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The joke's on Singapore, but all in good fun

Published on Sep 23, 2012 6:00 AM

There were witty one-liners on hot topics in the news recently, jokes that fell flat, and a dance mimicking the popular Gangnam-style K-pop move.

Laughter, however, largely pervaded as the contestants poked fun at themselves and all things uniquely Singapore at this year's People's Association (PA) Humorous Speech Challenge Cup on Saturday.

Twelve contestants, including a full-time national serviceman, retirees and public servants, took part this year. They were given four to six minutes each to deliver their speeches before a 100-strong audience that included PA chief executive director Yam Ah Mee. Charisma, entertainment and local context were among the judging criteria, leading many to include topics that were close to Singaporeans' hearts.

One made reference to the frequent train breakdowns (giving operator SMRT the acronym "Somebody Must Repair Trains"), another spoke on ageing gracefully (which should include "performing taiji for royalty under the hot sun") and the recent furore over a mother making a police report after a teacher cut her son's hair.

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