I have yet to recover from shock to see our ex president celebrating his birthday eating fast food in Jollibee’s first outlet here.
(ST article ‘A feather in the cap for Jollibee’s S’pore outlet’, 4 July)
It is as pitiful a sight as our elderly who need to be on their feet, 8 hours a day working as cleaners. What makes this even worse is the fact that this
man had sacrificed his twilight years for Singapore, had his pay increased 26 per cent to $4.2 million only 3 years ago and must have been used to enjoying the good life.
A back of the envelope calculation puts his accumulated savings at $30 million during his 12 year tenure. What really led to this most unfortunate situation, the $30 million question, has been answered by netizens – investments in(side) our casinos.
You see, he was such a kind and busy man fronting numerous charities and was not told the euphemism used by the government for gambling. ‘IR’ had originated during a brainstorming session for an acronym to ‘Integrate gambling into Resort’. To make this palatable to the public, ‘gambling into’ was subsequently removed. Assuming that it was merely a theme park similar to Disneyland, he frequented the wrong part of the IR for 2 years after his presidency. Understandably, the zeroes in his bank account started to disappear.
The ST article has also raised the ire of other fast food companies that have a bigger presence in Singapore. Says one spokesman, Ronald, who was visibly upset: “When we opened our first outlet 30 years ago, we were not aware that an ex president could become our poster boy. As the largest fast food chain with 40,000 restaurants worldwide, the government should accord us some respect and we demand its current president be assigned to promote our business after he retires.”
The influential Association of Fast Food (AFM) held an emergency meeting this morning and drew up a list of ex politicians deemed dignified to be seen eating burgers. This list does not include those deceased and has been couriered to the PM office.
His kiasu press secretary took the initiative to confirm with the AFM the exclusion of PMs from the list before giving the green light.
Our local players have also cried foul and insisted on a level playing field. Spokesman for Yaya Koon, Ms Koh Pee Si, has this to say: ”30,000 customers per week eat at Jollibee mean we all now less customers. If they open other outlets, then we all soon close shop and eat glass. Why local people cannot eat local food like kaya, goo yu and loti meh?”
Despite tens of outlets and a colourful history serving Singaporeans, it is doubtful our pro-foreigner government will listen.