Two cents worth

I don't usually bother much about all these online drama that's going on
1) because they don't concern me
2) I hate being a part of a cycle where people just keep biting one another's heads on Twitter (especially) It's never ending!

 However, even if I do have an opinion, it's not a habit of mine to blatantly share my views on how I feel... but somehow there's something about this huge, contentious issue this time that makes me feel disturbed. And it bothers me so much that I'm writing this at 1.45 in the morning.

Disclaimer: I'm only writing this based on how I truly feel. No hard feelings, so in case it isn't catered to your liking, I apologise in advance. And no, I definitely do not have an ulterior motive behind this post, cos...

Ain't nobody got time for that.

Alright, back to the main topic - Stephanie Koh, better known as Steph Micayle.

You can watch Steph's first video (here) and her response video below.

Before I begin, this is how I feel about Steph - I personally met Steph once in person in late 2012, however the meet up wasn't exactly long enough and nothing too drastic took place in order for me to set a permanent impression of her. Hence, I wouldn't even say that I "know" her.

We do have quite a number of mutual friends and I've heard the nastiest stuff about her attitude, but to give her the benefit of doubt (since I haven't exactly interacted much with her), I still continue to remain rather neutral about this and I've nothing against her.

Won't go in depth on her points made in her videos, cos you can watch it and form your own opinion, but here's what I've to say in general after watching those two videos with overwhelming responses on how she's not proud to be a Singaporean:

I'm not a fan of her attitude, but let's not get too personal, cos that aside... You can't deny she does have some valid points, but they aren't entirely right in my pov.

Firstly, what she said about Singaporeans are not only unique to us, but in fact exist in many other Asian countries as well.

Why so?

"No place for an artist" - This doesn't only apply to us, cos let's be practical here, as a matter of fact Asian people are brought up to pursue academic studies to ensure that we get well-paying jobs, rather than artistic and creative pursuits - These come from having to survive in a competitive environment.

However, on the other hand we are beginning to change. Look at the rising number of Art schools there are today, and it isn't true that we don't have Arts & Craft implemented in our education system, because I personally had Art classes during curriculum times since pre school. Anyway my point is, times have indeed changed throughout the years. It's no longer as rigid as the past, and I'm pretty sure there would be more opportunities for creative people to grow, it's just a matter of time.

Talk about Australia? How many centuries did they take in order to be where they are now? To be fair, Singapore only has about half a century of modern history - How could you expect things to change overnight? All these evolution take time.

"Not nice" - Well this is something rather subjective, because a friend from China remarked, "I love Singapore for how the people here are cultured and polite than back home." The same way we would say towards Australians when we visit their country.

It's by what standards we are judging people based on.

Indeed many people working in the service sector have room for improvement in terms of their working attitude, but you might also wanna consider the fact that many of them aren't local.

Have you even been to a local McDonalds outlet with senior service staff? Cos I've met plenty who are not only courteous, but give some of the best service on uncountable occasions.

What about Japan? Are the people there rude or unfriendly? Hell no! They are probably the country with the most courteous people, but do you see them greeting passer-bys like in Australia? NO.

Fact is, we are too caught up in our daily lives, everything moves at such a fast pace. It's just our lifestyle.

You shouldn't generalise all Singaporeans based on the people YOU have met elsewhere.

"It's not true that Singapore's pay rates are better than minimum wage" - Compared to Australia, this statement might be true, but if you were to compare us to countries within the region? For instance, Malaysia. We are paid almost twice as much.

Then again, all these are based on our different cost of living.

Realise all these points are really subjective?


We are definitely not under the Top 10 list of countries with the highest suicide rates to begin with.

If you wanna make comparisons, why not think about how fortunate we already are to be living in a country with no natural catastrophes, hardly any racial discrimination in spite of our multi-racial culture, and higher employment rates?

On the contrary, many Western countries like Europe has fallen behind in terms of economy, because the people choose a more leisurely lifestyle; it doesn't help that the welfare state policy pays them money even when they do not work.

So my question is, it's all about choices isn't it?  You can't always have your cake and eat it. Would you rather be living in a rat race or lie on the couch and not do anything at all?

I guess majority would pick the second, but at what price? Paying higher taxes or turning your country bankrupt, like in Greece?

Do you know Singapore being the smallest country, has one of the largest reserves in the world? Because we save for a rainy day.

By the way, has it ever come across to you what's the total opposite of being submissive?


Thailand? Philippines? Look at what have their given rights turned into? Riots and demonstrations, living in fear and uncertainty everyday not knowing when their life may be at risk.

You can be in a country with total freedom, but only in exchange for chaos.

Do you wanna live in prison in your own home? Think about it.


It's undeniable that there's indeed a lot of things we could improve on, as Singaporeans, but what's the point of complaining and not doing anything to make Singapore a better place? Why not let us be the generation to make a change? Instead of brushing this responsibility off our shoulders time and again saying, "I'm not the one." (Like running away, and leaving the country...)

John. F Kennedy once said "too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought," maybe we should all give some thought in the things we say before we pass our judgement.