INT.OFFICE - PANTRY - EARLY MORNING
Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali were having their morning break at the pantry when Lui joined them.
AH TAN: Hey Lui, long time no see! What were you busy with?
LUI (grunting): Ah... you have no idea how fed up I was!
AH LIM: Orh... busy with the Singapore Arts Festival har?
LUI (shaking his head): No, no... that I have left it to my men.
AH TAN: Hmm... you don't have to screen those performances before the public gets to see it?
LUI: Nah, as long as there's no gay content and naked body, they can show anything to the public. It's not as if I understand any of those performance anyway!
ALI (chuckled): Hahaha... yah man! Especially those contemporary dance! Totally no idea what are they trying to portray! Aku data wu!
All men laughed and sipped their coffee and tea.
LUI: Ali, these contemporary dances and theaters are good, you know? Though nobody understands them and some pretend to do so, these Ang Mohs are harmless. Whereas our own local theaters, these are the people we should be worried about!
AH LIM: Why leh?
LUI: These local theaters... they thought they can say anything and show anything behind closed doors, but they forgot that we've got ears everywhere! Ha!
AH LIM: What did they do?
LUI: Have you heard of this local theatre company called Wild Rice?
ALI: I only know nasi lemak and nasi goreng!
Ah Lim laughed and punched Ali lightly on his left arm.
AH TAN: Yah, I know them. In fact, I've attended a couple of their performances, like their local version of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, damn funny!
Lui gave Ah Tan a hard stare. Like a laser ray that will burn through stones.
AH TAN (shocked): What?
LUI (frowning): How dare you find them funny!
AH TAN (frowning too): Why not?
LUI (raising his voice): These are the ungrateful clowns that put up performances that promoted alternative lifestyles, were critical of government policies and satirised political leaders!
ALI: Apa ini?
Lui turned and gave Ali a hard stare this time.
LUI: It means they have gay content in their shows!
AH LIM (softly to Ah Tan): So the Sleeping Beauty was a man?
AH TAN (softly back to Ah Lim): No lah!
LUI: Not all their shows, but most of their shows!
AH LIM: Oh... hehe... paiseh!
LUI: And they make fun of and criticise our policies, some daring one even joke about our bosses! Can you imagine that? Making fun of our Big Boss?
ALL MEN (together): Wow!
LUI (berating): They even organise a biennial festival showcasing local scripts that take on political issues in a cheeky way! How dare them!
Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali sipped their coffee and tea in silence.
ALI: But brudder, you can't put all of these people in jail for making fun of the government right? Our prison not so big, yeh?
LUI (shaking his head and giggling): No, no, no... I've got a better idea to punish them!
Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali waited for Lui to stop his evil giggle before continuing.
AH TAN: So what's your great idea of punishment?
LUI: These art people need money to do their little plays right?
AH TAN: And then?
LUI: So I'll cut their funding! I'll cut their annual grant! Let's see how are they going to perform without money! Hahaha...
Quietly, Ah Tan, Ah Lim and Ali watched Lui laughed.
AH LIM (whispering to Ah Tan): I think he's the perfect role as the evil queen of Snow White...
NAC,National Arts Council,Wild Rice