Ho Ching’s role in the Singaporean political scene has always been a little bit of an enigma. While she is not an elected official and has no official role in government apart from being Mrs Lee, she is also the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Temasek Holdings, a powerful company that potentially sits at the cusp between a private and public company.
Her appointment as CEO has been seen by some as a conflict of interest given that her husband is the Prime Minister of Singapore. Temasek Holdings itself has also long been mired in controversy over the alleged opaqueness of its assets and liabilities and how much its CEO gets paid.
She has also seemingly participated in meetings where unelected officials and other wives do not participate in.
To add to her CV, Madam Ho also appears to be a frequent Facebook (FB) user, publishing so many posts a day that some have speculated that it is not personally posted by her but by a bot. As an individual without an official elected role in government, why does she need to be so active on governmental issues on FB? Particularly when some of her posts have potentially upset diplomacy!
Take the recent “errrr mask saga” for instance where Madam Ho wrote, “Errrr…” in regards to a news article that states that Taiwan is donating face-masks to Singapore which generated furious backlash from the Taiwanese.
Ho has caused other online controversies as well. For example in 2019 when she shared an FB post showing her support for the Hong Kong police at a time of great civil unrest in Hong Kong. Given that she is married to the Prime Minister of Singapore and also CEO of the most powerful company in Singapore, shouldn’t she perhaps be more circumspect in her online postings?
Her social media content is read and will be read and followed by millions of people. It, therefore, has the potential to cause great upset within international communities some of which could affect the well being of Singapore.
In view of this, is it necessary for her to generate so many posts a day?
In the first place, shouldn’t there be Out-of-Bounds (OB) markers for what a Prime Minister’s spouse should or should not do online? As our country battles the corona virus and the tensions that come with it, perhaps Madam Ho (or her bots) should post a little bit less.