Letter to a Good Friend

Dear bro,

Please don't use my child as a chip. Let this be the first and last time and I'll appreciate that greatly. If you have anything against me, please just come at me and me only.

Let me share with you my honest deep-felt feelings about this. I don't think you really care about how I feel. It's all about how you think I should feel and do. I just ask for a moment from you to consider why I felt in a certain way. You have been prejudiced ever since one of my blog entry irked you and have been wearing toxic laced glasses to view whatever coming from me ever since.

First I'll like to rebut you saying I hated the Singapore to the core since I left for Perth. Your memory is fading buddy. You called me a 'Anti-Government' ages ago where you lent me your listening ear about my unhappiness with the way things were with my life back in Singapore. I am grateful for that and will never forget that. If I could just daringly assume you are thinking I am backstabbing my country just because I left Singapore, I sincerely urge you to give me the benefit of doubt. I have never hated my country and my people. If you could be with me and trust me on that, you will be able to see where I really am coming from in areas that infuriated you.

Second, I use the word Singaporean as a generic term. As long as I say anything, just anything, I am bound to offend. There is always a stick you can use to beat me if you wanted to i.e  http://unscrwed.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Pleasing-Everybody-610x447.jpg  Please think about it. You are one of my most intelligent friend and you can easily pick this up but I need you to stand by me and believe I don't wield a dagger.

I love Singapore and my own people. Please ponder for awhile why I insist. I know that am not the straightest person you know but you know me well enough to know if I have an axe to grind, I don't to hide behind a tree. If I have an agenda towards my country, I won't hesitate to say so.

The accusation of me putting down Singaporeans is amusing. I am a fucking Singaporean. Do you think I am less Singaporean than you because of the fact you are stepping on Singaporean soil but not me? If I were to put a Singaporean down, I am putting myself down. To think I slog my guts out not just for my family but with a mind to maintain the Singapore brand to the impression of Australians here. I have put up with this accusation way too long.

We need to wake up. I quote you an example, one celebrity old fart Cai Lan once declared that Singapore food is lousy. Many Singaporeans (again I use this as a generic term) went up in arms howling for his blood for his comment. Needless to say, colorful vocabulary were used. 

What do you derive from this incident? There are so many ways to interpret this. I bet your deduction will differ from mine. At the end of the days, do Singaporeans stop to wonder if there is any truth in the old fart's claim? I know we love to believe that Singapore was a food paradise. Note the key word: was. We have degenerated abysmally in this area. Our cheap and delicious hawker food has diminished quickly over the years. No doubt, good food are still all abouts but there is no doubt it isn't as good as it used to be.

Put away your toxic laced glasses you'll find it is not impossible agreeing with me on that. Put it on and I am a Singapore hater. If I say Singaporeans are exam smart, you'll either agree with me or hate me for insinuating Singaporeans are not street smart. As long as you are coming from there, I'll never win. Each time you told me how you think of me, I'm just disappointed that to know my friend doesn't understand me.

For many past instances, I am just relating my views and experiences as I see things. I don't sensationalise things. You may not agree with me, like many of the readers here do, I accept the difference in opinions. I don't call form an opinion of your character because of your beliefs. Take the disagreeing views away, you are the same old good friend. and my hand has always been extended to for the handshake. That has never changed. I understand where you are coming from but I need you to do the same for me. 

The hostility and communication blackout were clear enough for me that your rule is 'Stop this or the friendship is over.' I'm not in the game, I don't agree with the rules. What I feel and hope you'll understand is that, my continuation to write is not an act of defiance. The fact that I write on is purely based on my interest to write and nothing else. I hope you will not interpret it as anything else outside this simple scope.

Lastly, please allow me to pose a hypothetical question. What would be your feelings towards my writings if I were physically in Singapore, never left the shores of Singapore before? If I were to receive the same disdain from you, let me share with you that I have always been writing my opinions the same manner all the while I am with Singapore but none of my friends bothered to read. My grouses were just grouses in the past but they have became criticisms just because I am posting this through an Australian server.

Meanwhile, I am trying my best to live life here sorely for my family. I am not here to prove a point to anyone or make anyone feel I am sneering at Singaporeans who cannot leave the island. If that is my goal, I wouldn't have offer migration knowledge to anyone nor warn them about the difference between Singapore and Perth. My justification doesn't represent guilt for I have none but I felt the need to explain so that you could understand me, because it seemed that communication signals get weaker with the increase of distance, just like wireless technology.

Sorry for the long post. I tried replying your comment but blogger doesn't allow me to post it there(too many characters), thus I created a new post. My elaboration will probably not go too well with you and I should have stuck with this simple summary.

My summary:

1. I have never hated my country nor my countrymen.

2. Yes, the government irks me to no end and is still continuing to do so.

3. My country is Singapore. My government is the PAP. When I criticise my government, I am not criticising my country. If you don't agree with me, please bear in mind, that's how I regard it and I post my views from this angle..

4. Neither did I criticise my countrymen nor you. If I make you feel this way, I apologise and it was not my intention to.

5. I have not thought about getting Australian citizenship at all at such an irrelevant premature stage. As now, I am Singaporean, as red as you are white.

6. I've always been happy and I'm happy when I wrote this post and I'm happy now. I'm a bit vexed why you think otherwise though.

7. Please don't bring my child into this ever again and I mean it on this one.

8. None of our disagreement of views have change my mind on friendship because I regard them strictly a different matter and I still treasure all my friendships with anyone of you in Singapore.


  1. unlike the mobile phone technology,sometimes with more bars (or its equivalent) communication gets more muddled and complicated!

  2. > To think I slog my guts out not just for my family but with a mind to maintain the Singapore brand to the impression of Australians here.

    Haha, me too. I think it afflicts newcomers to a foreign land.

    Just recently, I remarked to my nursing friend in Singapore that I put in more effort now into my nursing studies than during my basic nursing training back in Singapore. Maybe being the only "flag-bearer" of Singapore in my class (and my friends in sub-group expect me to carry the "Filipino" flag as well) pushed me? Or maybe having a Singapore-trained PRC in my class who looked down upon Singaporeans (yup, maybe I'll blog about this someday) did the trick? I don't know. But I do recognize that I cared more about my nursing academics now than I did before.

  3. I think for many of us, there has been this "spoon feeding" of propaganda from the first day of school that we automatically think that Singapore is the best place on earth. These days, even a cursory glance of ST articles is enough to see the slant in just about everything they cover. When I first left Singapore to study in the UK, I kept thinking it was going to be a slum, a crime ridden city, but the truth was furthest from that. It was a vibrant city and one of the best times of my life. I suspect that if you live like that proverbial frog in the well (hey it's Swee Say's idiom, not mine), then it's likely you think all's well in Singapore.

    But once the veils have been lifted, there's possibly a tendency to overcompensate. We want others to have that same veil lifted. And so we become advocates. Yes we are critical. Because we love Singapore but not the state that Singaporeans have come to accept. We want more for our people.

    I hope your friend understands where you (and I and others like us) are coming from.

  4. -asingaporeanson-, I get the feeling, reading your reply to your good friend, that s/he has decided to react emotionally and self-righteously.
    But you already know that.

    And yes, it's very hard to reason with anyone who has locked his/her mind in that way, much less to get mutual respect and understanding.

    But *sigh*… when that happens, we've got our work cut out for us, and it doesn't change what we uphold, not even a teeny bit.

  5. You are what you THINK. Buddha
    MINDSETS determine what you are, how you feel, what you do and how you live.
    Mindsets make you an automaton or robot, a terrorist, a Darwinist, a Marxist, a Buddhidt or a Christian.
    Mindsets are like programmes that run a computer (your mind).
    What you are depend what you program yourself or programmed ie brain-washed by others.
    Remember this 4 letter word GIGO.
    Why waste your time on a machine?
    Nix, you can't deprogrammed someone.
    Try to talk someone out of his religion or beliefs.
    You will be crucified like Jesus.