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Taylor Swift takes over Singapore politics, as ministers and MPs try to liven up Parliament with references to pop star

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As Taylor Swift mania sweeps into Singapore amid her electrifying sold-out performances at the National Stadium, the feverish excitement spreads far beyond the superstar’s adoring fans.

From politicians weaving her lyrics into their parliamentary addresses, to social media buzzing with Swift-inspired posts, Singapore finds itself immersed in a “Love Story” with the global pop sensation.

Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Gerald Giam questioned the government’s decision to use taxpayer-funded grants to attract artists like Swift to Singapore on Monday (4 March).

In a nod to Swift’s style, Giam asked, “Did the government negotiate to make Taylor Swift’s Eras tour the only ‘blank space’ in Southeast Asia, and did it realise that this may be perceived by some of our neighbours as being mean?”

 

He referenced Swift’s song “Blank Space”, in which she sings about leaving a metaphorical blank space in her life for a new lover.

Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Edwin Tong responded with a touch of wit, saying, “I’ll try not to make my answer the 10-minute version”, in a playful reference to Swift’s extended version of “All Too Well”.

Manpower Minister Tan See Leng also joined in the fray during his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate on Monday, referencing Swift’s hit “You Belong With Me” to highlight his point about empowering workers.

“As Taylor Swift aptly puts it,” he said, “Tell me about your dreams, think I know where you belong. I hope, Members of the House, it is with Forward SG. We will empower Singaporeans to seize their dream career opportunities by helping them take charge of their career health.”

In response to Radin Mas MP Melvin Yong’s questions about workplace safety measures, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad likened Singapore’s aim for sustained safety improvements to Swift’s long and illustrious career, saying, “You don’t want to be called a one-hit wonder, you hope to be Taylor Swift with 20 years of success.”

During his address on Tuesday (5 March) on maintaining Singapore’s global branding and international stature, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan invoked Swift’s lyrics from “Shake It Off,” declaring, “We will be lightning on our feet.”

His statement emphasised Singapore Tourism Board’s commitment to strategic initiatives aimed at attracting world-class events and making Singapore an attractive destination for leisure and business.

During the same session, Workers’ Party MP Jamus Lim also integrated Swift’s lyrics into his question, questioning whether Singapore’s first-mover advantage in securing events might negatively impact foreign relations and lead to perceptions that the city-state is “hoarding the pie.”

Lim said, “And of course, haters are gonna hate hate hate, but I’m wondering to the extent that STB will work with MFA or other agencies to manage this potential fallout when it comes to international relations.”

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong’s Music Tribute

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong joined the chorus of Taylor Swift admirers by sharing a throwback video of himself strumming a guitar to the tune of Swift’s “Love Story”.

Wong’s heartfelt performance, dedicated to teachers on Teachers’ Day last year, served as a tribute to their dedication and hard work.

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