Shame, this ugly Singapore Slam

Dear Mr Yeo Sam Jo,

I refer to your Straits Times article dated 5 Jul 2010.

You criticise Singaporeans for ‘scorning’ our paddlers who helped us win gold in Moscow. But Singaporeans did not ‘scorn’ our paddlers for winning gold, we merely pointed out the fact that some of our paddlers are hardly Singaporean for one, two years which makes it difficult for us to regard their victory as a truly home grown Singaporean victory.

You bemoan the fact that many of our artists have to go overseas to get famous. This has nothing to do with the lack of support from local fans but the fact that Singapore is simply not big enough to provide sufficient consumer mass to support the artists. Even Malaysian Chinese artists also venture overseas because the overseas market is so much more lucrative.

You say we knock our icons and winners down, no we do not. We do not take anything away from the paddlers’ achievements. We merely point out the fact that they were already very accomplished paddlers even before they donned Singapore colours. As such, no one doubts that the paddlers’ victory is theirs to saviour but not for us to share in the limelight.

No there is no misguided humility or jealousy here but true adherence to what we consider to be home grown Singaporean. Why should we automatically embrace anyone that the government chooses to be one of us as being home grown Singaporean? The government has erred so very often nowadays and has even given rise to the laughing stock of foreign born sportsmen taking our money and running away with it.

You say we are sending out the dangerous message to our young ones not to get into the spotlight. Nothing can be further from the truth. Fandi Ahmad, Ang Peng Siong and Jocelyn Yeo are names that readily refute your claim.

You say if we keep doing this, Singapore will really be nothing to shout about. But if we keep shouting for foreigners while pretending they are as home grown as any Singaporean can be, then Singapore ceases to be Singapore no matter how loud we shout.

You refer to the difference that fervent rallying behind World Cup soccer teams can make but these are rallying behind mostly home grown talent and not a team of foreigners who only got their passports one, two years ago.

Rene Descartes may have said it’s easy to hate but difficult to love. But he didn’t say which is right and which is wrong. So when you ask us to choose what is right, we need not choose love or hate, we can simply choose indifference. Because we have the right to feel indifferent to an event that genuinely does not tug at our heartstrings. We refuse to accept the cheapening of what it means to be Singaporean to be forced upon us.

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2 Responses to “Shame, this ugly Singapore Slam”

  1. George Says:

    This Yeo character is typical of the PAP camp followers and sycopants.

  2. Robin Low Says:

    Well put.

    I don’t really even care if Singapore win the Olympics if they “buy” talents to play for them.

    But I would certainly cheer for homegrown sports stars like many do for our very own Ang Peng Siong, and many others who have done us much glory at the SEA games.

    Win or lose, the spirit of competing for their nation, and playing for their nation makes us proud, and winning it is even sweeter.

    As for our paddlers, I don’t even relate to them, and after being “superstars” wearing Armani glasses and other branded clothes, I would not even consider them role models as they have forsaken their countries for materialistic gains, given a HDB flat to live in Singapore.

    To me, they are just mercenaries, out to make a quick buck, nothing more, and I have indifference for them as Singapore did not do anything other than spending lots of money which should go to social services, and improving infrastructure, making Orchard Road, out beloved Shopping district flood — less…

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