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S M Ong
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Singapore

Humour: No new NDP song to pick on this year

The New Paper | S M Ong | Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dick Lee wants old National Day songs to be played this year instead of having a new one.

For years, it was there for us to criticise, ridicule and complain about.

For years, we wanted it to stop.

But for years, it persisted.

The criticisms, ridicule and complaints became so frequent and predictable that they became like a tradition.

They became part of our uniquely Singaporean culture.

Like force-feeding foreign celebrities who come to our country - footballers Rio Ferdinand and Sergio Aguero, and movie star Hugh Jackman - strange local food such as fried carrot cake, durian and "Maya butter".

Since Instagram shows Jackman at a Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlet, we can assume the Australian actor meant "kaya", not "Maya".

But who knows?

Maybe next time Russell Crowe can come to Singapore, have breakfast at Killiney Kopitiam and compliment its Aztec bread spreads.

Anyhoo, where was I?

Oh yah, the criticisms, ridicule and complaints were so frequent and predictable that they became part of our uniquely Singaporean culture.

We took it for granted that the thing we love to criticise, ridicule and complain about would always be there for us to criticise, ridicule and complain about.

Until it suddenly wasn't there any more.

No, I'm not talking about Hello Kitty queues at McDonald's.

I'm talking about the annual TV licence fee.

For years, Singaporeans bitched about having to pay the $110 every year, usually as justification for bitching about how local TV programmes suck.

As in "Point Of Entry is so bad it's funny, like VR Man. Why are we paying $110 every year for this? I demand a refund! The TV licence fee should be abolished."

Then in 2011, the Government unexpectedly did just that. The 48-year-old TV licence fee was scrapped. No one saw it coming. It was like Christmas in February.

On top of that, the Government also refunded the money that people had paid in advance for that year's licence fee. If you guessed it was an election year, you're right.

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