Friday, December 26, 2008

Reason 0014 : Countdown Party at Marina

I was surprised this year when I saw that the Countdown Party 2009 at Marina had tickets for sale. Yes!!! Tickets for sale!!! I think the prices of the tickets are $18 and $25 per ticket if I am not wrong. Is this the first time that people have to pay to attend? If not, since no one is complaining, everyone appears to have swallowed this quietly.

Are Singaporeans so starved for entertainment that they will gladly pay good money just to go to an event just to see a bunch of local artistes perform and for some pyrotechnics?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Reason 0013 : Singaporeans Do Not Know Basic Courtesy

This is a point that has often been raised in the media, especially when the topic of service standards in the retail or F&B industries is brought up. Just ask any person who has worked in these industries and without a doubt, almost everyone prefers serving Caucasians rather than Singaporeans. The funny thing is, you still see some Singaporeans questioning why this is so. I would have thought this was a no-brainer. For these clueless Singaporeans, this is why:

1. Singaporeans simply ignore you and do not acknowledge your presence when you ask :"Can I help you?".
2. Singaporeans do not smile even as you smile and say :"Hi" as they approach
3. Singaporeans do not bother to say a greeting when they first approach you
4. Singaporeans do not look at you when talking to you
5. Singaporeans use a curt, impatient tone of voice when talking to you as if you owe money to them, their parents, their grandparents, their great grandparents and all the way to Adam in the Garden of Eden
6. Singaporeans always want the 'new piece' even when told the one they are holding is the last one
7. Singaporeans are lousy tippers

Some other instances of rude Singaporeans:

1. Singaporeans do not say thank you when you hold doors at department doors or lift doors open for them.
2. Singaporeans do not say thank you when you give way to them on the road.
3. Singaporeans put their feet up on bus seats.
4. Singaporeans take their socks off in buses and air-conditioned places.
5. Singaporeans walk slowly in a group in the middle of walkways, obstructing other users
6. Singaporeans turn on their loudspeakers of their mobile phones to listen to music in buses and other enclosed spaces
7. Singaporeans do not move to the rear when buses are crowded
8. Singaporeans rush to get into MRT trains before passengers in the train alight

I once saw a man in his fifties at a petrol station. He was waiting at the counter as the pump attendant was filling up his car with petrol (a big gleaming Jaguar, I might add). The cheerful service staff at the counter, a young lady, was trying to get him to buy some promotional items. All the while when the lady was talking to him, this man just stared out the window and did not even bother to look at her or answer her. This poor lady then tallied the bill, processed the payment, and the man left.

The man might be somebody influential, filthy rich, or a big shot but I believe that to treat the people around you with so little respect, be it they are your equals or not, marks you out as someone of poor character and upbringing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reason 0012 : The Real Cause of Traffic Jams

One thing I have realised after so many years of living in Singapore is that our Gahmen is wrong; traffic jams are not caused by a limited number of COEs, or by ever increasing numbers of motor vehicles in Singapore, nor is it caused by the fact that the pace of road construction is not keeping up with the growth in the vehicle population. The real reason is that traffic jams are caused by stupid kaypoh Singaporeans who slow down to gawk at vehicles parked on the side of the road.

The traffic on the roads and expressways are generally smooth flowing. However, when the traffic starts slowing down and depending on how slow traffic is, there can be only a few reasons for the cause:

1. very slow with very frequent stops : an accident has occurred with visible signs of damage to affected vehicles. Affected vehicles are obstructing one or more lanes. The more carnage, blood, and damage seen, the more traffic stoppages occur and the longer each stop is. Stupid kaypoh Singaporeans are slowing down to gawk and count the number of dead bodies and injured people seen, pints of blood spilled, and to copy down multiple 4D numbers as quick as they can.

2. slow but traffic is in continuous flow : an accident has occurred with visible signs of damage to affected vehicles but the vehicles have been moved to the side of the road with no obstruction to traffic. However, stupid kaypoh Singaporeans are slowing down to gawk and see whether there are any dead bodies, any injured people, blood, and to copy down 4D numbers.

3. traffic speed is a little slower than usual : at least 1 vehicle is parked by the side of the road, with no visible signs of damage, and with no obstruction to traffic. Stupid kaypoh Singaporeans are slowing down to gawk and see, hoping to see some damage to the vehicle, and whether there is a need to copy down any 4D numbers. If 2 or more cars are parked on the side, the slower traffic becomes.

To these stupid kaypoh Singaporeans : "Get a fucking life"!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reason 0011 : Stomp, the Citizen's Shame Website

The establishment of Stomp, the so-called "citizen's media website" has given rise to a new channel for Singaporeans to show how self-centred and selfish they are. While good in some ways (certain topics and pictures posted by contributors bring attention to negative issues or bad habits that we should avoid doing), the disturbing impression I get from many Stomp contributors, especially if they are posting videos and photographs of serious issues such as traffic accidents, fights, arguments etc, is that the first reaction they have when they see such an incident is not to go over and help, but they will either gawk or will immediately take out their handphone to take a picture or video of the entire incident in full Technicolor detail. Stomp is also rewarding this kind of behaviour indirectly by acknowledging and publishing the names of these contributors, hence pandering to and feeding their egos.

How can anyone just stand by, gawk, and take a video of a fire going on, or of people injured in a traffic accident? Wouldn't the right thing be to go over and see whether the ambulance has been called, whether anyone needs water, or just to offer comfort? That said, if there are already rescuers on the scene or you do not wish to get involved, it is perfectly fine and people will respect your decision for that. But for goodness sake, have a little respect for others, just leave the scene and do not stand idly by taking photos and videos as if people had put up an exciting show just for your benefit.

Reason 0010 : Are HIV Patients Less Singaporean?

From young, I have always heard from our gahmen that Singaporeans are one united people, regardless of race, language, or religion, and that we are "one people, one nation, one Singapore". However, the recent debate on subsidised medication for HIV patients have left me wondering if HIV patients are 'less Singaporean' as compared to 'normal' citizens.

In brief, HIV patients receive little in the way of subsidies for their medication and many are forced to either forgo medication because of the high cost, or are forced to go to countries like Thailand where cheaper generic drugs are available. Also, one contributor to the Straits Times Forum made a good point saying that illnesses such as diabetes is a chronic condition, same as HIV, but yet diabetes patients receive more subsidies for their medication as compared to HIV patients.

Why is this so? This got me thinking : are HIV patients any less of a Singaporean for having the illness? Due to the fact that they have a terminal illness, is it a waste of resources to treat them since they are going to die anyway?

I find it hard to reconcile the fact that tremendous amounts of effort, time, and money are invested in National Day celebrations every year, so as to build stronger bonds among Singaporeans when some citizens are forced to go elsewhere just to obtain the basic tools they need just for them to survive.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reason 0009 : Singaporeans Cannot Speak or Write Properly

One of the things that bug me the most is that Singaporeans in general cannot speak or write properly. This is despite the fact that we were trained to be bilingual from a very young age. You see university graduates who cannot string a proper sentence together without creating spelling or basic grammar mistakes, people interviewed on TV who cannot speak in complete Mandarin sentences without including some choice English words in, and others who choose to speak in Singlish and broken English.

Don't get me wrong, I fully support Singlish as a mark of Singaporean identity. I also think we should speak proper English or Singlish when appropriate. I especially applaud those heartlanders who try to speak English even though they might not have had much education. At least they are trying to speak a new language on top of speaking their dialects fluently. It only bugs me when youths and adults who have had the privilege to receive a formal education are too lazy to speak and write properly. For example, "three" is pronounced as "th-ree" and not "tree". "Their" is pronounced as "th-air" and not "dee-are". Lastly, it is "Singapore I-dole", not "Singapore Idle".

I shudder especially whenever I hear the "their" being mispronounced. I think Singaporeans are the only people in the world who pronounce it this way, including MPs, radio DJs etc. It really boggles my mind why the Education Ministry has let this mistake go on for decades.

Also, with the proliferation and increased use of blogs, sms, and the Internet, people are getting more and more lazy with punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

Just think about it, if you cannot speak English or your second language properly and you cannot speak a dialect as well, what does this show about you?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reason 0008 : Boring TV Programmes

I think the people at MediaCorp should start working harder for their money. Singaporeans pay good money for their TV licenses and MediaCorp keeps coming up with boring programmes such as never-ending shows about food.

I am sick and tired of watching shows about food, be it in Singapore or overseas. I am also sick and tired of watching show hosts exclaiming how delicious the food is. I do not need to hear in miniscule detail what the food feels like in my mouth or what it tastes like. Are Singaporeans so in need of a life that they have time to waste sitting down and listening to people talking about food? Or that we have so much time to go around hunting down eating places?

There are so many food shows giving out food awards to the extent that almost every food centre you go to has at least one stall displaying awards from these TV shows. I have patronised a few stalls which have these awards proudly displayed but the food were prepared not by the owners, as what many people would expect, but by foreign workers employed on a part-time basis. As expected, the food was normal tasting and definitely not worth any award at all.

Reason 0007 : Singaporean Girls are a Confused Lot

I think Singaporean girls are a very confused lot. On one hand, they want to be seen as worldly, sophisticated, cosmopolitan, strong career women but on the other hand, God forbid if men do not open car doors for them, do not send them to and pick them up from their offices/workplace etc, or are unwilling to carry their ladies handbags.

Also, you can see many Singapore girls blindly following 'kawaii' and cutesy fashion trends from countries such as Korea and Japan. Just take a quick look at the Friendster photos or blogs of many Singaporean girls and you can often see them taking photos in cutesy poses, wearing clothes and dolling themselves to look cute. The one pose that always makes me want to puke is the hand making the V-sign beside their face while taking the photo, especially if it is done by twenty something year olds.

It appears to be that Singapore girls want to have their cake and eat it too. All I can say is, "Wake Up Your Idea Lah Dey!" If you want to be treated as equals, then don't whine when your man asks you to find your own way home. If you want to be treated as a 'small woman', as what they call it in Mandarin, then don't whine when your guy spends more time with his buddies than with you, or 'cry father cry mother' when he does not tell you where he was last night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reason 0006 : Reserving "Choping" Seats Using Tissue Packs?

I did not realise that my last post was more than a year ago. Time really flies huh? Anyhow, I know it is a bit late but the recent newspapar articles on how selfish Singaporeans were reserving or "choping" seats using tissue packs reminded me how pissed off I am about this selfish habit. Why can't they just leave someone behind to guard the places? If the person looking after the places feels irritated at having to fend off people asking if the empty seats are occupied, then just get a few more people to keep her company. Otherwise, just pack your food and go somewhere else to eat. I pity the people who are alone, in a hurry, and are standing stupidly carrying a tray waiting for a seat while empty seats are occupied by small tissue packs, umbrellas, and what not.

But that said, I think the people who are complaining should share some of the blame as well. if you are pissed off at this habit, like I am, just remove the tissues and throw them away the next time you see people engaging in this anti-social habit. Singaporeans are a spineless lot who shy away from confrontations generally and if they make noise at having their items removed, just stare them down or raise your voice. I guarantee they will back down 9 times out of 10.