Episode 11 (130259.1)
Behind Istana Guardhouse - 11.30pm, 22C, strong breeze, sound of palm fronds rustling. Hip hop music coming from the guardhouse.
Old Man: Hey, bro, did you get the call as well.
Pres: Yeah boss, what a rude bugger.
Old man: At first I thought one of my friends was pulling my leg when I first got the call, then I realised that I don't have any and this guy sounded very different. I still don't know how he got thru the switchboard
Pres: Boss, no switchboard anymore, PABX DID goes straight thru to your secretary. Did you give your number to anyone?
Old Man: I don't even know what is my number. How did he get your number then.
Pres: I suspect he got it from Pizza Hut. You know, I get hunger pangs in the middle of the night. Anyway this guy said " Move your butt, something about $2.5M and that the holidays are over and the guys from Sammyboy need an update.
Old Man: So what the hell this guy wants. I just rushed back from Vietnam, fucking tired you know trying to get business for this ungrateful country
Pres: I thought you go to these countries and tell them how to run their country. Anyway I tell you what has been bugging this country the longest.
Old Man: GST, CPF, Carpark ???
Pres: No lah, HDB subsidy
Old Man: Please lah, even Chiam acknowledged he was wrong. What the fuck they can't understand.
Pres: I think what Chiam said was that it was a mistake not to do his homework before he raised it in parliament.
Old Man: Look nobody is swindling them, there is a cost and unfortunately it is expensive because land is scarce.
Pres: You know most of us, our friends and colleagues can't be bothered because we live in private property but when ever this topic comes up , I got to admit it does not sound right. And you know I am the President and its bugging me. I also can't understand why we can't even trust out people with out figures.
Old Man: Ok, ok. Maybe I was too hasty. Lets start from the beginning. You know right that land has to be acquired, access roads built, infrastructure such as sewage pipes, substations etc.
Pres: I don't think you understand. 85% of the country lives in HDB flat right. They use their income including the portion from the CPF to pay for it. At least the vast majority. You follow me?
Old Man: Yep.
Pres: Do you agree that monthly installment is a sizeable chunk of the income. In many cases its at least a third of their income.
Old Man: Yep, where is this going?
Pres: Why then is there a subsidy. The owners, sorry the lessees can't understand that after contributing such a large portion of their hard earned income, the Govt insist that they have been given a handout and they feel an emptiness. They feel that despite working hard for their families and contributing to the country, 85% of our countrymen feel they can't even buy a house on their own.
Old Man: But what about total costs.
Pres: Maybe we should re-examine cost starting from the purchase of the land right down to the cost of each brick. Remember Chiam upgraded the lifts in one of his neighbourhood at a much cheaper cost that even surprised HDB.
Old Man: You mean hold a public inquiry
Pres: Don't get mixed up, the public inquiry is for the Health Ministry and the external auditors in the NKF Fuck-up. That one we tackle after Durai, Yong and company lose their pant. What we need is a white paper on the cost breakdown using one of housing estates as an example that even a dumbfuck like Jimmy Phoon from Temasek can understand. Lets aim for Primary 6 level so that everyone is clear including Chee.
Old Man: Bro, you asking me to backtrack, I might look silly after all these years.
Pres: I won't worry too much, after 2nd Lanuage debacle that took you a generation to realise and the Suzhou affair, they know you are human after all.
Old Man: Now I see your point. What the fuck, how come the bloody MPs never come and tell me this in the first placed. Need to kick their bloody butt.
Pres: Aiyah we hold the distinction of having the only western parlimentary model where no private bill has ever been raised except by an NMP, Walter Woon. Embarrasing Boss. What is even dumb is that that grassroots leaders who actually stay in HDB flats, they should be asking questions. Bunch of ball carriers.
Old Man: Actually I expected the P65 MPs to raise such issues instead of writing kiss ass GST support articles on their blog. What a bunch of wankers.
Pres: Hey, talking about MPs, wahlau, the Graham bugger quite lucky.
Old Man: Please lah, she is 42.
Pres: Alamak, for us 72 is already cradle snatching. Hey how come she is holding the 2 main event in Scotland and Penang. I thought she is already a Singaporean.
Old Man: Hey man, don't look at me. Nobody tells me anything anymore. Got to admit she is the chiobu among the single ladies.
Pres: I say the SYT got to be Eunice.
Old Man: Yah lah, not bad but you haven't seen the Traffic Woman Police Officer in the afternoon detachment at the side gate. Almak with her high boots and that domineering look, all she needs is a whip.
Pres: Boss, Aiyah that women is gay. I already made inquiries. Sa more stuckup ask her for her telephone, she gave me the finger.
Old Man: Back to the subsidy. What if the analysis shows that there is indeed the cost and thus the subsidy.
Pres: I can't fathom how a 4 room flat in Senkang can cost a min of $142K and a max of $210K. Samore, no tiling , bare walls and floor and whole flat must renovate
Old Man: But who then is going to pay for the total cost.
Pres: Please lah, we pay them a token sum when they do NS, that you do not think there is a cost and for them its an opportunity cost. Which is more important National Security or Housing.
Pres: Look, why the secrecy. Let them have the figures.
Old Man: Maybe we can get one of our new scholars to do the white paper. Maybe not, he might find that we have overcharged and we might have to refund.
Pres: Get Khaw, he found out the Govt hospitals were overcharging, he is good at this.
Old man: I got to convince Loong. The Thai matter is bothering him.
Pres: Do you want me to talk to the Thai? I got lobang you know.
Old Man: Bro, somedays things fly past you. He is not worried about the Thais, he needs to address you know who and to tell her she can't keep fucking up with People's money.
Old man: hey, I am hungry. You want to go to Simpang Bedok. I feel like Satay, BBQ stingray and a big cup of teh alia.
Pres: Boss, music to my ears. Hey I know what we can do, lets pick up Ah Tee, you know the contractor who builds houses in the East for up and coming yuppies, he can tell us what the cost is like while we have supper.
Old Man: good idea, ask him to bring his pick-up and we can sit behind. Along the way we can pick up Othman.
Pres: I also want to ask you about Loong's succession plan.
Old Man: I have no clue.
Pres: I say Chee Hean.
Old Man: Bro, all I can think of is Stingray, with lime and chilli. mmmmh sedap. Make the call to Ah Tee.