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Tales From the Istana - Part I.
At the back of the Istana's guard house, 11 pm, temperature of 23 degrees centigrade, slight breeze, with the smell of Mt Faber Nasi Lemak wafting through the air.
Prata Man: Evening Boss, nice night for a good drag of "Beedi". Heaven man, Heavan!
Old Man: Spare me one bro. Bad fucking day. Starhub signal keeps dropping out. I just don't know why we pay them good money for.
Prata Man: You mean, you actually pay cable bill? Serious!
Old Man: Aiyah, just figure of speech lah.
Prata Man: Tell your daughter-in-law, its her company what.
Old Man: I already fed up with my son and now his wife. Where does it stop?
Prata Man: I knew it. Just can't have a good drag under the stars, with nice Teh Gayong without you coming out with state problems again. Whats now?
Old Man: Well, he fucked up the succession plan, didn't he? Fucking 49 years the PAP has been in power and for the first time he tells the country that they are in trouble in finding a leader. I should not have listened to Choo and left him by himself.
Prata Man: I don't get it. You guys spend half your time looking for top talents with so many people involved. I can't see how we can slip up. Are his standards high?
Old Man: Bro, its not the standards. Its the other traditional pre-requisites. At first we thought it was the usual reluctance to be involved in politics. Its not the pay either, as we fixed that up. Its something we never expected.
Prata Man: What Boss? They are gay?
Old Man: Bro, you are really behind time. Gays are perfectly acceptable just don't tell the Ah Pek generation. Its their families.
Prata Man: What about their families?
Old Man: Every potential candidate has a son or a daughter that has migrated, working overseas and unlikely to return or in some cases kids and the mum are permanently based overseas while the guy is working here. They are leaving Singapore. And leaving for good!
Prata Man: Holy shit! Jesus, when did this all happened?
Old Man: Last 5 years. People are leaving by the droves.
Prata Man: But we made sure we look after the Elites by designating good class bungalows, high salaries, etc
Old Man: Its not them, its their kids. Its something I suspected for sometime during our annual cabinet family members gathering at Sri Temasek Poolside. I see less of the kids. As is customary, its a must for all family members to attend. They give me bullshit excuses like the kid has toothache, sprained ankle, music exam practice, etc. I suspect that they are overseas.
Prata Man: No wonder Loong talked about those kids going overseas. Boss, you want me to activate my old intelligence contacts to look for them.
Old Man: Don't be fucking stupid. We can't even find Mas Selmat. Even more embarrassing is the Ahmad Mattar affair which the whole world knew. You want to do what?
Prata Man: Maybe the search was not thorough.
Old Man: Believe me we were thorough. I even called up Chee, Low and Chiam and asked them about their recruitment drives since we are in the same business. They too have the same problem. Chee told me the young people are not interested in Singapore politics. They are more interested in social activism like human rights, fighting for the poor, 3rd world. He told me those that can afford it, pay to join Greenpeace ship to fight whalers or attend G7 demonstration, etc. Some even go Hong Kong to attend demonstrations. Those who can't afford gather outside the Parliament House and purposely get themselves arrested in order to enjoy free food and lodging in our world class prisons.
Prata Man: What did Low tell you? He managed to get some Chiobus for the last General Elections. I am sure there will be more.
Old Man: Alamak, Low got even bigger problems! Its seem they never heard of WP. They thought that after Francis and Tang left, the party closed down. He even said that Hougang residents thought their town council was run by Chiam as he is always talking about town council matters.
Prata Man: Chalat!. Like that how?
Old Man: Bro, there is something that came to me as I was walking here. Please keep it to yourself for the moment. I am seriously thinking about migrating to Perth. What do you think?
Prata Man: (Cough, Cough, Cough ... almost choked) What!.
Old Man: Its not like the Singapore we know. There are just too many foreigners. This place is getting too crowded. I fought with Cabinet and told them that 5 million is the limit. They insisted on 7 million. Now I find out these arseholes have no problem because their kids are emigrating and they will end up leaving the country eventually. Now you should know why those arseholes kept pestering you and me to endorse their salary raise and we had to bullshit in Parliament in order to defend their indefensible craps for justifications.
Prata Man: Boss, I am absolutely devastated. First, I sucked up to the British. Then, I sucked up to the Japanese. Then I'd to suck up to you. Now you want me to suck up to an Aussie? When will this stop?
Old Man: Come, lets go down to Prince Philip Avenue and talk about how to apply for emigration while we wallop Mt Faber Nasi Lemak. The smell from the guardhouse is getting to me.
Prata Man: You got money first or not? This time I am not paying until you pay me back $14 for the Ikan bakar and kambing soup at Bedok Corner last week.
Old Man: Don't worry bro, this time I brought my wallet. I thought it will be a long night. After Supper, we walked down Tanglin Road, reach Australian Embassy and talk cock until morning opening. I heard application form is $12. Then pop over to Glen Eagles, do medical checkup for emigration, late brunch, then head home.
Prata Man: You are the Man!