INT.OFFICE - PANTRY - LATE AFTERNOON
Ah Tan and Ah Lim were having coffee break at the table. Ah Chong then entered the pantry. He walked towards the coffee machine to dispense his coffee, but only to take just a sip and throw the rest into the sink. He then walked over and sat down with Ah Tan and Ah Lim with an empty mug.
AH LIM: Wah, what's wrong with the kopi?
AH CHONG: What's wrong? Don't you guys find these coffee horrendous? I simply can't bring myself to drink it! Give me a latte or cappuccino anytime!
AH LIM: Horrible meh? I think okay what... I think those latte and cappuccino are the horrible ones man! So expensive but you drink milk only! At least those kopi gao from kopitiam are real kopi!
AH CHONG (sternly): What are you talking about? How can you even compare Italian coffee to kopitiam coffee? Those coffee are tor the lesser mortals!
Staring at Ah Chong angrily, Ah Lim put his mug down on the table with a "bang". Ah Tan tapped Ah Lim's shoulder and tried to calm him down.
AH CHONG (grinning and ignoring Ah Lim's stare): Hey guys, guess what? The Cricket Interest Group that I formed is getting great response from the new citizens!
AH TAN: Cricket Interest Group?
AH CHONG (grinning even wider with excitment): Yah! Don't you find this such a great idea? This great idea actually occurred to me when I noticed some migrant groups playing the sport in the empty fields across the estate! And do you know what is the main purpose of this group?
AH TAN: Er... what?
AH CHONG: For integration! Integration with the locals! You know, I was thinking, if left on their own, these new immigrants would form their own enclaves. By offering them a common group, we can try to assimilate them together, and integrate them into our society as well! Isn't that a great idea I've got here!
AH LIM (scoffs): You sure got integrate? Got so many locals play cricket meh? How many percent of the members from your that Cricket Interest Group are locals? Then now you let these Indians expatriates play crickets at the fields, then where can the locals play soccer?
Ah Chong's face winced as he stared hardly at Ah Lim.
AH TAN (coughs lightly): erm... Chong, so you've got quite a number of new immigrants at your estate huh?
AH CHONG: I'll estimate about 10 percent of the residents. I'm lucky, you know? My town is a new town, housing is cheaper compared to mature estates, and it is also close to the new industrial areas that have sprouted up in the north-east. I'm sure more new immigrants will shift to my town!
AH LIM (scoffs): Wah, you really like those new immigrants hor? You hate the locals so much ah? Is it because they didn't vote for you in the last election?
Ah Chong stopped talking and started staring at Ah Lim. Promptly, Ah Tan tapped both men's shoulder.
AH TAN (turned to look at both men respectively): Gentlemen! Chill, okay?
The men sat in silence for a moment. Ah Tan then took a sip from his coffee and cleared his throat before continuing.
AH TAN: You seems to welcome new immigrants warmly to your estate huh?
AH CHONG (staring at Ah Tan unbelievingly): Naturally! Tan, face it! Singaporeans are damn hard to please. It's like, when you ask Singaporeans for feedback, they will complain that they have to wait more than 15 minutes for the bus. But hey, when you ask new immigrants, they are happy that the bus comes in under 30 minutes!
AH LIM (scoffs): So now you can ask those buses at your estate to relax and don't need to be so punctual, ask the cleaners to relax and don't need to clean so often, then ask the locals to shift to another estate if they're not happy loh!
Ah Chong slammed his palms on the table, stood up abruptly and stared even harder at Ah Lim.
new immigrants,Punggol,Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC,Charles Chong
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