INT.AH TAN'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Ah Tan sat on the sofa, reading through the newspapers while his wife walked in holding two mugs of coffee. She sat down next to Ah Tan to glance at what he was reading.
AH TAN'S WIFE: Dear, why are you still reading Saturday's newspapers?
AH TAN (frowning): I'm reading Big Boss's latest speech.
AH TAN'S WIFE (passing over a mug to Ah Tan): What? You're reading it since Saturday!
AH TAN (frowning even harder): Yes I know... and I'm still trying to figure out the hidden messages.
AH TAN'S WIFE: Hidden messages?
AH TAN: Yes. There must be something that Big Boss has wanted us to do.
AH TAN'S WIFE: I thought he was just telling Singaporeans to have more babies or accept more foreigners, to increase the population? I don't see any hidden message in his speech.
AH TAN (staring at his wife): No, there has to be. There are always hidden messages.
Ah Tan's wife shrugged and sipped her coffee.
AH TAN (reading from the newspapers): It is becoming a "lifestyle choice" for women past the age of 30 to stay single as they are well-travelled and have no one to worry about...
AH TAN'S WIFE: And his daughter is one of them!
AH TAN: Yah... and Big Boss is really worried about her. It's like... what's going to happen to her after... you know, after Big Boss is gone?
AH TAN'S WIFE: Oh come'on! She's already in her fifties right? And she can't take care of herself? Her father can take care of the whole nation and yet she can't even take care of herself? Who are we kidding?
AH TAN (shaking his head): No, no... I can totally understand Big Boss's concern. No matter how old she is, she'll always be daddy's daughter, just like our Ah Girl!
AH TAN's WIFE (rolling her eyes): Yah right...
Ah Tan ignored his wife and continued to read the newspaper.
AH TAN (reading from the newspapers): The problem that this trend creates: "Without new citizens and permanent residents, we are going to be the last of the Mohicans. We are going to disappear".
AH TAN'S WIFE (chuckling): Yah this is serious... Singaporeans no more... hahaha...
AH TAN (still reading from the newspapers): Some Singaporean parents have complained about migrants entering schools and competing with local children. He urged parents: "Would you want them to compete against you or with you as part of the team? If you don't have them with you as part of your team, they will be on the Chinese and Indian team." ... Hmm... part of our team... Chinese team... Indian team...
AH TAN'S WIFE: Big Boss is telling Singaporeans to accept the reality that we need to continue to import foreign talents and their smart children loh!
AH TAN: Yes I know! I understand that part! But it's the second part... Big Boss is trying to say we should import more Chinese and Indians specifically... Very specifically.
AH TAN'S WIFE: Well... guess it makes sense, since China and India are the two countries with densest population in the world! I'm sure they will not run out of citizens for us to import!
Ah Tan rubbed his chin and looked down to think. Suddenly, he looked up, smiling.
AH TAN (sitting up straight): I've got it! The hidden message! Big boss is telling us that the Chinese and Indians are beneficial to the country!
AH TAN'S WIFE (raised left eyebrow): And this is the hidden message?
AH TAN: No, no... not just that! He said "If you don't have them with you as part of your team, they will be on the Chinese and Indian team", right? Which means that we have to ensure that we get all the best people from China and India and offer them citizenship! All the best athletes, best businessmen, best talents from every field! So that China and India can't compete with us! Because their best people are with us!
Thrilled that he had found the hidden message, Ah Tan threw a passionate punch into the air.
AH TAN'S WIFE: Erm... and what makes you think the best people from these countries are going to be so excited to become Singaporeans?
AH TAN: Oh come'on! We're talking about the Chinese and Indians! Just give them money!
AH TAN'S WIFE: And we've got that much money?
AH TAN (chuckling): Silly, if Boss can draw a salary that is a few times what Obama is drawing, of course we've got more than enough money to get those Chinese and Indians right!
AH TAN'S WIFE (hitting Ah Tan on his shoulder): Oui! Don't say that out so loudly!
AH TAN: Huh? But it was already on BBC's interview...
AH TAN'S WIFE: But not on local news right?
AH TAN (gasped): Oh... you're right! Thanks for the remainder, Dear!
AH TAN'S WIFE: Okay, even if money will do the trick, what if after all the money we've spent for these people to bring their families over, they are only treating us as a stepping stone to other better countries like the U.S.?
AH TAN: Ah! Big Boss had thought about that as well! Hold on....
Ah Tan speed-read through the article on the newspaper with his fingers. Quickly, he found what he was looking for.
AH TAN: "Because more than half of these students do not make the grade to go to America, and the second tier is not bad for us." ... Hmm... so you see, only the better ones will go to U.S., so we've still got the not-so-good ones left behind what!
AH TAN'S WIFE: And what does that make us then? Dumping ground?
AH TAN (chuckling): No fish, prawns also good what...
Ah Tan's wife laughed and gave him a light slap on the shoulder.
AH TAN'S WIFE: But how are we going to accomodate all those Chinese and Indians? Singapore is not really that big you know? Even with all that reclaimation.
AH TAN (grinning): Oh... that is the second hidden message I found! For Singaporeans, we should send the old, the poor and the stupid ones over the Causeway, and the gays over to Australia! As for the other foreigners, we should get rid of them! Once their working permits have expired, send them back to their own countries! And if they are PRs, find some reasons to revoke their PR statuses! By doing this we should be able to get rid of those Malaysians and give their jobs to the Chinese and Indians!
AH TAN'S WIFE: Same for those Filipinos and Indonesians?
AH TAN: Hmm... that's a bit tricky though... because we still need these people to be our maids...
AH TAN'S WIFE: Exactly! I don't want a pretty young little Chinese girl to work in our house so that you could drool on her! And I don't want a dirty Indian woman handling our food!
AH TAN (chuckling and scratching his neck): Of course! Of course! The Filipinos and Indonesians should continue to stay as long as they're maids!
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