This weekend, while I have been quite caught up in my feminist mission (which may or may not have been a dream – argh!), a dreadful thing has befallen the Singapore Expaterati.
A v nasty person stole screenshots from a closed Facebook group of expat wives here, in order to stir up anti-foreigner feeling among the local population. Chaps, this is totes not on!!
I’m not going to go into the original post, suffice it to say that it concerned a woman in labour waiting in a taxi queue, with no one allowing her to queue-jump. At no point did anyone check the passports of those in the queue to determine whether or not they were Singaporean, but an unfortunate inference came about that they were.
So what ensued was a discussion of how selfish or otherwise all Singaporeans are. The majority of the comments totes did not condemn our hosts, and many said the woman ought to have called an ambulance.
What the v nasty person did though, was take screenshots of the most extremo comments, the ones that said Singaporeans are racists. They then posed as an expat, “Sarah Jones” (lolol, who really has a name like that? you might as well claim to be Jane Austen or Bridget Jones! so ridic!!), and posted the shots on a site that is popular with a certain demographic of Singaporeans.
I am all about freedom of expression (hence my feminist mission), but this seems to me a breach of trust and of privacy. Even in a group with over 10,000 members, surely there is a level of agreed sanctitification!! Am I right?? I mean, if something can leak from a group like that, does that mean the Internet has no safe space for people to speak their minds?
Well, if that’s the case then I want no part in this Internet thing anymore!! It’s just mui sinistré, mi amigos. Except for my blog, Facebook, and my meagre Twitter presence, mainly so that I can open a communication channel with V Becks. And Pinterest (I love that!). And StumbleUpon (so many funny things about cats and babies haha!!). And The Old Reader (which I don’t really get, but it’s for people on the cutting edge and that’s so mega-moi). Everything else though, I am done with you, Internet!
So what I want to say here is that although some expats are totes mega a-holes, the majority really are not. Most of us just love living here, muddling along with everyone in an environment of acceptance, and we’re serioso not trying to exploit the economy or pull a fast one. Serio, Singaporeo babeses!!
I even have a proper real Singaporean friend who agrees with me!
I told Clara about the Facebook furore, and she said that it’s “a common phenomenon for outsiders to club together and criticise the host country so as to feel a sense of bonding and belonging”. She said it happens in every expat community the world over, but in mature communities like Singapore and Hong Kong, “the process and the backlash tend to be more venomous”. She said it was to do with the British Empire and stuff about colonisation.
Hmmmmm. Well, Clara, I would agree with you, but for the fact that you have abso no idea what you’re talking about. I for one never criticise my host country and I totes <3 Singapore. The people are great, the shopping is great, the weather is great, there are loads of great restaurants, and David Beckham has bought a house on Sentosa. So it must be great! Mwa-mwa luv ya Xīnjiāpō!! Xx