And on Saturday: How to apply EP changes in your life

Nov 19, 2016 12.01PM |

by Felix Cheong

This week, a fictitious businessman who makes rubber stamps for a living, Keymus Yea, says changes in the Elected Presidency can actually be implemented across the board in all aspects of society.

SINCE changes to the Elected Presidency (EP) were mooted earlier this year (in other words, cast in stone), I have seen how these ideas can be applied at work, school and home. As with everything in Singapore (except maybe the LRT), it works!

For a start, I was so inspired by such a foolproof system that I created a two-key system to my safe at home, with my domestic helper (she’s Indonesian, so technically a Malay) holding the second key.

This safeguards our reserves accumulated from “flipping” real estate during the boom years of the 1990s to the 2000s.

Whenever my wife or I need extra cash, we simply summon Kunci, sit her down at the dining table and explain, as clearly as our inadequate command of Bahasa Indonesian allows, why we need to open the safe.

Ninety-nine per cent of the time, she is more than willing to let us have the key, which she proudly wears like a chain around her neck.

I’m not sure if she understands what it is all about or if she thinks this is some kind of game. But she performs her duty, without fear or favour, all the same.

Whenever she refuses to yield, my strategy is straightforward and simple: Dangle her four-year contract, ever so delicately, over the bin. A “yes, sir” invariably follows.

This arrangement ensures neither my wife nor I overspend without third-party approval. And it has certainly created a lot of trust in the household: Kunci knows that we know our safe is safe with her, and we know that she knows that she will always give her approval.

It’s all about check and balance and how you balance the check.

By the same token, I have also seen how some of these EP changes are already being adapted and adopted by the principal in my son’s SAP school.

Taking the cue that the next EP is reserved for Malays, Principal See Baey Sian recently announced only Malay students can run for the post of class treasurer. Not only that, only Malay students whose pocket money exceeds $500 a month are eligible.

The reason? If a student can handle $500, he’s probably mature enough to handle $5,000 of class funds.

This ruling naturally created a conundrum. For in a school packed cheek by jowl with Chinese, where to find a Malay student? And one whose pocket money exceeds $500?

In the end, the choice came down to three students: a boy of Chinese-Malay parentage; a Malaysian boy who speaks Malay and a Chinese boy who happens to have Bin in his name.

My son doesn’t want to tell me who won.     

Keymus Yea


Featured image by Natassya Siregar.

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