Singapore is unique that its citizens are called names by its elected leaders. "Quitters" and "moaners" came from Goh Chok Tong, Lee Kuan Yew preferred "champion grumblers" (National Geographic, Jan 2010). Of late, the labels are getting uglier, "bigots" and "xenophobes" are now de riguer. Worse, when the slurs are hurled by a general presumably sworn to defend his countrymen.
Explaining the 150th World Press Freedom ranking of the mainstream media here, Reporter Without Borders did write, "in Singapore, (where) the authorities are on edge". Fortunately we do have on record someone saying, "Do you believe everything you read in the Straits Times?"
Since most of the politically incorrect posts have been redacted, we won't know what is the disgrace and abuse allegedly attributed to Singaporeans. We do know that Singaporeans are fully capable of writing with wit, candour and angst. The following samples were culled from the social media pages of u-know-who:
First the angst:
"we do welcome visitors, but not when they climb over your head.
i was at botanic gardens sometime back with my daughter for a picnic. we were in this Pavilion with out picnic mat, books n foods for about an hr. then this group of philipinos both male and female decided that they wanted the place, they started putting their stuffs around us, taking off their shoes and putting them next to our food. i got fed up, packed up and when we were about to leave, 1 guy said "THANK YOU, YOUR COUNTRY VERY BEAUTIFUL, HAHAHAHA" THE WHOLE GROUP LAUGHED. i would have punched the guy in the face if my daughter was not there.
Dear PM, this is what common folkes like me are getting from these people.
before saying i dun know what its like out there, i spend the first 10 yrs of my working life overseas in many countries, never have i shown disrespect to the people in my host countries.
BTW, national day was over a drink at a pub with the few Singaporean i can find, not a mass gathering in the heart of the city."
Then the candour:
Please consider properly the comparison you've made with Singapore. You do realize Singapore is a small little island, which is privileged enough to be called a country. I don't know if you realize how big London and every other country on the Earth is. See... London is huge and by huge, they have cities and a thing called 'Capital', which is England. Singapore, however, is an island itself and has no such opportunity to have a capital, therefore we are known as Singapore, Singapore.
Comparing Singapore to London feels like a joke which I find extremely hilarious. Hence, please do some of us the favour of not comparing us, an island, to a country that has cities and a capital.
Someone who has thought long and hard and feels sad that you made such a comparison."
And finally the wit:
"I'm so happy to have such an understanding leader in Mr. Lee. It's good to celebrate the Independence of Philippine. However, would it be unfair to only celebrate Philippine's Independence Day? Could it be made a public holiday for us to celebrate with them? I mean, come on, let's go the extra mile in celebration. Let us celebrate for the rest of the 189 nations too. Let us not be a disgrace by showing grace to other nations. I wouldn't mind having an extra 189 days of public holidays... Let's show the world that Singaporeans are the most welcoming of all nations."
If listening to Singaporeans is such an ardous undertaking, just heed the voice of Timothy Garlock: "Remember, Singaporean citizens must come first above all other regardless of their nationalities".