The buildup has started... the buildup to the next GE, that is. Actually, I think it started earlier, with the $8 billion Pioneer Generation (PG) Package as one ground sweetener. There'll be lots of tributes to the 450,000 still-living "pioneers", although it struck me as telling that the "pioneers" trotted out so far are all in their late 60s, 70s and 80s. I say, show me a pioneer worthy of that cohort who is still 64 years old but who will only turn 65 in December.
Then there'll be lots of rah-rah -- all under the SG50 motif -- as the country approaches its 50th year. SG50 babies will be celebrated! Handouts for them are in the works. Meanwhile, the term "Jubilee Generation" is being bandied about, although I am not sure who's in, who's out.
Watch out for more references to "first-generation Singaporeans", also undefined at this point.
Don't get lost in this maze of labels yet. Stay with us, and watch out too for founding generation, founding fathers, founding leaders, etc. But sorry, Mr Raffles, we won't be talking about you. I mean 1819 is sooooo a couple of last centuries ago!
Keep in spirit too! It's the spirit of the times. You'll hear more of kampung spirit, gotong-royong spirit, and other catch phrases possibly drawn from the lexicon of the other communities.
Anyway, back to my crystal ball gazing...
I'm looking at the PG roll-out timeline:
So, it'll happen maybe between September this year and the early part of 2016.
Oh yes, I must not forget to include the word "inclusive". That will definitely be a catchy people-pleaser. I was reading this item in today's ST (May 6):
I say let's be uber-inclusive this year and have two Sportsmen of the Year and two Sportswomen of the Year! But, seriously, all four deserve the accolade.
Finally, I have a grouse and it's not politic to keep us ordinary citizens grousy, especially when it is just an ordinary grouse: the lousy public bus system, at least in my area.
I waited 30 minutes in the blazing midday sun for SMRT Service 693 today. And when it arrived, it was of course packed with commuters.
I believe in not just grousing but in offering solutions too. Let's start a "Spot the (somebody you recognise) on the train" campaign. Snap the pic and post it. That somebody has to be someone you do not ordinarily see on the train, like your colorectal surgeon or your MP! The idea is this: If your colorectal surgeon is taking the train to get to the operating theatre, he must be confident that he will get there on time and so we must be having a first class train service already!
(Variation: Spot wedding couples taking the train to get to the ROM or church, with the piped-in music belting out... I'm getting married in the morning! Ding dong! The bells are gonna chime. Pull out the stopper! Let's have a whopper! But get me to the church on time!)
As for MPs taking the train, how about this futuristic headline?...
All 87 elected MPs, three NCMPs and nine NMPs take the trains -- and they get to Parliament on time!
Now that'll be a real people pleaser. You'll please all of the people all of the time.