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"Small island, small minds?"


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Mar 16, 2005
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Any views on this?...

Small island, small minds?
Motorists here must learn to respect others

Letter from Wendi Strauch Mahoney
TODAY Newspaper, 23 Sept 2005

It was gratifying to read Liang Dingzi's commentary, "A place where only bullies get ahead?" (Sept 6) on the rudeness of Singaporeans.

I felt, for once, that I am not alone in feeling battered by the lack of kindness here.

I have lived here for almost two years and I am both amazed and irritated at the lack of common courtesy here.

I understand that living in a city can bring with it a certain detached way of interacting with others. However, I am consistently frustrated by the rudeness here, especially when it also puts the lives of others in danger.

The list is endless: Taxi drivers who see motorists and pedestrians as "game"; drivers who refuse to give way under any circumstance; drivers who pass other motorists as they are backing into parking places; drivers who intimidate pedestrians that are crossing the street; drivers who straddle lanes while making up their minds which lane serves them best; motorcyclists who weave in and out of traffic or who ride in the fast lane, and so on.

I have always tried to be a courteous driver. Even here, despite the temptation to "do as the Romans do", I continue to make every attempt to allow others to pass, give way to pedestrians and to wait my turn.

I rarely get a thank you or wave from the other driver, as if that person was entitled to the graciousness I just extended to them.

I understand that my politeness may be seen as weak to Singaporeans, but the only way I know how to change something as ingrained as this is to start with myself and hope that someone notices and says to himself, "Wow, that was nice. Maybe I should be as courteous." Somehow, I do not see that happening here.

Singapore does everything in its power to be competitive and respected in the world market. However, if the people here do not begin to understand how important it is to respect others, display manners and compassion, I do not see Singapore being anything more than a small country with small-minded people.
 

espn

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Dec 20, 2002
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#2
Wow... I want to see how long the person can dong before they join in since can't win 'em. :bsmilie:
 

P

Phildate

Guest
#3
Having driven for years in England and now for two years here, the difference is quite amazing. I try to retain my own personal standards of courtesy and politeness but sometimes it is hard. Of course it is unwise to generalise in such a way as the writer of the original article has but let me cite an example that highlights the difference for me:

Two lanes are merging into one due to roadworks/broken down vehicle/tree cutting. In UK, drivers would alternately merge, one from left followed by one from right lane and the whole thing happens smoothly. No-one gets angry, people wave each other in and get thanked in return.

Here, it becomes a shoving/ego match, with drivers inching forward so that no-one can get in front of them. It's as if letting someone in from the merging lane would be seen as an act of weakness. if you do let someone in, no wave of thanks.

As for taxi drivers, don't get me started!! I'm still looking for the page in the highway code that says I can do anything I want as long as I put my hazard warning lights on!! :bsmilie:
 

dEthANGeL

Senior Member
Jun 20, 2004
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Siglap
#4
*light turns green* (before you clutch in your 1st gear / change to "D" and tap the accelerator) ...you hear a..

BBEEEEEPPP...

Needless to say ...who's behind :rolleyes: IXAT ...
 

Mar 16, 2005
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#6
actually quite true...after while EVERYONE join in..its becoming a cultural sickness

then again the writer is an europoean presumably so SHE may not get in the 'act' afterall.
 

sORe-EyEz

Senior Member
Jun 28, 2005
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#7
its a product of ur culture 2 get ahead at almost all (or all) costs, d size of ur country has little 2 do w/ tis.

if d reason being a small country den how come ppl in Hong Kong, Switzerland, etc hav more social graces den most locals here? :sticktong
 

espn

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#8
Problem is all of us started as safety drivers, me inclusive, till date, I don't like to cut lanes or speed or even don't give signals. Even in the carpark, turning left/right, I also signal.

However, I can understand the frustrations because - what you reap, you don't sow.

I've ever been just cut into by a taxi rushing for a U-Turn, imagine I was cruising luckily at medium speed, the taxi from the left after picking up a passenger just cut 3 lanes across to the left.

And mind you, it was in ORCHARD ROAD.

And the mentality of - "If you can't win 'em, join 'em", one by one gets converted. :thumbsd:
 

Mar 27, 2005
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#9
espn said:
Wow... I want to see how long the person can dong before they join in since can't win 'em. :bsmilie:
I wonder how long will the person reach her destination.. :bsmilie:
 

Mar 16, 2005
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#10
i am speculating that we are progressing economically way too far ahead before we have any sort good and stablized cultural grounding. greed and materialism dont help, they amplify. usually in intense competition, to get ahead, theres no 2 best ways, its either lose whats of little value in favour of what can actually GET YOU AHEAD, and getting head means everything, yours not the first car zooming into this lane, your husband not the 1st in line for promotion, your kid not in the top 1% etc etc. people may wear the best clothes, enjoy the best technologies, but internally its a mess. simply put, EQ wise, we are kids in an adults world, but yet we have the clout to proudly stamp our 'maturity', which of course makes all the more worst..and the Snowball rolls.

does anyone here share or like to counter this ideology
 

sORe-EyEz

Senior Member
Jun 28, 2005
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#12
ya lor, ya lor. cant win them join them. i not on that side yet.:bsmilie: welcome 2 d dark side?:sweat: guess most ppl r weak, or weak in character. but such behaviour is hard 2 change cos too little is done 2 turn d tide. call it negative re-enforcement, ppl turn blind eye 2 brutish behaviour. ppl c, duplicate. do something nice, ppl ard u laugh, make u d butt of jokes!!;(
 

sORe-EyEz

Senior Member
Jun 28, 2005
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#13
reno77 said:
Only the fittest will survive. Kill! Kill! Kill!
but the meek will eventually inherent the earth!!:bsmilie: :bsmilie:
 

student

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2004
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#14
Small island
Small mind
Inferiority complex
Writer is a European

You have some form of complex? An "I am better than you complex?". So a European is better? You assume that because the writer is a Europen, she may not get into the act?

What ails your mentality?

Yes, the drivers here have bad driving habits. I have lived and worked in US and UK. I have driven in Europe. Yes, when I was living in London in the 80s, the drivers were largely well behaved. But my latest experience there is not so good any more.

You know what? The worst traffic offenders and the most recalcitrant I have seen in Singapore are AngMos! And in particular, the cyclists! They think they own the road. They cycle abreast in twos and threes when there cars behind queueing to overtake them.

Once a idiot Ang Mo actually opened my car door when I was waiting in a traffic junction, because I gave him a little "toot" to warn him that I was going to overtake him. Another gave me a finger up because I overtook him. I gave him a response that his finger should go up his a***.

They have also irritated my wife and friends. It was only when we discussed these things, that we realised what the corporate attitude of these wonderful Ang Mos are!

Well, all this is not to justify the baad driving behaviour of Singapore drivers. But to hopefully inculcate in you a more reasonable mentality?

Small island?
Small minds?
Inferiority complex?
Non European?

or

Big country
Overblown mind
Superiority complex
Terrible Ang Mos

Which is the worse offender?
 

Mar 16, 2005
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#15
you sound quite serious, harsh and insultful. i hope its just a figure of speech.

quoting someone: you have your opinions and i respect your opinions.

if need be we can close off this thread, becos i didnt post this here to be shot, me in process neither. i sure hope no else too after this.

admin/moderators kind note. thks
 

Astin

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2002
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astin.clubsnap.org
#16
Is it in your mind only?
When I am in a bad mood, I always see other drivers all very bad, overtake no indicator light, hogging on fast lane, fighting with me for that parking lot.
When I am in good mood, I always see other drivers all very good, give chance when I overtake, change to middle lane when I am fast behind, move out quickly and give me the parking lot.
 

Mar 16, 2005
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#17
i agree positivity and negativity is perceptual and influenced as such.

problem is this issue dont just extend to one or a few, but becoming a whole culture and across other matters aside traffic
 

Nisa

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2004
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#18
I happen to agree with student about the Angmos being bad road users. (hmm the sky has yet to fall on me .... :think: )

U choose to give way to others, then others can choose to either thank or not thank you. :sticktong
 

student

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2004
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#19
itisnottheendorg said:
you sound quite serious, harsh and insultful. i hope its just a figure of speech.

quoting someone: you have your opinions and i respect your opinions.

if need be we can close off this thread, becos i didnt post this here to be shot, me in process neither. i sure hope no else too after this.

admin/moderators kind note. thks
I mean every word I say. I am direct and to the point. If you have any rebuttal to my comments, say it.

I am particularly pissed off by such comments as made by you. People who only see the faults in others (allegedly less cultured, small minded, non Ang Mos) but ignoring the terrible attributes in themselves (documented big ego, red hair, big country mentality).

In my profession, the worst offenders are the Ang Mos.
 

P

Phildate

Guest
#20
Well this Ang Mo thinks that Student's post is offensive.
 

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