Merdeka! We heard this rally cry called out (again) by two PM Lees (PM Lee2) this year’s National Day Rally (NDR). Once by the younger Lee and once by the older Lee – not spiritually by older Lee because it’s Hungry Ghost Month – but through the infamous video below (from 1:53) showed at NDR on Sunday night.
The rally cry this time round is not to “break up” with the Brits, but is mainly to give Ang Baos to a group of Singaporeans born from between 1950 to 1959. The younger Lee – him included – called this group the Merdeka Generation, and there will be package for them – almost same-same as the Pioneer Generation Package. Details of the package are still Akan Datang, but it should cover the usual “Medi” stuff.
You can make fun of the name of the package, and even call it a vote-buying trick for all we care. Personally, we see it from the moolah POV for many of our Merdeka Generation parents. And yes, being recognised for their sacrifices is nice. But the real plus is for the “young couples” from the XYZ generations (us) who can be assured that Ah Gong will help look after our Merdeka Generation parents’ medical bills.
Sounded too money-minded? Yes, but this is really one big pain point for the Sandwiched Generation (us too), which the younger Lee spoke about in his Chinese speech on the cost of living. Many young couples have to jaga our Merdeka and even Pioneer Generations parents and grandparents, while making sure that our own kids have a good start in lives. You tell me lah, stress or not? Plus many of us are still in the early stages of our careers, and we also have to “manage our bosses” too while juggling family. If not no promotion, which also means lesser moolah for our kids and parents in the long-run. #stressmax
A little practical help like the Merdeka Generation package is always nice. We think it touches our hearts abit (not that we are always heartless) that the Government recognises the sacrifices of many our parents who are from the Merdeka Generation. Yes, our Ah Gong and Ah Ma from the Pioneer Generation kena the most siong part of nation-building, but hey, our Merdeka Generation parents also didn’t have it any easier. Our fathers probably had to help defend a nation that was in its cui state, and our mothers probably have to give up furthering their education to start work early to support the family.
Plus, the Merdeka Generation in their younger dates then probably have many question marks about whether they would truly have a future in Singapore looking at the uncertainty then. Luckily, they sucked it up, made it through, so that we (the XYZ generations) can watch Netflix on our smartphones using 4G network now, while complaining about the high cost of living.
The Merdeka Generation Package is like Christmas, CNY, Fathers’ Day, Mothers’ Day, and birthdays come early for our parents and for the young couples. Sure, many would point “middle finger” at the government for “buying” their votes using this package. Then my dare here is you go tell whichever MPs or government agencies not to subsidise your Merdeka Generation parents’ medical bills lor – no one will stop you. Unless you are a “Crazy Rich Asian”, if not you must be a “Crazy Asian” when the government give you money and you don’t take.
Whether we vote or not vote for the government is separate issue, the health of our Merdeka Generation parents is more important, and I will take moolah from the package wholeheartedly.