Behind Istana Guardhouse - Sunday, 11.30pm, 22C, strong breeze, sound of palm fronds rustling. Hip hop music coming from the guardhouse. Scent of Teh Gayong in the waffling thru the air Old Man: Bro, thanks for coming. Sorry for the short notice but it was quite an emotional morning for the family. Pres: Boss, got to say that it is the end of good run. We did our best. Lets leave it to younger ones. I myself have come to terms with the abuse, the insults and the sheer ignorance of the Singapore public. Its Tony's time. 35% - what a shock. Old man: What the fuck are you talking about? Pres: Aren't you talking about the Tony's fucked up performance at the polls. Old Man: No lah. There are days I wonder why I ever made you my Intelligence Chief for so many years. Lucky the Malaysians never launched an attack. With you on the watch, we would have been Soup Kambing by the time we worked out what was happening. Pres: Soup Kambing. Now that's a thought. I know this Pakistani chap at Bedok Corner that makes a mean soup kambing but it cost you $5. Old Man: You really testing my patience. I was referring to My family's last Sunday of the month meeting on our investment portfolio. The market meltdown across the global market really hit us badly. Hsien Yang tried his best to stem the bleeding but it did not help. Pres: What happened? Please don't tell he listened to his sister-in-law. She is a basket case. My barber at Joo Chiat Lane wants to strangle her. Old Man: No lah, I gave up on her long time ago. You know my style. After Micropolis, she was cut off from our personal portfolios. You only get one chance with me. No ifs and buts. That is why I am feared. You got to be ruthless with this ungrateful arseholes. Pres: Then what happened with Hsien Yang? Old Man: Hsien Yang said that some new chap in Sammyboy seem to know the market and began following him. Pres: Haha, you got to be talking about God_is_my_Dog. That guy fooled quite a lot of people. My wife came and told me about this chap too. Old Man: Hey Bro, I hope you didn't tell her about our nicks. Especially the sex forum. Pres: Boss, forget about Sammyboy and your fucking investments. I am pissed with this EP. Old Man: Hey watch it, what's got your goat? The EP is purely ceremonial with a safety valve for 10 years in case we are thrown out of office. All this thing about influencing, suggesting, talking to me and the cabinet on people's issue is pure hogwash. Have you noticed that Tony during his entire campaign never promised anything, did not even hint what he wanted to do as President. All he did was mention about global uncertainty. Fuck me dead and there was actually 740K dumbfucks that actually voted for him. Imagine 35% voted for a man who did not have a manifesto, never promised a thing and worst of all his fucking sons hardly did NS. Pres: You know boss, I am fucking fed-up with the NS shit. How come no one knew about it. Old Man: Tell me about it. Luckily my wife passed on. She would have crucified me for letting her sons and her grandsons go thru the whole gamut. Its got to be these fucking apple polishing civil servants who are tripping over each other to please the boss. Pres: Hey boss, did you have anything with Jee Say having his COE. Old Man: You are really a mudderfarker. Your daughter's boss and your man in PEC gave him the COE. What the fuck are you asking me about it. If you did not do it, who the fuck did it? Pres: My daughter said that there was a note that said give "Tan" his COE and it came with the Istana letterhead. Her boss never said whose's office. She said they had no idea which Tan and decided to play safe and gave it to all the Tans. That is why Ooi and Kuan did not get the nod. Old Man: Fuck me dead again. We made them so compliant and they are so scared of making a mistake or asking for clarification. Pres: Boss, whats with the profanities and swearing. Old Man: Profanities are ok according to that prick scroobal in SBF. You got to get on with the times. Didn't you see the paper where the NTU valedictorian said in her speech and mind you, she is a girl. Pres: Scroobal is a fucking fraud. Never liked that prick. He thinks he is fucking smart with his so called witty and sarcastic comments. Hate the mudfarker to the core. I like Zihau though, very balanced, sincere and a realist. Old Man: Well, he lost his marbles with Robox did he not. Pres: Hey watch what you say about Robox. He is our only champion. Old Man: Bro, I did not know you were Gay. Then again with a wife like that I don't blame you. Pres: Looks who is talking. Your wife is no Katherine Hepburn. I am talking about Robox looking after the interest of Indians. Old Man: Look bro, I am coming to the end of my time. I know I did a lot of bad but I also built a nation. The Istana has been my only home. I saw the removal van in the drive way of the main building and I realised that you were going. I wanted to share some great moments with you and recall the good times. Pres: I know I too had some really good times here. 12 years and it seems so short. My question is where will this country be in 20 years time. Old Man: I had that discussion with Loong in 2010 when he was planning for the GE. We had a really good chat and we knew we cannot hold back the tide. The world has changed, the young have their way or they will leave. We made a series of policy errors and things cannot carry on in this manner. Pres: I was wondering why Mah and Raymond Lim got the sack. It was never our style. We normally bury our errors and work out an exit strategy. Also got jolted by Loong's apology during GE. Old man: Look, it is even more far reaching than that. I spoke to all my grandchildren. None is keen. The same from the extended family. The world is truly global and the challenge is out there, not in Singapore. Build a family and home overseas but make your money in Singapore. Some of the kids of friends and families are doing just that. 36 years ago, we redrew the entire land zoning and got the urban planning guys involved. We inadvertently created a developer's playground. And we have not been able to put the genie back in the bottle. Any attempt and HDB prices will fall. Mah paid the price and Khaw wants to take a stab at it. He is not interested in making political capital so he wants to have a go. My assessment is that its a lost cause and any change will spill blood on the floor. I have run out of ideas. Pres: What next? Old Man: Its going back to the Party. They will have to redefine themselves or split to offer more options and attract thinking people. Providing talent from the civil service is no longer a good idea and the better ones no longer want to join the service. I won't be surprised a model closer to WP might emerge. If I told you the number of top student turning down scholarships you too would be worried. You know that MOE and PSC tracks all top PSLE cohorts. The number not returning or leaving the country is quite despressing. I created the PSLE Prime Minister's Book Prize and I now see the whole thing going to dust. Very sad. The number of ex-Singaporeans whose kids are doing well overseas is quite remarkable. There are 6 times more Singaporeans doing medicine overseas and these are the ones that we know and we know that they will never come back. Parents are selling their HDB flat to fiance their studies and also encouraging their kids not to come back. These are things that I never wanted and I am sad. Pres: This is truly an end of an era. I am deeply moved. Old Man: For the first time, I realised that it is beyond me and I am happy to say that. It is now in the hands of Vincent Wijeyasinghe, Nicole Seah, Gerald Giam, Chen Show Mao, Pritam Singh, Muhammed Faisal, Yee Jenn Jong and their like. People who never had their hands held. People who went against the grain, the ones who spoke up when others feared. Pres: Boss, if you don't mind, I am going to skip supper which has always been a practice for us after a TCSS session behind the guardhouse. Old Man: I too am not in the mood. Bro, do you mind giving me your private email. I now spend my time playing with my iphone, Ipad and facebook. Pres: Its "[email protected]". What is yours? Old Man: Its "fuckmedead"@gmail.com Pres: Boss, change of plans, I just realised that I actually made plans this morning about having beer and nachos at this joint I heard about in SBF. And I am feeling peckish. Old Man: Do you think we can make the last bus. Pres: Bus 14, no problem but we have to go to the opposite side bus-stop and better run. Old Man: What are we waiting for? Lets go.