplace final month.

On Monday, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee posted about breaking quick with Datuk Onn Hafiz and Minister for Transport S. Iswaran, the place they chatted about strengthening bilateral cooperation between Singapore and Johor.

…And catching up overseas

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who’s on a 10-day go to to the United States to attend the Group of 20 and World Bank-International Monetary Fund (IMF) conferences, additionally used his journey to meet with outdated mates resembling Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, whereas making new ones like Turkey’s new Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati.

He additionally met with International Finance Corporation (IFC) managing director Makhtar Diop. The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group that’s centered on private-sector improvement in much less developed international locations.

Mr Wong stated: “Besides discussing collaboration in digital innovation, agritech, the run-up to COP27; we also spoke about our hobby – I play the guitar and Makhtar is an avid bass player. Might show him our jazz scene the next time he comes to Singapore.”

COP27, or the twenty seventh United Nations Climate Change convention, will probably be held in Egypt this November.

Mr Diop additionally caught up with one other Singaporean pal. On Thursday, he tweeted about his enjoyment of assembly once more with Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the World Bank.

“We talked about the importance of #water security within the climate agenda and areas for collaboration in this space,” he stated.

On utilizing social media

On Wednesday, PM Lee stated it had been precisely 10 years since he launched his social media accounts.

“It’s been a fun, surprising, instructive, and at times, bewildering (why did this post get such a strong response while that one didn’t?) experience,” he stated.

In the video, he shared some ideas: “There are times when you have to be light-hearted, there are times when you see a beautiful sunset, you share it with people and you hope they will enjoy it with you.”

Mr Lee has additionally saved up an everyday stream of images – typically taken by him – with the hashtag #jalanjalan the place he shares locations he has visited.

He additionally often asks his followers to work out the place he has taken the footage with the hashtag #guesswhere, or posts an image of one thing taken in a novel angle with the hashtag #guesswhat.

His mini video games could have impressed a few of his parliamentary colleagues to do the similar to interact their very own followers.

On Tuesday, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing snapped a photograph of himself throughout his morning train and requested followers to “Guess where?”

Several Facebook customers acquired it proper – it was at one-north Park in Central Exchange Green – and Mr Chan confirmed this two hours later.

Last Thursday, PM Lee’s fellow Ang Mo Kio GRC staff member Nadia Ahmad Samdin stated she went for a web site go to with officers from the Land Transport Authority and her neighbourhood committee to look into site visitors flows, accessibility, parking and questions of safety.

She noticed a photogenic little area on her method again to the neighborhood membership and appeared to take a leaf out of Mr Lee’s playbook.

“Guess where in Cheng San – Seletar?” she stated, utilizing the formal title for the division she is in command of.

Several surmised that it’s the neighborhood of the JVCKenwood constructing in Ang Mo Kio Street 63, however Ms Nadia has but to verify.

It seems Mr Chan has been the higher scholar thus far: Mr Lee often offers the reply key a pair hours after every #guesswhere quiz.

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