Sunday, October 30, 2005

Malaysia and Singapore

The Star 30th October 2005 featured an article Too Close for Comfort which touched on the relationship between the two neighbours. Malaysia-Singapore ties has long been a bumpy ride. Issues ranging from the price of water, air-space and the recent land reclaimation by Singapore that brought silt to Johor's shores. It's no mystery why both nations' citizens have indifferent feelings towards each other. Malaysians think Singaporeans are kiasu and snobbish. Their counterparts think that we are some ulu-kampung folks and lazy. Reading some of the interesting comments from both parties in the article gave me the urge to highlight some of them in my blog. Here goes...

We’re so over it, you know? We’ve moved on. The subject just doesn’t interest us anymore. Singaporeans ... well ... they’re obsessed.

“They’re supposedly the superior nation, economically and whatnot, but you wouldn’t have guessed it. They need constant reassurance and this play gives them the opportunity to laugh at Malaysia and feel good about themselves. It’s so pathetic,” - A Malaysian Theatre fan on Separation 40, a play on the separation of Malaysia/Singapore.

This is clearly a disgruntled Malaysian whose sentiments are shared by mostly Central and Northern Malaysians who are not "brainwashed" by Singapore's terrestarial TV. Like what the article said, Malaysians are jealous because economically, we are inferior to Singaporeans. (That doesn't make Singaporeans superior to Malaysians in any way IMHO)

“In Malaysia, the Malays are handed everything on a silver platter. It must be difficult for the non-Malays ... and embarrassing for the Malays.” - Leeza Hassan, 17, a Singaporean Malay.

These words, coming from another Malay. No comments.

“They are so racist there. The Chinese look down on the Malays and rarely have Malay friends.” - Jessica Tan, 18, Malaysian

Oh really? Are Malaysian Chinese/Indians/Malays interacting with one another? We tend to stick to our own race and all the talk about racial harmony is just BS. We are just tolerating each other's presence and we only interact with each other when it's necessary. Are Malaysians any better than Singaporeans in this sense? I don't think so. This young Malaysian doesn't even know the problems in Malaysia and she goes making comments like this. It shows how ignorant she is towards our local issues.

“I feel very sorry for Singaporeans because only a minute portion of them are enjoying the good life...The general population is restricted in so many ways that it is difficult for them to achieve their dreams" - Penangite Jeninder Kaur, 33

If you read my previous blog entry and back, i did mention that Singaporeans are an obedient lot. The Singaporean Government is like a big parent, micro-managing her children. Thanks to that, Singaporeans behave like escaped convicts when they come over to Malaysia. They drive like speed-demons and break every rule that was imposed on them in Singapore. The moral of the story? Don't go down South if you love chewing gum and tend to treat anywhere other than your house as a rubbish dump. You will be so sadly deprived of the pleasure of vandalizing public property without getting caught.

At the end of the article, the author Daphne Lee asked,"So, what if Singapore had never left Malaysia? Would it mean better public transport and worse food in Malaysia? Would Singaporeans then be more spontaneous and less smug?"

Well, if Singapore never left Malaysia, Singapore would just be another Malaysian state with lousy infrastructure, corrupt authorities which provides poor governance, disgruntled 2nd-class citizens (you and i know who these are) and of course, shopping in Singapore will no longer be cheap! Either way, i am glad Singapore broke off and became what it is today. This so-called First World country will always be there for us to compete with. (and b*tch about to vent our frustration!) I dare say, Malaysia will just be another backwater country it was 20 years ago if it wasn't for Singapore's success that brought out the kiasu-ism in our country. Wouldn't you agree? Hmmmmmmmm...

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