After seeing so many of my friends express their opinions on the coming General Elections, I have decided to have a go at it as well; in a slightly more interesting manner (or at least in my own twisted opinion).
This is a story about a young emperor. Together with his empress, the two slogged hard and soon, the country became propserous. Like every other emperor, this young emperor soon took in concubines. The empress was a little upset, but accepted it; for it was the norm.
What happened next, should not surprise any of you. The emperor soon neglected the empress and began spending more time with his concubines. Although most of these concubines did not demand a lot of money from him, what the emperor didn't know what that these concubines frequently caused much other problems. For example, they would often hog all the horse carriages; leaving ministers with important errands to run fuming; quite literally.
The country continued to prosper. Other countries grew interested and sent emissaries to visit. The emperor was delighted and took pride in such visits. However, he would often entertain the emissaries together with his concubines, forgetting about the empress totally, although she was the one who went through the tough times with him. In fact, there was this time when there was a tribal rebellion, and it was the empress who braved dangers to negotiate peace with the tribe chieftain. Alas, it has been forgetten. The emperor would boast of his concubines' accomplishments but it never once crossed his mind to mention the wonderful things his empress have done. He believed that as long as he gave her gifts every now and then, she would be contended.
Although the emperor appeared to be doing well, there were actually a lot of problems. It
wasn't long before many of the newly appointed ministers in the court turned out to be relatives of the concubines. Many of them were young and grew up in the palace, thanks to their relations with the concubines. They had never step foot into the paddy fields before nor seen the dirty streets in the villages. They had the mindset that everyone dine with fine meat and had quality wine to drink. One even commented that it was cheap to send a child to school, when most of the villagers could not even afford to. What was more saddening was that some other more qualified scholars were denied the chance to serve in the royal court because of such.
The empress didn't get along too well with the concubines either. Yet instead of trying to
mediatate matters, the emperor chose to give more work to his empress, hoping to keep her preoccupied and too busy for other matters. In fact, the emperor decided that the empress was to join his generals at the military barracks for a fortnight every year. Naturally, the empress felt a little peeved; after all, it was no fun transiting from a civilian life to that of a soldier. However, she felt that it was a valuable experience and after all, it was part of defending the empire she had built up. Unfortunately this feeling was short-lived. The final straw came on this one year when she was about to leave for the military visit again and she saw the emperor with one of his concubines having breakfast at a pavilion. She was infuriated and realized then that the emperor didn't even know that she was to be leaving for the camp that day. She felt lost. She had been committing to the defence cause, but whom and what was she defending?
That year, the empress didn't went to the barracks. She returned to the palace. She decided to take a walk around and a frightening realization dawned upon her. The palace which she had lived in was no longer recognizable to her. The palace exuded more grandeur with great sculptures, fine pieces of arts and literature. But she couldn't recognize too many people. Where was the old gardener whom she had brought in? He would greet her cheerfully every morning, but now, the person who was tending to the flowers had a sullen face. The empress noticed that this new gardener was able to water the plants much faster, but he was very rough with the plants and did not bother about sweeping away the dry fallen leaves. The empress then went to the kitchens. Similarly, the cooks were all changed as well. This new batch took a shorter time to whip up dishes, but the kitchen was unkempt and the sound of the woks being constantly slammed against the stoves was plain annoying.
Disheartened, the empress did not wish to continue with her walk any further. She retired to her chambers and pondered. As the empress, she had the power to bring in people of her own. People who could assist the royal court; ranging from the gardener to the court ministers.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
GE 2011 in Singapore
The General Elections in Singapore are coming, and I found this a very interesting read (it is a note I found on Facebook):
Posted by shootscoresmile at 8:27 AM