Last month, the government announced that former president S R Nathan would be conferred the nation’s highest award – The Order of Temasek, First Class.
Netizens were naturally outraged because, as taxpayers, they considered his 12-year $40 million salary as more than ample reward for performing mainly ceremonial duties and asking people to donate more.
Mr Bo Lui Leow, a not-so-proud HDB 2 roomer, remarked: “ Wa lau eh. Cheng Hu can like that meh? Got reward, now also got award. We all only Pay and Pay.”
A petition to stop the award was set up on Facebook and garnered 472,780 likes within 2 days, 10 times more than TPL’s. Due to the extremely heavy traffic, Facebook slowed to a crawl and users became as annoyed as during our frequent train breakdowns.
The government decided to conduct an objective opinion poll through the mainstream media to prevent another national crisis from escalating.
The Straits Jacket Times interviewed our 34,567 strong grassroots leaders and confirmed the unpopularity of the award.
Channel News Ass-ia did likewise and concluded that it may even affect the 2016 elections.
To be doubly sure, the converts at Our Singapore Convertstation at Pulau Briyani were also polled. The outcome was no different.
Finally, the man himself was interviewed on Erazor TV. He admitted he did not deserve the award sheepishly: ”I fully agree with the views of Singaporeans who objected to the government conferring the nation’s highest award on me. How is one expected to discharge his duties when living in Katong with all the famous food stalls nearby? Am I expected not to spend 8 hours per day bonding with my grandchildren?”
Asked about why he had revealed to the public our reserves had been drawn only 27 times when in fact it was actually 55 times, he admitted “it was an honest mistake”.
The Chairman of the Committee on National Award (CNA), Mr Opaque Tan, has decided that the interest of the public must be served. An Ass-iaOne online poll was conducted and showed the most appropriate award to be Order of Prata, First Class.
However, the Prata Association at Yio Chu Kang would have nothing to do with the ex-President who had not frequented any of their prata stalls for 12 years. But Nathan helped promote Jollibee during his birthday after he had stepped down as President.
The only award left was the Order of the KP, Business Class and Nathan readily accepted it. Nathan felt an affinity to the kacang putih man, one who is relaxed and friendly.
CNA commissioned top Poly Design student, Ms Hwa De Hao, who came up with a uniquely Singapore design – an A-4 sized paper folded into a cylindrical shape with peanut-like objects filling to the brim.
On 9 August 2013, a brimming Nathan received his award at the Padang to cheers, and sneers, from Singaporeans. A national crisis has been averted.