Friday, May 25, 2007

Today is "Eat With Your Family Day"

The Singapore government has designated 25 May 2007 "Eat With Your Family Day". Given that this week is also Kindness Week, today is a really special day. I wanted to take my mom out for some good satay but couldn't find a kind satay man who would serve me 25 sticks of satay if I asked for 40 sticks so I had to settle for mee siam - it turned out the mee siam man was kind enough not to add any 'hum' into my mee siam.
Singaporeans are so busy making money, we need a day designated by the govt to "eat with our families". We used to have more time for family but given wages are rising slower than the price of condos and cars, the only way to make the Singapore Dream come true is to work longer hours. I used to think that the whole idea behind getting to 1st world status is so that we have more time for family, friends ..and better retirement. BUT I WAS WRONG!!!. Our extraordinary leaders probably figured out the whole scheme of things. Resources like cars (quota) & condos are considered scarce in Singapore. The harder we work, the harder we have to work to own them. Get the idea? ...If we get to top 1st world status, condos will probably be selling for $4000 per sq foot in land scarce Singapore and I'll probably have to work 2 jobs just to own one. You get the logic? The whole idea of progress in Singapore be it getting to top 1st world status or Swiss standard of living, is to get Singaporeans to work harder...and harder longer and retire later. In Singapore, the result of progress is more hard work for ordinary Singaporeans.
I leave you with a story so that you can appreciate the great plan the PAP govt has for all of us. The profound logic is embedded in this story below:

Story from here

An investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, "Only a little while."

The banker then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The fisherman said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The banker then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, go for walks with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends. As you can see, I have a full and busy life."

The banker scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat! With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to the capital city. After that, who knows, maybe you could take on the world!”

The fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the banker replied, "I’d say about 15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the fisherman.

The Banker laughed and said, “That's the best part! When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?" the fisherman continued prodding.

The banker said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, go for romantic walks with your wife, and in the evenings you could sip wine, play guitar and sing songs with your friends!”

To which the fisherman mused, “Now isn’t that strange… Isn’t that what I’m doing now?”


Anonymous said...

You know, I heard this on the news some time ago saying gahmen hope we get employed after retirement. I mean if I didn't remember that wrongly, is there a paradoxy on that logic itself?

I thought retirement means like you know, even if one is working, it should a kill-time thing rather than slogging.

We sure is unique eh?

Mini-Me said...

Mr Tan,

I had read your fisherman story before. Maybe the Banker also enjoy the process of earning his millions leh?

"Work Longer, Retire Later"? Haha... Our Dear MM Lee also now working longer, retire later what, so what's your problem?

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky Tan,

When I first read this part of your post, "couldn't find a kind satay man who would serve me 25 sticks of satay if I asked for 40 sticks", I was wondering how serving you fewer sticks of satay can be considered an act of kindness!

It was only when I read that our esteemed PM Lee considered it to be an act of kindness that it dawned on me -- yes, it is very kind of the satay man indeed! If PM Lee says it's a kind act, then it must be a kind act!!!

I agree with you totally, I mean we are so grateful to have elite leaders like our esteemed PM Lee who can see things ordinary people like myself cannot see.

I fully agree with you that our esteemed ministers fully justify their pay raises. Their superb vision enables them to identify acts of kindness which ordinary people like myself cannot.

Anonymous said...

Poor fella! You think your dear MM works for what? Love of S'pore, altruism, everything noble, huh? Let me tell you, lah. He wants to control the Red Dot which he thinks belongs to him and Familee! You remind me of those hoodwinked S'poreans who say things like you better be grateful bec without the PAP, you think you can own your house and your biz, etc? The ST and allied newspapers and Nat TV have done their jobs well for 40+ years, leh!
They'll keep on hoodwinking people like you for the next 40 and more!!

Anonymous said...

world notices the lion with the fish tail curry. a senior member of the li kok you clan, close to tears, said: " finally, we have been forgiven for banning chewing gum and flogging street signs. we have paid our penance by riding crazy horses and Increasing Risks or taking chances with people's lives and the world now know we can change for the better. even the pope gave us his blessings." like a man swept by sweepstake winnings or has been paid an extraordinary sum, the buzz brought much cheers and tithes to the city's rubber stockings and shaky estate's demolishers. heck, even the art scene got so excited that she pee-ed on hearing the good news. so encouraged, the three dollies are now comtemplating a gay version of mid-summer night's dream to welcome foreign guests to park their wallets with them. this rare accolate by the world has even sent our young people to the streets with tin cans collecting more tithes to help the rising number of dejects. a spokesman from within the clan was overheard saying, " we are so proud of this new development, we have sent our finest and most extraordinary missionaries in an all expense paid tour around the world to share this 'gospel of buzz.'"

Anonymous said...

Do take note. The authority has erected a sign board at all angling points. This is to inform all would be retirees who intend to fish for leisure to apply for permit at the consulate deprivation community center. You are herein required to pay a fee to cover gst, rising utility, medical and dental costs. Protection, safety and insurance fees shall be charged separately upon approval.

Kin said...

Oh dear! So embarassing! Now we're being told WHEN to eat with our family? Sorry, I just heard about this "Eat With Your Family Day" becos i dun subscribe to Singapore Inc's newsletter.

What have we become?

ps: Fisherman's story is pretty inspiring. Thx, Mr Tan.

Anonymous said...

Next time, we will be told when to shit because we are so busy earning money to survive and pay PAP's luxury life !!

I can foresee more "day" will be coming and be special:
Shit Day
Kindness Day
Make Love Day
Fuck Day
Mee Siam Mai Hum Day
Erection Day
Baby-Making Day

Anonymous said...

I ordered 30 sticks of satay today. The satay man delivered 25 sticks. I thought that was rather kind of him until I told him I wasn't a big shot. He said that was ok, he will bring the other 5 sticks later.

Anonymous said...

"what shall it profit you to get your empty degrees and your mess of pottage if the millions starve...?"

well, the answer is superscale salaries for the common servants who would brand themselves as the indispensable elites that deserve lobsters supreme over their poorer cousins who live on "tau yu congees suppress".

a tiny success in a highly regulated environment shouldn't go round deceiving( the deceptionof riches so said the good book) the rests of the world that they too can achieve similar successes without wreaking social havoc on the masses.

no man is an island to himself and such a formula of success is unrealistic in the real world that we are living in.

mr manmohan singh is indeed a noteworthy prime minister and i salute you sir.

Anonymous said...

"Eat with family day" is only meant for elites, lah..

we're certainly on our way to 1st world status, except that our salaries are still 3rd-world to remain competitive. how else to attract foreign investment?

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