Monday, May 3, 2010


Recently I just saw a facebook group titled "Singapore is NOT China" on one of my friend's wall. Curious, I decided to take a look. They always say : "Curiousity kills the cat". What I got for my curiousity was anger. Anger towards how insensitive and immature some Singaporeans can be.

Yes. Of course Singapore is NOT China. Anyone knows that. It doesn't take a genius to identify the geographical differences between China and Singapore. However, as I browsed through the comments there, I came across stuff like:

1. "my teacher from china asked us to do an article on china. i asked why and she said because we are chinese,which makes us linked to china. HELLO? i am a singaporean? not a china chinese?
CHINA cyclist near my home are cycling their bikes super fast as if they are in china.They even rode their bikes across the bus stop! You see them,they dont ... See Moregive way to you. They even sped up. Nearly got knocked down by them for alot of times. I HATE CHINA PEOPLE TO THE MAX.
they complain about singapore plus singaporeans. Then what for they come here? GO BACK CHINA LA.

2. "why gov accept the PRC creatures?bcos they can speak mandarin which our gov promote.

Abdullah Mohd Aziz - Agree with u that foreigners are welcome, anyone that goes to other country should and must adapt to language and culture of that country.
Example if you were to go any part of the world you must at least try learn their language(... See Morebasic) to communicate.
The chinese national that work here expect us to understand their national language.
Pity to the Foreign Domestic Helper(maid) need to pass ENGLISH test lor..."

3."they talk so loud as if the other party were deaf and they got no sense of courtesy or manners like spitting their saliva and their accent is sooo damn awful. im so disgusted.. please stop this alien migrate to our country. And they are so damnnnn kiasu . With this kinda of attitute, they don't fit in our society. our ...society is unique in singlish not loud speaking mandarin."

And the list goes on and on.... These are just some randomly-selected comment which I think are a good representation of immature comments. If you are interested to read them all, there are about 164 of them on the wall of the facebook group.

Actually I'm quite upset about the whole "Singaporean Chinese" and "China Chinese" issue. I personally don't see the difference. Most "Singaporean Chinese" had parents and ancestors who were from Chaozhou (Teochew) , FuJian (Hokkien) and Guangdong (Hakka). I daresay almost all of the so-called "Singaporean Chinese" have origins from one of these provinces. You can deny this fact by saying "I was born right here in Singapore", but you cannot deny the fact that you are Chinese.

You share the same Mother Tongue, practise the same culture as the Chinese people worldwide, not just in China. I'm not looking at the geographical aspect, but I'm focusing on the fact that no matter which country you're born in, we're all Chinese and hence I really don't see why we still have to draw such a clear border between us. So what if you're a Chinese born in the US? Or Singapore? Or China? Or Malaysia?

Wouldn't it be a ridiculous thing if you have Chinese blood flowing in you and yet you tell someone "Oh no there is a distinct difference. We are Singaporeans. They are Chinese". Paradoxical, isn't it? How we recite the pledge everyday that "Regardless of race, language or religion", we aim to build a "democratic society based on justice and equality". Some of us have recited the pledge for more than 10 years of their lives, and here we are, looking down on people from China just because they speak English with an accent, and have a poor command of the language, and have the habit of speaking loudly, and some of their behaviour is unacceptable.

I do not disagree with the fact that I have my own share of unpleasant experiences of working with them. But that is DEFINATELY NOT a reason to show prejudices. I despise those who says "Go back to China because you're snatching all our jobs" or "Go back to China. Your behviour sucks". Firstly, it's a competitive world. There are no such thing as "reserved jobs" in society. Want a job? Then you have to compete with the millions of people around the world who share your views. Secondly, who are you to determine whether someone's behaviour sucks or not? Saying that China people are rude and impolite but yet you yourself are making such racist comments on the internet. Does this make your behaviour "acceptable"?

I have my own share of bad experiences too. But that doesn't mean I'm prejudiced against them. Just because you've met a certain bunch of rude chinese people means that the whole billion of them are like that. Who are you to determine the behaviour of an entire country? Singapore has their own bunch of inconsiderate people too. Does this mean all Singaporeans are inconsiderate? I'm sure you'll all disagree with that.

Singapore is a multi-racial society. I know that having prejudices is a part of human nature. What's important is that we have to try our best to accept these differences. If we can't even do that, and I'm not even talking about between races here. This example has Chinese people despising Chinese people. If we can't even do that, or try our best to do that, how can we hold our head up high and tell other people that we are a "multi-racial" society?

We're not perfect, so please stop the elitist thinking that just because we have a better command of English, we're much more civilised than those who struggled to get their subject-verb agreement correctly. Even we have trouble doing that sometimes.

Here's food for thought for the so-called "Singaporean Chinese" who despises their own Mother Tongue and hates Chinese people because they speak it with an accent:

Will you still be proud to call yourself Chinese if you can't even understand the foundations of which your race was built on?

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