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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Singaporean rich women

This week on Channel NewsAsia (Singapore's Asian answer to CNN) was an episode of their new series, "What Women Really Want". This episode featured tai tais and interviewed a few of them to find out what sort of lives they live and how they deal with people's negative perceptions of them.

After viewing snippets of the show, my perception of them has become even more negative. In fact, the episode showed exactly why people think negatively about tai tais. I suppose it was aiming to have a balanced viewpoint about the issue, but seriously, you can't be very balanced about tai tais.

You should've noticed by now that I haven't mentioned what tai tais are. To be a tai tai, you must meet the following requirements:
  1. Be a woman.
  2. Get obscenely rich by marrying a man or inheriting a large fortune.
  3. Live in a landed property or city apartment which is fully air-conditioned.
  4. If you're old, dress gaudily so that you stand out. If you're young, dress casually so that you try not to stand out.
  5. Shop more than once a week, 52 weeks a year. Three times a week is the average.
  6. Perform some sort of cosmetic beauty treatment at least once a week, 52 weeks a year. Again, three times a week is the average.
  7. Volunteer at charities, not necessarily because you believe in their causes, but because you have so much free time.
  8. Solicit donations from other rich people for these charities.
  9. Network with rich people so that you can achieve (6) by attending expensive luncheons at high class hotels and restaurants.
  10. And above all -- believe that you are where and what you are because it is entirely a "state of mind".
I have a better idea. All of these tai tais should just take their truckloads of money, shares, credit cards and what-nots and give it to the poor and destitute who live on an average of S$500 a month, as featured in today's newspapers. These poor people live day-to-day, hand-to-mouth. They have hardly a sliver of hope of breaking the poverty trap.

Or if there are no poor people in Singapore, as some people in positions of authority would like you to believe, then send that money overseas so that poor families don't have to sell their prepubescent daughters to be prostitutes, so that they can have a little bit of food to eat. ("They" refers to the families, not the sold-off daughters, who are now enslaved and imprisoned by their pimps.)

And meanwhile, these super-rich women say that it's all a "state of mind".

Sometimes, I really think that communism is a better answer to some of society's woes, once you get past the individual's need to succeed at any cost.

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