Saturday, 8 December 2007

Material Aspirations

The traditional aspirations of Singaporeans are the well enough known to have their own Wikipedia page - the five C's: Car, Cash, Credit Card, Condo, Country Club. Inspector Clouseau would say that makes 7 Cs but stay with me. These embody the Singaporean dream of being rich enough to own an expensive house, expensive car, expensive club membership and have money left over to spend. All very materialistic stuff and no one is denying the essential truth of it.

An analysis piece by the Straits Times claimed it contained a new list: Competitiveness, Cohesion, Compassion, Compact, Choices. This roughly translates to "stay economically successful, watch out for the poor, keep the old in the loop". This is political spin designed to soften the collateral fallout from capitalist policies. So no place in our trivial treatise.

Meantime, the aspirations of Singaporean wives appear to have risen over the last 20 years according to this list:

I don't need a CAR, but I want a BMW
I don't need a CONDO , but I want a BUNGALOW
I don't need you to have CASH but I want you to own a BANK
I don't need you to have a CAREER but I want you to be a BOSS

... or better expressed as the new five B's: BMW, Body, Brain, Billionaire, Bungalow. More fantasy than the original five C's as how many single billionaire bank-owners are there?

Or how about the 1 - 5 lists for the different races. Singaporeans' recipe for Simple Living:

1 - One Wife
2 - Two Children
3 - Three Bedroom Condo
4 - Four Wheels (car)
5 - Five Figure (monthly) Salary
Malaysian Malays' recipe for Simple Living:
5 - Five Children
4 - Four Wives
3 - Three Figure Salary
2 - Two Wheels (motorbike)
1 - One-Storey Link House