I was invited by a family member to attend the National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King's House on National Heroes Day. This is the fourth time that I have attended this high-level state event as other family members have had national honours and awards conferred on them in the past.
However, I found this week's the worst National Honours and Awards Ceremony I have ever attended. To begin with, why are invitations not given to the public?
If things couldn't get any worse, after walking across to where the event was being staged, some guests were directed by others to "grab" a chair from under a huge tree on the grounds, clean them off - as some were wet - and then negotiate with the police giving conflicting directions as to where to place their chairs. I saw a foreign gentleman - English not being his first language - being impolitely spoken to by a policeman after he seemed confused as to where to go. I also observed a minister of government walking around trying to figure out where he should sit. But it seems he was late.
When I began to inquire as to why the disorganisation, a policewoman told me sternly that "not everything go by logic or reasoning, so just siddung right deh so, ma'am". Despite the scorching sun, many guests were forced to endure nearly three hours of awards to 124 recipients - far too many, if you ask me, for a country with fewer than three million citizens. On top of that there were no monitors on site, so most of us only heard the proceedings while some men feasted their eyes on women dressed for a street dance and not a state event headlined by the governor general.
I am alarmed at the level of mediocrity in the country. As a citizen I demand that our leaders employ people who have successful track records for protocol, organisation and good management when handling state events. I also call on ministers of government and other holders of state offices to dress, speak and conduct themselves in a manner befitting their office. One basic rule is to get to the event on time. Please, for heaven's sake, raise the standard and set an example for our children.