Friday, November 23, 2007

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I was on my way home after buying lunch when I was stopped by an asian girl who was wearing a T-shirt with the symbol of the red cross printed on it. She seemed to sense my aversion towards her when she asked me if she could have a moment of my time. (Aversion towards the Red Cross symbol, not towards the girl. Don't anything think ok?)

"Don't worry. I'm will not ask you to donate blood." she said.

I thought to myself : "Shit! What else can a person donate? Only organs and money! That's even worse."

My guess was accurate as it could get. She was trying to get me to donate some money to the red cross to help bush fire victims on a monthly basis. I had actually decided not to donate any money to any charity whatsoever with the NKF scandal and possibly RenCi at the back of my head. However, I eventually succumbed to her power of persuasion nonetheless (hehe) and hence had to pledge a dollar a day to the Red Cross foundation.

While filling up the "part-with-your-money" form, she introduced herself as a student from Indonesia, who had previously spent 10 years studying in Singapore before having to leave after O'levels because of her poor results for Chinese. Then, she asked me this very interesting question: "Why is it that the Singaporeans living in Singapore are so unfriendly, snobbish and kiasu compared to the ones here? My Singaporean friends here are all so friendly and nice." ( I do not live in Singapore, in case you can't make sense out of what's going on.)

I took a moment or two to think about her question, and realised her observation was spot on. Singaporeans living in Singapore are generally unfriendly, perhaps snobbish and definitely kiasu. It's not necessary to give any examples for Singaporeans ought to know themselves very well.

But the important question is : What is the root cause of the ugly Singaporean?

Before we going into identifying the root cause of it, let me list some of the traits that ugly Singaporeans, as a whole, possess.

1) Kiasu

2) Generally rude

3) Reluctance to help victims of crimes

4) Un-cooperative

5) Special ability to fall asleep immediately on MRT seat when elderly/pregnant lady appears

6) Blasting their ipods in public places

All in all, Singaporeans generally lack social grace, public spirit and civic mindedness. It seems that Singaporeans are systematically skewed to exhibit such undesirable behaviour. By the looks of it, someone has been teaching the whole nation to be rude and nasty people. Guess who? :)

Here's some lessons taught by the culprits

Lesson 1
What did you learn when they told you "We raise GST to help the poor "?
This is what you have learnt: The poor, being rather stupid and helpless, deserved to be screwed harder. But screw them in a politically correct manner, otherwise they might not vote for u next time.

Lesson 2
What did you learn when they told you "No welfare for all of you. It will lead to the development of a clutch mentality"?
This is what you have learnt: Helping the poor is bad. Not helping the poor on the other had is good. In fact, try not to help anyone.

Lesson 3
What did you learn when they told you "Competition is good. Let's have cheap foreign labour competing for low-skilled jobs with you."
This is what you have learnt: When someone is already down and out, earning low pay as a cleaner, add on to their misery by allowing the influx of cheap labour to drive their already low wage even lower. They only have themselves to blame for not being able to snag a cushy job as a million dollar minister.

Lesson 4
What did you learn when they told you "NS is for Singaporeans and university places are for foreign talents"?
This is what you have learnt: Never ever help your classmate with his work. His results might one day surpass yours and there will be no place for you in a local uni. (SIM doesn't count) Then, you would end up as a road sweeper and will have to refer to lesson 3

Lesson 5
What did you learn when they told you "The solution to lack of supply of taxis, traffic jams and the lack of hospital beds is to raise prices (means testing)"?
This is what you have learnt: Money solves all problems, especially problems with supply. There is no need to increase supply to match demand. Just jack up the prices, it's the panacea to all problems.

Lesson 6
What did you learn when they told you "Eat fish if chicken is expensive"
This is what you have learnt, which is the salient point of all the lessons: You die your business. It's really nobody else's business.


James Chia said...

You got it right. Singaporeans are getting more and more individualistic and kiasu. Something is terribly wrong with our education system and our style of governance.

Anonymous said...

We were told to learn chinese because it is our culture and root. In actual fact, to prepare the citizens to accommodate to the chinese immigrant when they come in full force. You will not find a country in the world like Singapore when the chinese came in without the need of learning the offical language here to get around. Everybody in the heartland can accommodate to them. When you go the the hawker centre to order coke, you have to tell the chinese waitress that you want kele.

When our jobs were taken away and the wages were getting lower because the government allow the foreigner to come in to replace us and to lower their labour cost, any affected true blue Singapore will be pissed when GCT told us to be nice to his new citizens....

Just like the Hongkongers who were infamous for their arrogance and rudeness during the British colony days, I feel that the true blue Singapore started to be aware of their situation and stop trusting the government. We begin to boycott their policies by showing our expression of displeasure openly. In this difficult time, to save the skin of the PAP is the last thing in our mind.

Anonymous said...

It is 100% true, singaporeans are kiasu,kiasi, ke kiang,ke poh,ke ke.To sum up singaporeans have the 5 ks

Anonymous said...

Using the shopping experience as an example. Ever wondered why HK is successful in improving the quality of their service staff. Their government is able to rally the people to do the right things for the common good of the SAR. It is about changing mindsets. Mind you, it was not an overnight effort, it tooks a few years.

Of course, we know our government is very different from their government.

Our governemnt often rallies the citizens more in a economical sense, less on the social side. So, Singaporeans equate every effort they do to cost - the cost to do things, the benefits to receive for the effort.

I really disliked the "help the poor" crap.

Anonymous said...

spot on. the rulers have been sowing 'DISCORD' for years through economic discrimination.

just take a look around your blocks and estates. many do not even know the names of their immediate neighbors let alone talk about social cohesiveness( what's that?). there is so much fear instilled in people here that they are so worried of SAYING THE WRONG THING( like being politically incorrect less you be sued) that they rather not make the effort to communicate or be spontaneous. likewise, you see this often at wedding dinners. people just seat around and they don't really talk if not at all. people are so stressed here to connect as a 'community' and as such, people tend to ' WAYANG' through it all at work and even in social gatherings.

there is NO DEPTH nor SUBSTANCE in the community here except hip hopping on stage in white.

years of suppression and the denial of the PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO THEIR HUMANITY( the ugly side of being human sometimes expressed in the form of anger towards authorities for injustces is often not tolerated here) has contributed to the poor quality of our people.

to protect the honor and dignity of the rulers and the economic interests of the rich, the people has to be kiasi, kiasu and basically....HACK CARE AND EACH HIS/HER OWN.

they are building a society of robots( assembled in religious boarding schools) here. not a place habitable by a large proportion of HAPPY THINKING HUMAN BEING THAT CAN RETIRE!

peasantsgetowned said...

Singapore peasants are individualistic as we are inculcated with the mentality that only the strong will survive. Everyone is seeking to gain advantage of the other and the rulers obsession and emphasis on economic values doesn't help much. Perfunctory efforts to instill the right social values can only do so much. The lack of avenue for us to express ourselves leads us to venting our frustration on others, leading to anti-social behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right.

All the time, we have our government telling us how good are their "world class" polices. These polices are starting to alienate the true blue Singaporeans, they felt like second class citizens in their country of birth.

Yes, our government have set up B & W laws that seem to suppress any expression of true democratic freedom.

OK, never mind, you tied my hands here. How do people go around it? The government cannot use any laws to control my attitudes. These attitudes can be subtle but effective.

People are not against each other in question. They are in a way defying those hard barriers by displaying bad attitudes, in some way trying to affect the "world class" image the government is trying to project.

People talk louder, but there are no law saying people cannot speak a little louder.

People booked tables with tissues. People threw rubbish when no one is around (some don't bother). People jumped queues. People acted blur (pretend to sleep when a pregnant lady broads the train). Reservists going through motion.

Another example, more and people see through the "nation building" efforts of our national newspaper. What these people do? People just stop buying it. Soon, TODAY may go into "nation building" or already into it, because it is free. Singaporeans like free things.

You can said all these 5Ks are our way of civil disobedience. If the government care less about the local-born citizens (less the elites and rich), the more will the people attempt to derail their efforts in unseen and subtle ways.

Anonymous said...

Defintely spot on! Just want to recount an incident this morning. I stay near Bus Interchange & takes a bus to work daily from there. There are really kiasu ppl who stay 2-3 bus stops away walking over just to take the bus. I know some ppl are afraid they can't get a seat. But so what? If they can walk so far, they are likely to be young ppl. You mean they can't stand? I actually saw one alighting after about 3 bus stops. No need to sit right?

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