Monday, February 08, 2010

Singapore Memories: Myths About Singapore

Ok, I better put a disclaimer here for all my Singaporean readers... first, I like Singapore as a city, and these myths about Singapore are my personal opinion only. If there's anything u don't agree, u can voice out... if not sit back, and just relax-lah :)

1. Singapore more Efisyen (Efficient) One
Try going into Singapore by car on Sunday evening/ nights and you'll most likely get stucked in a jam at the Singapore customs, while just before that, you sort of breezed through the Malaysia customs. Ok so you argue that Malaysia does a chop chop job? But how can it be that the jam on the 2nd link can go as long as 3 hours?

Another example: email. If you think Malaysians take ages to reply your email, well, the next time, you might just forgive them... for even Singaporeans (and I say not all) do reply late - or at times, never reply at all. And this is not first time ah...

2. Singapore Public Transport Is The Best One
Yes, definitely if you compare it with all the rest in the Asean region (and I say, Asean not Asia). But try going from say Bedok to a place somewhere in Boon Lay. Ok maybe that's an exaggeration from East to West of Singapore (and we always think Singapore is small).

But even if you go from East to East (say from Tampines to say somewhere in Paya Lebar), the ride & all can take you up to 45 minutes or more. That is because one has to walk, take a bus, then take the MRT then take another bus... and walk again before reaching. Zzzz...

3. Singapore Very Clean One
Yes, it is a clean city... but how clean? Of course, more likely cleaner than our other Asian cities (maybe minus Tokyo?). But I've seen cockroach at City Hall MRT & also seen some 'sai' in the lift in the HDB flat (am not joking).

And talking bout HDB, have you seen the letter box area? Maybe you can't cos all the phamlets & leaflets are on the floor. And just beside it, just at the open area, bird droppings all over the floor.

4. Singapore Media Very Happening One
Again the question is what compared to what? Singapore Chinese Drama vs Malaysia's Chinese Drama Industry? If that is the case, yes... But try comparing it to Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines or even Malaysia's Malay entertainment industry, then that statement may not ring so true.

Otherwise, why would the likes like Aaron Aziz, Aliff Aziz, and even Singapore's Idol Taufik Batisah make their way over the causeway? And it's not just them - even PCK (Phua Chu Kang & family) came over.

5. Singapore English Better One
Many Malaysians always feel inferior towards Singaporeans command of English/ Singlish. Actually hor, it's about the same one lah.

I tell you why ah... cos ah, if you compare the English speaking Malaysians & the English speaking Singaporeans ah, they talk about the same same one u know.

And that's where I just go -.- when some strangers or my friends-to-be ask: why ah your English so good one? But you come from Malaysia ah?

6. Singapore Customer Service Very Good One
In some places yes (I particularly like the service crews at the restaurants when they are run by the youth).

But have you experienced extremely rude, delay & bad service - even from the counter? Some friends have... at places you might just not think possible. I shan't elaborate more but you get it...

7. Singapore's Mandarin Better Than Malaysia's Mandarin One
I'm not the best one to judge from this. But anyway, I've heard both sides of the coin (causeway in this case), and both argue they are better... always comparing their Mandarin with ehem, Taiwan's, some China's.

I still remember my Singaporean friend telling me: Why ah you all always use Chi Duo Qian?

Another one mentioned: I don't like to listen to your Malaysian (Chinese) radio... you all got one slang one.

Saying that, I've also heard my Chinese educated friends from Malaysia mentioning before: I don't like to read Singapore's papers, because their level of Chinese is like Standard 5!

For those of you who are Mandarin educated, welll, I suggest you read each other's papers & listen to each other radio (that is if you can tahan lah).

Now not all myths are bad. Here are some flip side eye openers.

8. Everything In Singapore Is Expensive One
Actually, the expensive part about Singapore is the housing. Nearly everything else is quite comparable to Malaysian standard of living.. or for some, even cheaper.

For example, try eating the chap fan (mix rice) at one of the neighbourhood areas... and it will only cost about SGD2 or 2+. You can also find chicken rice at SGD1.80! Now, that is definitely cheaper than Kay El's!

9. All Singaporeans Are Kiasu One
While many are (super at it too!), but I have had my fair share of friends who are humble, friendly & kind. These are the people you would think come from anywhere except... Singapore! And yet, there are such people - and quite a bunch-ful of them too!

Ok, you have read this far... If you are from Singapore, I hope you are in no way offended from my observations & experience.

For the rest, especially Malaysians, I hope you can get a better picture of some sort from someone who has been there, done that... for it's way better than making assumptions (good or bad) from unknown sources!



  1. Wow! This is indeed an eye opener for me! And I thought Singaporeans are clean and efficient!

    Regarding email replies, I have experienced the most efficient email replies from a company in UK - they reply on the same day I send them an email!

    I guess as a tourist, I always see the "good" side of Singapore - streets are clean, public transport excellent, even crime rate is low! It is probably different if you stay and work in Singapore!

    Actually, I kind of like listening to Singlish or even Manglish. Quite fun, haha!

    So are you saying Singapore is a 1st world country with 3rd world mentality? : )

  2. So all in all there are too much hype on Singapore lar? :p

  3. what is chi duo qian?? well yeah i saw gao(dog) sai in the hdb flat lift last year >< yupe... some of my singaporeans friends are very nice =p miss them all!! singapore is going to have more public transit lines... taking bus, mrt then walk is what we call good in transportation :)

    lol love this entry!

  4. Wah... I always think S'pore better than KL one.
    This is an eye opener. :D


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