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Christmas wish list: Lifetime VIP card for all true-blue Singaporeans, because they deserve it

Sense And Nonsense by Tan Bah Bah




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All in a party mood? Of course. No time for long story?  Enough of POFMA, at least during the next few days?  Ok, Millennial, Gen Y, Gen Z and Boomer, I will give everyone just a short and anyhow hantam piece, off the head, really.

Here’s a Christmas wish list which will also count as the New Year wish list (same same):

Special lifetime VIP card for every true-blue born-and-bred Singaporean (100 per cent, not PR converts)

The card will entitle them to

  • Non-negotiable priority over any foreigner in jobs and entry to local universities, all things being equal
  • Maximum benefits due in every government programme, without having to fill any form
  • Special queues in all immigration points
  • Special seating sections in all F and B outlets
  • Free lessons to master and excel in English Language, the real and only useful language to succeed in Singapore and all over the world
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And whatever else netizens can suggest. So go ahead, everyone, Singapore awaits your suggestions.

Mind your public speaking skills, 4G leaders

As they step up, they have to stop relying on Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy to get by. The 4G team should undergo more training on how to speak properly, especially in English, in public, and brush up their communication and debating skills. Don’t be scared to take on Opposition politicians in neutral public forums.

Get our sports act right

Pitch for the Asian Games. The late Law Minister E W Barker got us the right to hold the games in the 1980s but we had to give that up because we were not ready. We should be now.

Give the FAS whatever it needs to build up a decent crowd-pulling national football team, otherwise, the SportsHub will surely go to waste.

What happened to you, Shaw Organisation and Cathay Organisation? Time to give back

The owners of Shaw Organisation and Cathay Organisation should get together to start a super studio to put Singapore back into the Asian film industry. They have produced super blockbusters in their illustrious pasts and had such iconic studios as Cathay Keris and Shaw Studio.

Don’t waste what their giant founders had achieved. Pay back, don’t just play safe and be satisfied doing mundane commercial activities. People like Runme and Run Run Shaw and  Loke Wan Tho were anything but mundane, they were larger than life.

Bring back the inter-varsity/inter-JC debates

Maybe one of the reasons our leaders have declined in their public-speaking ability is the lack of practice or even benchmarks to inspire them. The inter-IHL and JC debates which were telecast live have been part of many Singaporeans’ childhood memories. A number of the older ministers had taken part in the debates in their student days, including Law Minister K Shanmugam and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. The top-down armed forces and numbers-crunching ministries may not be the best places to practise the art of winning hearts and minds.

Will someone start writing a book each on these Singapore personalities:

Rose Chan
Anita Sarawak
Francis Seow
Zoe Tay
Lim Yew Hock
Han Suyin?

Please get ready for the coming general elections

Read up as much as possible what all the parties would be saying. Read beyond the mainstream media which will be pro-PAP.  Social media is here to stay and will play a vital role in public discourse. Listen to all sides.

With that, I wish you Merry Chistmas and Happy New Year. This column will take a one-week break. See you in January 2020.

Tan Bah Bah, consulting editor of The Independent.Sg, is a former senior leader writer with The Straits Times. He was also managing editor of a local magazine publishing company.

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