One particular performance in all the many years of Chingay stands out in terms of spontaneity – when twelve new members of Parliament (MPs) gamely performed a hip-hop dance for Chingay 2007 in an effort to bridge the generation gap with young people and promote social cohesion. Collectively known as P65 because these young parliamentarians were all born after 1965, Mr Teo Ser Luck, the leader of the team, Dr Lam Pin Min, Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Mrs Josephine Teo, Ms Jessica Tan, Mr Michael Palmer, Mr Christopher de Souza, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Mr Hri Kumar, Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef and Mr Baey Yam Keng.
THE BIGGEST STAGE Recalling the mass performance five years ago, Mr Teo said, "This was a rare experience. We picked up something new to us, and in the process we strengthen our friendship and trust with one another. That performance also marked a new milestone in terms of MPs’ participation.” Adding on to Mr Teo’s reflection of the event, Mr Baey recalled that after committing to this performance, everyone's attitude was optimistic despite being new to hip hop dance, keeping their focus on working hard to exemplify the spirit of youth and learning new things, despite their age.
Determined to perform impeccably, the MPs diligently rehearsed ten times in three months. So imagine their relief when they learned about 300 winners of the Hip Enough to Hop – a hip-hop competition leading up to the Chingay Parade – would be performing alongside them. The adage, “the more the merrier”, certainly held true in this instance!
PUTTING THEIR BEST FOOT FORWARD Their busy schedules however, meant that not all 12 MPs attended rehearsals at the same time. It was only on the night of the actual performance that everyone was present and dancing together. “We had two stage appearances over two parade nights at Orchard Road. The first time, I was perhaps too nervous and danced to the wrong beat. Luckily I was able to catch up and end the show on a high note,” recalled Mr Baey. He believes he highly-energised hip hop dance has shown the audience that MPs are just like anyone else, making the time and effort to contribute to the festive spirit of Chingay and celebrate the festivities together with the people.
Adapted from: Tales of Chingay – Celebrating 40 Years of Chingay
Written by: Lim Hai Yen
Translated by: Ong Hui Fang