Everything Else

No Casino, Yes IR

Now that everyone has stopped talking about our soon-to-be IR, I shall write about my point of view. Too late? Better late than never.

Well, since our most respected daily has told us to stop whining, we must acquiesce. Because, you know, they have just won loads of awards at some competition and they are charging poor people like us to read their online edition. So we must listen, because they are very big.

I’m just terribly amused at the way they are trying to set the agenda for unsuspecting citizens. Has anyone noticed that they like to highlight stories of ministers or MPs who were once vehemently against the casino but have since changed their minds?

Take, for example, the story of our Labour chief. His voice apparently broke during his speech and he had tears in his eyes. He was overwhelmed by emotions. He could not resist the call of 35,000 new jobs.

Oh jolly good, but how many such stories do you read of those who remain unchanged about their dislike for a casino? The impression I get of opposition ministers is that they are moronic for firstly, accusing the gahmen of aiming to pocket all the profits for themselves and leaving us innocent people to suffer the resulting social ills, and secondly, demanding to know the exact floor space of the casino because, well, 5% of 500 sq feet is smaller than 5% of 100,000,000 sq feet (I had B for A’levels Maths, okay).

Nasty agenda. Not nice.

Well, I think that gambling is a vice (Mama always taught me to steer clear of gamblers) and 2.1% of the population is still a large number, no matter what people say. But at the same time, I welcome the IR because I seriously think this little island needs a shakeup or two.

If people don’t get to gamble here, they will go to Genting or Macau. Or go online and bet $500 on each soccer match, as someone I know does. So we might as well have one here where all the revenue will go to us than to help other countries boost their economies.

Besides, the PM has already pledged to take all the responsibility should the IR fail. As he is also the Finance Minister, I am sure he must have done the sums and the pre-requisite forecasts. If he is willing to risk his good name to throw his lot in with the gambling consortiums, then I have no reason to doubt him.

As for me, the $100 entry fee has killed any inkling of desire to poke my nose around the place and work those biceps at the jackpot machines. You gotta be kidding, $100 can buy me two pairs of shoes from x:odus, a nice jacket from Mango or a pretty bag from Tangs. Heck, just top up $78 and I can get an iPod shuffle!

Okay, you can do the gambling and I will do the shopping. Deal.

Let’s play tag!