Singapore’s Education Minister picks the incident of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock as a teachable moment, and in doing so, wins positive reviews from Facebook users.
During the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, Will Smith walked onstage and slapped presenter and comedian Chris Rock after Rock joked about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head with a reference to the film G.I. Jane.
In 2018, Pinkett Smith was diagnosed with alopecia and later shaved her hair off due to the condition. Smith then returned to his seat and yelled to Rock, twice, to “Keep my wife’s name out your @#$% mouth!” Later in the night, Smith was named Best Actor for King Richard and apologized to the Academy and the other nominees, but not to Rock, in his acceptance speech. His acceptance speech, in which he appealed to God calling on him to do “crazy things” in the name of love was described as “dangerous, self-serving cant” by the British magazine The Economist, which also noted that he received a standing ovation from the audience for his comments.
Rock declined to press charges against Smith. Following public backlash, Smith issued a formal apology.
Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on 29 March, took the incident as a teachable moment and weighed-in with his two-cents.
He said: “Read about the act that unwittingly stole the spotlight at the Academy Awards yesterday. Young children often ask me what they should do when others make fun of them or their family members. Others wondered how they should respond to bullying. It surely hurts. There is often the temptation to retaliate.”
Chan then recounted a nugget of wisdom he gathered from a child he spoke to.
“Always remind ourselves that if one needs to make fun of others to feel good about themselves, then that unkind act itself is a reflection of the perpetrator’s insecurity and lack of confidence, rather than any inadequacies on the part of the victim. Indeed, by not allowing ourselves to be victimised and saddened by such unkind words or deeds, we counter the perpetrators’ attempts to create misery in others for their purposes.”
Chan received many positive reactions from Facebook users who responded to his post. Gwee Li Sui, who is a prominent literary critic not only liked Chan’s post on Facebook but also endorsed him to be the 4th Prime Minister of Singapore.
According to Party insiders who spoke to this publication, Chan has won the race to be the next Prime Minister of Singapore. Chan was made the Education Minister on 15 May 2021, about a month after the announcement that Heng will not be the next Prime Minister of Singapore was made. He has better won the trust of some people since moving to this Ministry.