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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Personally speaking; No fund intended

First, let me declare that this is my personal blog. It is not owned by any company, including Breakfast Network Private Limited.

Second, I don’t know how come advertisements are sometimes pasted here; I think that’s a WordPress thing. Definitely no money comes to me, whether to write articles or in the form of other revenue for this blog. Swear.

Third, I do have a personal Facebook page. It’s PERSONAL. I am not paid to put up my posts. As for those ads, I think that’s a Facebook thing. I have a personal Twitter account, which I seldom use. Again, no money changed hands. If it did, I think that’s a Twitter thing.  

Finally, below is a satirical piece. Satire. I’m not sure if it counts as political and religious content but I am banking on the above three declarations to ensure that I am the right side of whatever regulations, at least the current ones.

I can’t predict the future.


There was once a man who thought he should open a soup kitchen. You know…like those free meals that churches, temples and mosques dish out to followers and others? (Oops! I better re-write in case this is defined as religious content…)

There was once a group of people (all Singaporeans) who thought they should step up to the nation’s call to contribute to society by providing free food to the under-privileged.

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They borrowed pots and pans and even filched some from home to set up a kitchen and dining area. A company called WordPress gave them premises for free. A company called Facebook did their public relations work for them. Twitter, another company, also said it could post short messages for them as a marketing tool. Both pro bono.

They found it tough. They didn’t know who was poor because there was no poverty line. But never mind that. They thought they would just start a kitchen anyway for anyone who wanted free meals, whether rich or poor, foreigner or local, pro-G or anti-G. One of them said he would make kueh lapis.

They started serving breakfast; plain, simple fare of the bread and butter kind for a start. That was tough too because they were volunteers who held down jobs or had school assignments to do. And most were not “morning’’ people.

Their silly and demanding leader wanted food to be served every day, sometimes three or four times a day. Because, she said, people need to eat lunch and dinner too. Sometimes she wanted more elaborate dishes, which required some in the group to spend their weekends gathering ingredients from exotic places like Hong Lim Park and foreign worker dormitories.

People came to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even supper if there were still crew members silly enough to stay in the kitchen after dark.  Okay, okay, sometimes they served leftovers.

More people started coming and the kitchen had to be expanded. A microwave oven replaced the charcoal stove. The group also ascended to cloud nine, moving some servers to the Amazon basin. That required money. The silly and demanding leader broke her piggy (halal) bank and paid some kopi money to starving undergraduates trying their hand at being poets, writers and journalists and other silly, salary-short occupations. They wanted to be Junior Chefs

The silly and demanding leader, who called herself Head Chef , thought she could stick her piggy bank together by turning “corporate’’. Cover costs, she thought. Pay for some chefs who had at least been Shatec-trained and can do more than slap a sandwich together.

That was when some big burly guys came into the restaurant and asked to see the crew. They started waving some papers. The kitchen crew got rattled. Some wondered if the Head Chef had gone to a loan shark ; others wonder if they had to put up protection money. But no, the guys wanted to inspect the kitchen for bugs and other stuff that could lead to food poisoning of patrons.

The kitchen crew swore that they used only the best ingredients, locally sourced. They even fumigated the kitchen every week for cockroaches and rats. They didn’t intend to charge for the food but they did wonder if people could stick posters on the blank walls of their premises, also known as advertising space. In fact, they were in the midst of enlarging their premises when these outsiders came barging in.

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The big burly guys wanted to take down the names of key kitchen crew staff, like the Pastry Chef and Soup Chef. They said they could come by time and again to look at the cash register. They wanted the Head Chef to sign up to join their fast food franchise – and left behind some forms with a deadline and blank spaces for signatures.

The kitchen crew wondered about becoming a franchisee which served fast food. They wondered if the kitchen invasion had to do with the food they served. Not tasty enough? Too spicy? Or was the restaurant really the problem? It was sited on prime land, you see. Little India. (No, they didn’t serve alcohol.)

So they closed the restaurant and said thank you very much, but no thanks. To continue serving loyal patrons, they did some catering on the side. But the big, burly guys came round again and said you have to join the franchise – or else!  The kitchen stopped catering operations. The crew decided to break up and do some personal catering through this home delivery system called blogs. They did wonder if they should use Jeff Bezos’ drones but realised that the big, burly guys would shoot them down from the sky.

The Head Chef decided that she should just wind up the company and end all dreams of becoming a mini media magnate. She decided to go on holiday.             


Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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