"My son, Kong, thank you, thank you for going through this. I need you to go through this alone, so that you and CHC can be the man and the ministry I called it to be. I'm so sorry, but you need to go through this by yourself, to bring a change to your generation."
We have a guy who also claimed to be able to rise from the dead ("Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up." - 1988 National Day rally), but you'll never hear him utter the "s" word. At best, as when he recanted asking a minority group to be "less strict" with their religion, he would concede a "I stand corrected".
The other speaker who mentioned Obama in passing was this year’s valedictorian of Nanyang Technological University's (NTU's) School of Humanities and Social Science who simply could not resist cocking a snook at the linguistic skills of the Chinese nationals at his campus, “This (something about honouring parents, not peers) is especially so for the Chinese majors who probably have not gotten what I just said in English.” His speech was vetted by NTU, but he could sneak in the insult because, as he put it, "Guess who's at the mike?" A valedictorian is supposed to be the highest ranking among his or her graduating class, not dog pile.
With these two hard acts to follow, prime minister Lee will need to work doubly hard at his National Day Rally (NDR) 2013 speech scheduled for August 18th. At least we should be spared the hissing delivery style of a Lim Swee Say, punctuated by the sound of air escaping from the gaps of teeth pried apart by tooth picks purloined from elitist eating establishments. There's good reason why dental floss and toothbrushes are recommended means of dental hygiene. Don't expect much too much of a change though, trains will continue to break down, dirty money flow in, prices go up, crowding resume at all manner and mode of infrastructure as usual. The one surprise was the detailed disclosure about BTO flats for singles. Previously, "goodies" were announced at the NDR speech, and followed by "my minister will provide the details."