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Actor Shawn Thia’s parody video satirizes DPM Wong’s emotional succession message

Netizens amused by Singaporean actor Shawn Thia’s satire video where he plays ‘Wawrence Long,’ resembling DPM Wong. In the video, ‘Long’ aspires to be a musician and not the PM but, upon realising the PM’s salary, “feels honoured” to serve.



Singaporean actor Shawn Thia (程家颉) recently posted a parody video on his social media platform, humorously mimicking Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong’s video response to the announcement of his succession as Prime Minister of Singapore.

Last Monday, Singapore’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) officially announced PM Lee Hsien Loong’s decision to step down, with DPM Wong slated to succeed him on 15 May 2024.

Shortly after the Monday announcement at 4 pm, Deputy Prime Minister Wong promptly shared an emotional video message on his social media channels, seeking the support of Singaporeans “in shared vision as one united people.”

“Wawrence Long”, donning an AC/DC tee, wants to pursue his own dream

However, Shawn Thia on the next day also uploaded another parody video, satirizing the original video message by DPM Wong.

The parody video humorously depicted the “unseen” footage of a political figure named “Wawrence Long,” portrayed by Shawn Thia himself, during the recording of the emotional video message.

In the video, “Wawrence Long,” bearing a striking resemblance to DPM Wong, recited a script similar to Wong’s video message: “My fellow Singaporeans, when I was invited into politics back in 2011, I did not expect myself then to serve as the Prime Minister of Singapore.”

However, “Wawrence Long” soon questioned himself, saying that he didn’t even want to become PM.

The director (also portrayed by Shawn Thia himself) had to intervene, reminding “Wawrence Long” to adhere to the script.

“Wawrence Long” then asserted that “every ounce of his energy shall be devoted to the service of the country,” and assured Singaporeans that “their dreams will inspire his actions.”

Yet, speaking of dreams, “Wawrence Long” hesitated once more, revealing his own aspiration to be a musician when he was younger.

“You know, when I was younger, I really wanted to be a musician,” said “Wawrence Long”.

Interestingly, in real life, DPM Wong, also Singapore’s Finance Minister, is known for his passion for music and skill in playing the guitar.

Once again, the “director” interrupted, emphasizing that “Wawrence Long” is on the verge of governing a nation, and his musical pursuits must cease.

“Wawrence Long” then argued, “Do you think I play the guitar on social media to be relatable? No, I play so that people will call me for their next gig.”

“I mean, everyone deserves to change their dreams, right?” he questioned, frustrated by the contrast between his aspirations and the fulfilment of others.

“I’m out, I’m out,” he exclaimed, his frustration boiling over. “I don’t care anymore; I want to be a musician!” “Wawrence Long” yelled, and at the same time took off his white shirt to reveal an AC/DC rock band T-shirt underneath.

However, the director, seemingly receiving a message, informed “Wawrence Long” of the authorities’ announcement regarding the Prime Minister’s annual salary, displaying it to him.

Subsequently, the scene portrayed “Wawrence Long” seemingly coming to terms with reality, calmly completing the recording.

He read the script and conveyed to his audience that he felt honoured to serve as their PM.

“Let us move forward as one Team Singapore,” “Wawrence Long” concluded, a few tears visible in his reddened eyes.

The camera shot also captured a guitar lying in the corner, adorned with a note stating “Lawrence’s – do not touch.”

Netizens amused by “Wawrence Long” parody

The parody video has certainly captured the attention of netizens and has gone viral beyond Shawn Thia’s social media page.

Many are amused by Shawn Thia’s portrayal of “Wawrence Long,” noting its “uncanny resemblance” to DPM Wong in real life.

Some mocked that the video humorously depicts how salary keeps “Wawrence Long” on the “right track” despite his desire to pursue a music career.

A netizen has offered comfort to “Wawrence Long,” suggesting that with his high salary, he can surely afford to indulge in his passion for guitars.

It’s worth noting that Singapore’s ministers are among the highest-paid in the world. The Prime Minister, in particular, receives an annual salary package that includes a 13th-month bonus, an Annual Variable Component (AVC), and a National Bonus.

According to the Public Service Division under the PMO, the PM’s annual salary is set at two times the MR4 benchmark, amounting to S$2.2 million.

Meanwhile, some netizens also lauded Shawn Thia for including the poignant “crying” moment in the parody video.

In March 2020, Lawrence Wong, who was the National Development Minister and co-chair of the multi-ministry task force handling the COVID-19 outbreak, shed tears during a parliamentary session.

He emotionally praised frontline workers, including healthcare professionals, for their exceptional dedication and sacrifices during challenging times.”

Bloomberg columnist: Wong’s guitar skills unlikely to aid his premiership duties

Following the succession announcement, Singapore’s state media provided extensive coverage of the city-state’s leadership succession last week, featuring analyses and expert opinions that commend Wong for his ‘compassionate,’ ‘data-driven,’ and ‘consultative’ approach.

However, in an opinion piece for Bloomberg, columnist Karishma Vaswani cautioned that Singapore is entering uncharted territory following PM Lee’s departure.

She warned that the global landscape Singapore faces could be more precarious than ever before, and emphasized that Mr Wong will need to bring fresh ideas, wisdom, and experience to effectively lead the country.

Vaswani suggested that while Wong is known for being sincere and hardworking, he will need more than that to handle diplomatic challenges effectively.

Interestingly, Vaswani quoted Ian Chong, a non-resident scholar at Carnegie China and a political scientist at the National University of Singapore, who remarks on Wong’s lack of a clear political vision.

“We know the hobbies of the new prime minister, but we don’t know what he has planned for the country.”

“It’s a bit strange that the person taking over, and has had ample time to lay out a path, has yet to do so. Perhaps what that tells is you that no one in the government knows yet,” said Ian Chong.

Ms Vaswani acknowledged Wong’s popularity on social media due to his guitar skills but suggested that such talents are unlikely to prove useful in his new role as prime minister.

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Oo shawn thia want mediacorp to give him the best ever actor award for next year. Dun know if the public want lhl to be pm or lawrence wong to be pm.

Nice but hope that’s the end of it and he won’t be harassed in anyway. Kudos to a great performance. However no one can be forced to take up a position they did not want. It is all about choices and LW did want to be PM just like CCS, GKY and OYK. Everyone in employment wants to be promoted. So congratulations to LW. He has “aplenty,” clean up to do after his present boss. Wish him well for the sake of us the citizens.

Share your ideas. Share your passion and dreams.

Mr Wong, can share your salary or not?

Uncle’s getting really tight on money lah, every thing’s now very expensive loh.

Honored to serve? can he take $20,000 a month salary?

Future for Singapore? 2023 most of the jobs go to foreigners.

Housing? Most of the HDB lease running to zero years soon.

Prospects ? very deem

Population growth? Mostly imported citizens.

Food Costs? Keep rising.,,,what else?

What do you think?

Will this priceless parody be applauded and laughed off as it should be and so intended, or, … will this regime’s sense~less of humour~less demeanour insist on an apology for the umbrage caused !!!

Bloody great way to begin the week though, … loving it👍