PM Lee Somehow Links Otters Crossing the Road Outside Istana to Budget 2022


Ever since the release of Budget 2022, many concerns have been raised regarding the rising cost of living and struggles to keep up since the economy has been hit by COVID-19.

But personally, I will still have my GST vouchers to buy my overpriced coffees so I won’t complain that much.

From then, the whole “we are all in this together” spirit has been hammered home by the government, and this time, with otters in the mix.

Otters At the Istana and Gotong Royong Spirit

On Friday, much hoohah was generated when videos of the Istana police guards making effort to escort the famous (or infamous, depending on if your fishes were victimized by the otters before) otter family safely across Orchard Road.

@sgcoolguy1974 #cute #sg #singapore #sgtiktok #fyp #fypsg #sgtrending #otter #otters #ottersoftiktok #otterlover #animal #wildlife ♬ original sound – SgCoolGuy1974

The otter family consisting of 16 otters had the full VIP treatment as they took all the time in their world to cross the road, stopping here and there to just nua in the moment.

However, aside from the public, the otter family caught the attention of Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong as well.


In a Facebook post, PM Lee re-shared a video of the otter family crossing the road from the Istana grounds made by wildlife photographer, Bernard Seah.

PM Lee shares that he “appreciates the care taken by Istana staff, NParks (National Parks board), Singapore Police Force, and members of the public to help (the otters) co-exist with us safely in our urban environment, for example, crossing the road safely.”

From this, he follows it’s this act of “gotong royong “—a Malay term for mutual assistance—where care for the otters serves as a metaphor for the society Singaporeans are building: a society that is filled with “opportunities for everyone, being prepared for the unexpected, and most of all a society that cares.”

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Odd Shift to Budget 2022

This is where the post gets a bit of stretch as it attempts to link back to Budget 2022.


(Sorry PM Lee, please don’t come for me).

Prime Minister Lee ends the post by saying, “Budget 2022 gets us ready for the next bound. It was not an easy Budget, but it will do much to strengthen our social compact. I thank Singaporeans for your trust and support.”

This was after Budget 2022 have concluded after two weeks of debate that ended on Thursday where a total of $109 billion had been approved for spending. This includes hot topics such as measures taken to control foreign manpower and the gradual GST increase.

So I guess the message to take home is: just like how the otters had trust in the Istana guards to bring them to safety, Singaporeans can always look to the government to do the same, no matter how precarious the roads might be.

To know more about the budget, watch this video to the end:

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Featured Image: Facebook (Bernard Seah)

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