Chris was invited to the Chinese New Year Garden Party for Grassroot Leaders at our Istana. I couldn't tag along because I didn't have an invitation. Security is very tight at such functions.
As a grassroot leader, Chris has been to several CNY Garden Parties at the Istana. I missed one in year 1991, and went only once in year 2002. SM Goh Chok Tong was the PM then. I had a photo with him and Mrs Goh who was so kind to let me stand beside her husband! I had photos with the President and the First Lady too. And I had an awesome photo with then DPM Lee Hsien Loong who autographed it at another event. All these photos are proudly displayed in my house.
Food is usually catered through a top hotel. Nobody is interested in the food, many of them are dressed in their Sunday best to have a photo with the VVIPs. There would be a mad rush for photos.
Top favourites would be President Nathan, PM Lee Hsien Loong, MM Lee Kuan Yew and SM Goh Chok Tong. They are practically mobbed! The queues to have a photo with them would be so long. And when the photos came out, the VVIP's smiles looked so strained, like they were constipated. Imagine they have to shake how many hands and and smile how many times into the cameras. This is definitely the most dreaded day for the VVIPs. hahaha......