Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who Cares For Rice

Lamenting that he may have to slave for another 13 years at a paltry $3.6 million++ a year before Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong can find a worthy successor, we are told that out of 19 ministers in cabinet, 12 are scholars, i.e. they possess the requisite 4 As in their school report card. We had a clue of how these types think when, in the doldrums of recession, then minister and Colombo Plan Scholar Yeo Cheow Tong famously said, “Only 5% are unemployed. We still have 95% who are employed.”
Downplaying NTUC Fairprice’s recent hike of 9 to 14 percent for “some varieties” of the currently scarce commodity of rice, labour chief and Minister Lim Swee Say attempted to minimise the inflationary contribution by rationalising that “For every $10 you spend, only 22 cents went to buying rice.”
The Straits Times went on to quote Lim, a SAF scholar, as having said, “You don’t go home, eat rice in the morning and nothing else; lunch time, eat rice alone and nothing else; dinner, eat rice and nothing else….”
Understandably, with his monthly pay check as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lim can afford more choices for his meals, such as Filet of Beef Wellington, Escallop of Veal Adriatico, Stuffed Cornish Game Hen with Peaches, Pork Medallions Morella or Paupiettes of Sole Vigneronne. It must be very hard for him to imagine that, with spiralling inflation in Singapore hitting 6%, many people actually have to eat rice at every meal, with or without soya sauce.