Today, on the recommendation of my wife, I bought a comic book published last week by Lian He Zao Bao in conjunction with the yearly Speak Mandarin Campaign. It is entitled 新加坡啦 (Singapu-lah). The title is a play of words linking our country's Malay name "Singapura" and Singaporeans' habit of using "lah" to end almost every spoken sentence. The book has a forword by Mr Wong Kan Seng, no less. Therefore its contents must have been officially sanctioned (including topics about sex) and it should be safe for me to blog about it.
The book comes with a CD-ROM containing 30 of the 118 articles. The book could improve your Chinese as well as your sense of humour. You will also appreciate the lighter side of local social issues. At only S$8.80, it is real value for money.
The book's satirical cartoonist is Mr Wu Jia He (吴嘉禾). His cartoons mostly poke fun about local social issues. Here is one example that I found very funny and is an issue close to my heart too. In fact, I had earlier blogged about a similar topic:
My amateurish translation of the Chinese in the above cartoon is as follows:
Wife seated at the table tells elderly husband: "You must be careful. Don't let your Central Provident Fund (公积金) become 'a fund for prostitutes' (供妓金)."
The beauty of this cartoon is in the pun of the two Chinese phrases. They sound very similar to each other but have very different meanings. Yet, they reflect the true situation that's facing many local elderly men who have collected their CPF.
Here's a rough translation of the short article below the cartoon:
The redlight district around Geylang has always been an area where prostitutes solicit for business. However, these foreign women have recently infiltrated into the HDB heartlands. The women's main targets are the elderly retired men who have just withdrew their CPF savings. The women would first approach the old men to strike up a conversation. Next, they would try to negotiate a sexual transaction.Hmm... maybe my wife is hinting to me to be careful about my CPF too. After all, I'll be collecting mine in a little over 4 years' time.
There are some men who, despite of their advanced age, could not resist the temptation to dally with women. After having their fun, they are even foolish enough to handover their CPF savings to these prostitutes. Ultimately, they ended up without the women and without their money.