Tuesday 13 May 2014

Ugly Singaporean By: Sherman Teo

Growing instances of ugly Singaporean behaviour have been troubling. These Singaporeans have been "reserving" public roads outside their houses with flowerpots or dustbins so they can park their cars. They have quarrelled with their neighbours over the washing of common corridors, placing of furniture and noise, and they have objected to the building of elder-care facilities or studio apartments in their precincts - while suggesting they be sited nearby in another estate. Such situations seem to be a part of a "rising trend of not-so-good behaviour. We seem to be getting less patient, less tolerant, less willing to compromise in order to get along. This is perhaps due to the disappearance of the "kampung spirit" of old, he said. In the past, neighbours met regularly at common spaces, whether waiting for a lift that stopped only once every three floors, or watching TV at community centres. Now, Singaporeans lead more private lives and interact less with their neighbours. And less interaction results in less consideration, maybe more self-centred behaviour. We should not let this spread, and make us ugly Singaporeans.

I think we will be ashamed of ourselves. It's not just a matter of courtesy, but goes much deeper than that. It reflects how unselfish we are, how much we respect other people. The behaviour of these Singaporeans are unacceptable because we live in a small country which makes us rely on each other for help. Therefore we should form a cohesive society rather than being extremely self centred and doing everything just for their sake. It suggests that we as Singaporean do not think for others and how our actions would affect them negatively or positively.

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