Dear FTW critics, are you hypocrites?

One of the most memorable times in the history of Singapore sports was probably during the 1990s Malaysian Cup. I still remember those days when the Kallang stadium roared with every goal scored by the Singapore Lions. I remember participating in the Kallang wave. Soccer players like Fandi Ahmad, V Sundramoorthy and Malek Awab were household names. Even when I was nowhere near a TV to watch our Lions play, I would turn on the radio to make sure I could hear the live commentary.

Every single soul I know fondly remember those days of yore. Soccer was the common theme that bound us as a country. We rallied behind our Lions in every single match-up. It was Singapore vs the rest of the world (or Malaysia). We were proud of our sporting victories.

Yet today, the tide has changed. When Feng Tian Wei won the bronze medal for the table tennis singles category, she is only partially celebrated. Indeed, she is derided by a number of online critics as being an imported medal bought by cash. She is scorned while  Tan Howe Liang’s 1960s silver medal in  weightlifting is praised. The anti-foreigner attitude reeks once again.

——————–

Dear critics, are you hypocrites?

This painful episode shows that there is almost nothing Singapore can do to satisfy its online critics. For every criticism hurled at FTW, the same critics stay strangely silent on the past fruits arising from foreign-imported sports talent. For every complaint about how FTW is not a true Singaporean and is only in it for the money, the same critics are silent about how a local athlete should be treated. Only when we individually examine these criticisms do we see how hypocritical they are:

1. FTW is a foreigner, and not a “true-blue” Singaporean. This medal doesn’t belong to Singapore. 

Singapore’s sporting achievements have always involved foreigners, including our prized achievements of the past. Here’s a few examples:

  • Abbas Saad – Born in Lebanon. Represented Singapore in soccer. Played for Australia thereafter.
  • Alistair Edwards -Born in Australia. Represented Singapore in soccer. Played for Australia thereafter.
  • Jang Jung -Born in South Korea. Represented Singapore in soccer. Famous for sweeper position.
  • Tan Howe Liang – Born in China. Represented Singapore in Weightlifting.
  • Ronald Susilo – Born in Indonesia. Represented Singapore in Badminton.

If FTW’s bronze medal is not well-deserved for Singapore because she is a foreigner, then we should also label our past medals (in weightlifting and soccer) as “bought via foreigners”. No need to practice double-standards.

And if you’re not happy about FTW being recruited to help Singapore win medals, then what could she have done to make you happy? Would your attitude change if she volunteered to join Singapore before our recruiters found her? Or is she automatically dammed because of her country of birth?

2. FTW is in it for the money. 

Let’s be very clear about one thing – there’s nothing wrong with rewarding effort with money. Unless of course, you are saying that people who spend their youth  sacrificing almost everything to train themselves should not be paid properly. in which case you are a colossal idiot. And you are the reason why Singaporeans do not see sports as a career.

The post-peak life of an athlete is not smooth-sailing. Tan Howe Liang is reportedly spending “some of his post-glory years as a caretaker in the national stadium. He was last reported to be earning his keep as a gym supervisor at the Singapore Sports Council, struggling to pay medical bills for his cancer-stricken wife, a little known fact overshadowed by his past Olympic success.

You see people begrudging FTW for being paid a huge bonus for her bronze. But the same people don’t appear to be calling for THL to be paid a reasonable pension for his historical contribution to Singapore. Let’s face it – some of these critics are just complaining because they can. .

3. She will just return to China when its over.

With critics like this, anyone will consider leaving Singapore. Maybe she will return to China, or maybe she will like it in Singapore and decide to stay and settle down. That’s ultimately her choice as a human being. But if you intend to shackle or taunt her to stay in this country, then you are a  hypocritical pig who preaches freedom of speech but practices something else altogether when it comes to freedom of movement. And it will be because of people spouting hate-speech like you that make her leave anyway. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Shame on you.

Seriously. This is getting ridiculous. You want her to stay? Then show her the respect and care that she deserves. Otherwise, you are really saying that you want her to go.

And if you want her to go, why are you complaining? From a purely economical standpoint, if an athlete gives your country the best years of her life and leaves thereafter, that’s actually a good thing. The athlete can no longer add a burden to the system when she retires and goes into old age.

The world of sports has already embraced the concept of foreigners for many years. Look at the top teams in the Premier League and count how many foreigners are in these teams. Do the fans care that most players in Manchester United are not born in Manchester, UK? No? Then why should you?

4. PAP is pursuing medals by paying foreigners. Where’s our local talent?

In case you are thinking that there is some PAP conspiracy to ensure all our sportsman are foreigners, you are either crazy or deluded:

The only thing that the PAP has not done is to implement a “China-style” rigorous training program that requires kids to train insane hours from the age of 4. And for good reason too. I’ll be very worried should this day come about.

The reality is that Singapore’s local population is only about 4 million. China’s population is 1.344billion. That’s 336 times more than us. If we have one Fandi Ahmad, China has 336 Fandi Ahmads. It is a wonder that we have any sporting talent at all that can compete on the global arena.

To make things worse, Singaporeans are already becoming “strawberries”. LIFT said it right when he wrote that Singaporeans cannot “chi-ku” (eat bitter). Few parents want to see their kids suffer through adversity for some sporting achievement. They rather see their kids suffer through countless hours of tuition. And our society will continue to be go down this path until we, as a collective society, agree to properly compensate the effort that sportsmen must make to achieve their medals.

—————–

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About sgthinker

I'm a 40-year old Singaporean male, and this blog pens down my thoughts and feelings about Singapore's political happenings, government policies and society trends. I hope this blog will provide a moderate voice in the growing online debate about the state of Singapore's society. Some of the posts here won't be solely written by me, since there will be times when other writers are more eloquent at expressing their views, in which case I'll share their insights (along with my comments). The content on this blog is owned by me.If you wish to share or reproduce the content, please attribute it to this blog.
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46 Responses to Dear FTW critics, are you hypocrites?

  1. sporescores says:

    Was our Malaysia Cup Dream Team made up entirely or mostly of foreigners? Did Tan Howe Liang grow up in Singapore or in China? “Sgthinker”, think about that before you use them as examples. Oh, and you conveniently left out the main criticism – the opposition to the fundamental philosophy of importing wholesale and paying foreign players to win for Singapore. You pick up the habit of setting up strawman arguments and presenting false choices from any of your idols? By using words such as hypocrites in your post, you have set the tone for the discussion and it is not a polite one.

  2. Singaporean says:

    @Dude, http://www.razor.tv/site/servlet/segment/main/currentaffairs/46126.html
    You gonna start chewing the monitor or you gonna print out your words and wash them down with mineral water?

  3. Singaporean says:

    @Dude, how would you like your words to be served? Printed out in colour with a glass of water to wash it down? Or you much rather chew on a hard disk? http://www.razor.tv/site/servlet/segment/main/currentaffairs/46126.html

    Jokes aside, public speaking IS nerve wrecking as it is. And to speak in a foreign tongue makes it worse. I would not fault them for choosing to conduct their interviews in a language they are more comfortable, and most likely, more expressive in.

    If I were ever interviewed, I would much rather do it in English than Mandarin because I am more comfortable and expressive in English. Does that make me less of a Chinese? I guess it does, in China. But not here. In Singapore, the reverse seems to be true.

    Not everyone can pick up English as well as Tao Li.

    As to their sporting success, yes I am proud of their achievement. I am proud of them for their sacrifice and hard work that is prerequisite in their sporting glory. I celebrate their sporting excellence. More so because they represent MY country.

    Would I be even prouder if a homegrown born and bred Singaporean wins a medal? YOU BET! But until that day comes, I’d celebrate their success.

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  5. sgthinker says:

    For those who ask why the govt is spending so much money on getting foreigners to chase medals, ask yourself this: Would the cost be really different if it were locals chasing medals? Would you be willing to pay these costs if it were a local instead? If so, why the difference in attitude?

    And if believe that it should be locals chasing medals (instead of foreigners chasing medals), would your views change if the foreigner came willingly to Singapore without being first scouted by STTA? And do you not think that our local sportsmen will benefit by learning from and practising against some of these top foreigners?

  6. Saycheese says:

    I applaud Feng Tian Wei for her talent and determination in winning the bronze medal but as a Singaporean, I cannot feel excited. My emotion is just not in it. Somehow her win is just not Singapore’s. The citizens mostly do not view it as a Singaporean victory either; it’s hollow, not quite fair, almost cheating – like a pinball machine rigged that it does not recognise the tilt (just like our political playing field). To the leeders, it must be a pyrrhic victory that alienates so many of its peasants. I, like many Singaporeans, am just terribly embarrassed that our leeders are so out of touch thinking that we are so daft that we can be conned into celebrating a FT’s victory as ours. Maybe the leeders have no qualms in bragging but I see ordinary Singaporeans struggling with jobs, housing and livelihoods having more honour and dignity than our overpaid ministers, in refusing to recognise this as an achievement by a Singaporean.

  7. 1. You need to appreciate the difference between Tan Howe Liang (born in China) vs FTW. Here’s a clue: How did they end up in Singapore, there’s a difference there. As for Abbas Saad, etc, it was a semi-pro league and a certain no of foreign pros were allowed on each team. We celebrated the victory not because they were Singaporean but because the team was largely Singaporean, with a few foreigners as allowed by the rules.

    2. They’re in it for the money, or more correctly, for the opportunity. There’s no need to compare with Mr Tan. Most athletes are in it got the money these days, with high pay (eg epl players), endorsements, etc. They have opportunities people like Quah Kim Song, who ended up as a salaryman, never had.

    3. She probably won’t go back to China. Doubt they’d want her back. This is one criticism I don’t agree with.

    4. You miss the point. It’s not that the rewards discriminate against Sngaporeans. It’s that the PAP makes it a point to scour the world for foreigners whom they can lure to Singapore. As you said, there’s at least 336 Fandis out there they could bring in. Obviously the odds are against Singaporeans.

    You need to ask the question: why this obssession with medals? Why this obsession to bring in foreigners to win medals that local Singaporeans can’t simply because the talent pool here is not deep enough?

    In other words, why bring in foreign talent at all? If you don’t understand this is at the heart of the unhappiness, you’ll be berating Singaporeans unnecessarily.

    • S.H. says:

      @politicalwriting”, YES ! Why so much fuss over getting or not getting a medal in the first place ? That, in turn, has opened a whole can of worms UNNECESSARILY !

      • sgthinker says:

        Our 3 foreign footballers in the 1990s were paid to join us, and we celebrated their success. That is a sufficient example. In my later post on this topic, I mentioned that even though our table tennis team are foreign-born today, the contribution of the locals cannot be ignored.

        As for whether some of the FTW backlash is due to xenophobic causes, only the reader knows. I believe it is silly to say that every criticism stems from xenophobia. But it will be equally naive to say that none of it stems from xenophobia.

    • sgthinker says:

      PW, I am simply pointing out the contradictions in the anti-ftw arguments that were put forth. Is the criticism really solely focused on the downside of foreign sportsmen, or is it really a manifestation of something bigger like xenophobia.

      It is not unusual for people to use tangantial arguments to justify their true intentions.

      • And I’m pointing out the shortcomings of your examples. You cannot compare those who came here on their own will, many with nothing more than the shirts on their backs, vs those who were enticed, lured and persuaded to come here with generous and lavish offers.

        I don’t see how you can make a case for xenophobia. Hope you know what phobia means. How is it xenophobia when one is disgusted because someone in govt imported a foreigner to win a medal in Singapore’s name?

      • You missed the point. The three foreigners were paid to join a largely local team, to supplement them as allowed under the rules, and all teams in the competition did the same. They weren’t invited here with incentives, they weren’t asked to wear national colours. In case some people wonder what this means, please remember Malaysia cup is a State competition, not a National competition. It is only through the shared history of Singapore and Malaysia that we are allowed to compete in such a competition although we are no longer in Malaysia.

        The second point you failed to address: it’s not for the reader to decide on his own if it’s xenophobia. It’s for you to make a case. I stated that I don’t see how you’ve made a case for xenophobia. Saying it’s up to the reader to decide for himself does nothing for your case.

      • sgthinker says:

        I’m trying to understand what you mean by “weren’t invited here with incentives”, “weren’t asked to wear national colours”, and “not a National Competition”. Surely you don’t mean Abbas Saad was playing for us on charity, wearing a different jersey and not representing Singapore? Does it matter what kind of competition it is as long as our flag is represented?

        And I still believe the readers can decide for themselves whether xenophobia is driving some of the criticism. There are well-balanced criticisms out there, and there’s the kind we can see on Temasek Review and Temasektimes.

      • “weren’t invited here with incentives”— did Abbas and friends get free English tuition, free airfare, sponsored training, training allowances, $1m for winning gold, etc? Or were they just paid as normal workers?

        “weren’t asked to wear national colours”, “not a National Competition”– we played as a state side, not as a national side. We played against penang, pahang, etc. Not against Malaysia.

        Does it matter what kind of competition it is as long as our flag is represented?– Yes it does. The foreign players did not play for us in the World Cup or Olympics, did they?

        Frankly, hiring foreign players for a professsional soccer team is no different from hiring foreign coaches for a national team. It’s allowed under FIFA rules. More importantly, it is still native players who take onto the field, even if the coach is foreign. That’s why people cheer their victory.

        If you can’t see the difference, too bad. But everyone else can understand that hiring a few foreign players on commercial terms to play for us in a semi pro league is totally different from giving all kinds of incentives to entice, lure and persuade foreigners to give up their citizenship and play for Singapore.

      • sgthinker says:

        I think you are splitting hairs here. Compensation and incentives are fungible monetary rewards, whether they are in the form of salary, housing and airfare. We had locals and foreigners representing Singapore, and we are proud when they win competitions, whether these are international competitions or not. If you still insist there’s some incredibly importance difference, then we have to agree to disagree.

        I do accept that in the case of the Olympics, the fact that the table tennis team is all from China means that there is a difference compared to our Malaysian cups days. But it will be unfair to say that it was all effort by the foreigners, because there were locals that played a part in the training and support team.

      • I guess you’ll have to spend your time not understanding why your critics are pissed, then.

  8. bob says:

    in the first place, why are we so desperate for an olympic medal? if we are not good enough, so be it, what’s the point in “bribing” someone to win a medal for us? i don’t feel proud that she won 2 medals. she’s just a very smart girl and a very good table tennis player. she did her maths and calculated the pro and cons and decided that for the money she can make here, its worth it. in other words, she’s a mercenary, nothing wrong with that. she just auctions her talent to the highest bidder. what’s wrong is the govt’s obsession with major sporting medals, what for? anyway a spore passport does not make one a singaporean regardless of place of birth or origin.

    • wribbit says:

      Bob, I agree with your sentiment as to why Singapore wants a medal so badly. I had often wondered the same thing myself, because that’s certainly what it seems like.
      However, calling FTW a mercenary might be taking it a little too far. Perhaps she just really loves the game and wants to go to a place where she can make a career out of it.

      If trying to get the highest money for one’s talent equals being a mercenary, then majority of the working people everywhere are mercenaries.

    • S.H. says:

      @BOB, I agree with you !

  9. Tiger says:

    For all those non-Chinese commenters, I am not going to debate with you because you do have a point in wanting to understand what is going on, for example what Feng Tian Wei said in her interview.

    For those Chinese commenters here, I am going to say, go learn your mandarin if you did not understand what Feng Tian Wei said. Don’t wave the inter-racial communication flag. Do you speak mandarin with your fellow Chinese Singaporeans? I always see malay Singaporeans speak melayu amongst themselves. Same as the indian Singaporeans. The Chinese Singaporeans????

    All those chinese who say we must speak English to be singaporeans are just giving excuses for their refusal to learn Chinese or worse, distaste for Chinese. These are hypocrites!

    • OnlyTheTruth says:

      @TIGER , you are imagining things. Nobody on this forum said anything about not wanting to learn Mandarin, etc. What did you get that idea from ? For instance, S.H. menioned English as a language that unites the different races in Singapore . S.H. is totally correct and I support him fully. This is a FACT . YOU should STOP DENYING it. I suggest you think carefully about your words, as you are beinnging to sound like a CHINESE CHAUVANIST – YOU sound as if you want the Chinese race to dominate other races in Singapore by insisting that Mandarin is superior to the other languages. YOU should do aome serious self-reflection and CHANGE.

      • Tiger says:

        @onlythetruth,

        Then go learn your mandarin and appreciate people who speaks in mandarin. Stop using language as a reason for labelling her not Singaporean and not integrating. Besides, you are not Feng TW, how do you know she can’t communicate with other Singaporeans?

        This is not Chinese chauvinism. I am not expecting everyone to know mandarin, especially my fellow non-Chinese Singaporeans. But if you don’t understand when others speak in mandarin, dont insist that person must only speak in a language you understand. That is chauvinism, English chauvinism! That is what a few of you have been insisting.

        I don’t need to reflect. I know mandarin very well. I know English very well. I worked in an American leading MNC in a senior position for the last 30 years.

        You narrow and shallow people need to CHANGE!

    • Ong Meng Lee says:

      @TIGER, you are wrong. It is obvious. Stop denying it. “OnlyTheTruth” is totally correct. I agree with him totally. I agree with “S.H.” , too. “S.H.” never said anything about learning or not learning Mandarin at all. Why did you imagine he said so ? What is in your mind ? What is your hidden agenda ? Are you a Chinese Chauvanist ? I love all the different races in Singapore and I believe in racial harmony. Racial harmony in Singapore is essential, and English has done a great job in this matter for a long time. I love Singapore !

      • Tiger says:

        My ‘hidden agenda’ is in our national pledge:

        We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, LANGUAGE or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.

        STOP using language to bash FTW. I will repeat one last time for you Chinese commenters out there, if you don’t understand mandarin, don’t blame Feng TW. Blame yourself and your parents for not insisting you learn it!

      • Tiger says:

        And stop bringing in inter racial thing into your brainless argument. This has nothing to do with race. It has to do with a bunch of hypocritical Chinese Singaporeans who couldn’t speak or understand mandarin trying to abuse a young lady who has sweat blood and sweat to bring glory to her adopted country.

        There are a great number of non-Chinese Singaporeans praising and accepting Feng TW than people useless chinese Singaporeans like you! They are smarter and more objective than you.

  10. Matthew Tan says:

    On your point 1 : Alistair, Abbas and Jang Jung are 3 of 11 players who were foreign imports. There is a limit set by the Malaysian Cup that limits the number of foreign imports. If you go the to STTA website, it list 14 national players of which 11 are PRC converted citizens. Also the Foreign Talent Sports Scheme started in 1993 was meant to augment and bring up the standards of local table tennis. After 19 years, 11 out of 14 players are still foreign imports. Perhaps the scheme is not working or it has become more expedient to just import.

  11. S. H. says:

    DUDE : English has for many decades been a unifying factor between the different races in Singapore. As such, if one wants to be Singaporean, one must use the language that unites the different races in Singapore. Institutions do not unite Singaporeans if there is no unity in communication. Let’s be honest : PRC in China are raving over USA/Western science and technology, mass media, economics, fashion, religion, etc, and learning English is very popular among them.

  12. Tan Geok Mui says:

    List of PRC Chinese cases in Singapore (not exhaustive) :

    10 Sep 2010 – PRC mother scratched an SMRT Station Manager, after the latter stopped her correctly for not paying for her child’s fare.

    24 Jul 2011 – PRC undergrad Wang Peng Fei mocked Singaporeans on youtube. He fled to China after a police report was made against him

    09 Nov 2011 – PRC bus driver Chen Hongyan caused death of Singaporean student with her careless driving. She was jailed for a week

    18 Feb 2012 – PRC NUS scholar Sun Xu caused an uproar by comparing Singaporeans to dogs. He was fined $3000 and required to perform three months of community service

    17 Mar 2012 – A PRC hijacked a taxi, knocked down and killed a cleaner at the Budget Terminal

    03 Apr 2012 – PRC bus driver ran over and killed 66 year old Madam Chan Ah Yong at a junction at Sengkang

    12 May 2012 – A wealthy PRC expat sped, beat the red lights and crashed into a taxi, killing the driver and his passenger. The PRC expat was killed as well.

    Please do not forget forgetting the curry in which a PRC family wanted their Indian neighbour to stop cooking curry.

    (this list is not exhaustive)

    • christy丽婷 says:

      Are you saying that Singaporeans are saints and have not committed any wrongs? I bet the list of Singaporeans committing crimes in Singapore will be way longer than this list.

      Don’t be stupid. Obviously, there are PRC black sheep in Singapore, so are there Singaporean black sheep in Singapore and in the rest of the world giving Singaporeans a bad name. (You are currently one of them in my opinion.)

      Why are you comparing Feng Tian Wei to such PRCs? Have Feng Tian Wei done any of the above? Why should she be generalize just because she came from China?

      • S. H. says:

        Christy : Tan Geok Mui is saying that we should try to understand from where the critics are coming from : the context and so on. It has nothing to do with being saintly or otherwise. Have you )and others like you) trued to really understand the critics ? No. You condemn Tan Geok Mui for generalising, and yet you generalise her any way. You contradict yourself totally. YOU are being emotional and stupid. It is very obvious.

      • christy丽婷 says:

        Wow. I am impressed. All she did was post a bunch of facts about the crimes on Chinese FT and you inferred so much? The funniest thing about this all is that you are so sure that your inference is right.

        Please note that I did not generalize. I asked her questions. I asked her questions precisely because I wanted to know her intentions of posting such a list.

        I didn’t know how my comment appeared emotional and stupid. Please enlighten me on how you arrive at that conclusion since you seem to think its obvious, smart one.

  13. appalledbysiiliness says:

    @Dude,
    Your arguement is totally baseless and reek of discrimination. Can’t speak english? So what? For your info, I am a Singaporean, born and bred, served NS and signed on and still serving my 10 yr cycle… (Sob…haha!). Just in case you think I am backing FTW cuz I am a FT. Seriously… at least comment with some credibility and sense please?

  14. Light says:

    Thank you for your post.
    Roy has a good answer for you,he is very intelligent.
    The Heart Truths: FENG TIANWEI: SORRY, ON BEHALF OF MY FELLOW SINGAPOREANS [Thanks George]
    We should all say sorry to Ms Feng,and pray that the day will come soon when our fellow citizens can see the light like you but not now.Thank you.

  15. dude says:

    Abbas Saad spoke english, Alistair Edwards spoke english, Jang Jung spoke english, Tan Howe Liang spoke english, Ronald Susilo spoke english… even TAO LI speaks singlish like any other singaporean kid…. pray tell for all the years ftw have been here, could you direct me to ANY media interview that she did in ENGLISH?? (or even ATTEMPTED to do an interview in english)
    u want to feel accepted, fine. but it takes 2 to clap, isnt it?

    • sgthinker says:

      My Singaporean mother-in-law can’t speak English. My grandparents can’t speak English but they brought up 8 children in SIngapore on their own. They only know Mandarin, Cantonese and Malay.

      If speaking English is a necessity for citizenship, we’ll have thrown out many of the older people who contributed to our nation during its infancy. Will you apply the same standards to them?

      • dude says:

        ok. can ftw speak ANYTHING besides mandarin??? (i’ll throw in the option of dialects for her) we are a multiracial society here. come on… i reiterate, it takes 2 to clap…

      • citutt says:

        salute ur MIL and grandparents for having the ability to speak our offcial language, Bahasa Melayu aka Malay. Ask FTW does she even know the meaning of Majulah Singapura yet alone the composer of the song itself. Dont compare ur MIL / grandparents with ftw or any FTs. those FTs are young and have lots of opportunity to learn English. with those cash they won in any other tournaments beside the Olympic i belif they can afford to enrol themselves in basic english study. Conclusion is if they really wanted to stay here for good and make it their true home, then do something to make us accept them. It been many years and their English sucks big time. they cant all the time speaks in mandarin especially during the interview cause we are multi racial country.

        I still remember during the 80s and 90s when our sport commentators interview Fandi Ahmad. He is struggling communicating in english on national TV but he did it against all odds for the sake of his multi racial fans. Now after many years later, due to his commitment, he has no problems giving interviews in English. His passion is not only on the sport itself but caters to all Singaporeans.

    • Tiger says:

      Dude,

      Why must Feng Tianwei speak in English when she was interviewed in Mandarin? Why must she speak English when mandarin is one of the four official languages in Singapore? How do you know she can’t communicate with fellow Singaporeans who could not understand mandarin? How do you know she can’t speak English in the first place? since when English is the pre-requisite to be a Singaporean?

      And why do you change your tune when challenged with your parents and grandparents’ linguistic capability?

      You fit exactly into the author’s definition of hypocrites!

      • Matthew Tan says:

        FTW is not exactly a 60 year old auntie. I would guess most Singaporeans below the age of 50 can speak English/Singlish besides their own mother tongue or dialect. Besides FTW who has been in Singapore for 5 years, the other players have been here for more than 10 years. Surely if they are keen on integrating, they will take up at least basic spoken English courses. Even business people from non-Mandarin speaking countries who want to do business in China bother to learn basic Mandarin.

        The reason why they are interviewed in Mandarin is exactly because they cannot speak English. Otherwise why would CNA, a regional English language news channel choose to interview in Mandarin.

        Consider also there are many other PRC athletes in other countries like Netherlands, Canada etc. They have given interviews in Dutch, English etc – the language of their foreign country of adoption.

      • dude says:

        its not changing tune… its not whether its english chinese malay dialect or whatever.. the gist of the whole argument is: in all her years here, have she taken ANY effort in TRYING to integrate with the singapore society?? or are we going back to the olden days where malays stay kampong glam, chinese in chinatown, arabs in arab st, indians in little india etc?? even TOURISTS who go to thailand or european countries put in some effort to TRY to speak a little of the local langage to blend in.. let alone a new citizen who has been here for the last 6years?? EVEN a PRC like TAO LI speaks singlish like a singaporean kid… dun tell me they cant do it.. its the attitude.. (btw, i am proud of tao li.. she is singaporean imho)

      • dude says:

        if ftw can speak english, i say, prove it. any interviews in english..?? find me a youtube or whatever to show it and i’ll eat my words willingly!!

      • dude says:

        no need english.. in fact, dialect, malay, indian also can… any second language which another non chinese can totally understand will do…got?

    • Tan Geok Mui says:

      Dude, Singaporeans have for a long time taken for granted English as a means of uniting the different races in Singapore, and have recently forgotten this important fact for the sake of Mandarin. It is high time for them to take English seriously again. A letter from “Thomas” appeared in “Today” (August 6, 2012) disputed this, saying that institutions and not English united Singaporeans. This is silly, as institutions in general have used English as a means of communication. Without communication, institutions are useless.

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  17. Pingback: Daily SG: 7 Aug 2012 | The Singapore Daily

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