Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Rage Against a 'Malaysian' in Singapore

Disclaimer: This is a rant, plain and simple. It's probably going to get me some flak, but what the heck. However, DO note that this is not meant to insult or offend anyone, merely to hentam a certain person who thinks she is too good for us.


Stupid haze. PPS is flooded with posts about haze. I go to tea, everyone is talking about the haze. and worse of all, my weekly badminton session got cancelled because of the bloody haze!

Bah. Enough about the haze. I refuse to talk about it anymore, because I'm sick of the word.

You know something else I'm sick of? It's this columnist in Singapore who is actually a Malaysian, who dissed us in her column, complaining that Malaysia is so backwards, and singing praises about Singapore, calling it the Land of Dreams.

Well, dream on, lady.

Now, I have nothing against Singapore. My larling works there (though she plans to come back after milking their economy dry first). I have quite a number of friends over there, Malaysian and Singaporean alike. I like the public transport, the clean public toilets, the toy shops and BORDERS at Wheelock Place (of which the one in Times Square is a poor imitation of).

However, I still don't like going there for too long a time. A foreign friend once called Singapore a very sanitized version of Asia. It's all nice and clean, all happy and cheerful, all friendly and OH SO BORING.

I've also never had a good impression of Singaporeans (though this HAS changed slightly through time). This state of mind began when I was in Poland, when I met up with two Singaporean students who were also there on a student traineeship sort of thing as well.

I'd already been there for a month, and was missing Malaysia very much. So when I found out that there were two Singaporeans in town, I thought, "Hey, lets meet up. I'm sure it'll be cool to meet people from the same region again, if not the same country. Surely they'll be happy with it as well."

It turned out to be one of the most unpleasant moments of my stay in Poland.

We met at the local town square, and was deciding where to eat. I suggested a nice little Polish place that was quite cheap down the road. But hey, The Singaporeans didn't want to go there.

They said Polish food SUCKS, and that after the first day they tried it, they'd been eating only fast food the whole time. So they took me to KFC.

So there we were, bloody halfway across the world, eating bloody KFC.

Throughout the entire gathering, they were complaining about how boring Poland was, how Singapore is so much more 'happening' and how Poland had no video game arcades (HUH? You bloody go ALL THE WAY to Poland to play video games only is it?), and how run-down everything is. They turned their noses up at the food, the people, the unemployment rates ("SINGAPORE would never have so many drunks or homeless people").

In short, they ran down their host country like it was an insignificant insect compared to the mighty Singapore. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but when you're halfway across the world, and in a foreign country where people would be judging YOUR COUNTRY by how YOU conduct yourself, isn't it a little STUPID to insult your host country?

What the heck were you doing there in the first place, huh? If it was to experience a different culture, you're certainly going off on the wrong track there. If it was to get work experience, what, Singaporean companies too smart to hire you is it?

As if insulting Poland wasn't good enough, they then decided to throw in comparisons with MALAYSIA for good measure. Now THAT really got me hopping mad. Needless to say, I never wanted to see them again. I hope they had a bloody MISERABLE TIME when they were there.

Now, the behaviour of two idiots does not necessarily mean the entire country is rotten. In fact, most Singaporeans could be angels, for all I know.

Anyway, my wrath is not aimed towards Singapore, or Singaporeans. It's aimed at that so-called Malaysian-born columnist who DARED take a few isolated incidents from a country more than 30 times the size of Singapore, and DARED use them to say OUR country is not as good as Singapore.

Malaysia is not perfect, I'll admit. It DOES have its faults, and many of these could use a little correcting. But in no WAY is it as bad as what that columnist depicted it to be. I'm surprised she even had the gall to say that she herself was a Malaysian.

Note the 'WAS' in the last sentence.

Remember Eric Moo? That Mando-Pop singer who was born in Klang but INSISTS that he is SINGAPOREAN when he was introduced as a Malaysian? Well, this columnist reminded me of him - a 'Malaysian' who thought he/she was too good for Malaysia. A 'Malaysian' who decided that dirty hawker stalls, hazy weather, horrendous traffic jams and lousy public transport systems is too LOW for them.

Well, guess what? You don't like it, you can stay OUT of it.

Malaysia is MY Land of Dreams.

So there.

PS: I'm trying to find the article... I read it on the print version of Singapore's The Straits Times. If I find it, I shall post the link here...

(Update, 10:39pm): On second thought, I think I'd better not post the article here, for various reasons.

But the gist of it was - Malaysian born columnist, 17 years here, 17 years in Singapore, wrote column piece on Singapore National Day, said that when small, she used to think Singapore so much better than Malaysia, then moved there, and decided to stay there. Ended up 'not belonging there' (gee, I wonder why), but don't want to come back to Malaysia because of how certain things turned out around here. Or something like that.

The article may or may not be as bad as I've depicted here, but my colleagues and I hated it enough to want to write her a very strongly-worded complaint letter.


PSS: BTW. I don't hate Singapore, NOR Singaporeans. This is a rant against that an irresponsible columnist who does not know the meaning of patriotism and culture.

Singapore as it is, is a nice country to VISIT (for a while, that is) I have Singaporean friends as well (I like hanging out with them, and I wouldn't want to insult them either.)

Now, can you please not deny me entry the next time I go there because of what I wrote here?

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