Not sure if you’ve heard, but it’s the Budget season! This is the first time Heng Swee Keat is giving the Budget as our new Finance Minister, and just like past years most Singaporeans don’t give a crap.
Unfortunately though, some of us have to face colleagues or friends who like to act as if they know current affairs. PAP this, SDP that. TPP here, Panama there.
So no choice – sometimes we have to engage these posers and act as though we know what they’re talking about.
But don’t worry! We’ve prepared a list of buzzwords you can use, to appear knowledgeable about this year’s Budget.
Immediate problems; usually used in business context. So things like rental costs, manpower shortage or cashflow problems.
For example, forgetting your best friend’s birthday is a near-term concern because he’ll probably be annoyed for one day. But forgetting your girlfriend’s/wife’s birthday is a long-term problem because she’ll bring it up. Every single time you argue, for the rest of your miserable life.
The ability or intelligence to make more with less. Somewhat like efficiency, but slightly different.
For example, some people can gain weight just by breathing in air. That’s called being productive. Others lose weight just by farting. That’s being efficient.
Trade Associations and Chambers
These are groups of (mostly) old men who seemingly gather for no other purpose than to eat catered food together. But instead of calling it “dinner”, they like to call such gatherings “annual general meetings”.
So they’re somewhat like the groups in Mean Girls, except hairier.
Help older Singaporeans stay active, be it physically or mentally. So like Facebook Groups, but for old people. And also in real life. Probably in void decks.
The thick skin to tahan difficulties, and to try and solve them.
So for example, when your girlfriend/wife remind you that you forgot her birthday x years ago, being resilient means you bow and apologise again. Despite the fact that you have already apologised for the past x years.
If the above cheat-sheet doesn’t help you impress your poser friends, you can always go with these tried and tested lines that can describe every single Budget in the past, present and future:
This year’s Budget is a prudent one.
On one hand, the Budget introduced many measures to help alleviate many short-term concerns that many Singaporeans have. On the other hand, the Budget will also help to navigate many long-term problems the economy may bring.
Outgoing Defence Chief, Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng, has announced his intention to enter politics. Nobody knows where he will be contesting in, but given his background as a fighter pilot we expect a lot of parachute jokes when his next battleground is confirmed.
In the meantime, here are 5 little-known facts that may interest you about the latest high profile PAPpie:
LG Ng’s oldest brother, Ng Chee Khern, was previously a two star general with the RSAF. His younger brother, Ng Chee Peng, also wore two stars on his epaulets as the Chief of Navy.
Combined with the three stars that LG Ng has, the Ng family has a total of 7 stars within the family.
Curiously enough, LG Ng Chee Meng is the only one out of the three brothers to not receive the President’s Scholarship, yet is the one who rose the highest in his military career.
4) One of his past jobs was Military Private Secretary to the Defence Minister
He was the Military Private Secretary to the Defence Minister back in 1995/1996. The Defence Minister back then? Current President Tony Tan.
We can’t seem to find any information on what a Military Private Secretary actually does, but we came across this article where another Navy guy described his experience. He didn’t say much, except that the experience gave him a glimpse of the vast scope of important responsibilities our Cabinet Ministers hold.
5) His current children will not need to serve NS
Keep your tinfoil hats, conspiracy theorists.
The reason why LG Ng’s children would not need to serve NS is not because their father was the head honcho of the SAF. Both his kids would not need to serve NS simply because they’re both girls – Sara Ng and Elisabeth Ng.
Of course, both of them can always volunteer after the Committee of NS (which LG Ng led) suggested the addition of the SAF Volunteer Corps…
It is quite a lengthy video, so its forgivable if you decide against watching it. Basically, WeePie/AHPETC chairwoman Sylvia Lim proclaims that the AHPETC‘s latest financial report only has 3 unresolved problems, as opposed to the 13 problems highlighted in the previous year’s report.
Just 3 problems, no big deal here! Because you know, 13 problems is okay, 3 problems is excellent, and 0 problem is simply a pipe dream.
Of course, someone with a mind as sharp as DPM Tharman’s would disagree with that logic.
Describing AHPETC as a structurally unsound house, DPM Tharman ask that the WeePies put in the hard work needed to fix the problems, and not to simply whitewash everything. He added that the problems at AHPETC are fundamental and basic issues that need to be looked at, and said that the WeePieshave had a long time to fix these issues.
Oh, and DPM Tharman revealed that the problems at AHPETC are so bad that even MND’s $7 million grant would not be enough to solve the issues.
The WeePies have not responded to this latest salvo, but we expect that any statement from AHPETC would simply say that they would be submitting their financial report in due course.
If we’re lucky, the AHPETC or WeePies would once again lament the life as an opposition town council, chide DPM Tharman for politicising the issue, and complain that MND is withholding the grants.
Because, you know, complaining about problems is much easier than actually fixing them.
And now WeePie Sylvia Lim seems to have taken a leaf out of the PAPpies playbook – her first Instagram post featured the WeePies chairwoman enjoying a plate of orh lua (oyster omelette) at the Fengshan hawker centre.
Our local media, ever so hungry for every morsel of election-speculative news, dug in with much relish.
Both The Straits Times and TODAY ran stories speculating that Sylvia Lim might be leaving her Aljunied GRC, and branching out into the new Fengshan SMC. This suspicion, according to both papers, was supported by Sylvia Lim’s cryptic hashtag ‘#reasonstowin’.
In any case, she is still the chairman of the AHPETC. Sylvia Lim’s face was the one that represented AHPETC throughout their entire exchange with the government over AHPETC’s financial situation, and it be irresponsible of her if she were to leave her colleagues in the lurch.
Lastly, this is just someone going out to enjoy a plate of orh lua. Perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into it, and let her enjoy her dinner.
Infrastructural problems are difficult to solve, and it seemed like these were the ones which caused the major breakdowns. Unlike other politicians overseas, Lui never seemed to shy from the trouble and always visited the affected stations to observe the situation.
And he’s not just an observer. Have you heard the constant announcements that trains are moving slower now because of track renewal works? That’s his team trying to fix the infrastructure problems. Things take time, and he has started work on it a long time ago.
Unfortunately, personal abuse never stopped and we’ve now lost a full minister. Our impatience has a price tag – an honest, earnest and determined man who tried his best to solve a difficult problem.
It is a very old tale from the 16th century, and remains extremely popular even today. I mean, most kids would immediately know what we’re talking about when ‘Journey to the West’ is brought up right?
Perhaps in an effort to ride on this five-hundred year coat-tail, the government roped in some getai singers, a marquee director in the form of Royston Tan, and a PR agency to produce this abomination of a video:
Yes, that is just a screencap of the actress looking embarrassed, probably because the video is that bad.
Here’s a summary of the video, so you won’t have to watch it – an old lady portrayed by a getai singer has health problems and is worried about healthcare costs. Another getai singer appears to explain that she need not worry because there’s the Pioneer Generation card now, while performing fake somersaults amidst unnecessary tacky animated clouds.
The government is not alone in trying to steal concepts from this classic tale.
Such reshuffles are common though, and should come as no surprise.
What really surprised us was the odd re-drawing of boundaries. You see, people are always accusing the PAPpies of re-drawing boundaries to benefit themselves by either breaking up opposition strongholds, or drawing boundaries such that it is difficult for opposition parties to compete.
Today, they did neither.
Smaller GRCs and more SMCs mean that it would be easier for opposition parties to compete because they can now form smaller teams for the smaller GRCs or send one individual to fight in an SMC. One of these SMCs, Macpherson, is also likely to be contested by PAPpie Tin Pei Ling, who wasn’t very popular last time round. The opposition parties must surely clamor to compete in this new SMC.
Aljunied GRC, Hougang and Punggol-East were left completely untouched, giving WeePies the chance to stay there and consolidate their support. We wouldn’t be surprised if the senior WeePies like Mr Low Thia Khiang and Ms Sylvia Lim stay there, and send their now-experienced colleagues like Mr Chen Show Mao and Mr Pritam Singh to lead their own GRC teams.
Yes, the new boundaries essentially mean that WeePies can strengthen their current constituencies while competing in new areas.
If the PAPpies were really trying to give themselves an advantage with the new boundaries, they may have goofed it up.