In this profoundly cringe-inducing video, Filipino student Harvey Campos suffers an epic smacking down by Singapore Elder Statesman and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. During the question-and-answer segment of some sort of convention, Campos had attempted to inquire into how Lee’s work was influenced by his late wife (jumping of the “old adage” that behind every successful man is a woman).
Lee responded by saying that he was there to discuss public matters and not family matters.
Campos was clearly out of his depth in the presence of the Elder Statesman. He…
(1) Spent an unnecessary amount of time introducing himself and his personal circumstances, within which time he;
(2) Weaved a lame attempt at flattery into his protracted lead up to the point he was going to make which, as it turns out;
(3) Was completely irrelevant to the objectives of the forum.
Suffice to say, Campos grossly misread the situation and, most appallingly Lee himself.
This episode is reminiscent of the Filipino celebrity journalist Ricky Lo’s gaffe while interviewing Les Misrables star Anne Hathaway last year.
Like Lo, Campos fell into the trap of regarding Lee through the lens of a typical way Filipinos communicate with celebrities or people of stature. Rather than step up to speak at their level, it seems a common approach Filipinos take is to try to bring the level of the dialogue down to a more comfortable but substandard level of discourse.
You can swear, these episodes were something that came straight out of a Ricky Gervais script.
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