Thursday, March 31, 2011

An 'Animal Farm' In Singapore

For those who have not read Animal Farm, it was a story about farm animals who revolt and throw out their whip-wielding owner. The pigs, being the smartest, then run the farm. We will not spoil the book for you by revealing more, but here is how their propagandist, Squealer, justifies the pigs getting the milk and all the apples :

"Comrades!" he cried. "You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.
Surely, comrades, surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?"

Now if there was one thing that the animals were completely certain of, it was that they did not want Jones back. When it was put to them in this light, they had no more to say. The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious. So it was agreed without further argument that the milk and the windfall apples (and also the main crop of apples when they ripened) should be reserved for the pigs alone.

If you can tell the difference between Animal Farm's pigs and their taking all of the best things, and the PAP's politicians and the obscene amounts they are paying themselves, then we congratulate you.

We cannot.

Note :
Animal Farm was published in 1945. We do not know whether George Orwell would have imagined it to still be happening in 2011, in Singapore. But we are certain, that he would not have expected any country to have combined the worst elements of "Animal Farm" and "1984" in quite the way Singapore has. Courtesy of the milk-drinking, apple-munching PAP.


  1. some terrific posts. keep up the good work

  2. Well done mate.... "bull's" eye

  3. I read Animal Farm and now feel the need to revisit it, along with the far-seeing 1984. this is my first visit to The Owl and I hope writing this will not land me under the ISA. I am risking that to congratulate the writing in The Owl - such wonderful, thoughtfully-crafted sentences that make reading the most unpalatable of subjects - politics, and all its greasy accompaniments - almost a pleasure. Keep up with the posts; in the meantime, I shall enjoy a rummage through your Archives.

  4. Harsh, but interesting.

    But this analogy may not be appropriate. Because while the PAP ministers are grossly overpaid, they do not prohibit citizens from getting affluent.

    Having said that, I do recall Khaw Boon Wan ( in response to the Susan Lim incident) saying that Medicine is a calling, and there is no room for exploitation. Now, I wonder if Mr Khaw considers being a minister a calling.

  5. You are so wrong there! That shows how ignorant you are! The oppositions are the pigs in this sense and then eventually they also walked on 2 legs, so on and so forth and became worst than Jones (PAP). Ha! You certainly do not understand Animal Farm at all and its significance. *Shake head*