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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Apes under their Armanis


Ah, Singapore, where pretense (veneer) is all: the title of a first-world country, with none of the grace . . ..

I penned that line more than a year ago; and, since then, my opinion has only been reinforced through experience.

Going through last week's papers, it appears that I am not alone.


First World nation, Third World actions

It is with much shame and frustration that I write this letter about the attitudes of some Singaporeans towards foreign workers.

On Sunday at about 6:15 pm, I was waiting at Macpherson Road for bus service 65. Many foreign workers were also waiting at the same bus stop for bus service 66 to take them to Little India.

When service 65 arrived at about 6:30 pm, the driver was about to stop so that a woman and I could board the bus.

Just then, the group of foreign workers lined up behind us to board No. 65 instead, since they had been waiting a long time for No. 66.

And upon seeing the foreign workers, the driver veered from the bus stop and drove off.

These foreign workers work hard every day and it it is sad that they cannot depend on our public transport system to take them to their destinations.

I was shocked by what the bus driver did. Not only did he make many of us late for our appointments, he also did the foreign workers great injustice with his racist behaviour.

And the bus driver was not the only one who was prejudiced towards the foreign workers. When we finally managed to board another bus, a woman covered her nose and looked disgusted upon seeing the group of foreign workers.

I hope the bus driver who had refused to pick us up would be punished.

I also hope that SBS Transit can ensure there are enough buses to meet the demand, especially during peak hours and on the weekends. Despite countless promises about improving services every time there is a fare review, SBS Transit has yet to do so as I have not seen any improvement in the frequency of buses.


Tay Kim Lian

(Tay, Kim Lian.  "Voices."  Today [Singapore]  29 Nov. 2007: 42.)

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Oh when will we dump our Third World habits?

I continue to be astounded by the sheer laziness and thoughtlessness of many people who seem intent on dropping their litter wherever they like, other than a rubbish bin.

It's not as if there's a shortage of rubbish bins in Singapore, although half of them seem to be empty due to the fact that most of the trash intended for them is lying outside them.

Recently, I had an unpleasant experience that drove home the issue of a total lack of respect for our surroundings, when a man tossed a handful of litter onto the pavement, just a few meters away from a bin.

When my wife told him he had committed an offence and should pick up the litter, he response was: "I'm Singaporean, I do what I want."

I told him it was irrelevant who he was or where he lived, he should show some respect for his surroundings.

He retorted: "What's your problem?" and then made an obscene gesture.

Despite the local media's relentless crusade to highlight a so-called world class education system, I keep coming back to the same, inescapable conclusion: What a wonderful, well-planned, First World infrastructure; too bad about the people with Third World habits who are abusing it.


Simon Hulber

(Hulber, Simon.  "Voices."  Today [Singapore]  6 Dec. 2007: 40.)

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How does that saying go?

You can take the people out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the people.


Oh, look! Singapore Sale!

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