Friday, June 25, 2010

Definitely Not Sophie's Choice

I like Sumiko Tan. She has spunk. She raised Goh Chok Tong's blood pressure by entertaining the idea of being a single mother. Only other woman in Singapore that has done that is Catherine Lim. Goh actually ticked her off in his National Day Rally Speech, instead of using the keynote speech to focus on achieving the Swiss standard of living for lesser mortals.

At 46, the editor of the Sunday Times and columnist since July 3, 1994, decided to marry ex-classmate Quek Suan Shiau, 48, an electrician and chess teacher in Wales. "It's set then. I'm saying goodbye to my life as I know it and getting, um, married," she wrote, detailing the strategic moves that ended in checkmate.

One is immediately reminded of MP for Tampines GRC, 43-year-old Irene Ng, getting hitched to a 62-year-old Scotsman who wore a skirt to the wedding. Ng had met Graham Berry while on a three-month fellowship at the University of Edinburgh in August 2006, and Berry proposed two months latter. He has two children, Louise, 38, and Mark, 36, from an earlier marriage, having twice taken the oath before the officiating priest to "to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part". Being Asian, many Singaporeans were curious what the foreigner will bring to the table. "I never asked him to (move to Singapore). It was his decision," replied Ng. "He has not decided what he would do in Singapore, but I know that he will be by my side in helping me to become a better MP." The bride also claimed that the union that fulfilled four government policies: it is pro-family, promotes active ageing, foreign talent and racial harmony.

Sumiko's choice differs in that an Ang Moh is not involved (unless you count the other woman, who is Welsh). The man has a previous marriage, and his 5-year-old daughter prefers to take her chances with mom. He does own an earthly possession, a 1,000 cc motorbike. Britain's divorce laws are tough. Like Berry, Quek will be moving into his little woman's house. So how will this arrangement check out?
1) Pro-family - Negative. Divorce and no kids in the new set up. At her age, Down syndrome should not be dismissed lightly.
2) Promotes active aging - Jury is out. Like, there's a world of difference between line dancing and pole dancing. Mama was always right about getting hitched early. And, oh yeah, remember to marry up.
3) Foreign Talent - Not an issue, if he still has his Singapore passport.
4) Racial harmony - No worries. Sumiko's mother is Japanese, but nobody todate has confronted her about the Nanking massacre.

Still, something nags me. You could have done better for yourself, girl. Did you really have to take a bus from Swansea to Heathrow? All by yourself? What about the note that promised, " I'll drive you to the end of the world and back"? Be cool, don't rush the joint bank account.

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