More good news for Singaporeans. It’s cash bonus time. What am I going to do with the extra $200 I am getting? I will donate it to charity of course.
But I must be honest. I did think about putting it to a new iPod nano for my wife, and she said, “what will the other MPs think? Besides I don’t work out to music, so it’s ok”.
The Budget’s $1.8 billion surplus turning into $3 billion worth of cash payouts for Singaporeans is really something. I mean, if you do the Math (which I’m not good at), you will see that mathematically, that is an impossibility. Kudos must be given to the people at MAS and MOF. They can crunch numbers so well you get $3 out of every $1.80.
We must give credit where credit is due. Even where debit is due in this case. Just like Jayakumar said yesterday in the papers. One slip up doesn’t mean we discount all the good work we have done.
I like the fact that we work as a team so well. MHA is struggling with the Mas Selamat incident, and Jeya steps in to boost their Home Team Morale. We can’t just depend on the Home United Football Club to boost the people’s morale because not that many people watch the S-League, especially after the recent scandals.
And when there is something important, like the Pedra Branca incident, we get Jaya and Tommy Koh to take George Yeo’s place.
In fact, we get a lot of other people helping George Yeo out, because the Foreign Ministry is a big responsibility. I mean, it’s not just local matters the ministry has to deal with. It’s the whole world! And lately, there has been so many things happening in the world too. Every MP should be capable enough to step in as a Deputy Foreign Minister to help George Yeo out, especially in cases of FTA and other negotiations where Singapore needs to benefit from.
That is what teamwork is about.
Having said that, I am under pressure to brush up on my Math. I don’t know how to explain to my constituents how the Government used their secret formula to calculate how much money was enough to cover the increase in the costs of living per household. I know that if I don’t buck up, I will just keep getting shuffled across the backbench. I overheard one Old Timer (haha, you think only Old Timers know how to eavesdrop?) talk in front of my back, saying that I’ll be out before 2011, and that I was only good enough to be “Permanent Secretary For Meet The People Sessions”.
One of my nephews, who is still young and headstrong, is a vocal opponent of the government and our policies, and is also my most vocal critic. He told my wife (she is very fond of him, saying he’s very smart) that I have been shuffled across the backbench so much I must have a lot of splinters in my backside.
I laughed when I heard this. Because I think humour is a very important tool in difficult times like this. We really mustn’t take ourselves so seriously. Besides, the backbench has leather seats, so how to get splinters, I ask you?
The other day, my wife told me that the rice we were eating was not as fragrant. So I asked the maid how she cooked the rice in the new rice cooker I bought. I thought she didn’t put the automatic settings properly. You know how maids are. The countries they come from don’t have such high tech appliances, so it takes time for them to learn.
It turned out that our maid had taken the liberty of buying cheaper brands of rice for the household instead of asking for more money for groceries.
The lesson here is that she is struggling too. But she has taken the initiative to adapt and make do. I am very proud of her initiative, and I have asked my family to buckle up and eat the less fragrant rice for now.