I read with amusement and amazement the responses of some Singaporeans to two episodes that took place in our little country recently.
Singpost, our national post master, ran a new viral marketing campaign where the ad agency painted graffiti on some of its post boxes in a bid to promote the world’s first Youth Olympic Games. This drew a public backlash, with many saying that it promotes vandalism. Shocked, dismayed, poor examples for the youth, over the top were just a select few of the avalanche of negative comments unleashed at the effort. Singpost actually called a press conference to apologise for offending some Singaporeans’ propriety and righteousness.
Another, was a birthday experiment conducted by a blogger who calls herself KT. Read about it at her blog. Public comments included ridiculous, too much time on her hands, taking it too far, etc.
Will you people just loosen up? What Singpost did is so “un-Singaporean”, I applaud them for daring to go into unchartered territories. I personally thought it was a creative campaign, provoking perhaps and very tongue-in-the-cheek, playful. Very un-Singaporean. (Btw, some developed countries deliberately “vandalise” their bus stops, dustbins and whole slabs of walls in the city.) What KT did was an excellent act of spontaneity and good humour, gustsy too. Both are examples that buck the Singaporean behavioural DNA.
Most of the negative comments contain words like “should not do this”, “should do that instead”. Oh I like this one: We cannot afford to make mistakes and companies should not attempt any publicity stunts which may misguide teenagers.
Taking the high road doesn’t make you right. It’s your perspective; it’s one of the many possible views and certainly not THE only view. Even if many people agree with one person’s view, it does not mean that view is the truth or right. It’s a view; everyone is entitled to his/her view. A view is a view.
At a dinner with a group of friends recently, one said that we must be mindful to not thrash Singaporeans so readily (which some of us have a tendency to.) Perfectly valid. Some may read this post as doing exactly that (thrashing Singaporeans).
All I can say is, relax, enjoy the ride, make room for laughs in what is already a pressure cooker environment and don’t take every freaking thing so seriously, Singaporeans or not.