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The Singapore Democrats celebrated our 28th Anniversary yesterday in a most colourful way. Our guests showed up in bright Hawaiian garb. Some looked like they had come straight from the open surf.
The evening opened with party chairman Gandhi Ambalam welcoming our friends. Among them was Mr J B Jeyaretnam who was greeted with appreciative applause. There were also members from the Workers’ Party and the National Solidarity Party.
A surprise guest was Mr Vincent Cheng who was cruelly imprisoned and abused in 1987 by the ISD for being a “mastermind” in the so-called Marxist conspiracy. The crowd told the PAP what it thought of the detention by giving Mr Cheng a rousing welcome. Ms Wong Souk Yee, another 1987 detainee, was also present.
Husband and wife team of Suraya and Jufri then treated the audience with a gutsy rendition of the Phantom of the Opera. Ms Suraya recently won the talent contest when she was a finalist at the Mrs Singapore pageant.
Messrs Seelan, Shafiee and Jufri were next to get everybody snapping their fingers to a couple of snazzy compositions entitled: Pappy Go Nappy and Fix the Opposition. The
lyrics drew chuckles from all around. They group promised to record the soundtrack which, we are told, will hit the Internet circuit very soon. You won’t want to miss this.
Children are never far away from the SDP’s activities. Eight of them, ranging from three to nine years, came on stage for the all-opposition hula hoop competition. Judging by their parents’ expressions, every kid won.
Then came the time for limbo rock. Some of the guests who were volunteered all gamely came up on stage to bob and weave their way under the bar.
But with the likes of Dr Russell Heng, Mr Vincent Cheng, Dr Wong Wee Nam, Dr Chee Soon Juan, and Mr Ambalam who are in their, shall we say, wiser halves of their lives, gravity was always going to be the winner. If not for the Reggae music pounding away in the background, you would have heard the creaks of joints from the neck to the knees.
Mercifully the gyration ended and Dr Chee Soon Juan came back on stage to launch his latest book, A Nation Cheated. He briefly introduced the publication and then addressed the recent announcement of demonstrations being allowed at the Speakers’ Corner.
He told the audience that the reversal of the Government’s position was a result of civil disobedience being waged in Singapore and stressed that activists must step up campaign efforts to bring about reform where the rights of the people to free speech and assembly are fully restored.
Next up was the lucky draw. First prize: Lamborghini LP-5604 series. Oops! Sorry wrong party…that was the PAP’s. Ours was a portable hammock. Other prizes included a pair of watches, a Takashimaya gift voucher and a steam iron, all donated by supporters and well-wishers.
This was followed by a skit directed and produced by former Workers’ Party member Mr Maurice Neo and performed by fellow actors which included Mr Jufrie Mahmood and Mr Chia Ti Lik. The 15-minute theatre is a long-shot for an Oscar but it was a hilarious parody of the Tak Boleh Tahan campaign and its encounters with our men-in-blue.
The evening rounded off with everyone joining in the singing of We Shall Overcome.
To all of you who came to the party, thank you for making it such a memorable evening for us. We hope you had as great a time as we did.
And kudos to Ms Chee Siok Chin and Ms Jaslyn Go who were the driving and creative forces behind the event. Great job, ladies! Now, about next year’s dinner…
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