Actor's spoof stirs online buzz

By Koh Hui Theng

PAP's youngest candidate Tin Pei Ling, 27, was flogged by netizens and hogged the headlines when a picture of her clutching a Kate Spade box surfaced online.

Now, a set of similar photos is generating a buzz online.

In the latest issue of entertainment magazine 8 Days, MediaCorp actor Tay Ping Hui was photographed in similar poses, cradling a similar Kate Spade box.

Clad in white on white, the ruling party's shade du jour, the Young PAP member grinned happily with his prize catch. And netizens were quick to weigh in on the obvious spoof.

A tweet by daphenmaia on Monday said: "Who's cuter? I'll go for TPH (Tay Ping Hui)."

Don Heng said: "Speechless. I guess he's not really planning on joining the PAP after all."

Another netizen Dexter Wong asked: "What is (it) with Kate Spade and PAP MP wannabes?"

On the HardwareZone forum, huhster gave his two cents worth: "No TPH or TPL (Tin Pei Ling), I choose TBT - Tak Boleh Tahan (I can't take it anymore in Malay)."

When contacted, Tay sounded bemused by the public reaction to the photos. He said the idea was conceptualised by the magazine.

Tay , 40, said: "This shoot was not meant to insult anyone. I went along with it because it was meant to be fun, tongue-in-cheek. There was no malice.

"In fact, in the article, I defended her and the onslaught she experienced."

Tay himself was on the receiving end of some nasty comments when he joined the PAP's youth wing.

When there were rumours that he might run for Parliament, he had to deal with comments like "bloodsucker" and "how much does he want to rip us off".

But what does Ms Tin herself think of the spoof?

She said with a laugh: "No, I haven't seen the cover yet. In fact, I didn't know about it until you told me. It's quite a good dose of humour."

Ms Tin, who's part of the team contesting Marine Parade GRC at the elections, added: "My focus has always been on the ground. At this moment, I have a clear priority that's to focus on (working) the ground at MacPherson."

This article was first published in The New Paper.