The Government held a motion in Parliament on Monday to congratulate Joseph Schooling on the Olympic gold medal he won on 13 August in the 100m butterfly final at the Rio Olympics 2016.
Parliament Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth Baey Yam Keng, MP Holland Bukit Timah GRC Christopher de Souza, MP for Aljunied GRC Sylvia Lim, and the President of Singapore National Olympic Council Tan Chuan Jin gave words of felicitation to Joseph Schooling and his family, Colin and May Schooling.
Ms Sylvia Lim said that "the winning, which may seem effortless to us, was the result of a lifetime of discipline, training, and sacrifice. However, Joseph parents' took a big part of his winning for giving him the security to enable him to pursue his dreams, supported his passion for the sport, and tirelessly fought for his cause. They did not take the easy course of asking him to abandon his passion and buckle down to more conventional paths of success."
Mr Baey said he was glad that the spexScholarship and Race to Rio programme have helped Joseph and the rest of the Olympians fly the country's flag.
He also stated that in a few weeks the largest-ever Paralympics contingent, 12 athletes across 6 sports, will be sent to Rio.
Mr Christopher said that Singaporeans of all races, Chinese, Malays, Indians, and others, were cheering to see his winning and were proud to see the Singaporean flag on Joseph's cap.
However, netizens lambasted the motion held by the government. Most of them criticised the act and said that it was only riding on Schooling's victory.
Schooling's father had spent more than S$1 million of his own money for his son to come to this stage in his sporting career. However, the government only came in to help just before the "finishing line", while Baey in his speech emphasized on how the SpexScholarship awarded to Schooling in 2013 helped him to further his success.
Bear in mind that the motion does not hint in any way that efforts to support sporting individuals will be in improved.
The motion was shown live on Channel News Asia.
Min Zheng wrote, "hello CNA can do better editing or not? This is supposed to be a proud moment for the Schooling family and you didn't even show them in the end but focused on all the MPs only?"
Here are some of the comments written by netizens criticizing the action by Parliament:
- Chris Loo wrote, "Of course! They are riding on his achievements and claim credit if not for them to defer pls la it's his Mother who fight relentlessly for issac not the Mindef!"
- Robert Tan said that Schooling has proved to the Govt and its leaders that locally bred Sporeans can bring glory to SG n not necessary FTs. It is a good gesture to acknowledge his achievement publicly in parliament but pls don't claim credit.
- "Standing Ovation from a bunch of ministers that doesn't know anything about sports and athleticism, doesn't believe in Sports and probably still don't," wrote Bernard Sim.
- Danson Ong said, "Best actors and actress not from Mediacorp Leh! But the whole parliament is the best actors and actress!! Haha Wayang kings and queens! Hahh"
- "Ya ya but where were the govt when Joseph was working hard on his mission to be the Gold medalist? He look so tired, let him go home & have his much deserve rest. CONGRATULATIONS JOSEPH SCHOOLING. The govt should exempt you from NS!" wrote Lydia Ziqri.
- Kovs Sky Chai said that American and Russian politicians would have developed a palmful of blisters if they were to do that to their gold medal athletes. We live in a bubble. He's done well, but there is no need for such dramatic treatment. Not when his father was the one who funded his son entirely for his trainings.
- Skye Chuan Hui wrote, " Congrats Schooling n his family. His family did the most in supporting him, not the government. Pls wake up Singapore government!"
- "They did nothing to assist in his achievement, and only when he won, and they tried do stuff to celebrate and 'claim ownership' on his victory," said Ken Koh Hsien Ming.
- Staley Tan said, "Despite not much support given to him, not much aid and financial support was given to him compare to others. And with his parent strong and capable background. He manage to pursue his dream. Despite all this, he didn't turn his back against his country and bear no grudge. He proved he can do it. I only hope, everyone also bear no grudge, leave it behind. Although I know they only like to wayang wayang. Hope relevant department win look into this on the local youngster who have the potential but come from a weaker background."
- Gov should sponsor his education and training for promising sports men like Schooling and scholarship said Ceril Chan.