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MSM and PAP-linked website try to paint a nice picture of PM Lee at Botanic Gardens

Straits Times (ST) published a news report on Monday (‘Photos of PM Lee Hsien Loong enjoying an evening with family at Botanic Gardens go viral‘, 8 Apr) highlighting that photos of PM Lee seen relaxing at Botanic Gardens had gone “viral”.

PM Lee and his family were at a public concert performed by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in Botanic Gardens on Saturday evening (6 Apr).

ST quoted one Facebook user saying, “The Prime Minister’s family is just like yours and mine. He was sitting on a picnic mat, and his wife was lying on the grass… He was also just like a typical grandfather, snapping photos of his grandchild. Taking selfies too.”

Another Facebook user Violet Han Ying Ng reported by ST saying, “So heartwarming.”

Yet another user, Eng Ai Tan, was quoted saying that Singapore is fortunate to have a down-to-earth prime minister. “It is our country’s culture. No matter who you are, you are also part of citizens of Singapore,” she said.

Mothership.sg, a website founded by former PAP Minister George Yeo, also joined in to paint a very relaxing and grandfatherly-loving image of PM Lee in their article (‘PM Lee’s grandfatherly side photographed by onlooker as he entertained grandchild at Botanic Gardens picnic‘,8 Apr).

The article displayed photos of PM Lee taking pictures of his wife as well as a selfie on himself. Furthermore, Mothership.sg reported a Taiwanese woman sharing photos of PM Lee on WeChat.

“She wrote in Chinese that the responses to the photos were in praise of PM Lee, as he did not exhibit any distance with the other members of the public and it portrayed a down-to-earth persona,” wrote Mothership.sg.

“She also wrote that even though some might view his actions as pretentious, it is hard to deny that what he is doing can win the hearts and minds of people. She also wondered how can Singaporeans seated around the prime minister remain so calm.”

Alternative views of PM Lee photos

However, not everyone praises those photos of PM Lee taken at Botanical Gardens. On reddit.com, some netizens commented:

shimmynywimminy: Slow news day?

bonkers05: Elections coming. Must show the every man side.

lycheeforlunch: Brought tears to my eye when I read the comment about being a “typical grandfather”. In the meantime his nephew is facing criminal charges while his sister-in-law is facing a tribunal. Besides that all is fine.

sangrilla: Typical grandfather but not a typical uncle

otio2014: ST: post pseudo-tabloid crap in extremely transparent bid to earn brownie points

FitCranberry: whys st writing about old ppl in parks, is this a homelessness piece or something

huikang: What is the definition for “viral”? I am cringing at that word.

AureBesh123: ST is a virus

And on Facebook:

Essentially, one Facebook user said sitting next to PM Lee were actually plainclothes policemen and another agreed. The Facebook user also pointed out that every time when there is a concert presumably referring to those free ones held at Botanical Gardens, it will always be crowded. Very rarely that it will be not, the person said.