Singaporeans slammed for being rude in Australian newspaper!


melvin

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Jun 4, 2005
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#1
Are we really that bad?


It’s no secret that Singapore is a “campaign city”.

The National Courtesy Campaign, Speak Good English Movement, the Singapore Kindness Movement and even toilet campaigns like “Aim Right”, “Wash Your Hands Right”, “Don’t Wet The Floor” are clear testaments to this.

But Sydney Morning Herald writer Tamara Thiessen takes this a step further in a provocative piece entitled “Singaporeans asked to chew on their manners” that was published on the newspaper’s website on May 31.

In it, she questions the level of courtesy and graciousness in Singaporeans as well as how constant reminders to be courteous have to be “thrust down their thoats daily”. The article further goes to portray Singapore as a regimentally law-abiding and clean country, where “happiness and civility need…outside enforcement”.

But despite the city-state’s spick-and-span spaces free of chewing gum and spit, “there is no assurance of finding good manners and a caring society”, she writes.

An IT manager from Sydney who is based in Singapore, Paul Stapleton, is quoted in the article saying, “They (Singaporeans) are the rudest f***ing people I have ever seen; they need some basic training in civic awareness. They don’t feel that anyone else exists outside this tiny island.”

Another long-time British resident staying here added, “The problem is the sole concern of most Singaporeans is money and economic well-being. The only reason the churches here are packed to the rafters is because people attend in order to network.”

General manager of the Singapore Kindness Movement, Teh Thien Yew, is also quoted in the paper as saying, ”Levels of indifference and unhappiness are still high … we are all concerned about graciousness in our country.”

Invariably, every society has its fair share of bad social graces. But is it fair for an Australian or Briton to pass judgement on Singaporeans as a whole based on personal experience and a few opinions?

A 24-year-old Singaporean student, who wanted to be known as Jen, told Yahoo! Singapore that Thiessen’s article is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

“Who is the writer to say that Singaporeans make up an ungracious society? Yes, there may be some rude people in Singapore. But there are always bad eggs in every society. Personally, I’ve met my fair share of rude Australians while studying there, but I don’t dismiss Australia as a country of ungracious people.”

To Singaporeans’ credit, according to the State of Graciousness in Singapore Survey, people here conducted themselves better on public transport over the past year. Also, the country’s “Graciousness Index” — an indication of how citizens rate the level of graciousness within society — climbed 3 points from 58 to 61 in the same time.

Having said that, while Thiessen’s article borders on being one-sided and slightly extreme, could the ugly truth be that she’s actually right?

After all, in the same survey, only 37% out of 1,000 Singaporeans interviewed were happy with the level of graciousness in the city-state.

In light of such harsh criticism, do you agree that the level of courtesy and graciousness in Singapore society leaves much to be desired? Are state campaigns effective in inculcating kindness and consideration in local citizens?

:think::think::think:
 

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night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#2
my first knee-jerk reaction is to note that someone who says that we are "f-ing rude" (quote only hor, not using vulgarities) is probably not very polite himself/herself, and to also wonder aloud how one can measure a "polite society".. nonetheless i think there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

as the student quoted points out, there are bad eggs in every society.

i once came across this group in facebook maligning singaporeans for the same things and more. the group leader was extremely caustic and sarcastic, and it didn't help matters that there were singaporeans joining the group and throwing personal attacks at her (australian lady). i did try my best to use a moderate approach to at the very least, show her that we were more civilised than that, and that she was essentially being very childish herself. needless to say, it was a lost cause, but i still remained polite.

be the change you want to see.
 

Kit

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#3
There's some truth in it but if you asked me, the Australians haven't earned the right to be critical either.
 

mohgui

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Jan 31, 2005
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#5
'The problem is the sole concern of most Singaporeans is money and economic well-being"

on the whole, i think the above statement is true. but i think it is because we have no choice. the standard of living in SG has been on rise lately. things are getting expensive by the year... especially on housing and medical needs. although we have savings in the form of CPF and Medisave, it may not be enough.
 

mohgui

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#6
"The only reason the churches here are packed to the rafters is because people attend in order to network."

ok... this i don't know how much truth there are to the above statement. anybody care to rebutt this?
 

johnlim

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Feb 26, 2004
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#7
http://www.smh.com.au/world/singaporeans-asked-to-chew-on-their-manners-20100530-wnjm.html


I read the whole article, I still do not have a clue what the writer is trying convey? Obviously, she has not been in this country before, she just quoted something from other sources and strung them together to make an article. :think:

What is her view and experience here? It's not in the article. :confused:
 

jopel

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Dec 21, 2004
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#8
"The only reason the churches here are packed to the rafters is because people attend in order to network."

ok... this i don't know how much truth there are to the above statement. anybody care to rebutt this?
no doubt about this.
 

zelot

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#9
they can be worst than us tho. :eek:
Yeah, Australians (not all, but there def are) are racists. My frens and i have gotten pointed with the middle finger when we are just waiting to cross a traffic junction. Glass bottle thrown a few meters away from the path and direction we are walking towards. It happened in Melbourne and Rockhampton respectively.

'The problem is the sole concern of most Singaporeans is money and economic well-being"

on the whole, i think the above statement is true. but i think it is because we have no choice. the standard of living in SG has been on rise lately. things are getting expensive by the year... especially on housing and medical needs. although we have savings in the form of CPF and Medisave, it may not be enough.

"The only reason the churches here are packed to the rafters is because people attend in order to network."

ok... this i don't know how much truth there are to the above statement. anybody care to rebutt this?
There was a article on something like Singapore being a First world country but salary scale is like a Third world country. GDP is not low at ard 50k++ but this does not clearly reflect the wealth of its citizens. Hence, there is no wonder why more and more pple are getting more money-minded and care less of other areas or factors.
Yes? No? I did not write that article... but... personally, i find that statement correct and very true.

I would same some attend Churches to do just that. I will also say there are other avenues that these kinda pple take or go to network and not just joining a Church service or etc. I guess the Australian whom had made this remark was a Christian and he felt/thought that some of his church mates/friends/acquaintances are joining just purely for networking sake.
 

Kit

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#10
Its all too common for someone to take hearsay and turn it into fact which he/she subscribes to but I would think that someone who writes published articles would be a cut above the rest, its actually a responsibility to maintain ..... apparently, she too suffers from narrow vision.
 

Mar 21, 2010
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#11
Stupid generalisation attack and op-ed piece to fill newspaper pages and fulfill racial stereotypes. Singaporeans, like every population in the world, have a mixture of polite and impolite.

Although it would be nice if the drivers would indicate occasionally :)
 

jopel

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Dec 21, 2004
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Although it would be nice if the drivers would indicate occasionally :)
the moment you indicate you will see the car accelerate faster instead of giving way. :bsmilie:
 

jopel

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#13
Stupid generalisation attack and op-ed piece to fill newspaper pages and fulfill racial stereotypes. Singaporeans, like every population in the world, have a mixture of polite and impolite.

Although it would be nice if the drivers would indicate occasionally :)
and try taking a lift with your baby in the pram, you will see youths and some adults that come later and squeeze into the lift before you can navigate your pram.

btw I do agree with the writer.
 

ed9119

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Mar 11, 2002
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#14
Gee wonder why they didnt do a similar piece on NY ?

I love New York for being itself , warts and all, thats what gives it color

A land of plastic smiles ....... well thats just sad
 

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Sion Prieur

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#16
Not shocking at all. Singaporeans think that rude and harsh is good for you, and that everyone must not take it too seriously. Well, that's what they encourage here in CS.

When you are rude, admit that you are rude. Don't try to make excuses for your countrymen that there are rude people everywhere in the world.
 

johnlim

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Feb 26, 2004
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#17
Not shocking at all. Singaporeans think that rude and harsh is good for you, and that everyone must not take it too seriously. Well, that's what they encourage here in CS.

When you are rude, admit that you are rude. Don't try to make excuses for your countrymen that there are rude people everywhere in the world.
You are definitely rude! :bigeyes: Admit it. :bsmilie:

Are you singaporean? If you are, then you admit you are one of them. If you are not, what makes you think you are not rude? Others may think you are rude, but you think you are not.
 

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Jix

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#18
and try taking a lift with your baby in the pram, you will see youths and some adults that come later and squeeze into the lift before you can navigate your pram.

btw I do agree with the writer.
Speaking of lift. How many times did you see an individual got squeezed by the elevator door because the idiot who went in first didn't hold the door.
 

Mar 2, 2006
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#19
Shoddy piece of journalism.

The game was up once I saw "Tuen Mun rail interchange" in the opening portion of the article, before it was corrected to Tanah Merah MRT.. :bsmilie:
 

#20
An IT manager from Sydney who is based in Singapore, Paul Stapleton, is quoted in the article saying, “They (Singaporeans) are the rudest f***ing people I have ever seen; they need some basic training in civic awareness. They don’t feel that anyone else exists outside this tiny island.”
IMO - i think he is disgracing himself totally, yet proudly announcing his name to the open public, so silly of him.
Kind of pity him i think he experienced the worst here in SG while others might be enjoying the best. ... He must be traumatized! :bsmilie:

Its a no-meaning article or composition out of nothing.
 

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