Ah Hyah and Ah Tee, best friends since their schooldays, celebrate their birthdays only one day apart. They both did their National Service. Now retired and in their '60s, the two postwar baby boomers are making their way to the neighbourhood polyclinic for their medical appointments. Both are citizens, and they have always enjoyed the same subsidised treatment there.
At the polyclinic, they are met by a staff member eager to explain to them this new thing called the Pioneer Generation (PG) package...
The staff member goes into her spiel. Let's call her Miss See. Then she asks the two men the all-important question: their birth dates.
Ah Hyah: I was born on Dec 31, 1949.
Ah Tee: I was born on Jan 1, 1950.
Miss See: Mr Ah Hyah, you belong to the Pioneer Generation, the newly coined term to recognise those who first fought the communists and then the communalists, and who are the first generation of Singaporeans to have helped build up modern Singapore. You are entitled to the benefits I listed.
Ah Tee: Me?
Miss See (consults her notes): Sorry, Mr Ah Tee. You do not belong to this special generation, unlike Mr Ah Hyah here.
(Ah Hyah looks uncomfortable now)
Ah Tee: Hello, we both went to school together, we caught spiders together, and our parents locked us up at home during the 1960s communal riots. We had no chance to peep out to see what those communalists looked like. And I suppose I had no hand in helping to build up modern Singapore, even though I was among those in the first few batches of National Servicemen, like my best friend Ah Hyah here.
Miss See (checks her notes again): It says here that the Pioneer Generation means those born before and up till Dec 31, 1949. Sorry, I just follow lor.
Thus ends this PG-rated story. Finis.