One extra day for celebrating SG50 added to Singapore Public Holidays 2015. I heard people cheering and rushing to book a holiday over the long weekend (what do you expect?). For the longest time, it has not bothered us that it’s National Day. I was in Taiwan during National Day 2014. Stay at home and watch the NDP? Yao mo gao chor ah?
SINGAPORE – A day after an extra public holiday was declared to celebrate the nation’s 50th birthday, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob appealed to Singaporeans to remain in the country and join in the celebrations instead of travelling overseas.
“My appeal to Singaporeans is to please stay in Singapore during the long weekend. I understand that Singaporeans take the opportunity during periods of long weekends to chill out with their families overseas, and on other occasions that’s all right, but on this occasion, I hope that they will stay and really celebrate together as a nation,” said Madam Halimah.
“It will be really sad if a quarter of Singapore goes overseas to celebrate.”
Aug 7 was yesterday declared a public holiday by the President, as part of Singapore’s 50th birthday celebrations.
The extra holiday falls on a Friday. With Monday already a holiday since National Day falls on a Sunday this year, Singapore will have a four-day Golden Jubilee weekend from Aug 7 to 10.
One can enjoy a 10-day holiday by taking the rest of the week off, some noted, and travel agencies are confident that their business will get a boost.
Madam Halimah said she hopes that the travel industry will support her call.
– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/stay-singapore-during-national-day-long-weekend-urges-ha#sthash.PXd6FF0P.dpuf
Yao mo gao chor ah? Support Madam Halimah’s call? How? Stop/cancel all outbound tours over the National Day weekend? I presume there would be rebates for business costs in the pipeline then.
Allow me to tell a little story. A long time ago in a kingdom far far away, there lived a farmer by the name of Cheng Hu. Cheng Hu had a beautiful little dog that had won him many dog show awards. These awards were important to Farmer Cheng Hu. He loved to show off to his neighbours and being famous for having an award-winning dog made it easier for him to sell his crops to bigger pool of competing distributors. Farmer Cheng Hu was often able to sell at much better prices than his neighbours.
Farmer Cheng Hu’s dog was living in dog paradise – or so it seemed. While other farmers’ dogs chewed on bone, Cheng Hu’s dog had gourmet dog food and monthly visits to the best groomer, but that was not the whole picture. Behind the scenes, Farmer Cheng Hu drove his dog like a … dog. He made it run several miles a day and jump through hoops. When the dog was exhausted, it was scolded. When it misbehaved, it was even caned. After all the exhausting training sessions, the dog had to perform guard duty. For years, the dog saw all these suffering as a price it had to pay for the top dog standard of living. He was proud of his performance and he was proud of his master.
Then, Farmer Cheng Hu spotted some promising puppies from puppy farms nearby. He got these puppies for a song and soon realised that they were great value for money. To cut costs of housing the foreign puppies, he squeezed all of them into the same kennel as his dog. Crowding soon became a most uncomfortable problem, but Farmer Cheng Hu’s priority was return on investment and bang for his buck.
The new canine residents won Farmer Cheng Hu many awards and to his delight, they were not even keen on gourmet dog food. Farmer Cheng Hu continued to pamper the new pups and neglect his old dog who was the only one who had to do guard duty. Regardless of his dog’s feelings, his wealth soared as he capitalised on top performers. He spent long nights counting his money and was always beaming with pride before other farmers and all he saw were the awards and the cash that kept coming in.
“Why should you have a sense of entitlement? It’s not my job to love you.” Farmer Cheng Hu chided. “If you can’t win dog show awards, you clear the other dogs’ poop. Don’t expect me to feed you if you don’t work.”
Then, Farmer Cheng Hu decided that an illustrious character like himself ought to celebrate his 50th birthday in a big way. He would throw a big party inviting farmers from near and far. He would give his animals a holiday in the woods after they have licked his boots and show their loyalty in front of hundreds of envious farmers. The day came. Farmer Cheng Hu wore his new boots. The guests were seated and waiting the boot-licking ceremony, but all the animals had already gone into the woods for their holiday. Farmer Cheng Hu was embarrassed. It was really sad. He had no idea that his dogs only stayed with him out of necessity and felt no love for him at all.
“Next time.” declared Farmer Cheng Hu angrily when the guests left sniggering. “I’ll build a barrier and allow animals to leave only after they have licked my boots!”
He was still not getting it.
© Chan Joon Yee