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8 not-so-important observations from May Day Rally 2018 -
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Sat. Jun 15th, 2024
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TL;DR – PM Lee’s favourite colour is probably not pink.

Just go ask any other younger folks out there, they’d probably tell you that May Day simply means a free day off from work or school.

But this year, May Day wasn’t just a day to sleep in until the sun went down for me. I was invited to attend my first ever May Day Rally at D’Marquee at Downtown East!

And here are some, errr, not so important observations from the sua-ku one:

1) “Look ma, no hands!”

The group photo they took of the entire venue was taken with a drone! The world is really getting better, you don’t even need the photographer to climb some high ladder or go to some roof-top now. Does this mean we won’t need photographers to take aerial shots in future? We just need someone who can fly the drone – what do you call them? Drone pilot? Woohoo, I like the sound of that!


2) NTUC Colourful Polo Tees

The entire venue was so vibrant and colourful because everyone came in their NTUC polo tees. As I watched people strolling in, it reminded me of school excursions when we were all clad in our house T-shirts, except this one’s with the unionists, workers, employers and ministers.


3) PM Lee’s favourite colour is not pink?

If you try Googling for PM Lee’s favourite colour, the results might suggest that it’s pink. Or at least the image results may return with numerous images of PM Lee decked out in pink shirts. But in a Facebook Q&A back in 2015, PM Lee said he wears pink shirts at the advice of his TV producers!

I suspect his favourite colour’s not pink.

For the last six years, including this year, PM Lee has graced the May Day Rallies in his red NTUC polo tee.

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The only year in which he turned up in pink was in 2014 – maybe it’s cos his red polo tee hasn’t dried from laundry and he’s got no choice but to wear the pink one since it’s the colour closest to red.

There are eight colours available for the NTUC polo tees (yesss, I counted!) – red, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, black and white. PM Lee could have worn the pink one if it’s really his favourite colour, right?

So I’d say, PM Lee’s favourite colour is red! #RedFTW

4) PM Lee does online shopping too!

In his speech, PM Lee stressed on the importance of how Singapore should remain resilient and competitive in the face of disruptions and transformation in industries.

He highlighted with examples, the three specific industries which have been disrupted – Transport, Banking and Retail.

When talking about retail, PM Lee spoke of how e-commerce has been growing rapidly and online shopping isn’t something that only young people do anymore. More and more older people are buying things through the internet and getting them delivered to their homes because it helps to save time and money.

“My children do it a lot, and once in a while I do it too, with some help from them!”

Yep, even PM Lee shops online!

This creates challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers and they will need to evolve like how Home-Fix has done, and this also also created opportunities for new businesses like Ninja Van which covers the last mile of e-commerce and also for upstream businesses in the areas of logistics and warehousing.

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5) PM Lee mentioned NTUC 10 times in his speech

Don’t believe me? You can count them yourself here:

PM Lee’s message was very clear, that Singapore’s secret ingredient is tripartism. He said tripartism has been fundamental to Singapore’s survival and success.

“Without the Labour Movement partnering companies; without NTUC partnering the People’s Action Party in a symbiotic relationship; without the Government, unions and businesses sharing responsibility for Singapore’s future, we would not have made it here,” he said.

6) PM Lee gave us a spoiler

Don’t worry, he didn’t give us spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.


He told us that he’s gonna give a quiz (got prize?) on some of the 23 ITMs come next year’s May Day.

Aiya… But isn’t it easier if he can just give us the answers, or better still, JUST tell us the shortest way to becoming millionaires?

You see, the speeches at the May Day Rally were all about the importance of staying relevant, be ahead of disruptions, upgrading and re-skilling. The speeches were also about how the Government and the Labour Movement will provide workers with the necessary support and programmes to help us be future-ready and employable, yadda yadda yadda.

Got shortcut a not? Why do we have to work for it? I wish he could just give us a quicker solution, spoonfeed us! I’m sure we’d all very much prefer that because we’re spoiled like that.

7) The audience have natural applause cues

No but seriously, how does one cue laughter and applause when making a speech to a moderately large audience? And how do the audience know when are they supposed to clap at the right points?

It’s a 1,600-strong crowd we are talking about here. There were no cue cards with “APPLAUSE” printed on the front, but strangely and miraculously, everyone just knew when to clap. Did they send them for classes, or did I miss the memo for rehearsals, hurhur.


8) Solidarity Forever!

Here comes the totes awks moment for me – I had to lock hands with the stranger next to me as we sang the NTUC union theme song. It’s to the tune of “团结团结就是力量!” or “Glory Glory Man United”. Thank God for no sweaty palms!

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OK lah, except for the hand-locking moment, it was a rather interesting experience for me, especially seeing people whom I’d only seen on TV in real life. It’s like the entire Parliament or Cabinet came!

I spotted our two DPMs, Josephine Teo, Indranee Rajah, Goh Chok Tong, Lim Swee Say, Sun Xueling, Amy Khor and more whose names I cannot recall! There was also an entourage of people clad in all-white too! I reckon they must be from the People’s Action Party (PAP).


Nevertheless, whether you’d choose to stay at home and stuff your face with chips whilst bingeing on Netflix, or paint the town red, we must acknowledge that for years, Singapore has celebrated May Day in peace and harmony without having to worry about violent protests, shop windows getting smashed, people throwing petrol bombs, or other unrest on our streets.

And this is what I truly appreciate about our kind of May Day in Singapore.


By Joey Wee

I am nice, most of the time!