Last night, my mother called me and asked, ‘hey, what is this Singapore Armed Forces Veterans’ League?’, to which I replied with my usual confident bluster, “No such thing!”, which got Mum all worked up:
“Har? No such thing? But they got logo everything you know? And they asked me for donation!”
“It’s a scam, Mum, report police first thing tomorrow morning!”
Of course, the exchange went for longer than that, you know how conversations between mothers and their sons are – this kind of exchange would go on for a good five minutes, mostly consisting of repeating each of the two lines above, twice, and ending with a flourish, which, this time, came from me in the form of:
“I’ve been serving national service since 1989 and I’ve never heard of the SAFVL, Mum! Report police! Make sure har?”
It is very very fortunate for the world’s best champion gold medal gun-jumper to have, by his side, his constant companion, his better half, if you will, who has in her possession, a brain.
I was asked to google the SAFVL, and voila, we found that it is a living, breathing organisation, well at least for the veterans who are still doing so.
But I was still curious. Why would the SAFVL solicit money from businesswomen like my mother? Shouldn’t something like SAFRA take care of all that? And why was my mother invoiced for $1000, and when she informed them that she couldn’t ‘support’ by giving $1000, was told by the woman on the line, Ms Jenny Poh, that she ‘should be more patriotic and supportive’ of the SAFVL’s cause?
More patriotic? Can my mother be more patriotic? How dare you insinuate that my mother is not being patriotic enough? She’s seen her two sons serve national service, nearly getting killed and all that, without lifting a single finger to send either of them to a specialist to get them medically downgraded from active combat and support units!
You call my mother unpatriotic? I curse you the old Hokkien one which goes something like, “next time you born baby no backside!”