Lets be authentic

Picture from: https://www.facebook.com/sgag.sg?ref=stream

Sometimes you wonder who the buffoons are who do stupid things like this – especially in the age of the Internet. I am all for playing great host to our visitors, whether royals or not. But come on, at least let the welcome be genuine and authentic.

Why do we have to put on an unrealistic parade just to show what a vibrant society we are? Uncles (apparently) asked to “perform” tai chi under S’pore’s sweltering heat, children pretending to be playing, etc. [I’m not dissing the uncles, women and children who were part of this display, but those who planned for this.]

Picture from: http://news.insing.com

Such fake display of enthusiasm or community activities is, truth be told, an affront to us Singaporeans. We do not want our country to be presented in such a fake manner. Why couldn’t the royals be taken on a tour of the heartlands as they are? They could have dropped by a coffeeshop, for example. Or even just a stroll to “admire” our public housing. [Maybe they did, I don’t know. I don’t see it being reported in the news but I could be wrong.]

Here’s another show:

Picture from: Every Day Party [https://www.facebook.com/MyEDP]
It is quite hilarious, isn’t it? We have a minister and a former president being part of a welcoming party – for 2 panda bears.

I know the importance of not slighting the ones who give you gifts but really, a former president in the welcome party?

Lets not over-do things. We are Singaporeans and let us be proud of who we are, our way of life, and be authentic. I am sure that is what Prince William and his wife are here for and they would appreciate an authentic experience of our way of life – and not some fake show of community spirit which every Singaporean would recognise as fake.

Anyway, welcome to Singapore, your royal highnesses…

Picture by James Whatling/ Corbis
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14 thoughts on “Lets be authentic

  1. by the way, did the princess and her highness get to see the most unique sight in the world, only exclusive to SinCity, which is the old man and old woman in action hunching their back collecting tin-can, newspaper and cupboard for living because they can’t afford to retire and govt don’t take care of them ?

  2. Agreed with every bit you wrote, except the part on our former president. Come on, everybody knows putting up a PR show was the primary function for a SG president.

  3. I have no problem with mobilising residents to welcome the royal couple. But uncles doing taichi, aunties exercising and kids playing at that hour? Come on.

    Singaporeans should be embarrassed and enraged by this wayang orchestrated by the govt. Doesn’t this remind you of another country who does this for their Dear Leader to show the world?

    1. Agree with you. I was utterly mortified and embarrassed to see all that staged-show just to impress the Royalty. They are a lot more real and spontaneous than what you would give them credit for. There has been write ups about the lack of cleaners. Perhaps they have been redeployed to give the town a good thorough vacuum in every corner?!

  4. This wayang is similar to those put up during minister and MP walkabouts, abet perhaps on a more ‘lavish’ scale.

    It simply shows up the insecurity and need to put forth a fake front by those in charge, because the intended results have not have achieved (KPI not met).

  5. Can’t help it … its in the DNA of the PAP!! Grassroot members and students being sent to show a big welcoming ceremony for Feng Tian Wei at airport, civil servants being asked to line the streets during LKY wife’s funeral procession, senior citizens bussed in to attend PAP rallies.

    Yes, its not who we are.

    But its who the ruling party is and that tone at the top has permeated Singapore’s govt related institutions, at all levels. So in that sense, it is precisely who we are and is therefore a good reflection of Singapore.

  6. Such a mindset manifests itself in various forms and settings – example, the need to never admit one is in the wrong, that someone has a better idea (God forbid, that would imply incompetence in the eyes of others). That’s the PAP men-in-charge.

  7. “Why couldn’t the royals be taken on a tour of the heartlands as they are? They could have dropped by a coffeeshop, for example. Or even just a stroll to “admire” our public housing. [Maybe they did, I don’t know. I don’t see it being reported in the news but I could be wrong.”

    1) Because they’re royalty and generally speaking bringing foreign dignataries to street food centres is not done unless there’s a special purpose. Putting on a song and dance for the Royal Family on the other hand is pretty much standard for these occasions.

    To be fair, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge probably would admire the public housing and one of their announced destinations would be Strathmore Drive, the same block where Queen Vicky herself visited. There’s a reason why public housing in the UK, specifically London is so cheap, because anyone with a bit of money will not want to stay there. The heat fails regularly, the neighbours are drunk, high, loitering or drunk high and loitering. Step outside and you have a high chance of learning what the terms chav and glassing means first hand.

    Were they to put it on the resale market in the UK, no realtor will touch them because you can’t give those houses away so the London municipal gov is left imposing them on people who can’t afford them.

  8. Where is the Foreign talent that is 40% of Singapore contains China man, Ah tiong, Vietnamese, Filipino, Bangladesh… so why are they not present as part of wayang show ?

    Hello, you talking about population of $40% of whole Singapore and why didn’t the govt showcase these FT as part of population ? Are PAP xenophobia to showcase it to the prince and princess ? Why are they so afraid ? Didn’t they proud of FT ?

  9. Hi Andrew just caught this http://www.singapolitics.sg/news/queenstown-visit-was-exhibition.. it seemed that the organisers – made up of grassroots groups, the Housing Board, the People’s Association and the British High Commission – had two objectives for that visit. One was to showcase HDB living. The other was to showcase the various cultural and community activities of Singapore. They had asked Tanjong Pagar GRC residents and schoolchildren to take part. Those performing taichi and silat were actual groups with the area’s community centres. “The demonstrations were to showcase the different types of activities themselves. It was not to suggest that these activities take place at 3pm everyday… It was meant to give a snapshot, and in that sense it was no different from a demonstration of activities,” she said.

  10. ” One was to showcase HDB living. The other was to showcase the various cultural and community activities of Singapore. They had asked Tanjong Pagar GRC residents and schoolchildren to take part. ”

    Will anyone seriously buy that nonsense ? Isn’t HDB living include foreigners too ? Those 40% foreigners have cultural and community activities too. Since foreigners are so mass entrenched in Singapore, why didn’t they ask these foreigners put up as display too ? You have govt so openly support of foreigners and talking big how they can create diverse and vibrant then how can they not showcase the foreigners alongside the tachi show ?

  11. During the prince’s visit, I did not see the rag and bone man, the old ladies picking old carton boards and tin cans. Wonder if these people were rounded up during that day and locked up in the police station or herded to the nearby Community Centres and were only released a couple of hours later after the wayang is over…

  12. One of these days, the Prince and Kate will make a private visit to Singapore and we may not be surprised to see them in the heartlands and chatting with the old folks picking used carton boxes and tins cans.

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