Sunday 28 August 2011

The president of Singapore is not a Super MP (wink, wink)

So Dr Tony Tan will be our new president.

Are we done? This is it, right? Can we get on with our lives now?

No more elections for at least the next four years, right?

No more Nomination Days. No more rallies. No more Cooling Off Days. And yes, no more recounts. (Oh god, please no more recounts!)

And don't let me catch anyone sneaking in any by-elections. I’m all election-ed out.

I’ve already “unliked” all the candidates on Facebook and “unfollowed” them on Twitter. As I look back on Singapore’s second election in four months, this is what I’ve learned:

Mr Yam Ah Mee is everywhere.

The returning officer keeps returning! As the 2011 general and presidential elections pass into history, I would be relieved never to hear the word "persuant" in his monotone voice again.

Another thing I learned during the presidential election is that Sharon Au had been away from Singapore for six years. She went to Japan, France and Spain to pursue her degree.

She studied international politics and international law. She did several modules of liberal arts and even learned three new languages — Japanese, French and Spanish, of course.

It was the first time she had been away on her own. She immersed herself “totally and deeply” in the academic world and she never felt happier.

But at the end of her university journey, she realised it wasn’t her accomplishments in school that she was most proud of. It was the experience of living in foreign lands and watching how people in other countries live that moved her the most.

The self-proclaimed “former” TV actress-host shared all this about herself at Dr Tony Tan’s lunchtime rally at Boat Quay on Wednesday.

What does it have to do with Dr Tan or the presidential election?

I have no idea.

Self-involved much, Ms Au?

Maybe she was just practising for her own presidential run in 2023.

Dr Tan did mention afterwards he was confident that there would be female presidential candidates in the future.

Also at the same rally, I learned from Dr Tan that the president is not a “Super MP”.

At first, I was disappointed by this. I mean, how cool would it be to have a president with super powers?

Orchard Road flooded? He could suck all the water with his super lungs, teleport himself to drought-hit Somalia and irrigate the fields there instantly. Imagine what that would do for our international relations. (Ask Sharon Au.)

The Istana could be sitting over a Batcave with an underground hangar housing an Invisible Plane that they trot out once a year for the National Day Parade, but you can’t see it because ... well, it’s invisible.

Then I realised, of course the president would deny that he is a Super MP — he has to keep his super identity a secret!

Like Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. (Not so much Iron Man, Captain America and the Fantastic Four in the movies.)

But superhero or not, the president isn’t without certain special powers.

And you know what they say, with great power comes great responsibility.

I bet Sharon Au can say it in five languages.

- Published in The New Paper, 28 August 2011

EARLIER: I’m qualified to choose curtains, not presidents