Fann Wong to rescue S'pore's 49th birthday

Last November, I was at Swissotel The Stamford for the Swissotel Vertical Marathon and met members of the Team Singapura Everest 2015.

They were taking part in the vertical marathon with their training gear to drum up publicity for their quest to climb the world's highest mountain next year to mark Singapore's 50th birthday.

But it was not as if a bunch of Singaporeans sat around to brainstorm what to do for our nation's "Golden Jubilee" celebration and someone said, "Hey, let's climb Mount Everest."

According to the Team Singapura Everest 2015 website, the idea of climbing Everest came first. Then came the idea of celebrating Singapore's 50th birthday.

But it did involve a bunch of Singaporeans sitting around.

To quote the website: "It all started in June 2010 when four individuals met up for regular coffee.

Shariff Abdullah, aka Singapore's Blade Runner, shared with the rest that he has a dream to climb Mount Everest in 2015.

"Spontaneously, we began to realise that 2015 is the 50th birthday of Singapore."

I have to say that took remarkable foresight.

Back in June 2010, most Singaporeans were more concerned that SingTel and StarHub were overcharging them to watch the World Cup, a scenario that may be replayed this year.

Who was even thinking about Singapore's 50th birthday back then? Team Singapura Everest 2015 were clearly way ahead of the curve.

It wasn't until last August that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled the Singapore50 (SG50) committee to look for ideas to mark Singapore's 50th birthday.

Remember that earlier I mentioned a bunch of Singaporeans sitting around and brainstorming what to do for our nation's "Golden Jubilee" celebration?

Well, it's now official.

Last month, chairman of the SG50 committee Heng Swee Keat made the call for proposals.

He said: "If you have ideas that will help us all celebrate in a truly Singaporean spirit, please come forward and share them and make this really our celebration."

You can submit your proposals at

The website has received more than 600 submissions so far.

My top three recent favourites are:

- #632 "Wrap the iconic buildings in red, decorate the trees on the big roads in red, fly thousands of balloons in the sky."

- #610 "$5,000 hongbao for Singaporean."

- #637 "My idea for SG50 is to have less disruptions to our train services and reduce waiting time for buses."

It's going to be tough to top that last one, but last week, it was reported that not one but two as-yet-unnamed musicals about former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew are in the works and expected to be staged next year in time for Singapore's 50th birthday.

Not stage plays, mind you, but musicals. With singing and dancing and all that jazz.

Like Jersey Boys except it's Joo Chiat Boys.

Like Miss Saigon except it's Miss Serangoon.

Like The Phantom Of The Opera except it's The Phantom Of Victoria Theatre.

Like Hello, Dolly! except it's Hello, Mr Lee!

Like Mamma Mia! except it's Ah Gong Mia!

Like Les Misérables except it's, uh, Les Misérables.

I think musicals about local politicians are long overdue.

You know how much they like to wayang.

Also announced last week were the 26 men and women vying to become the first Singaporean to pilot a craft into near space on - when else? - Singapore's 50th birthday.

I guess getting launched into near space is one way of getting away from road bullies who are caught on video and later apologise on YouTube.

I hope whoever is selected to go won't be unselected at the last minute and post it on Facebook.

Now all these birthday plans are great - but they're for next year.

What are we doing for Singapore's 49th birthday this year?

Why isn't Mr Heng chairing the SG49 committee?

There's no website to submit ideas.

Can't we at least have just one musical about former prime minister Goh Chok Tong?

I can't help but feel we're saving all the really good stuff for next year.

Who should come to our rescue but MediaCorp actress Fann Wong, who was revealed last week to be three months pregnant.

This means her first child should be born in about six months - just in time for Singapore's 49th birthday!

It's not climbing Mount Everest, but it's close enough. Thanks, Fann!

As for the Goh Chok Tong musical, may I suggest Christopher Lee for the lead role?

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