[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, February 01, 2009

[Chinese New Year]
I've lost count the number of times I've tossed yu sheng this Chinese New Year. It's nice to see the way 'lo hei' has become part of our custom here. I'm told the margins are also good for the restaurants.

There is a certain tentativeness in this year's Chinese New Year mood. Everyone knows that the economy is turning downwards and things will get worse. The recent Government Budget sent a strong signal, both of the gravity of the situation and government's determination to help Singaporeans. What cheers me is the general sense of solidarity and the willingness of better off Singaporeans to help those poorer off. In many countries, the politics turn sour when the economy runs into trouble. Recrimination, blaming others become commonplace. Internationally, governments will find it hard to resist protectionist pressure. The US House of Congress recently passed a bill requiring government procurement to Buy American first. This is against WTO rules and will lead to retaliatory moves by other countries.

Sunday is the 7th day of the New Year, everyone's birthday by tradition. This morning, all the MPs of Aljunied GRC, grassroots leaders and residents turned up at Bedok Reservoir to release 1388 gurami fish. There was a fine wushu performance on the floating platform which lifted spirits. This is the third year we released fish into the reservoir. It has become a little tradition that we all look forward to.

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