Tuesday, January 22, 2008

That Taxi Ride

You have got to believe this recent study done by this group of political scientists. This well known group of academics, hailing from a reputable university, concluded that the best gauge of a country's political sentiments can be found in a taxi. With this impression etched in my mind, I decided to put their theory laden study to a practical test. Prior to this study, I always had the impression that taxi drivers were not very well educated and their political observations were often pretty much off tangent.

A trip from Newton to Bedok via Marine Parade tore my stereotype into shreds. This 30 minute journey through the heartlands was enough to convince me that this group of political scientists really did their homework. Who would have imagined that this man, edging towards his mid-fifties, dressed in a checked shirt, with a vocabulary laced with hokkien expletives could give me such a comprehensive analysis of the political climate in Singapore? I am sure that if the government had heard him out before the last General Election, they would have agreed that this man could bring Hougang and Potong Pasir back into the PAP stronghold.

Alas, fate has it that this taxi driver would remain in his Comfort driver seat. It is a good thing too as I left the trip a much enlightened Gen Y voter. Here are some excerpts of the driver's astute observations:

With regards to the erection of an ERP gantry at Toa Payoh Lorong 6: Wah! PAP buay pai seh leh! There is not much traffic in that area and residents are the worst off!

With regards to the PAP forming the next government: Ah boy! NI YAO REN MING!! (You must accept your fate) PAP will surely form the next government! No amount of GST raised, PRC arrivals, transport fare upheaval will change that fact!

With regards to the government raising the taxi fare: The government hor! SABO WOR LEH! (sabotage me) You tell me who in the right frame of mind will want to pay more for their taxi ride? How am I gonna earn more money?

With regards to Genting International winning the contract to build a casino in Singapore: You know ah why Genting won the contract to build that casino a not? Genting threaten the Singaporean government ah! They say if Singapore don't let them build a casino here, they will build one in JB! Wah we scared you know! Why would Genting International win when there were so many brilliant companies like Las Vegas-based Eighth Wonder and Kerzner International?? These companies constructed Vegas and Macau from scratch you know!

With regards to Lee Kuan Yew visiting Suharto at his deathbed: Boy, in 1997, while you were still running around in the playground, south-east Asia went through a dark period. It was called the Asian Financial Crisis. Suharto's government had no more money left and rupiah was emerging as the new 'banana note' of Asia. So he picked up the phone and speed dialled Lee Kuan Yew. He said, Eh! Siao Eh! Lend me some money leh! I need to buy my cronies kopi! They will overthrow me if I don't! So that's it. 11 years on, Lee Kuan Yew is returning back to Indonesia to reclaim what is rightfully ours. That old, wily Indonesian fox cannot die if he hasn't repaid every single cent of the debt he owes Singapore.

That, ladies and gentlemen were probably the wisest words ever uttered by a non-politician.

*Any remarks that are deem inflammatory on this page is a product of that taxi driver. Don't shoot the messenger.

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