Royal couple ‘told activities staged for their benefit’
SINGAPORE, Sept 14 — What Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine saw at Queenstown was a display of community activities and cultural diversity, and they were told that such activities do not always take place at the time of their visit.
Tanjong Pagar GRC Member of Parliament Indranee Rajah, who showed the royal couple around during their visit to the estate on Wednesday, clarified this yesterday after netizens mocked the staging of activities like tai chi and silat at the estate for the visit.
Blogger mrbrown had posted a blog entry titled “So. Much. Wayang.”, showing the contrast between two photographs of the event.
The first photograph showed an empty exercise corner and playground before the royal couple’s arrival, with a waiting crowd cordoned off on one side.
The second showed a flurry of activity after the royal couple arrived at 2.45pm, with children playing while others exercised. The visit lasted for about 30 minutes.
Ms Rajah said that the photos were taken out of the context. “The presentation was a collaboration between HDB and People’s Association. We want to show the royal couple the latest generation of Singapore’s public housing and to exhibit our community activities as well as the multiracial, multicultural aspect of life in Singapore.
“At one point during their visit, Prince William asked me whether it is common for senior citizens to practise tai chi in the playground. I told him yes, but not at 3 in the afternoon.”
She also told the Prince that silat is usually practised for performances.
Ms Rajah added that the park was empty before the royal couple’s arrival because the citizens participating in the presentation and welcoming parties were kept away from the afternoon sun while they waited. — Today