I have often said that the G needs better communication, and finally Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng is championing my cause by asking for better communication and the study and application of behavioural insights. These disciplines are core to the marketing practice.
Baey is a communications industry professional in parliament at a time when the G and his party have their feet so far up their mouths that the laces are coming out of their ears. Some make the mistake that he is a PR professional, since he has spent the last several years at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, but a look at his resume indicates that he probably has most of his experience there doing strategy and management rather than execution and communication.
Nonetheless, he has spent a long time in the corporate marketing and communications environment, although I personally would chalk up his earlier EDB, MICA and NAC roles as… probably not so much to shout about.
Still, the proof is in the pudding. He successfully deflected the $2.50 Nasi Padang Incident by turning it into an win-win charity opportunity, and earned begrudging “Asian dad” approval from his critics (although some remain derisory) and has earned a reputation as someone who is approachable and not out of reach with his penchant for Instagram gym selfies. These ender him more with the younger generation – a generation that tends to be critical and unsupportive of the G.
Sadly, his political resume is also telling. Despite being one of the most qualified communicators in the PAP, he only holds a handful of GPC appointments, and apart from great speeches like this one, hasn’t seemed to be able to sway the room from doing things “the old way”.
Dammit, Baey – have all those selfies hurt your standing among the Men in White? When will they ever learn?