Sunday, May 8, 2011

The best Mother's Day

Saturday morning, Kenneth and the kids brought me to Epicurious Cafe at Robertson Quay for a Mother's Day breakfast. It's a quaint, family-run cafe popular for its weekend brunches and relaxed riverfront setting.

The food was unpretentious and tasty, the perfect way to start a lazy Saturday. Here's what we ordered:

Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, sausages and roasted potatoes (we had two platters to share)

Pancakes with fruit and syrup

English breakfast tea with a complimentary serving of banana cake

The kids made me a lovely Mother's Day card (although Andre became rather evasive when asked about his contribution). As always, full of creativity and love.

But the absolute best Mother's Day gift for me was this:

Photograph: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images for the Guardian, UK

It took 22 long years but our nation has finally awaken from its slumber and made itself heard. The voices can no longer be ignored or brushed aside. Part of our pledge reads, " build a democratic society, based on justice and equality." Powerful words and it gave me chills to see people standing up for these values.

As I told Lesley-Anne, it's one thing to read about Singapore's history in history books, it's another to see history being made. And no doubt, 7 May 2011 will go down in Singapore history as one where the people grasped the reins and steered the massive political mothership through sheer willpower. I feel immensely proud of my fellow Singaporeans.

Stand up for Singapore!

Afternote: Came across this well-written political essay by Singaporean author, Catherine Lim. Worth a read.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you take the loss of an excellent Foreign Minister as a wonderful Mother's Day Gift. This morning we witnessed the humility and arrogance of the ones voted out/in. I certainly hope your kids will not have to live in a country of riots and instability in 10 - 20 years time with opposition supporters like you. MM Lee is never wrong about Singapore. I am sorry I even stumble upon your blog.

monlim said...

The Foreign Minister was a casualty of the PAP's unjust GRC system, not the people's votes. The fact that you can't see that + you're resorting to threats is so typical of the ruling party's arrogance and bullying tactics.

And saying MM is NEVER wrong? (Do you remember he said that if we don't raise our Ministers' already ridiculous salaries, Singapore women will have to work as maids in other countries?) Man, you've been seriously brainwashed. I feel sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day, Mon!
If we take Singapore as a she, this is her best mother's day gift.

And for the anon's comment, I think you got it all wrong. Mon was never celebrating the loss of the minister, it is so not her, the minister was out because of their own system and they could have changed their strategy if they thought the opponent was too strong. In fact GY himself said it was a well fought battle and he made his exit graciously. If GY can be gracious, why can't you, there is no less respect for GY. In fact GY recognized the need for Singapore to fight this battle. Also, if you are truly concerned, TWO ministers were sacrificed in this GRC system, not ONE.


monlim said...

Happy Mother's Day to you too, QX!

I think it's good that the GRC has come back to haunt the PAP, hopefully they will take that as a cue to demolish this system, then we can have a really fair fight. In an SMC, I believe pple will not vote a valuable Minister out, we're not irrational.

I agree GY was very gracious and in a fight, unfortunately there has to be winners and losers. I'm sure they'll offer him a new position where he can be of great service to Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Hi I can sense some emotional outburst in both anon1 and Monlim. To say that resorting to threats is so typical of the ruling party's arrogance and bullying tactics is kind of overboard. When you have to make hard decisions and implement them for the good of Spore, it is inevitable that it can be seen by many to be resorting to pushing things in your face without consulting you. I am not of the view that the ruling party will do something that is not meant for the good of Spore. Many people do not see their tremendous sacrifice and contributions. MM LKY has humbly admitted mistakes that he had made, eg MT issue. So it is wrong to say he is never wrong. We should be lucky he survived the Jap Occ and formed PAP. I have asked some people why they vote for opp. Some are because of personal gain like why increase property tax of my condo every year, why give housewives staying in condo so little when people in 3 rm HDB are much richer and get more. Some don't even know what opp are doing. What is first world parliament? All I want is a peaceful and progressive nation for my children. I may sound pro-PAP but I hope that WP will work along with PAP for the good of Singapore. Cut the bickerings and emotion-playing. Suggest good policies instead of dragging every implementation of policy.

monlim said...

Anon: I agree that the ruling party would not intentionally do something they think would harm Singapore. The problem, as I'd mentioned in a previous post, is that the ruling party has over the years, mistakenly equated Singapore with the PAP. So some policies they implement actually don't benefit Singapore but the PAP. Whether it's intentional may be debatable but the GRC system is a huge case in point.

I don't agree that when MM admitted to the MT issue, he was doing it humbly, he did it thinking it would give PM traction when he was trying to push for change in the system. MM has many great qualities, but I don't believe humility is one of them.

There is no personal gain in voting opposition. If pple want increase in property values, they will almost always vote PAP. People are not illogical, like the ruling party likes to imply. There is also no glamour in standing for opposition, it's much smoother to go in under PAP, look at TPL. If she was standing for opposition, she most certainly have been trashed. As it is, we now have her in Parliament. So many vote or stand for opposition because they they truly want to serve or make a difference.

If there's a case of opposing for the sake of opposing, I've seen this done more often in PAP - opposing everything opposition proposes, even without a second thought. So I wouldn't worry abt WP being an antagonistic opposition. Again, pple are smarter than the politicians give us credit for - we'll be able to tell who is the real deal. Non-credible opposition candidates have been voted out before.

So I applaud Alunied residents for putting nation above self and this is a good thing going forward.

Anonymous said...

Track record is no guarantee that what works in the past will work in the future. The GRC is a joke. I hope PAP realizes that a system which can boot out George Yeo and accept Tin Pei Ling has no credibility.


Anonymous said...

"If there's a case of opposing for the sake of opposing, I've seen this done more often in PAP - opposing everything opposition proposes, even without a second thought."

That's true. PAP keeps taunting opposition for having no ideas but there were so many suggestions given this year by SDP and WP in their manifestos. Instead of considering them, PAP became very defensive.

Good points, Monica! Keep up the good work, I love your blog.


Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, we've got 40% of the voters supporting the opp. However, despite the Aljunied/Hougang wins by the WP, the proportion elected MPs is still less than 7% out of the total 87 MPs!

So, we still have a long way to go towards a more representative parliament.

To Anon @ May 9, 2011 1:02 AM

The root cause of the loss of GY is the GRC system created by PAP to make it difficult for opp to get in the parliament. I'm sure most, if not all, voters would like GY to get in the parliament instead of TPL... but GRC has resulted such unjust outcome that we'll have to live with.

To Anon @ May 9, 2011 12:38 PM

You do sound like pro-PAP though you tried to be more rational. I would just say both PAP and WP need to work for the good of Singapore... it's not justified to use words like "bickerings and emotion-playing and dragging" to imply WP led by LTK.

Contrary to what you believe, most people I know (esp in Aljunied) voted for opp were not voting for selfish reasons that GY wanted them to think about.


MrsCheng said...

Sad to see GY go but pretty excited to be part of the opposition GRC. Looking forward to their plans for us. I have never been so caught up with election fever. My kids must be very happy cos' i seem to be less kan cheong over their exams this time round.

monlim said...

Mrs Cheng: I know what you mean! Andre also tan dioh this time round cos I had less time to scream at him :P

Patricia said...

Hi Monica,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the system.

It's uncanny that I was thinking about what the PAP supporters said about the opposition parties - that they oppose for the sake of opposing, and I thought PAP is the one who does that exactly.

I am surprised that you've taken an 'unconventional' stand in this GE. For some reason, I got the vibes that for all the wisdom you have, you'd cast the 'conventional' vote.

You got quite a few things there in your replying comments that are very insightful too, like the purpose of MM Lee 'admitting his mistake'.

Once again, you impress me.

monlim said...

Patricia: Well, ideally in a mature population, people don't just vote according to whether they are "conventional" or "non-conventional" but rather, they gather all the info and think for themselves what are the true intents of those standing for election and ultimately, what is good for Singapore as a whole... for that particular GE.

I was heartened at this GE to hear some pro-PAP folks voting opposition and some pro-opposition folks voting PAP. It shows that pple are thinking abt issues and not just voting based on blind loyalty.

Oh, and thanks for the compliment!

Anonymous said...

My kids 'tan dioh'too, they even watch the GE results telecast with me. I am just as excited as you that WP won Aljunied GRC. GY is well-respected and he exited graciously. I have no doubt that he will have a great future after PAP. God works in mysterious ways. Saw the glow in his face in a pic of him, taken after his announcement to leave politics. So happy for him.

I hope after this GE, PAP will take a real hard look at itself and make Singapore a better place to live in, esp for the people they have forgotten.


monlim said...

SC: LOL, I think all our kids must be celebrating the fact that GE was held just before SA1!

I agree it's not a bad thing for GY to leave now, he has serve 23 years, he deserves the time now to spend with his family. I also have no doubt he'll find something else meaningful to do.

Am hoping that PM's apology and promise to listen more are not just strategies to win votes. If they show that they are sincere, I'm sure people's hearts can be won over again.

Anonymous said...

Mon, I'm here to tell you that your photo taking skills is becoming betterer. *Thumbs up*

& Happy Belated Mother's Day!


monlim said...

Thanks Chris! Happy belated Mother's Day to you too!

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