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Thursday January 24th 2019

Reader against the ugly Singaporean tag in Sydney Morning Herald article

number30 says:

This is just like using a meter ruler to compare results to a yard ruler while knocking off the units.

Certainly, Singaporeans may seem rude to the average Australian (or almost any foreigner, for the matter) strolling about searching for a little kindness, but forgive us, our scale of measuring kindness far differs from yours.

‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are not words we use often in our daily lives, but the other party does not feel offended. Holding the door open is hardly something one does for strangers, and any other Singaporean on the street doesn’t actually expect you to do that. Besides, our shopping centres are equipped with automatic doors, so where’s the need for a shop assistant to push doors open for you like your hands have been hacked off and fed to hungry cannibals?

However, this does not mean that not a single Singaporean has manners acceptable by those of nation’s whose expectations of being courteous far exceeds ours, as Ms. Thiessen seems to be hinting.

I was born and raised in Singapore, and my passport tells me I am Singaporean. I say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when speaking to a hawker and I hold open the door for others when I am neither a sales assistant nor obliged to in any way. Did someone print the wrong nationality on my passport?

To us, in our culture and society, being kind and courteous is this:

1) Picking up something someone else dropped
2) Not pushing the old lady walking along the crowded street in front of us although we are in a hurry
3) Ignoring the inadequate services provided, finish our meals and leave without sticking out a middle finger

There are, of course, more to our kindness than this but if I list them all they’ll span a few screens. This is our brand of kindness and courtesy, and while I do admit that some of our fellow citizens do need some brushing up on their manners I will assure you that not ALL Singaporeans act like they live in their little bubbles isolated from the world.

Perhaps Ms. Thiessen has just stumbled upon Singaporeans at a really inopportune time, perhaps if she’d just wait till Sundays when most people let loose and relax their tense muscles after work, she may find more kindness than she would yet expect. Each nation’s top priority differs, and to us Singaporeans, it is a lifestyle to be working until we drop or when the weekends come round. I don’t know what Ms. Thiessen was expecting but it is our culture. If you can brush someone who openly hugs and kisses a stranger off as part of culture, can’t you just say that appearing to ignore one’s surrounding while murmuring into a headset is a Singaporean way of living as well?

Oh, and by the way, Brandon, you sound like a pot calling the kettle black. You said that we Singaporeans are ‘racist, arrogant, rude, have no manners, are self-centred and money minded’, but don’t you yourself sound unbelievably racist as well? Don’t you yourself sound arrogant that you are passing judgement on others without giving us facts to support your claim? I shall not expound on the rest of the traits you so indiscriminately label Singaporeans to have. You seem to be generalising too much and honestly, you really do sound like a racist, arrogant, rude person who has no manners and is self-centred. I can’t say anything for being ‘money-minded’, but I for one am proud that Singaporeans have world-class ACCOUNTING abilities.

Okay, but perhaps I’m just being defensive of my nation, but every citizen has the right, right?

PS: This comment appeared in the article “Singaporeans asked to chew on their manners“  – Gilbert

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6 Responses to “Reader against the ugly Singaporean tag in Sydney Morning Herald article”

  1. SGP says:

    You should be joking. Singaporeans are exactly that

    Singaporeans are ‘racist, arrogant, rude, have no manners, are self-centred and money minded’,

    • Jensen Otto says:

      I’m very much inclined to agree. All Singaporeans are racist. I mean ALL, not just some. Some are just more vocal than the others. But if you stay in Singapore for some time you’ll encounter this first hand.

  2. dj02 says:

    It’s not that i hate Singaporeans.. i just think they should learn to take constructive criticism instead of denying that they are rude.

  3. Aloreven says:

    Personally, I think Singaporeans on the whole are more narcissists than actually racist, though it must be pointed out that they DO look down on people with dark skin and poorer countries. Some may think Singaporeans are ‘over-friendly’ to whites, bt they’re only being practical, because the average Singaporean still stereotypes white= rich/high-class.
    Just like most oil-rich Middle-Eastern societies.
    Hell I even think Singapore resembles much of Middle- Eastern society, only without state Islam.

  4. rude sinkies says:

    sinkies not rude ? you gotta kidding !! do they hold the door for you ? rush into the lift ? leave tissues to cheop the seats (do you see this type of kiasu in other countries ? occupying a priority seat and pretending to be sleep ? do not let others cut into your lane even they have signal ? there are just a few examples. yes to the whites they are extra polite (sucking up) …singapore is a nation lacking grace because of the competition and money grabbing elitism instead of egalitarian values fostered by the politicians.

  5. Singaporean says:

    I read everyone’s comments, and first of all, I cant help but agree with all of you about Singaporeans being racist. Who isnt? I read other websites and people from all over the world are ranting about Australians being the most racist Whites in the world. What do you say about that? At least SOME Singaporeans who are racists do not disturb or bully you. When I was in Sydney, some guy just shouted right in my face, “fuck off, chink”. Hell, that was rude, and obviously racist.
    Generalising isn’t doing anybody good here, because people may also think I am generalising about Australians. So there you go. First of all, there’s no point calling other people racists, because by doing that, you are being racist too. Second, every country and culture has their own definition of courtesy and friendliness. To be honest, many Caucasians going to Asian countries have a hard time finding friendly people. Why? Because Asians are constantly being looked down upon by the Whites, especially when Asians are in those predominantly white populated countries. So there’s this ‘hatred’ and ‘distaste’ among many Asians when these foreigners come to their country. So what I am trying to point out here, is that there are racists everywhere in the world, and not surprisingly, even in developing worlds. But yes, I totally agree with you that we can be much better in terms of kindness on the streets. I really hope we can be much better in that aspect because I have lots of bad experiences with those ugly Singaporeans too.

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