This is a true story of a pioneer uncle who lost his pioneer card. He found the hotline number from the brochure that was sent to him and decided to make a report. The only problem was that he could not speak English or Mandarin. He could only speak dialect. And we are sure that this problem is not unique to him alone.
In any case, he decided to make the call anyway because he was in urgent need of the card as he had planned to go to the dentist soon.
As he had expected, the first person who spoke to him, a lady, spoke in English. He then said in Cantonese that he couldn’t speak English and the lady tried speaking to him in Mandarin. He replied that he could not speak Mandarin either and asked if there was anyone who could speak Cantonese or Hokkien. At this juncture, he was already resigned to the possibility that the answer would be `no’.
But to his surprise, the lady told him to hold the line, and hold he did. After about 10 minutes, another lady came to the phone and spoke to him in Cantonese. To make the story short, he managed to report the loss of the pioneer card and how to get a replacement. He was extremely pleased to say the least.
And we would like to say `kudos’ to the two ladies who were manning the hotline on 23rd December at about 2.30pm. The fact that the uncle had to wait for 10 minutes showed that the lady was searching for someone who could speak dialect.
And if having officers who are able to speak dialects is part of the plan by the Pioneer Generation Committee, then we would like to extend our gratitude to them as well because they really have thought this through. A lot of pioneers are not conversant in English or Mandarin. And for them to fully understand and enjoy the package, they must be communicated in a language that they understand.
So once again, salute!