Metal catalysts are generally supported on hard inorganic materials because of their high thermochemical stabilities. Here, we support Pd catalysts on a thermochemically stable but "soft" engineering plastic, polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), for acetylene partial hydrogenation. Near the glass transition temperature (similar to 353 K), the mobile PPS chains cover the entire surface of Pd particles via strong metal-polymer interactions. The Pd-PPS interface enables H-2 activation only in the presence of acetylene that has a strong binding affinity to Pd and thus can disturb the Pd-PPS interface. Once acetylene is hydrogenated to weakly binding ethylene, re-adsorption of PPS on the Pd surface repels ethylene before it is further hydrogenated to ethane. The Pd-PPS interaction enables selective partial hydrogenation of acetylene to ethylene even in an ethylene-rich stream and suppresses catalyst deactivation due to coke formation. The results manifest the unique possibility of harnessing dynamic metal-polymer interaction for designing chemoselective and long-lived catalysts.