6/24/2015

1974 – The last supper

1974 was the year the British pulled out of Singapore to wave goodbye to their Empire and one of the last colonies left in the Far East. 1974 was the 1997 of Hongkong, the last vestiges of the British Empire. What the British did here, though in a small scale, was similar to what they did to Hongkong in a huge scale.

In Hongkong, the Treasury was open to the British to help themselves. And they spent and spent, on anything they fancied, for the good of Hongkong or for good of Westminister. The Hongkong Treasury had a lot of cash waiting to be emptied and the one holding the key, the British of course, would make it easy for Chris Patten to do the necessary.
In Singapore, by 1974 we were already an independent country and the Treasury was out of bound to the British. We were an independent country and governing ourselves except for the military bases that were still in operation.

I was a young officer in RAF/RSAF Tengah. All military units under the British tradition have this thing called Officer’s Mess where the officers dined and wined. Though the beer and liquor were tax exempted, still the Mess was able to have a nice  surplus over the years, including revenue from the jackpot machine.
What would the British want to do with the money? They have contributed a big chunk to it by their drinking in the bar. They are not going to leave it behind for us to inherit. They are going to spend it one way or another.

That December of 1974 was a grand last supper before the British packed up and leave, leaving behind nothing in the Mess kitty. They organized an opulence party to celebrate for one last time. It was not so much as to have a good time. It was how to finish off the money in the kitty. The spread of food and drinks was not only generous, but wasteful and very unnecessary. There were less than a hundred of them left and about a similar number of us locals taking over the Mess.

What the British did was to open up three dining areas for the night with all kinds of food, Asian and European and what not. As if this was not enough, there were, if I can remember, three separate bars, with free flowing of beer and liquor, on the house of course, like the food. And that was not enough, I think there were three bands playing in three different areas.

It was like money everywhere and money to be spent to make everyone happy. They were throwing the money at everyone, at themselves and to us, to partake everything in that one evening. They were still in control, in control of he money, the money soon to be OPM, no longer theirs if they didn’t spend it. It was so easy to spend money that was OPM and had a good time.

When the curtain is about to fall, why not? At least they made themselves happy and emptied the kitty at the same time. They are not looking back. They know that the money would not be theirs anymore to spend. It was like ‘It’s now or never’.

That was 1974, the last day of the Empire. We never see them again. Or we never allow them to take control again, not with our money.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...


The greatest gift in life is REMEMBRANCE......

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

But there will never be a last day for the PAP govt lah.

As long as there will never be a first day when the Sinkie opposition is ready to be govt.

So not to worry, RB. And I believe PAP govt will not be the like the British, last day or not. And as long as Sinkies have CPF enough after 55 or 65, they will receive money for as long as they live, under CPF Life. So where got problem, unless Sinkies themselves don't have money because they are not smart to make money, so they only got themselves to blame lor.

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

The Brits were in Singapore for 150 years. PAP only 50. Still got time lah.

Anonymous said...

..unless Sinkies themselves don't have money because they are not smart to make money...
Anon 9:12 a.m.

Tiok. And that is what Sinkies should be most worried about, and not about the long gone British, the current PAP, or what not.

Anonymous said...


No Money No Talk World

The most important thing living in this tiny and
very very expensive city state is not who rules
the state.

But to survive on this rock, your pockets must
have money, in fact plenty plenty of money!

This is a No Money No Talk world!

This is the only only way going forward.

Anonymous said...

RB, what you have described is seen in Cathay Pacific Airlies, still under controlled by British until they pulled out of Hong Kong. Pilots were paid very high salary and other perks. Pilots must be British and or Australians (another defecto British colony). This is an example of how they drained out the money by giving to THIER people. Leaving little when handover.

Anonymous said...

It is time to do the same, follow their examples and give more money to the Brits and foreigners.

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

@ it's just obvious, 1000

>>The most important thing living in this tiny and
very very expensive city state is not who rules
the state.<<


I keep saying this: whoever rules the state comes from the same culture, tradition, languages and history as the people who put the rulers into power. i.e. govt and sheeple: all the same lah. One group has the "power", the other group just "follow blindly".

>> to survive on this rock, your pockets must
have money <<


Again, I've said this over and over. Singapore culture is based in materialism. Which is why Singapore rocks awesomely!

Being rich is definitely better than being poor. People complain that living in Singapore as it is is "stressful". I contend that if Singapore was a poor cuntry, it would be even MORE STRESSFUL.

Anonymous said...

I contend that if Singapore was a poor cuntry, it would be even MORE STRESSFUL.
Matilah 11:30 a.m.

Agreed, and this is one of the more, if not the most, serious and thought provoking statement Matilah had made. Likewise, I would also contend that if Singapore is ruled by the opposition, it would be even MORE STRESSFUL too. And for this not happening, I thank the 60% who voted PAP without fail every election. And no doubt they will do so again.

b said...

no worry lah, once the war between russia and europe starts, the empire will be lost forever. no empire lasts forever.

Anonymous said...

Sg is rich in GDP and superficially.
Nationhood is not rich for a few decades.
Imagine a person healthy, strong and attractive up to age 30 and then suffers Cancer. What's so great about that 30 years of glory?

The first generation toiled hard and industriously to make the educated locals and born Malaysians to become leaders.

The first generation leaders make the people to work even harder and rewarded themselves witg power, wealth and glory. They entrench themselves in power and drive the third generation Sinkies even harder. There is a limit to everything and the limit of a tiny barren rock needs no imagination.
Sg has hit the summit. The climb down is many times more difficult than the ascent.
There was a real need to reduce to first gear in the early 90s. Instead the engine was driven at the highest speed. What will be the consequences?

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

@ voting public, 136:

>> Likewise, I would also contend that if Singapore is ruled by the opposition, it would be even MORE STRESSFUL too. <<

By that, I think you mean that the opposition, if they get into govt, will mess up the show, and Singapore will sink like grandmother's tits into the oblivion of iniquity, with Sheeple jumping in front of trains so frequently, Singapore Pools will be taking bets.

I have no dog in the race. I'm not voting. If I don't vote, I can't be blamed :-)

I could care less which party is running Singapore. All this "division by political party" is a delusion lah. We all come from the same national, genetic and geographic stock. We're imbued with the same fucked-up kiasu-kiasi, arrogant, self-important and impatient culture, and yet we can't do shit until the govt tells us to shit. ;-)

So come election time, the majority of the people vote into the offices of State, a ballot-selected minority from the common local stock of humanity, to oversee matters of State---aka running the Mother Cuntry.

So it isn't about opposition, or ruling party....all the people...sama sama. The "division" into various political parties: nothing but DELUSIONAL ACTIVITY by power-crazy psychos aiming to make careers out of controlling other people's lives, and taxing them too!

The common belief is that the voters vote in a leader for the nation.

I think otherwise: people vote in a sucker they can blame for all the ills and epic failures of society and in the cuntry ;-)

The Sheeple do this so none of them have to take any responsibility for their own lives, nor look after each other. Just blame EVERYTHING on the poor cunt who got voted in. Ahhhh...nevermind, just sling him some extra coin for his troubles...he's Singaporean, he likes money!