The Singapore Democratic Party recently unveiled its latest addition, Danny the Democracy Bear, at a walkabout at Bukit Panjang on 17 October.
The Online Citizen speaks to the new party mascot.
TOC: Is your name really Danny? Do you have a surname or something?
Danny: Danny is as real as real can be. Grandpa Bear gave me the name. It’s a nice name, don’t you think? My surname is Bear, of course. Some people call me Mr Bear. But I think that’s too formal. Just call me Danny, okay? Can you guess my middle name? It starts with ‘D’ 🙂
TOC: From your appearances, you do not look local. A bear endemic to this region would be the Malayan Sun Bear. Which part of the world do you hail from?
Danny: What do you mean I don’t look local? My eyes are black and my fur is a healthy Asian brown. And I do my ‘lahs’ and ‘mehs’ as well as any local can. Of course, sometimes people cannot tell I’m from here because, unlike my cousin black bears, I smile a lot. Smiling is good, you know. Here’s a little trivia: It takes less muscles to smile than to frown. And you know what’s the best part? It’s contagious. So let’s do more of that smiling, it makes this place a lot happier.
Hey, speaking of black bears, do you know what happened to my friend? He said he was going to do some work for Philips last week. I haven’t heard from him since. I hope he’s okay. You know bears like us, we just like to have fun. I was scared when I saw a man holding a tranquiliser gun and looking for my friend. If you see the tranquiliser man, please tell him I’m a friendly bear, okay?
TOC: Is your membership in the SDP legal?
Danny: That’s a good question. I called up the Registry of Societies the other day to make some enquiries about my joining the Singapore Democrats. The officer there told me they didn’t have any guidelines on whether bears could join the SDP. But she said that she would ask the minister.
TOC: Will you be running for the upcoming elections?
Danny: No, I don’t think so. I just like to meet people and tell them about the good things democracy can do for them. Oh and also to give out candy and hugs – lots of them. But if I do stand, TOC will be the first to know. And if I stand and get elected I’ll give PM and MM a big hug before we start debating.
TOC: You are helping to sell the SDP newsletters. Is it voluntarily? If not, how much are you getting paid? Does it comply with the minimum wage for bears?
Danny: Wage? What’s that? All I want is ice-cream and honey. And I get lots of it at SDP. Why do you think my other name is Slim?
TOC: If you are not local, since you don’t have a pink IC, then are you competing with locals for jobs?
Danny: I told you I am from here. How else do you think I like teh-tarikh so much? By the way I like to hangout out with my SDP buddies at Adam Road hawker centre. And don’t get me started on the prata over there (with lots of sugar, or course). Local enough? Why don’t you come and hangout on my Facebook fan page here?
TOC: Do bears get minimum wage? Should we enact an employment act for bears in Singapore?
Danny: Yes, people need to take care of us bears. But this is what I want to tell the people, they can take care of themselves too if they had democracy. Democracy gives us a voice and that voice can be used to bring us minimum wage that we can live on.
TOC: Speaking of Democracy, do you practice Democracy where you come from? Why should Singaporeans listen to a bear? Don’t you know that our government frown upon outside interference? I’m sure it applies to non-human species as well.
Danny: Of course, my friend Oracle the Owl is the wise one. But we bears know some important things too, like democracy. It’s good to keep our minds and hearts open. It’s a special quality that humans have but sometimes are afraid to use because your leaders are so strict. The government frowns too much, it should try smiling more.
TOC: Are you vegetarian?
Danny: Like I said I love ice-cream and honey. I’d kill for it, figuratively speaking of course. They take things so literally here.
TOC: Who do you think looks cuter? You or Zorro Lim Swee Say (NTUC Chief, picture right)?
Danny: Mr Lim, of course. And when he starts to sing, it’s beyond words…
Become a fan of Danny on his own Facebook page here.