Latest CNNGo.com "Say What? with mrbrown" column: Singapore Budget 2011 aka the Year of the Carrot
This year, the finance minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, announced as part of the budget report, a "Growth Dividend" payout of between S$600 to S$800 (US$469 to US$625) to Singapore citizens.
That was the angpow, or red packet, that we were waiting to hear about. This is an election year when, traditionally, the ruling party dishes out these carrots to sweeten the ground before we go to the polls.
Someone remarked, "Wah, that is quite a big sum. This year gahmen using branded carrot ah?"
"Gahmen" is our warm and affectionate term for "the government."
The election year budget goodies announcement is such an important part of our lives here that it drowns out the rest of the budget stuff, such as incentives for productivity, the Workfare bonus (Workfare is our way of doing welfare without using the word welfare) and training subsidies for companies.
The ears of the average Singaporean probably only heard Tharman saying, "Wawawawa … the majority of Singaporeans will receive 600-800 Singapore dollars … wawawawa.”
Not unlike that sound you hear when adults speak in a "Peanuts" cartoon. (cont'd)