Got there a little late – actually very late – for I mistook the location for the original Mandarin Hotel (down along Orchard Road). Thankfully I got there just in the nick of time as the food was to be served – happily missing the speeches section – like anything worthwhile was to be said.
Why hotels need to do these stupid stunts as turning down the lights before serving food is something anthropologists would have to discuss years from now. Perhaps the hotel’s f&b professionals think that these gimmicks are worthwhile.
As the food gets served, the MC – a delightful gadis manis – continued with the banter to get the “mood” of the crowd into a groovy birthdayey level. Alas, it was a dowdy audience – except for the table I was at (the SCS exco table).
A bunch of awards were given out. I cannot remember them, nor their categories, except that they were for the SITF council members pretty much. If there ever was a need to re-define kelong , this event would have to be it. In all fairness to the SITF judging and organizing committee, if one were to look at the invitation that was sent out it did say : “On this special evening, we will be showing our appreciation to business and industry partners, our councilors and members.” The partners and councilors were adequately appreciated, I must say.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the singing by two performers – one a student at the UniSIM whose name escapes me and the other a standup comedian, Hossan Leong. I think of the two singers, the lady from UniSIM was outstanding in her voice and diction and she should consider a career in singing. Hossan was OK in his songs – all Barry Manilow favourites – but I think what was a saving grace was his 5 minutes of comedy. He poked fun at the “Good English Movement” with such gems like:
SQ Passenger (on flight from Sydney to Singapore): Excuse me, miss. Where’s Alice Springs?
SQ Flight Attendant: Unmm, wait, ah, let me check ….
SQ Flight Attendant (returns): Sorry, she is not on the flight today.
He had a round of Hokkien jokes, crude as it was, was nonetheless well received.
Anyway, the food was OK, the company at Table 4 was great (we were the most vocal and had, IMHO the most fun) and fortunately was able to leave the event before the goh himself left.
PS: Don’t bother trying to explore the SITF website. It is broken and you need Internet Exploder and Windoze for it to work. Yes, it is the Singapore IT Federation but they continue to be clueless and supported by M$. But, hey, don’t tell them.
PPS: I am told that the SITF expend effort (perhaps moolah) to rebrand themselves as SiTF. Notice the difference? I thought so.
KELONG (Contributed by Raphael Lee)
Originally, a kelong is a wooden structure built above the sea by driving wooden “piles” (made from the trunks of coconut trees, for example) into the seabed and used for commercial fishing. Colloquially, it is a term used to describe any form of cheating or corruption in any competition e.g. soccer.
Heartlander version: “Wah lao, Yishun United goalie normally damn tzai, but this match perform like cock and lose 5-0! Confirm must be kelong one!”
Atas version: “Wah lao, Queen Astrid Park Rangers normally damn cock, but this match somehow can win 5-0! Confirm must be kelong one!”