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Americans: Does Singapore feel sterile?

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GeorgeL
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Postby GeorgeL » Tue, 29 Apr 2014 4:38 pm

I'm fairly new here so I'm not a fair judge but from what I've seen Singaporeans do give a bit of that uptight vibe at first, but if you get to know them more it's actually quite a quirky culture. Ok maybe it's just me.

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It depends...

Postby gokaden » Fri, 02 May 2014 11:37 pm

It's odd that Singaporeans are usually labeled as sterile, by the book, and rigid, mainly due to the education system and style of government.

However, this might be a stereotype specific to the corporate types. If you've ever had to deal with traditional Singaporean sales and business types, you'll find that they are VERY adept at finding loopholes and "alternate" methods to earn a buck. Lots of thinking outside the box from this lot if it involves making money.

This is generally true of Chinese businessmen, be it in Taiwan, Hong Kong, or China also.

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Re: It depends...

Postby Wd40 » Sat, 03 May 2014 11:10 am

gokaden wrote:It's odd that Singaporeans are usually labeled as sterile, by the book, and rigid, mainly due to the education system and style of government.

However, this might be a stereotype specific to the corporate types. If you've ever had to deal with traditional Singaporean sales and business types, you'll find that they are VERY adept at finding loopholes and "alternate" methods to earn a buck. Lots of thinking outside the box from this lot if it involves making money.

This is generally true of Chinese businessmen, be it in Taiwan, Hong Kong, or China also.


You haven't met people from India and China yet, if that's what you call making use of loop holes :P

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 03 May 2014 12:48 pm

This is one time I have to agree with Wd 100%! :lol:

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Postby scarbowl » Thu, 08 May 2014 12:41 pm

I'm not an American (though I am NORTH American) and, yes, Singapore is fairly sterile. Probably better than being interesting in a difficult way (Afghanistan as an extreme example). The lack of creative thinking and the rigidity of most structures (no refunds at retail stores, banking requirements, and so on) and the sameness of the daily weather all contribute to the feeling of Singapore as a boring place.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Sat, 10 May 2014 3:08 pm

This Singaporean blogger says the country is turning out "Robots" who takes tests well but can't do anything else:

http://thatboyhuman.com/2013/03/27/sing ... et-stupid/

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Postby uscate » Sat, 10 May 2014 4:29 pm

Thank you, Bedok American - that's an interesting blog!

I'm not employed here, but my sig other talks a blue streak about how a number of his employees (not all, thank goodness) are very smart, but aren't good "out of the box" problem solvers. And these are executives, not administrative assistants. He's had to really work hard to develop their sense of confidence in taking that leap into the wild blue, and if they make a mistake figuring out how to rectify that without coming to him with their hats in hand. Again, these are executives making high 5 to mid-6 figure salaries who have university educations at Singapore's finest.

Hopefully the current backlash against FTs will encourage the Singaporeans to examine their educational system with more of an emphasis on independent, creative thinking. This may not happen in our lifetimes, but one can hope.

Oh, and yes, I do find this country to be a bit bland on the whole, but there are some really beautiful places to visit, and some of the people I've met have been quite nice (although who knows what they're really thinking).

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Thank you

Postby jaysufc23 » Sat, 10 May 2014 7:49 pm

I am the author of the blog, and I was alerted to this forum post through my blog tracking system. I would like to express that I do agree Singaporeans are a bunch of "soul-less" beings, that have not much of a life outside of work.

I am a Singaporean who is extremely disgruntled with life in Singapore. People outside of the country think that Singapore is a "sunny island" and a "paradise", and the rigid political and educational system in Singapore has breed a whole new generation of ignorant, sterile people.

{self aggrandizement removed by moderator}

Thanks

Jay.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Sat, 10 May 2014 10:01 pm

Jay,

Just out of curiosity, has any government entity here tried to shut down your blog? Or complain about it and/or tell you to remove content?

I remember reading in the newspaper more than a year ago that a blogger in Singapore questioned a lawmaker's involvement with a corporation because that corporation was awarded a government contract. (This type of thing would be totally open to question in many other countries.)
The blogger was ordered to apologize in writing to the lawmaker and told that he/she had to remove the content or get fined. I don't recall exact details, but it was something like that. He/she followed the government's instructions. But it was so obvious that this blogger was being intimidated and no doubt people saw right through this.

On another note, the Singapore Complaints Choir has a hilarious video on YouTube that's a few years old but the caption on YouTube says it can't get approval to perform in public. But on the flip side, there's a stage play or movie that was showing on Sentosa Island that pokes fun at national service that's permitted. I saw the ad on the side of a taxicab and burst out laughing and thought, "maybe there is a sense of humor here."

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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 11 May 2014 2:02 am

Wow, so much exasperation and passion on that blog. Like this quote I found on your site. Which is why I teach my kids to not fear the unfamiliar or the unknown. Investigation before forming opinion!

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”

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Postby jaysufc23 » Mon, 12 May 2014 9:17 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:Jay,

Just out of curiosity, has any government entity here tried to shut down your blog? Or complain about it and/or tell you to remove content?

I remember reading in the newspaper more than a year ago that a blogger in Singapore questioned a lawmaker's involvement with a corporation because that corporation was awarded a government contract. (This type of thing would be totally open to question in many other countries.)
The blogger was ordered to apologize in writing to the lawmaker and told that he/she had to remove the content or get fined. I don't recall exact details, but it was something like that. He/she followed the government's instructions. But it was so obvious that this blogger was being intimidated and no doubt people saw right through this.

On another note, the Singapore Complaints Choir has a hilarious video on YouTube that's a few years old but the caption on YouTube says it can't get approval to perform in public. But on the flip side, there's a stage play or movie that was showing on Sentosa Island that pokes fun at national service that's permitted. I saw the ad on the side of a taxicab and burst out laughing and thought, "maybe there is a sense of humor here."


Hi, BedokAmerican,

I am pretty sure people in the Government have read my blog, however, I do not think they have the rights to shut it down. I managed to trace a couple of hits in my blog to a proxy server situated in MINDEF (Ministry of Defence).

They are unable to force me to remove any content, since I phrase my words in a way that will negate any "defamation" claims.

For example, instead of saying "Singapore is corrupted", phrase it like this "There have been lots of allegations that corruption is rife in Singapore, and whether you believe them or not is up to your indiscretion, however, I will be obliged to believe that the following assertion is true."

Phrasing of your words can make a real difference in authoritarian Singapore.

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Postby jaysufc23 » Mon, 12 May 2014 9:20 pm

[quote="earthfriendly"]Wow, so much exasperation and passion on that blog. Like this quote I found on your site. Which is why I teach my kids to not fear the unfamiliar or the unknown. Investigation before forming opinion!

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 12 May 2014 9:43 pm

jaysufc23 wrote: They are unable to force me to remove any content, since I phrase my words in a way that will negate any "defamation" claims.
For example, instead of saying "Singapore is corrupted", phrase it like this "There have been lots of allegations that corruption is rife in Singapore, and whether you believe them or not is up to your indiscretion, however, I will be obliged to believe that the following assertion is true."
Phrasing of your words can make a real difference in authoritarian Singapore.


If I were you, and arguably playing with fire, I'd make sure as hell I had my English precisely as I meant it.

- you meant 'discretion', rather than it's opposite (quite an ironic typo though!)
- what 'following assertion', you don't make any following assertion?

I'm not addressing the opinion you're seeking to convey, just pointing out that if you have what might be considered a controversial position, one should proceed with great care.

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Postby jaysufc23 » Tue, 13 May 2014 10:30 pm

JR8 wrote:
jaysufc23 wrote: They are unable to force me to remove any content, since I phrase my words in a way that will negate any "defamation" claims.
For example, instead of saying "Singapore is corrupted", phrase it like this "There have been lots of allegations that corruption is rife in Singapore, and whether you believe them or not is up to your indiscretion, however, I will be obliged to believe that the following assertion is true."
Phrasing of your words can make a real difference in authoritarian Singapore.


If I were you, and arguably playing with fire, I'd make sure as hell I had my English precisely as I meant it.

- you meant 'discretion', rather than it's opposite (quite an ironic typo though!)
- what 'following assertion', you don't make any following assertion?

I'm not addressing the opinion you're seeking to convey, just pointing out that if you have what might be considered a controversial position, one should proceed with great care.


Nope, I do mean indiscretion. To use the word "discretion" essentially means you're claiming the individual has good judgement, by using "indiscretion", the chances of the Singapore's regime misinterpreting the situation will be minimal.

The "assertion" refers to "Singapore is corrupted".

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Postby taxico » Wed, 14 May 2014 11:39 am

jaysufc23 wrote:
JR8 wrote:
jaysufc23 wrote: They are unable to force me to remove any content, since I phrase my words in a way that will negate any "defamation" claims.
For example, instead of saying "Singapore is corrupted", phrase it like this "There have been lots of allegations that corruption is rife in Singapore, and whether you believe them or not is up to your indiscretion, however, I will be obliged to believe that the following assertion is true."
Phrasing of your words can make a real difference in authoritarian Singapore.


If I were you, and arguably playing with fire, I'd make sure as hell I had my English precisely as I meant it.

- you meant 'discretion', rather than it's opposite (quite an ironic typo though!)
- what 'following assertion', you don't make any following assertion?

I'm not addressing the opinion you're seeking to convey, just pointing out that if you have what might be considered a controversial position, one should proceed with great care.


Nope, I do mean indiscretion. To use the word "discretion" essentially means you're claiming the individual has good judgement, by using "indiscretion", the chances of the Singapore's regime misinterpreting the situation will be minimal.

The "assertion" refers to "Singapore is corrupted".


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