“I want to work in the government. If I’m part of the government, I will stop deforestation and plant more trees”, Miya said. “Can I interview a government official?”
I am bowled over by Miya’s request. I know it’s just another kiddy-ambition, but it will be nice to let her meet and learn from a government official.
In June, I receive a message reply from Louis Ng1, Singapore Member of Parliament, “Would be delighted to be interviewed by her. If she wants, she can tag along with me for my events, home visits etc. and she can experience what it is like to be an MP.”
Yay! We are very honoured that Louis personally replies and agrees to our request for Miya to interview him, and he invites Miya to join him for home visits in Nee Soon East.
I think to myself, “Home visits! This is a great chance for Miya to volunteer her time and learn to contribute to the community.”
I prep Miya about the home visits, “Miya, you got to remember, when you visit people in their homes you got to be respectful. You are not there to play, you are there to visit them, to find out about their problems and their needs. You need to greet everyone you meet, and you need to learn to speak less and listen more. It’s going to take about 3 to 4 hours, and you may feel tired. No matter how tired you are, you got to give your best ok?”
“Ok Mama, I can do it”, Miya smiles cheerfully. Kids are awesome, they are so positive, so fearless, and not worrisome at all. I know I need to have faith in her, because she has way more positive energy than I do.
On the day of the Saturday home visits, we meet Louis at 9am at a void deck. Louis tells Miya that he and his teammate are going to get some exercise, they are going to skip the lift, and walk up the stairs to the top of the 20-storey building. Miya is so excited, she wants to follow Louis and his team member to climb the stairs to the top level. My husband, Zion and I follow them, and halfway through the journey to the top, I am the only one who takes the shortcut - I leave the stairway to take the lift.
I get to the top level, and wait for the rest to arrive at the stairway. When Miya arrives, I say, “Sorry Miya, Mama is too tired with climbing the stairs. Halfway through, I take the lift to get up here. Are you tired?”
“I’m ok Mama. I’m not tired”, Miya beams.
During the first home visit, we get to meet a resident and her pet parrot. Miya is amused by the smart par-rot that speaks in Cantonese. At another visit, Miya meets a little girl about her age, and they immediately become friends and sit side by side each other, chatting and playing iPad games.
Most of the time, Miya listens attentively to the conversations between Louis and the residents. Some-times, she is tasked to take group polaroid pictures and present them to the residents. Overall, she behaves rather well, except for a few occasions where I have to remind her to mind her manners, especially when she watches TV programmes in the houses, instead of focusing on the residents’ conversations.
When the home visits end at about 12-ish, we take a group photo of Miya, Louis and the Nee Soon East team members. We say goodbye to the team members and proceed to the fitness area for Miya’s interview with Louis. When the interview ends, we ask Louis where he is heading next.
“I’m going to buy lunch for my family, spend some time with my wife and daughters before heading out again.”
After Louis leaves, Miya says, “It’s not easy being a Member of the Parliament. It’s very tiring.”
I reply, “No work is easy Miya. Uncle Louis has to juggle between working with his team, assisting the residents and spending time with his wife and 3 daughters. It’s not easy to manage so many responsibili-ties everyday, and this is a great experience for you to learn from Uncle Louis and his team members to experience the reality of work-life.”
Miya looks at me and smiles, “I think, I want to be a police woman.”
Miya, Zion and I are very grateful and thankful to Louis and the Nee Soon East team members, Tan Meng, Jackie Lim Eng Wah, Kosni Binte Sulaiman, Kam Itt Cheem, Janelle Loh, and Tan Teck Chye for their hospitality and kindness extended to us, and here’s “Episode 2: Miya Interviews Louis Ng”!
Coming Soon… Episode 3: Miya Interviews A Wedding Couple!
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