A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves

The Ugly Singaporean Strikes Back!

Many years back I had the opportunity to witness a group of Singaporeans in KL who were taking pictures of the Petronas Tower right smack in the middle of the road. Oblivious to traffic, they continued taking pictures like they owned the road. When someone asked why they did that, they simply replied “We are Singaporeans hor. We all paid to come to this country.”

Oh don’t you know that we are so famous abroad? Loaded Singaporeans living it up and being bossy especially when they become tourists. At least not all of us behave in such a misdemeanor fashion. Certainly not me, sir.

That typically kiasu mannerisms are so rampant in our society that many of us are no longer embarrassed by this denigrating behavior nor finding it unacceptable. To the uninitiated kiasu means getting into the front queue even if it means queueing up the night before or rushing to grab that free Hello Kitty figurine in a surge of madness. Or even placing a packet of tissue on the coffee-table to reserve your seat. Every day before we could alight from the train, scores of people rampaged through the doors, scampering to get seats with scant regard to alighting passengers.

The audacity! In some instances when they are in foreign lands, they’d announce their presence I’m Singaporean hor! like some royalty from Buckingham Palace arriving to unsuspecting locals. Do we actually expect red-carpet treatment everywhere we go? Do we simply strut ourselves in Johor Baru like we are king of kings and expect everyone to kowtow to our whims? Sometimes regional locals are too forgiving to the hideous attitudes of Singaporeans abroad. The fault lies here is two-fold. Neighboring countries value the Singaporean currency and we get to trample all over them.

I appeal to these erring folks to change their behavior and adopt a much better approach to society. Be more civil and considerate to others and teach the young the right values. And no, we do not need another campaign to educate the public. I do not approve the notion of social engineering of graciousness or any other ingenious propaganda. What is needed is the proper THINKING subject that is not in the current school curriculum. Thinking is a skill can be learned and trained. Most young and properly educated Singaporeans believed they are very capable of thinking and creativity because they have successfully graduated from polytechnics and universities. They would give you, at length, diatribes of logic, moving literature wit, without any sensibilities or possibilities, extrapolations from their school textbooks or syntheses and hypotheses but offer nothing in perception and insights on the future. Their apathetic attitude and servitude is a crime to the minds of the free. At times I am disgusted by their unrepentant elitist attitude which goes hand in hand with the kiasuism disease. An honest assessment of oneself is far better than being arrogant at any time. Humility beats everything else including self-indulging extraordinariness and greed.

Amongst older folks, you can’t bend an old oak tree. Forget it. You cannot tell a sixty old man to speak good english because he would tell you in the face: KONG SI MI?* Therefore, it is tougher to get the message across. Stubborn and hardheaded older Singaporeans behave quite simply, childish and totally boorish. Just look at how we treat our foreign maids in Singapore. Past crimes and treatments on our maids speak volumes of our nature.But by now, you must know what to do.

You’d uproot the whole bloody oak tree.

(*Hokkien dialect translated : What are you trying to say?)


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