I got a strange invite some weeks ago, to have tea with the PM at the Istana. My wife's first reaction was, "What did you do now?". She had a similar remark when I said CPIB emailed me.
I was also puzzled but hey, limteh with PM leh, why not? So I said yes (little knowing that the day also coincided with Makan Day).
Turns out it was to meet folks who had commented or interacted with PM on his Facebook page. I thought it was gracious of him to invite me even though my main contribution to his Facebook page was leaving jokes in the comments section.
I rode my bicycle to the Istana because it was easier than trying to take public transport. I reckoned my bicycle would be safe behind the Istana's gates (if your bicycle can get stolen in there, then where in Singapore is safe, right?).
It was a bit of a challenge riding there because I was also dangling a plastic bag of tau huey for the PM. My mother says go people house must bring some food.
Acting Minister in the Ministry of Manpower Tan Chuan-jin, MP Low Yen Ling and MP Zaqy Mohamad were there too.
It was cool to meet folks from all walks of life at the tea and I made some new friends too.
I told PM the challenges facing parents with special needs kids. When Faith reaches 18, her special school, excellent as it is, is no longer able to retain her. This means that she has to go home. It is a huge problem because our daughter is likely to outlive us and without a proper place for her to spend her adult life, we worry for her future. PM knows this is a problem. I hope he gets someone to look into it.
I enjoyed meeting the staff there too. The butlers were a really friendly lot (even though they look serious here) and I chatted with a few of them. I even took a photo with Francis, the chief butler. I think they are such a cool part of the place, quietly taking care of things.
PM is a friendly fellow and laughs heartily. I hope he got a chance to try the tau huey I brought along. His Security Detail very tactfully informed me that they will take possession of the tau huey and tell PM I brought it for him. I suppose they had to x-ray it and stick a silver needle into it first, as per SOP.
When I mentioned the tau huey, PM thanked me and told me he usually has tau huey for breakfast, from Tiong Bahru market, with no sugar. I take mine sugarless too, because must watch the sugar at my age.
(Update: He just replied on Twitter that he enjoyed the tau huey. Good to know, haha! "@leehsienloong: @mrbrown Thanks for the tau huey. It was good – smooth texture and just the right sweetness. Hope you enjoyed the tea. - LHL".)
Here is a photo of Two Lees:
Finally, I thought I will share this official photo taken by Alex Qiu of the PMO. It is not my most flattering side but I think this qualifies as a legit photobomb. Can see me or not? (Even my Facebook tagging was at an awkward spot).