What the PAP’s reaction to their own horror video tells us

Nobody has a doubt that the YPAP video is pretty much the definition of FAIL. Nobody except the guys on the PAP Facebook page. Why a bunch of young, motivated professionals with connections to people in media, politics and government couldn’t outdo a secondary school project is still a mystery to me.

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The carefully worded but terminally hollow response.

How to dissect this? Let’s see… first it is clear that the video was from the last Party Convention, so it gives us a gauge of what sort of tone that convention probably took. And then someone, apparently satisfied with the production quality, decided to upload it for the world to marvel at. Or maybe they were desperate for content on their YouTube channel. Very, very desperate.

Then the most cryptic line of all: “Not some new underground marketing tactic”. So it’s not new? Or is it not underground? Or is it not marketing? Or is it not tactical? Perhaps it is the exact opposite – an overplayed, in-your-face, pointless brain-fart? Hm, that actually seems to fit. Wow, I’m starting to see the political genius behind that statement.

Add to that the fact that the comments try so very very hard to pick up where the official PAP post left off, and you get this amazing insight of the PAP organisational mind.

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1) The ground matters more (because that’s where the video’s standards are at). Clearly they don’t see the connection between the ground and the video because someone said…

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2) They don’t understand what we’re really doing! Does anybody understand what we’re doing? Certainly not after this video. Which hints that PAP application of public communication is limited to making justifications.

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3) Sincerity is all that matters! You can be a dismal failure as long as you try your best. New PAP mantra? Thought it should be the opposition mantra.

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4) Non sequitir cheerleading and bandwagoning. The Brick Tamland reaction. Solidarity; sense be damned.

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5) It’s the opposition’s fault! Probably the only thing you can blame the opposition for at this point is for not putting enough pressure on the PAP, which led to the party not being on their toes.

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6) It’s the audience’s fault! We always communicate perfectly. It’s everyone else that has a problem with their eyes and ears.

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7) But here at least is a straight-shooting comment by Anthony Kan. The Fabrications About The PAP “czar” actually sees the issue for what it is – poor communications and a poor, defensive PR follow-up. A video that was unfit for public consumption was publicised, and then the party threw itself behind the gaffe to support it. Time to reflect.

Therein lies some hope for the bumbling communications efforts of the PAP. It’s a pity that nobody has replied to Anthony’s comment yet.






  1. So you’re a ruling party with vocal online detractors. What do you do? Take a rambling, unpolished video intended for internal consumption, slap on a meaningless management speak title “Re-ignite the Passion of Servant Leadership”, provide no background to the clip “No description available” and publish it.

    But of course.


    1. The primary gaffe was the publication of the internal video on YouTube, but nobody seems to have noticed or addressed it. What happened to the famed gatekeepers?


      1. no gatekeepers cos they dint think it was bad. jaw-droppingly so.
        they thought it was good. sincere. appealing. noble.
        hence the snarl from james above.
        which underscores that they can’t take criticism.
        also, that they lack humility and refuse to learn from their mistakes.

        they don’t realise they speak hi falutin’ doublespeak.
        they don’t realise they come across as unnatural, abnormal…crude.
        (why on earth were two of them carrying small guitars?)
        it’s frightening actually that not one of them could see all this.
        i guess it proves – none so blind as those who will not see.
        it definitely explains the lack of foresight we got a sorry for.

  2. Some of the people in the video work as media/communications professionals. Why they can do a better job out of it is beyond me.


      1. Says plenty about the passion involved if there were media/communications professionals present and basic stuff like the sound editing and subtitle consistency couldn’t be fixed, You are communicating “I couldn’t care less, let’s get it done and over with” instead.

      2. They couldn’t communicate their passion, they couldn’t communicate their message (is it a commemorative video, a call-to-action, a declaration of the YP manifesto?). It took an article in today’s The New Paper to clarify fully what they were trying to say.

        They couldn’t even get past Communication 101.

  3. I get a feeling that the PAP is filled with socially awkward dullards with very low EQ. And some of them are running this country at this very moment.

    I blame the education system.

    Stripped of individuality and original thought, they engage themselves in groupthink under the political party which champions authoritarian rule.

    I can actually see squirming from some of the YPAP participants in the video. They must have been reluctant, but nevertheless had acceded to ‘orders from above’.


  4. All the coordinated and manufactured words of support from ministers and MPs – all with the words “raw” or “unpolished”. A wayang that has gone wrong being “excused” by another wayang, but from their seniors.


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