sounds like a goal fest for the team that’s going to beat my beloved Reds to this year’s English Premier League title. It’s also, according to arch communicator Lim Swee Say at an event held this past Sunday, an apt analogy for the battle Singapore has against this scary recession.*
Known for his vivid stories and ability to communicate to the man on the street, he drew elaborate yet fitting parallels between how Team Singapore’s midfield would need to battle to win the ball against the Red Devils and how the government, employers and workers needed to work together to defend against record retrenchments; between how Team Singapore’s defence would need to be stout once its midfield teammates lost the ball and how the same tripartite partners needed to work together to minimise any unemployment downtime and get workers trained and again gainfully employed; between how Team Singapore could not just defend – because if it did it had no chance of winning – and its attackers would need to be ready to attack every chance they got vs. how Singapore’s labour force needed to become more skilled and resilient and competitive – for example, by upgrading its service quality – so that it would be ready to go on the offensive once the upturn came about. It took him a while to draw all the threads of the analogy together, but football was a familiar enough metaphor that it engaged the audience during those sometimes meandering minutes – in fact, my impression was that the audience was held rapt by his virtuoso performance – until he completed the analogy with an almost audible click and earned spontaneous applause.
*Are things really that bad though? At the same event, Tharman Shanmugaratnam mentioned that he knew of a range of medium-sized companies that were forecasting growth for their organisations this year.