Auntie Describes 2023 As ‘Expensive’, Asks S’pore Govt To Stop Raising Cai Png Prices

Auntie Complains About Rising Prices In Singapore, Describes 2023 As ‘Expensive’

If you could sum up 2023 in one word, what would it be? That was the question posed by 8world News in their annual keyword campaign. They interviewed Singapore residents on the streets, giving them a range of words including ‘expensive’, ‘war’, ‘chaos’, and ‘boring’.

One auntie at a hawker centre stole the show, dramatically complaining about rising cai png or economy rice prices. Sure enough, she picked ‘expensive’ as her keyword.

Numerous other interviewees also picked ‘chaos’ and ‘war’, especially regarding student life.

Auntie describes 2023 as ‘expensive’

Recently, 8world News set out on social media and the streets of Singapore to find the most fitting keyword to describe 2023.

Participants could pick from a choice of six words: ‘chaos’, ‘danger’, ‘expensive’, ‘black’, ‘boring’, and ‘war’.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

Reporters interviewed 42 members of the public, with one in particular catching the most attention.

“The prices of everything are going up!” one elderly auntie dramatically answered at a hawker centre. No surprises at her choice of keyword to describe her year so far.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

“Visiting a doctor is expensive, transport fares in December are also increasing,” she complained.

“We elderly people have no jobs,” the woman noted. As for her solution?

“It’s best to tell the Government not to raise prices so much — especially for cai png.” Explaining the example she highlighted, the visibly perturbed woman said, “Two or three dishes can cost S$4 or S$5.”

Source: 8world News on Facebook

Many others also picked ‘expensive’

Indeed, expensive proved a very popular keyword amongst Singaporeans for 2023.

“Eating food and buying things are both expensive,” one elderly man said.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

“Everything is expensive anywhere you go,” he added. He reiterated the previous auntie’s point that retirees have no income and rely on S$1,000 of their CPF per month to live and eat.

Another elderly man said that it was difficult to get by with the rising costs. He explained that he had been laid off from his previous job and was looking for new employment when he bumped into the news crew.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

Some had a different take on the keyword, however. One woman optimistically used it to describe a’贵人’ or a noble person, a term indicating helpful and supportive people you encounter in life.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

Literal & metaphorical ‘war’ also defined the year

Another popular answer turned out to be ‘war’, unsurprisingly.

One man pointed to the two major wars that he thought defined 2023 — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing tensions between Israel and Palestine.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

He ended the interview with a call for peace, hoping for fewer wars in the future.

A young man also picked ‘war’ as his keyword, but not for the actual military conflicts. Instead, he explained that he had just finished his National Service (NS) and was transitioning to university.

Thus, he metaphorically called the stress of returning to studies in university a war or battle.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

Another young man summed it up well, saying that “the life of a student is like a war”. One of the 8world News reporters nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

2023 as a year of ‘chaos’

‘Chaos’ proved an equally popular pick. As one of the interviewees put it, “the world this year has been chaotic”.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

He admitted Singapore got off better, but pointed to the numerous digital banking systems failing this year as one example.

A young man in a jersey also picked the same word, but for more personal reasons.

“I just finished my O-Levels, so my heart and mind are a mess,” he said. Don’t worry, we feel you.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

And although rarer, some did describe their 2023 as ‘boring’. One such person pointed to the digitalisation of services, saying that it was convenient for youths but difficult for the old.

“How could young people understand the struggles or the boredom of the elderly?” he wondered aloud.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

‘Expensive’ keyword in the lead for 2023

The video also showed a Telegram poll, with ‘expensive’ in the lead as the word of voters’ choice to describe their year. ‘War’ and ‘chaos’ jostled for second place, while the other three keywords brought up the rear.

Source: 8world News on Facebook

Perhaps it’s no surprise, as rising costs of cai png or COE have often hit our screens this year.

Those interested in casting their votes in the poll may do so on 8world News’ website.

What keyword would you say describes your 2023 best? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from 8world News on Facebook and YUMMIEST Food Hunter 美食猎人 on YouTube. Image on the right for illustration purposes only.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author