Feng Tianwei: Sorry, On Behalf of My Fellow Singaporeans

Dear Tianwei,

Firstly, I would like to congratulate and thank you for winning the Olympic bronze medal for Singapore.

As a Singaporean, I am very grateful for what you have done and what many of us couldn’t have done. You had the grit, belief and courage to stand on a world stage and go where not many of us have gone before – and bring back an Olympic medal for Singapore.

This is only the 2nd singles medal that Singapore has ever won, and the 3rd medal ever, and the plain truth is we would not have been able to achieve this without you, not perhaps in another 10, 20 or 30 years, after our programme to train more local talent bears fruit. You have once again represented the hope that Singapore has in achieving pride on the international arena, as you and your team mates had in the last Olympic Games.

Thank you, Tianwei.

When Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei won a silver medal in the badminton single’s finals yesterday, Malaysians rallied behind him and Malaysians cheered him on. They patted him on the back when he won the silver medal and showed their continuous support even if he had not won the gold medal. Because he dared to dream and he dreamt for Malaysians. And the Malaysians dreamt with him. Because they stood together as one people, with pride.

So, many have said that you are not born in Singapore and because of this, we cannot be proud of you. Because they say, you wouldn’t be proud of representing us. I’m really sorry that it has to come to this.

You had dared to dream for us, but we had forgotten how to dream.

But do we have the right to take personal attacks, or make snide remarks at you? Truth is, it’s not about you. The debate, at this point, isn’t really about you. You, like many other foreigners who have contributed greatly to Singapore – some of whom are now Singaporeans like you – have become a symbol and a pawn for our unhappiness towards how we think we’ve been unfairly treated by the government. Singaporeans are unhappy not because of you. Singaporeans have learnt not to be happy, because we have learnt to.

For a long time, we’ve been unhappy but we’ve not learnt to speak up. And now that we are beginning to find our voice, we’ve learnt to voice our anger and displeasure. Because that’s what we remember. Or choose to remember – anger.

Tianwei, I would like to apologise on behalf of Singaporeans who choose to get angry at you when they shouldn’t. Their anger was transferred onto you because they felt that they felt that if their anger towards the government wasn’t being responded to, they would then get angry at the people that they feel the government was favoring over them.

I’ve been rethinking about my thoughts about my government for the past two weeks again. My government might not have done some things as well as they could – they could help the poor and the elderly achieve a more respectable lifestyle. They could devise policies to ensure real wages respond more adequately to inflation. They could ensure transport and housing policies respond to the rise in population faster. In these areas, yes, they didn’t do as well.

But I’ve also been thinking and learning to appreciate once again that there are some things that they have done well – they have given us a standard of living that is financially more sustainable than many others, they have ensured that we can walk around at night safely and freely. Yes, I still think they can allow us to have more freedom to express ourselves and speak up for what we believe in. But with great power comes great responsibility. We’ve learnt to speak up online but we’ve equally learnt to abuse it. Perhaps it’s no wonder why the government is threading very carefully with regards to whether they should open up in this area – because of the implications of how we might only cause further rifts among ourselves.

See, Singaporeans have learnt to be angry and unhappy over the many years where we’d felt that the government wasn’t responding. And perhaps sometimes the government wasn’t. And sometimes the government was. But if anything, the government has also forgotten to explain to us what they are doing adequately. And which is why Singaporeans feel that they’ve been kept in the dark, that their concerns are not being met, that they’ve not been heard.

I cannot be sure if the government has finally heard us, but I would like to give them one more chance to make it better, not right – because we are kidding ourselves if we think Singapore is not good enough.

But the government has to learn to explain better what it’s doing. The government needs to look at their governing principles again and live up to these principles. The government has to believe again. It’s no secret that the government has looked at economic growth and prosperity as the highest priority for Singapore but with our knowledge economy and a more educated population which has a achieved a higher attainment of living, thanks as well to the government, it does mean that the government would need to also shift their focus on to the social and psychological well being and welfare of Singaporeans.

I know the government has realized this. And I know the government is responding. But is the government not responding fast enough or is the government not explaining well enough? The government has to ask this of themselves. And if the government is not explaining well enough, perhaps it’s about being more transparent in the communication. Perhaps it’s not just about using The Straits Times to say what they want us to hear but to say how things really are, so that we can learn to trust them again.

But for now, Singaporeans will still be angry. They have to. Firstly, we don’t understand or know if the government is responding. Because the government isn’t sure how to let us know, without making us feel offended even further, as well. Secondly, the years of accumulated anger is finally being let out with our new found voice through the online medium and it has sparked an emotion within that many do not know how to rein in responsibly. And thirdly, we do not seem to know how to respond positively to our negative emotions but have learnt to express them through our frustrations and misplaced anger.

And thus we have learnt to get angry at you, Tianwei. Even if we have disagreeing viewpoints, we can still express them in non-personal ways. So I am very sorry.

The state of Singapore is both the responsibility of my government and my people. We’ve learnt not to communicate over the past few years and we’ve lost sight of each other’s priorities. We’ve become like a bickering couple who haven’t been talking to each other and have learnt only to misunderstand each other. We’ve learnt to sleep in different rooms in the same house only to erupt now into anger because one doesn’t understand the other. Because we’ve closed off our communication channels and stopped talking to each other even if we are sleeping under the same roof.

And now we’ve learnt to communicate with each other through Facebook and through blogging, but instead of hearing each other, one has been quick to anger and the other has been slow to respond.

And then we’d welcome you to our humble abode. But like any couple who have forgotten how to show respect and understanding towards each other, we’ve forgotten and have learnt also to show anger to those whom we had used to welcome with open arms – when we were then also welcomed into this home, with open arms.

Now anyone who comes in is screamed at, kicked at and passed over. What right do you have to come into my home, when I don’t even feel at home? When I don’t even feel that this is my home? Sure, one pays the bills and the other feels stifled. The bickering couple who refused to divorce – because we can’t. Because we rely on one another. Because there’s still a sense that we’ve built this place together and we both still want a part of it.

And then we invite you in and because we no longer talk to each other, we talk to others. But when one invites someone else in, the other views with suspicions. And then hostility and aggression. And thus we berate you when who we truly want to scoff at is our partner.

But do things need to be this way? Can the couple learn to love again? Can we learn to respect and understand each other again? Can the government learn to listen and can we have the patience to hear them out?

Can we learn to talk again, and be honest with one another?

And truth is, we can. I don’t remember when we learnt to stopped trusting each other. But we need to learn to trust again. Otherwise we will continue to live with each other with suspicion and anyone whom we welcome into our home, with disdain and fear. Even when sometimes our friends from overseas who visit us come with good news and good tidings.

Even when sometimes, our friends, like you, Tianwei, come into Singapore and become a member of our family, come and win an Olympic medal for us. Even when you do something that we hadn’t been able to do for so long and rightfully, we should be so proud, and so happy for you, and for ourselves.

But truth is, we’ve forgotten how to be proud of ourselves. We’ve forgotten how to be happy. We’ve learnt only to grow angry and instead of look within ourselves for happiness, we’ve learnt to look outside to blame for our anger.

My dear Singaporeans, this coming national day or for the new year and many to come, do you want to continue to be unhappy for the rest of your existence or do you want to perhaps, stop and ask ourselves why we are unhappy? And if so, can we learn to be happy again? And even if we are no longer speaking to our partner or that we don’t trust our partner, can we start to perhaps try to understand each other and try to learn to find the respect that we used to have for each other, again?

Can we learn to remember that this is a home we and our parents and their parents have built together? But we do! But instead of bickering and being over zealous, can we put our egos aside and recognize that all of us actually want the same for each other – for the betterment of Singapore? What are we all really trying for? For a country where we respect those who have it the worst but whom we will still care for, for the elderly who have given what they had to Singapore and should be given time to rest and appreciate the tills of their hard work, for a Singapore which prides meritocracy, yes, but one who also respects the equality for each of us to be.

And we can. But in this chapter, in this home of ours, can we start afresh and anew? Can we forget our past unhappiness and look to forge a new consciousness? Can we learn to invigorate this new found passion and strength with positivity and unity? Can we come together and share our views to work towards a common direction? Can we?

For Singapore and Singaporeans to have come this far to where we are, we have only ourselves to thank, and the government to thank. But it wouldn’t have been possible if either one of us were not in the picture. Singapore is where we are because we forged a common consensus based on common belief, because we held on to each other even when times were tough.

And now, in this new chapter, we’ve come to a point when we need to have a new understanding towards one another, where we’ve moved on to new and different chapters in our life, where we’ve learnt to appreciate other aspects of our lives, and of others, which we’ve never had to before. And in this new chapter, we are still learning of each other’s needs, new found beliefs and reenergised passion. Here, we are at another turning point in our nation’s history where we decide how we want to chart our path. The government needs us to work with them, just as we need the government to work with us.

Here, in this new chapter, we have a chance to make things better, a chance to make things perfect. Here, we can choose to work with each other, have a new appreciation of each other to be able to achieve the dreams that each of us want, together. We can do this if we believe, trust and use our new found passion to build new connections.

We can, my fellow Singaporeans. We can. I yearn to see the day when we will be there for one another, regardless of who he or she might be. Where, because of the respect and understanding I have for you, I will cheer you on and walk alongside you, because I know that you will be there for me, and put a supporting arm around me as well. I yearn for the day when we will create solutions for the betterment of all of us, whether you are considered less well-off, young or old, whatever your colour or beliefs you choose to hold, whether you choose a life that is different from another. I yearn and I know the day will come when we can finally hold the hand of our partner and say again, thank you for the trust and respect you have for me. Thank you for making this place a better place where we can live at ease, in happiness and in the beauty of one another.

And when the day comes when we win another Olympic medal that we will cheer each other on, with pride, passion and belief.

And as one.

Roy

129 comments

  1. Steven

    U said sorry on behalf of Singaporeans? Are you sure all Singaporeans gave you the mandate to say sorry on their behalf?

    • FOffRacistbitches

      may i ask, whats of ur origin. unless ur malay/indian stop discriminating against PRCs. Our ancestors were all from china. If u are on of those flamers but dont feel sorry for what u have said, i feel that u have failed in life.

    • EL

      Are u sure all Singaporeans gave u the mandate to post that question to her? If u can’t play the sport as well as her to represent us, then u don’t qualify to represent my little toe. Now, scram to the furthest corner and whimper like the rest squatting there who have no talents but only think that spending a few more years in Singapore make u more “Singaporean” than her. Next time, raise ur hand first before u attempt to represent the ugliness of our society…ok?

    • Mikey

      Can she even read this? lol..

      And I will die before I will say sorry to bloody FTs.

      So dun think of speaking for most of us here.

  2. Daniel

    Hey, I appreciate what you are trying to do but I do not think i gave you the right to post anything on my behalf. please do not make any comments or pass any remark on behalf of anyone. You can represent yourself. That is all. Please do not try to act to represent on behalf of Singaporeans. Putting other down in order to make yourself look greater than the others just make you look more lowly than all others. You have just made your entire piece of lovely article lesser than what they should be.

  3. My Right to Love

    Hey hi Steven, thanks for your message. I agree. I did think about this. I do not and cannot represent all Singaporeans. In fact, many people would hold multiple and differing views.

    My aim of writing this article was two fold. Firstly, I had thought to myself – what if I was Tianwei? What if I had went to the tournament and given my best? And how would it feel if people still criticise me? Steven, I am gay. I am used to people making disparaging and discriminatory remarks at me. So, I understand how it feels when people make remarks at me which are not true, which are not based on what they understand about me and what I go through, but is based on what they feel – what they are angry about.

    And this is really what the other aim of the article is about. Why are Singaporeans angry? My question to us is this – have we actually asked ourselves why we are angry? We blame the government. We blame foreigners. We blame everyone else. But have we thought about why? I was angry with the government, and I sometimes still am.

    But I realise that I have a responsibility to myself as well. I am responsible to understand how I feel, and understand how I can make it work better for myself.

    For the next part, I can only speak for myself. I cannot speak for others. When I first started writing articles for this blog, I wanted to question the government. I wanted to question why they were not presenting information to us clearly and honestly. And as I wrote, I got more and more invigorated, and sometimes emotional. I had recently take the past two weeks to reflect a bit on my thoughts. I do appreciate the government for doing what it had. If the government had not given us the standard of living that we have, we would be like countries around us. We wouldn’t be able to travel, to see the world. In fact, we wouldn’t even start to critique the government because we would only be concerned about our day to day survival.

    But does that mean the government is perfect? No. Like any human being, the government also has room for improvement. And that is why so many of us have started blogs and alternative news websites to start voicing our viewpoints. But what I find saddening is this – many of us have gotten angrier and angrier that we have decided to lash out at people, and sometimes make discriminatory remarks. But weren’t our starting point one to provide another platform, which we hope will be objective? With each blog and alternative news platform that we create, some of start getting angrier and steer the direction of what we write towards one which fans anger and unhappiness.

    But what about creating solutions? What about wanting a better Singapore? A better place to live in? Can we achieve that?

    I sincerely want to live in a place which is happier, where people can be happier. Where I can be happier. This is my starting point.

    And it pains me greatly when people are angry, and thus unhappy. It pains me greatly when people have the ability to be happy, yet we keep being angry. Because I know it doesn’t have to be.

    And it pains me that other people, such as foreigners, have to be insulted, because we cannot deal with our emotions. The saying goes that we should not do onto others what we do not want others to do onto us. As much as it is a cliche, this is how I view it. What if I, as a Singaporean, goes to another country. And what if I sincerely want to make a living there because of how beautiful that place is but people there insult me, criticise me or hate me? I have moved there because I wanted to be happy. But people aren’t happy for me.

    Have you wanted to migrate? Or have you chosen to be who you are and got hurt by your beliefs because people disagree with you? The issue is beyond foreigners. For me, the issue is also about how we treat others, and eventually how we treat ourselves.

    There was a period of time I had very low self esteem. I didn’t know how to accept myself. I got angry. I blamed other people for what they did to me. And then I decided enough is enough. I was tired of being angry, tired of blaming others. I stopped and decided to look within. And I learnt to be happy from within. I learnt that – you know, people have different lives, different choices. They cannot be like me and I cannot be like them. So I will make do with my life as best as I can because this is my life.

    And regardless of who it is, I will respect them because it is their right to their life. Can I represent Singaporeans to apologise to Fengwei? No, I cannot. But does she deserve our anger? Because we have issues with ourselves which we cannot resolve? No, she doesn’t. No human being should be treated with the amount of hate that we have towards her. We pride ourselves as being open and understanding. But what we are showing towards her – I cannot start to imagine how it would feel if we were her.

    Can I speak of behalf of Singaporeans? I cannot. But can we choose to hate her because we have a choice and decide to act on it, without thinking how she would feel? I think we need to start looking within ourselves and ask ourselves this.

    I have been through enough discrimination and I will not allow another person to have to go through what I did – the pain, the embarrassment, the tears and having to cope day in, day out, not knowing when someone will say something nasty against me, not knowing when I will be booed off stage simply for being who I am. No one has a right against another. No one has a right against you, or me.

    Now, do I have a right to speak up on behalf of Singaporeans? I don’t. But Singaporeans – all of us – we have to decide how we want to be treated, to treat – whether it is respect, acceptance and appreciation we want to believe in or anger, hatred and a spiral downwards.

    • Danny

      Hi Roy,

      IMO, I think you wrote a heartfelt piece and I thank you for it. Unfortunately, I also think that you are missing the point here.

      I don’t think many Singaporeans are against FTW per se, just as I don’t think most SIngaporeans are xenophobic. Instead, I believe her achievement of winning the medal represents 2 things:

      1. The Olympics is a sport. And her win has tainted the sport simply because of the involvement of large sums of money. She got $250,000 for winning a medal. Qn here is, did she win b/c of the money or did she win for national pride? If we take away the prize money, I believe most/all Singaporeans would be rallying behind her. Just look at LWC. What prize money did the Malaysian government promise him to play through the pain barrier? None. He simply wanted to win. For Malaysia.

      2. It signals that anything can be bought. Singaporeans link this to our sick and corrupt government b/c that has been their mindset all these years; money talks. Think Baby Bonus, ERP, COE, million-dollar salaries, pegging HDB to market rates (might as well make it private?!) and what-not. Look at the flashy MBS. When LV launched their floating shit there, we sent a Senior Minister of State, Iswaran to rub shoulders with LV’s execs sipping champagne (you can find ST for that photo). What happened to days of LKY and GKS when it was imperative not to be seen in such light? Are they still the government of the people? Or just trying to buy bragging rights? Is that one of Chan Chun Sing’s KPI for more Ministerial bonus??

      It’s sad, but unfortunate that a fantastic achievement such as winning an Olympic medal can be tainted as such. Furthermore, will FTW’s win inspire generations? No. Instead, it further reinforces the belief for young impressionable minds that, if you want something, pay someone else to do it.

      Danny

      • Kok

        Being someone who has been playing a variety of sports and involved in competitive sports, I have to say people play competitive sports cos they enjoy it – be it the act itself, the feeling of winning, the adrenaline rush that comes with competition etc. The money is just a bonus to most, extra motivation. When you are standing there on the highest stage at the Olympics, money is probably the last thing on your mind, unless if you are saying you are that hard-up for cash.

      • Wil

        Danny,

        With all due respect, you haven’t just missed the point, but you’ve also got all your facts wrong. If money has tainted Feng’s win for Olympics, it would be a very small taint compared to all the tainting that is already going on. If you really believed that national pride *alone* is the only factor driving athletes these days, I can only surmise you’ve been watching the 1908 instead of the 2012 London Olympics.

        I think you will find that Lee Chong Wei, for all the hard work he has indeed put it, will be rewarded handsomely for his medal. Just as he has been, in 2008, with 300,000 RM. Does that mean he has been utterly defiled? Do Malaysians think that his victory is tainted?

        He and Feng are not alone. Plenty of other athletes, Chinese or European or American, who have won medals at the Olympics, will have those rewards. And guess what? They darn well earned it! They are not a ‘taint’, they are a way of recognising that passion and skill have propelled someone to the top. If you have ethical problems with receiving money for hard work, why not work unpaid for four years and complete some massive projects yourself, without any commission?

        As for sports success, money *does* talk. Money and passion talk. Well-funded sports prosper; sports with well-set goals, teams with good coaches (who aren’t cheap) prosper. The success of the British team this Olympics, for example, was funded through half a billion pounds of money.

        Does that mean sporting success can be bought? No, it doesn’t. It still requires people who love to ride, run, cycle or play table tennis, and we’ve managed to import a few here. The problem here is not that money is involved; the problem here is that there are people ready to take the worst possible interpretation of a good mix of passion and resources, and deny credit where credit is due. Views like yours are the real reason generations aren’t inspired, by closing minds and poisoning a debate that was worth having until hypocrisy tainted it.

      • Andrew Yeo

        Danny,

        Really? LCW doesn’t get anything if he wins gold? I suggest you keep yourself better informed of current happenings before mouthing off and embarrassing yourself on an essentially public domain.

        http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?id=34500

        In fact, he was promised a 12.5kg GOLD-FREAKING-BAR worth RM2million. In addition to the GOLD-FREAKING-BAR, he was also promised rewards “including 2 million ringgit (US$639,795) in cash 1 million ringgit cash incentive from the Government through the National Sports Council’s (NSC) incentive scheme and another 1 million cash from local furniture company 3V Holdings Sdn Bhd”.

        Not enough? He also stood to gain “a lifetime monthly pension of 5,000 ringgit under the NSC scheme.”

        See how STUPID and UNINFORMED you made yourself look? Crawl out of your well son, the world’s still spinning while people like you are forever hating.

      • Cokeaddict

        Well said Danny, $$$$ Pay And Pay and greed of REIT systems and GLCs built by the govt filled with scholars with 2 year stints in any role, whose main occupation is to want quick fixes to show there prowess. Resulting in fledging private ownership of anything, overpriced overheads for SMEs, gross unemployment of locals in favour of FTWs due to direct taxation……The question remains, when we compare to LKY and GKS, are these patriots or mercenaries that we hired to run the nation?

        I have the dark impression that now, be it “privatised” GLCs or REIT or the Govt boards, we are heading down the road of Greece where every other guys works for the govt! And in the end, the economy cannot sustain it. Its like a long drawn out PONSI scheme, shafting everything under the carpet to look clean and shiny all be it to postpone the inevitable breakdown to the next fellow taking over the helm. “not on my watch!” Scholar style.

        The result, the SMRT debacle. Overcrowded buses. Condos with no occuppants. $8000 per sq ft lease hold shop houses in Bugis area.

        Real estate speculation or “investment” has over the last 2 millenia proved to be the breeding grounds of creating the commoners and Lords and inevitably results in revolutions. Some, very violent ones, eg, French, Long March, Qing, Ming, Han. It is the very breeding ground for Communism theory.

        If we keep building real estates for investment in land scarce Singapore, where the hell are the banks gonna find money to support industries given that Real Estates are “bankable” near liquid assets with “no risks”. Look at Taiwan, it has come to a point that I was told by a local business man that 1 in 6 new condos built in the last few years is actually occuppied, prompting the country loving KMT legislators to do what is right, and not what is convenient – Property gains tax.

        Australia, Canada had huge immigrant policies, but never had their real estates been overly speculated to the point of the levels of the US, HK or Singapore. Thereby, their banks are not stressed. It is already disgusting for banks to repossess company properties in late or default when they loan out funny money that do not exists in demand for real ones from their customers. For every dollar of deposit they had, the loan out 25 to 200 times of that same amount of electronic shit.

        If we keep blowing our balloons to look bigger and brighter, it will come to a point where its gonna go with a bang.

        With infrastructure designed in decades past to cope with 3 million, the sudden influx of 2.5 million FTs and what have you got? Trying to put 10 packets of Fish Ball noodles into a cocktail bowl is find, try to squeeze in another 10, that will be a problem. Certain things in life, like certain substances, cannot be compressed, it causes deformation, elastic strain, and eventually break!

        Its not an issue of FTs, its an issue of shoring up votes to stay in power. Without all the new citizens, the PAP govt would have lost the last GE. Can’t wait to see the next.

  4. Kevin

    So while this is a thoughtful article with certain salient points that could be discussed, I might just like to point out that it is entirely possible that Tianwei would not be able to read or comprehend this piece fully. And perhaps therein, lies part of the problem.

    Peace out.

    • Cris.

      Have you read some of the comments by Singaporeans on the various blogs/FB pages/websites? There are plenty of home-grown Singaporeans who are not fluent in English either. Do we question their citizenship/contribution to Singapore?

  5. Ck

    Most Singaporeans are not upset with FTW. Most Singaporeans congractulate her for winning the medal. Just like we congractulate Bolt for winning the 100m, or Douglas for being the first black all-round woman gymnast, etc etc. I believe there’s little dispute in this.

    But I belive most Singaporeans are not proud of THEIR COUNTRY for the way in which this medal is obtained. Instead, it makes us feel ashamed and embarassed. We have cheapened the meaning of citizenship, if what we essentially say is : “come in, be a citizen, we’ll pay you to train day and night, we’ll pay you to win medals for us .. and here, you get a citizenship today, and tomorrow you’ll be in the Olympics”.

    Do you feel proud or ashamed if you slept with a Professor to obtain a “B”, although you may say that technically you didn’t do anything wrong? Will you feel proud as a parent if your child did that?

    The MORE the govt tries to shove this down our throat in recent days, the MORE we reject it. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, sometimes this disagreement seem to be directed at FTW. But it really isn’t about her. And then again, the anger isn’t directed at her either – we can be proud of her accomplishment as a sportsman (just like we are of Bolt or Douglas) but we can also be equally disappointed in the Govt for the way the medal is achieved.

    This PAP govt REALLY doesn’t think it has got anything wrong. If the Govt has really sensed there’s really an issue, it would have made more genuine efforts to bridge the gap — including de-politicizing the People’s Association, respecting the choices of the people for their MPs by getting their ELECTED MPs to represent them in conveying the wishes for upgrading, etc etc etc. The examples are TOO MANY.

    Instead the PAP govt GENUINELY thinks that on substance, they are correct and all the anger and disappointment of the people are merely COMMUNICATION problems, or the intransigence of a small, few minority.

    Yes, you scored good grades in the exam, yes you’re now a lawyer. But don’t make us feel proud of the WAY you did it. And don’t blame us for telling our children not to follow in shc footsteps in the future.

    • John

      You got that right…I am sad to say most ( at least my generation-23-27) have lost our sense of national identity.

  6. Mr X

    Read this from a friend’s FB status:

    “If you had just watched the match between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, you will understand what Sports is. Lee Chong Wei had a bad injury and had only 2 weeks to prepare for the Olympics. He had been out from competition for 2.5 months. Despite all these obstacles, he wants to be at the Olympics to realize his dream for a gold on his Third Olympics attempt (yes, after 12 years!). He was taking pain-killers all along just to compete. He was in tears when he lost. And guess what happened after the loss. He received high praise and respect from his world number one opponent Lin Dan. He also received the highest praise and respect from China, Chinese commentators and was interviewed on Chinese National TV (note the bronze medal Chinese winner was not even interviewed!)! People all over the world today see Malaysia and Malaysians through Lee Chong Wei… this is how and why you can derive National pride from Sports… today, Lee Chong Wei brought National Pride to Malaysia… Not through his Medal, But Through his Journey and Defeat!! yes, I repeat, Defeat!

    We should learn from his journey and not corrupt the Spirit of Sports!”

    also Datuk Lee Chong Wei (born October 21, 1982 in Bagan Serai, Perak) is a professional badminton player from Malaysia who resides in Bukit Mertajam. As a singles player, Lee was ranked first worldwide for 199 consecutive weeks from August 21, 2008 to June 14, 2012. He is the third Malaysian men’s singles shuttler after Rashid Sidek and Roslin Hashim to achieve such a ranking (since official rankings were first kept in the 1980s), and is the only Malaysian shuttler to hold the ranking for more than two weeks.

    Lee is a silver medalist in both the 2012 Olympic Games and 2008 Olympic Games, thus becoming the first Malaysian to reach the final of the men’s singles event and ending Malaysia’s Olympic medal drought since the 1996 Games. This achievement also earned him the title Datuk, and a description by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as a national hero. He repeated the achievement four years later in London, thus making him the most successful Malaysia Olympian in history.

    In his early years, Lee favoured basketball, however his mother soon forbade him from the game due to the searing heat of the outdoor basketball court. Lee began to learn badminton at the age of 11, when his father, who liked to play the game, brought him to the badminton hall. Attracting the attention of a local coach, the coach asked Lee’s father if he could take him as a student. After receiving the nod from his father, the coach began to train Lee after school. Discovered by Misbun Sidek, he was drafted into the national squad when he was seventeen years old.

    as he got skills and attitude…..so LONG LIVE DATUK LEE CHONG WEI…

  7. Alexis.

    hey

    I believe that eveything is a matter of perspective. And from mine, I see it as Roy giving me an opportunity to realise that we could be happy. Yes, he made an error to post this “on behalf of my fellow singaporeans”. you can choose to be angry with that detail or look at it from the angle which would make your day because as humans, we all make errors (that means you can make errors in future too, because you are human).

    sure, we can keep harping on the fact that roy made an error. is that error going to affect you in any way? we can be angry. or we can briefly mention this and then get over it because frankly, i think it is more in our favour to say sorry than not.

    is our pride really that important, just to make a point?

    • blimey

      Yah, pride is pretty important. I may disagree with some govt policies but if someone steps on my flag, i’ll have a problem with that.

  8. Ck

    Here’s another way to look at it : If I were FTW, these may be my thoughts :

    “I’ve always loved table-tennis. Since young, I’ve given my all to master every stroke. I left my family at a young age to train in Beijing. I only get to see my parents a few times a year, and speak to them once a week. Train, train, train, study, study, sleep, train, train, train .. that’s my life.

    But I knew I’ll never be among the top 3 in China. Despite how hard I trained.

    One day, someone from Singapore approached me. Leave China, give up your citizenship, be a Singaporean, play for Singapore.

    I thought about it for a long while. If I stay, I’ll be among the top 10, but never among the top 3. If I go to a smaller pond, I’ll be the biggest fish. I’ve a chance to be #1. I’ve never travelled overseas and its frightening to me to think that the first trip will be my last trip as a Chinese citizen. I spoke to my parents, they say they’ll miss me, but they hardly see me anyway and I can call back frequently too. So I made this biggest decision of my life and left.

    I’m paid to train, day and night. The Singapore govt made it clear to me that the top priority is to win. I’m a bit surprised — why am I not enrolled in a school so that I can develop my other aspects? Why am I not given English tuition so that I can communicate? But it doesn’t matter, I guess, because my friends are all from China, the officials are from China, we speak Chinese here.

    I won medal after medal. And to my delight, I even won an Olympic medal.

    Suddenly, everyone in singapore is asking me whether I speak English. Whether I can lead in reciting the Singapore pledge, in front of the stadium. Whether I’m planning to retire in China. Whether I love Singapore.

    Why are you asking me all these? An athlete’s career is only temporal, just 5-10 years maybe. Did anyone from Singapore ask me how I am supposed to earn a living when I get out of the table-tennis scene? I have no qualifications – no “O” level, nothing. You didn’t even enrol me in a school or in English classes. All you told me, and paid me to do, is train, train, train to win a medal. So if I think about my future and make my investment decisions accordingly, why do you fault me?

    A Singaporean buying a house in Johor, and selling his flat in Singapore, and living in Johor is considered a Singaporean. Why do you suspect my loyalty if I were to buy a place back in Hei Long Jiang so that I can retire there one day? Do you ask that Singaporean who’s bought a property in London to recite the national pledge to you to prove his loyalty? Why do you need me to do it?

    It will take me time to feel a sense of belonging to a place. I gave up my citizenship because it was a requirement to take up this “job” in Singapore. I grew up in Hei Long Jiang, my roots are there, my childhood friends are there .. why do you require that I supplant my love for my roots, for Singapore? You didn’t specify these are the requirements when you engaged me to play for the country. You didn’t even think about my future as a new Singaporean who’s to survive in an expensive place for the rest of her life. All you ask of me is to train, train and train, so that I can win medals.

    Its a commercial transaction. I’m paid to train and to win medals. I’ve and I’m doing my part.

    “Being” (as in truly being) a Singaporean wasn’t part of the requirement. Yes, giving up China citizenship and taking up Singapore is. But its just a piece of paper. If over the next 10-20 years, I fall in love with the place, or I get married to a Singaporean and have children here, maybe my heart will be one. But these kinds of things take time. And is unpredictable. So don’t blame me for looking out for my own future. You’re not looking out for me either. And you never told me this is part of the deal either. Don’t change the rules halfway.”

  9. cammie

    no one who watched the finals match can say anything less of Li’s tenacity, determination, and pride in representing the nation she calls home. That moment is priceless. The moment which makes us all proud to call Singapore, home.
    Thank you for writing this.

  10. Delson Moo

    Why I don’t see you writing about the barbaric ISA against fellow Singaporeans who were locked up under the guise of Marxist Conspiracy?
    Why I don’t see you writing about the lopsided reports by the MSMs against Dr. Chee Soon Juan?
    Why I don’t see him writing about true blue Singapore heroes who have fought and are still fighting for the true democracy of Singapore!!

    Typical DAFT !!

    • deedoo234

      why dont YOU write about it? He (the author wrote abt something he felt for. So instead of pointing figners and making noise, why not YOU do something?

    • Louis

      Thank you for speaking our Singaporean hearts but as some says, you simply can’t represent ‘all’ but most of us who thinks like you.
      We are proud to be Singaporean and having a medal is better than none. Either win or lose, at least we are represented at the Olympics. Don’t forget our home grown Singaporean who also participated and did not win any medals, still we are proud of them.
      If anyone think they can speak against the government, I guess they are better than them. Still stop hiding behind this online medium, step forward, have some street parade and shout loudly with a banner. Do something people!
      But before that, guess what? Who is the government anyway? Aren’t them Singaporeans too who earns a living as like us?
      Think deep before oneself comments who is greater than another? Words are worthless unless beinh seen or heard.

      • dude

        if having a medal is the ultimate goal, i suggest the easier solution is to contact the manufacturer and buy some… not import foreign talent..

  11. dude

    would you allow another man to fark your wife pregnant and then celebrate and treat the child as your own flesh and blood just becoz u cant??

  12. dude

    anyway what’s there to shout about? its just a bronze medal.. celebrating when u just won bronze reeks of loser mentality that concludes why sgp will never win a gold medal… if i just won a bronze, i will just throw it in the dumpster.. i wont rest until i get the gold…

    its like man u fans celebrating and claiming they are technically co-champions on points in EPL last season after coming in second…

  13. westfox09

    As an athlete, I congratulate her on the medal, beyond that, it’s all purely a business transaction between Singapore and her, as such, what’s there to be proud of? But, nonetheless, I agree she is just someone caught in between the crossfire.As the epitome of the ft policy that doesn’t really bring much tangible benefits to the society (are they here to replace or compliment/improve us when the whole team is virtually Chinese), yet costing us (why ain’t we using this money to invest in our own youths?), she is just a convenient target. Oh, and what’s up with the sudden medal craving craze for the past 2 Olympics?

  14. Lauschke Amy

    The blogger can write whatever he wishes, this is his own space. But he has no right whatsoever to do anything on behalf of Singaporeans, because not all Singapore think like him.

  15. alisawrites

    To all who’ve said that the writer has no right to represent Singaporeans as not all think like him/her:

    You’re absolutely right. This is a mature and well-thought out piece, which addresses deeper issues than just who it represents. And from the comments, it is apparent that you do not think, nor comprehend the author. I will also like to add that it is a true shame that you have completely missed the point.

    However, since you have picked up on the most minute detail of this post and decided to harp on it, I would like to reply with the following: I believe “on behalf of my fellow Singaporeans” was a term used loosely in this case. As this is not an official document issued by an authority, it cannot be used to truly represent ALL Singaporeans. Therefore, I believe the words were meant to be taken as a phrase to express/embellish the article. I hope this helps the debate.

    Thank you.

    • E Y

      On behalf of ALL Singaporeans, I thank you for your clarification. (apologies, the sarcasm is not intended as a ridicule, but an example)

      You see, while I feel that Tian Wei should be congratulated, and that certain segments of society are being overly nasty, personally I would stop short of “apologizing” for the nation.

      Yes, contextually the phrase “on behalf of all Singaporeans” is most likely used in a loose manner. However, when the issue is a sensitive one, one where the nation is divided over, the author should be cautious about any phrase that may be interpreted as the voice of the nation. Especially, if it is an apology.

      Congratulations again Tian Wei. Proof your critics wrong, and persevere on as a Singapore sportswoman and citizen. Better yet, when the time is right, start a family here.

      As for Singapore Sports Council, please get your act together and groom local born talents too. Bringing in naturalized citizens is to help improve the level of the sport. Naturalized citizens should not make up the entire squad. It will only invite criticisms no end.

  16. My Right to Love

    Hey, thanks everyone for your comments and discussion.

    As some of you have pointed out – the purpose of this article was to really identify some of the issues that I think some of us, Singaporeans, face, directly. As some of you pointed out as well, I do not and cannot represent all Singaporeans – that is not my purpose, but the title of this article is a literary expression, if I may ask for your understanding on this. Do look at the context of the whole article for a more fully formed opinion.

    Separately, as I had mentioned, the deeper purpose of this article, as some of you have realised as well, is to discuss why some of us are upset or angry at the current state of how we perceive our lives.

    I would bring it back to myself again, as I can only represent myself in the fullest. For a few years when I was younger, I was upset with the state of my life and I was angry. I looked externally for reasons as to why my life felt bad, in that sense. I wasn’t happy. But then, at one point, I decided that I needed to learn to be happy. I needed to live my life the way that I want. I have read many, many books, so that I can learn how to be happy and how to manage my life with positive thinking. And I have been able to become stronger and more alive as a person.

    Over the past few years, like many of us, I recognise that my government doesn’t seem to care for my concerns and well-being. It has become so blatant that well, it has become blatant. Up until the last election, it reached a boiling point where we thought things would change. But like you again, I felt things still weren’t moving a few months ago. So I created this blog to speak up on issues which I am passionate about.

    You can look through my blog and you would see that I have a consistent concern – for the poor, the elderly and for a balanced and happy lifestyle. This is my main motivation for my articles. I understand some of you have asked why I am not writing about other issues. Simply, I do not know enough about other issues to write about them. I lack the knowledge in those areas and I do not think I should burden others with my lack of knowledge in those. But I do add, I do think the government might still use the law and other more subtle means to perhaps repress certain arguments. It is my hope that the government doesn’t. As of now, I haven’t received any feedback from the government.

    Back to my blog, as I write, I dug out much information – about our CPF, wages and about the livelihood of people. I began to realise that there are many things the government isn’t saying. And I started on my own journey to try to understand why this is so. I have half a mind that the government has a sinister objective of making money, so as to increase their coffers, an argument I have repeated in my previous articles.

    In my conversations with some people, someone told me – “do you know Singaporeans are very rich?” It took me by surprise because I thought to myself, sure – there are people who are really rich but how about the very poor as well? And there is an almost equally large number of Singaporeans who are very poor.

    I started to try to reconcile these thoughts with myself. There are many explanations we can come out for things. One of them is this – Many of us, some of us here as well, are considered rich, some not. The government has to cater to them as well as cater to those who are poorer. Thus the government’s goal of increasing our wealth is aimed at benefiting a certain population, but at the same time, it has neglected those who also do need help. I am with the belief that the government is finally realising this, as can be seen for the announcements in the past few weeks. It might be many years too late, if you ask me. But nonetheless, at least their priorities have finally shifted to be in the right place.

    Of course, the results haven’t shown themselves yet. Will whatever the government do be enough for Singaporeans? We can only know in the next few years when we are able to analyse the statistics and their performance.

    This is one way of looking at things. There are many other ways.

    If you ask me, the government is wealthy. It needs to take more aggressive approaches to ensure the welfare of those who are financially less well-off are taken care of. It needs to look at how to increase their wages sufficiently to overcome the pressures of inflation – and also because we treat these workers with respect, it needs to ensure childhood education is of high quality and affordable to parents, it needs to look into balancing the needs of companies for workers, as well as ensure that Singaporeans are able to lead happy, balanced lifestyles, where they have enough time for themselves. This is my hope for Singapore. For myself.

    Now why am I telling you this? I am letting you know who I am as a person and what my thoughts are. Do I aim to promote what the government thinks and do I align myself completely with the government? Is this article aimed at that? No. If you have read my previous articles and if you are able to read this article clearly, you will know my aim is to provide a balanced viewpoint, as much as I can, and my eventual aim is mostly this – how can we have a balanced and happy lifestyle?

    I hope you see by now I try always to understand why we are unhappy. Why are we angry? How can we be happier? Is it any fault of the government that we are in our current situation and state of mind? Of course it is. The government has played a part in the creation of some of their policies and they know it – the policies which restricted our expression, which dumbed down our passion and beliefs, and the policies which does not help us have a better livelihood, in some sectors. Sometimes, the government has its reasons. Sometimes it’s a good reason. Sometimes, it doesn’t cater to the needs of Singaporeans. And I say to my government, I really wish you can be bold to do the right things. Some things need to be removed or implemented. And perhaps you need to have the courage to do them. Perhaps we need to see beyond the fear that the ruling party might lose some votes in the next elections and thus we try to ensure stability so that we don’t lose too many votes. But what is there to lose when the government has already lost 6 seats in the last elections? The government needs to be bold. And if the reason is to ensure that Singapore remains stable for investments, then again, the government needs to explain to us. Singaporeans need to be part of the solution and not be kept in the dark.

    And what can we do, as Singaporeans? The government isn’t perfect. I think there’s much they can improve on. When I had gone to Nepal, I had seen the many people sleeping on the streets. They have such a beautiful place, but they are not able to enjoy and appreciate it because they cannot afford to and because the place is so polluted. When I went to South Africa, they had such a beautiful country but they have such a high crime rate that you wouldn’t step out at night for fear of your life. Then I went to Australia, sure there is racism, but there is equally the freedom to be and a balanced lifestyle. And when I went to South Korea, the people there have such respect towards one another and they believe passionately about what they do.

    In each of these countries, there is good and bad. As in Singapore, there is good and bad. But what I have seen in all these countries is one thing I sometimes find not present in Singapore – the people have so much pride in their country and in themselves, regardless of the state or condition of their country. They want so much to see their country succeed. And then I come back, and I try to find it within myself. I try to understand what it is that can make us proud. At this point, I still can’t pinpoint what it is. But I would say a few things.

    Firstly, the government needs to acknowledge how some of its policies have systematically reduce the passion and fight within Singaporeans to be dormant workers in the Singapore economy. The government seems to be taking steps to address this. It has started talking about values in school, for example. But the government needs to look at how they can relax some areas and provide incentives in others to get this back in Singaporeans. Without this, Singaporeans won’t take pride in our country. Without this, we will not create solutions with the government but will keep finding fault with the government.

    Secondly, what can we do as Singaporeans? Again, I would only speak for myself. I have tried very hard to find happiness in my own way. I have tried very hard to fight for what I believe in. For example, I started writing this blog. It took away many of my weekends but I write because I want to be part of the solution. And some of you have as well. But what else can we do? I cannot speak for you, as some of you have said in the comments. But what I can venture to say is – we all realise that we are unhappy or angry to some extend. But we cannot work alone. We need to support of one another, and as much as we might not like it, we need to work with the government. If the government isn’t good enough or doesn’t know what to do, we can speak up and provide solutions. And perhaps if what they do is still not good enough, then we have to be bolder – we have to ask for the changes to happen because that’s our right.

    The government need to do what’s right. When that happens, we will reach an equilibrium when we are able to co-exist because we can find the trust and respect for one another.

    I am not saying I can represent you. No that’s not what I am saying. What I am saying is, if we know we are not happy, can we do something proactive about it and can we change things? Can we not be angry but take a positive attitude towards making things better, for ourselves and for others. If we think the policies are not working, can we not take a backseat and get upset? Can we find ways to rally one another to pressure the government to do the right thing? Already, some of us are doing that. But there are also some of us who are still angry. I cannot say what is right or what can be done. But at this point, what I am trying to say is not this – I know better than you or you know better than me or I know better than him or her and he or she knows better than you or whatever.

    What I am saying is this – we are at the turning point of other nation, another turning point. We have an opportunity to redefine it. We have an opportunity to make things work. Is there a Singapore culture? Is there a Singapore dream? This is a time when things are changing in Singapore. Now how do we want to shape it? We have been talking about wanting to make Singapore better. We have been lamenting about how there isn’t a culture or an aspiration. But the time is now!

    We are undergoing a change and a shift and right now, the question is – do you want to take up the mantle and make things work?

  17. z090171

    when the government bring foreign talents in to singapore. Singaporeans complain regardless of their contributions to Singapore. Now when we buy an athlete over who won a medal ‘in singapore’s name’. they defend them based on merit. this is hilarious no?

    Anyways, as much as everyone else can say she did it FOR singapore.. How sure are you it is not for her own glory and love for the sport? As an athlete, I’d go anywhere else where I can play and represent instead of stay where I am as a reserve.

    Nonetheless, good job Tian Wei! ^^ Pity I just can’t find the pride as a Singaporean to support you.

    • Cozy

      Your first paragraph doesn’t make sense. You’re assuming that the group of Sgreans complaining and then later defending the FT are one and the same.

      Anyway I do agree with the overall sentiment. I respect TW for her skill and tenacity but I don’t really feel proud as a Singaporean.

  18. excusemebamboo

    I think you should edit your post to remove on behalf of my fellow Singaporeans, you do not speak for us. You can and should only speak for yourself or any group or individual who gave you prior permission to speak for them. It is very simple, no need to write 1000 words to explain yourself etc, just remove the “On behalf of Fellow Singaporeans”, you do not speak for us. Thank you.

    • PJ Lee

      Wah now u are acting like ISD — asking the writer to self-censor becos u are being petty over some sentences/phrases u don’t like or get? That’s how they do it in China…and at the Straits Times.
      Need your permission? This is cyberspace, not Speaker’s Corner.
      Shoud only speak for a specified grp? That’s like gahmen saying –To have a view, you must form a political party…
      Anyway — looks like u don’t understand the rhetorical tool used in writing. Didn’t learn lit in school I presumed? U can blame gahmen for that — and by extension of the argument in the piece —- your pettiness, pent-up angst.

    • Cris.

      Can you write proper English? I believe your sentence should be correctly written as:

      “Can the girl from China even read English?”

      Oh the sweet irony.

  19. geez

    I am Singaporean. Thank you for writing this. it is rare we find such balanced view points on the internet. 🙂

  20. Dennis

    Firstly I have no issue with the lady winning her medal, how much she is getting as a result nor even her subsequent action throwing flowers to the PRC supporters stand.

    For all I care she can be blowing kisses to the Eskimoes in the crowd. No offence and she has done nothing wrong in all of that even if she is Singaporean now. But I do have a serious issue with you apologising on everyone’s behalf including mine. Literary expression or otherwise and yes I have fully read the article and all the above comments including your reply and explanations. NO, you still do not have a flying pachyderm’s right in that aspect. A simply “just a literary expression” does not suffice. If anything, the amount of resistance coming from a critiizing but objective quarters should serve as an indication of the matter.

    As many have already pointed out that you should remove the “on behalf of my fellow Singaporeans”. You can write whatever else you want. The refusal to do so can only mean you are clamoring for a few minutes of internet fame and nothing more.

    • PJ Lee

      You are acting like ISD — asking the writer to self-censor becos u are being petty over some sentences/phrases u don’t like or get?
      That’s how they do it in China…and at the Straits Times. (‘off with her head/words’ says the Queen in Wonderland) That’s how the shirnking of the Collective Mind starts
      Just bcos there’s is “some amount of resistance.. from some quarter”, you say. If you disagree, It has to be removed? Like Bt Brown? Like old buidlings? Stray dogs? Wild boars? Foreigners? Not so patrotic Sporeans?
      Of course, the writer doesn’t speak for all Sporeans..isn’t that obvious? You duh or what? But we ( i apologise for using ‘we’) appreciate her views. We may not agree with all the points…but they are food for thots nonetheless. Unlike some mindless computer games.
      BTW — Should i ask you to retract your views, becos ‘flying pachyderms’ dun exist? And as an extension, you aren’t representative of that non-existent species? Noenethless, I can tell the ‘flying pachyderms’ are VERY upset with Dennis the Menace. And if u dun apologise, you know what they say about elephants…and all becos u want to have a few mins of Internet attention and nothing more.
      Rather obvious becos u have nothig substantial to add other than yr objection to a phrase. Petty petty…’Flying pachyderms’ indeed…Hmphff

  21. Michael

    Write straight to the point; by writing such a long post, it bores the reader.

    Anyway, I would rather Singapore to not win any medal than a person from another country help us get these medals.

    Let’s be realistic, if there is no monetary rewards for winning any medal, would THEY come here to represent us? These money are tax payers money paid by TRUE Singaporeans. I would rather the government to donate these money to the charity so that we help our OWN people.

    Furthermore, passion in sports is not equivalent to the need of participating in competitions. They can just stay back in their country to play the sports they like as a recreation activity.

    Bear in mind, win a medal with pride. Win a medal that belongs to our true Singapore.

    • Xiao Xian

      Lol I agree with you. I skipped most of it because all I could think of was “Why so draggy and naggy.”

  22. hyacinth

    Roy,

    thank you very much for writing this. I know this must not have taken several minutes but a long time to produce. Thank you for letting us know that there are still some sensible people who can and will take a step back to look at the bigger picture. I think we can only hope that more people will be willing to do that. It might seem like an impossible feat to get your fellow Singaporeans thinking, but please keep it up. You give us hope.

    Cheers,
    someone who has lived here for 6 years and will always be called foreigner nevertheless

  23. JoyfulSong

    Roy, thank you for writing this, from the bottom of my heart. It means a lot to find a fellow Singaporean willing to believe, willing to be part of a solution rather than an echo of a complaint. It takes courage and a lot of heart to write this. So thank you for the glimmer of hope. That someday we will be a Singapore who knows empathy, compassion and trust.

  24. My Right to Love

    Hey thanks to everyone for commenting and the discussion.

    Perhaps let me share with you why I had decided to write this article. As simply as I can put it, I felt that there was much unhappiness and displaced anger. I wanted to contribute my thoughts. I never did think that it would garner such strong reactions, from all angles, or even so many reads.

    I really hope that you can understand that my aim isn’t to showcase only the positive aspects of things, or negative, whichever way it might be viewed. If you have read the article, you see I do also have certain ideas about how the government can improve, about how I can improve. And I hope that the reader can take away this – that the aim is really to provide a balanced viewpoint.

    But perhaps some people might not agree with some views. And I understand that. But I do think that’s the beauty of how things are – that we have different viewpoints, but the question then is, how to articulate it in a balanced and measured perspective. Why do I bring out this? Generally, we agree with people who articulate ideas similar to ours and disagree with those that we do not agree with.

    I believe, you can see the rift that’s already created by just this one article and the underlying sentiments in our society. By all means, this is not unique to Singapore. Many peoples in other countries and places also face differences in opinions and beliefs.

    This is my hope – that in spite of the differences, we can try to find common ground and understandings, so that we can move ahead. That’s really it.

    This is as much as I can do.

    An additional note that I would like to point out is that, as I have also mentioned previously and on my about page, I am gay. I have undergone judgment and discrimination. I have learnt to live my life being told that I am not a worthy person because of who I am. I need to let you know this, because firstly, I had written this article from an angle of understanding precisely because of what I had been through, and which is why I hope for empathy and understanding. Secondly, this information has been used by some to judge me. Let me put it out here that I am very happy and assured of who I am as a person. So, if it becomes a point of judgment, I am affirmed as a person and I am comfortable with who I am. I do urge that anyone who might have a differing opinion to be free to speak to me to understand me further.

    Finally, as I have mentioned, my aim is really to present the information in a balanced manner so that, I hope, we can move together. I truly hope you can understand.

    I thank some of you who have written words of support and belief. Like you, it means a lot to me as well.

    Thank you.

    Roy

  25. Lam Benard

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I am truly heartened to read through this exchange. The diversity of perspectives is refreshing. Even the remarks which sounded aggressive are grounded. I hope the government really invests in hearing out these sentiments, and not brush these as noise. Some of our ministers, i believe, are sincere in getting to the bottom of things but they have to rely on the ears on the ground. And these ears aren’t always effective. I have attended townhall sessions where opinions like Roy’s were aired. But when the official scribe summed up the input, it was generic, missing out the salient points and casually categorised under a broad heading.

  26. bb ♥

    Some of the readers really have missed the point. I prefer to think that the post title\’s just a figure of speech, if you like. Headlines are meant to captivate and draw eyeballs, right? ^^

    And please… like some of the people have already pointed out, who in his right mind would actually believe that Roy really is speaking on behalf of ALL of us? But at least he didn\’t title the post \’On Behalf of Singapore\’…. so technically, he\’s not wrong, since there are more than just a handful of fellow Singaporeans he\’s apologizing to FTW to. I\’ll be happy to stand up and be counted.

    Even more laughable was how some people said Roy shouldn\’t be apologizing like this, since FTW probably doesn\’t understand English. Oh please… did you really think he\’s making her an apology here? Isn\’t it obvious that Roy\’s just articulating his thoughts through the format of an open letter? Geez…

    I think more meaningful exchanges can happen if we focus on the meaty contents and the thought-provoking issues Roy has brought up, instead of arguing about whether Roy has titled his post erroneously, or whether FTW can speak English..

    Anyway, I\’d like to thank Roy for penning this, and for the rest for sharing their thoughts. What a refreshing change to actually read more balanced views and civil exchanges. I, for one, am very very very sick and tired of how a fraction of our population (a very aggressively vocal fraction, I might add) has been dishing out senseless and meaningless accusations and making snide remarks directed at the governing party EVERY opportunity they get.

    And Roy? I too have stayed in Australia and am familiar with South Korea. Believe me, they have their own set of problems. Yes, EEO is very big down under because of the laws put in place, their employment market has other types of problems and racism is fairly pronounced these days, as is bullying. And yes, South Koreans are very passionate and they\’re very patriotic too, but their \’ppali ppali\’ culture and bubble economy are also slowly exposing weaknesses. But yea, I agree with the concept that we all CAN be happier; happiness really is a mental state of mind, and sometimes all it takes is just a change of attitude and mindset. One need not even migrate *ouch!*

    P.S. I’ve enjoyed reading your piece, and I didn’t think it was naggy or draggy. Guess it does take all kinds to make the world~

    P.P.S. i also enjoyed Ck’s comment very much ^^

  27. Gauri

    Considering how many people are getting upset about Roy writing to represent all SIngaporeans, I suggest people who agree with this article thank Roy for writing on their behalves (like Cath has done above)

    I am Singaporean and I thank Roy for writing on my behalf. Singaporeans should learn to be happier and stop blaming others for their misery.

    Many Singaporeans feel disgruntled to serve the country selflessly. I’ve had to listen to the woes of many of my fellow male friends, who absolutely hated being in NS and thought it was a waste of their time. Ironically, a number of them are also complaining right now that Tianwei is not loyal to Singapore. Civil servants are also often unhappy at their low pays, while seeing comfort in job security. Serving the nation is rarely a factor that comes up when they decide to apply to be a civil servant. Other factors like passion for a certain interest may be, though. So people who decide to join the civil service and be teachers may do so because they enjoy teaching. And the same reasons for holding a job apply to many people: money and passion. I think one should not expect a person who had no prior relations to Singapore to feel loyal to Singapore. I think it would be even more ridiculous she could feel anything like home over here considering the negative comments and blog posts about PRCs that get published.

    People who make comments about how Tianwei is not wanting to do this for Singapore may have forgotten that many athletes are similar: they want to have a personal best, an ambition for themselves, the personal pride that comes with being the best among others in their sport. That is the same for Singaporean athletes. Singaporean athletes are doing it for money and passion too. Sure, there is a pride that comes along in representing the country. But that pride only emerges when fellow citizens make them feel loved and appreciated, and may not necessarily be their main interest as an athlete. An athlete who does not feel accepted by the people (for whatever reason) will struggle to feel proud representing the country, even if he/she was born and raised in Singapore.

    Hopefully Singaporeans will learn to accept people coming into the country as Singaporeans, especially since it wasn’t that long ago when we were not part of this land either.

  28. swh

    Hi,

    Very good article. You delivered a set of good logical arguments interspersed by quite a bit of emotive language. I agreed with your main thesis about Singaporeans being caught up with anger, and misdirecting an excessive amount of it from time to time. You come off as being able to consolidate different points-of-view very well and, yes, present them in a balanced fashion. However, like some others have mentioned in previous posts, it was a bit too long-winded (repetitive at times) and your insistent use of rhetorical questioning at times made me feel a bit irritated, like you’re trying to badger me to being guilt tripped or what. I know that’s probably not your point, as I can see it’s really what you feel about this issue, but yeah… keep your readers in mind.

    Anyhow, on to my main point. imo the following two statements most closely reflect what I think about this issue: “the government would need to also shift their focus on to the social and psychological well being and welfare of Singaporeans”, “What right do you have to come into my home, when I don’t even feel at home? When I don’t even feel that this is my home? ”

    You spent a great deal of time talking about govt responsiveness to sg-eans but I think that’s only half the issue in this case. Apart from anger toward government policies, I think another factor which is causing such a rift is your mention of “social and psychological well-being”, or as I would like to put it – identity. The second quote hits the nail on the head of the reasons why there is anger, and it isn’t so much of the govt in this case as opposed to the insecurity that people feel. Towards an “intruding” sense of foreigners coming over, that the symbolism of the win has been marred or reduced by what some netizens might say to have been won by “not a true blue Singaporean”, a cultural construct that have begun to develop, interestingly, over the years.

    In this case, it extends beyond social and psychological well-being. It’s the attempt of Singaporeans trying to find a place on the map, to successfully establish an identity of being Singaporeans that they can take refuge in. And, in my opinion, that that difficult search has led to anger, which your mention of govt. policies does play a point. And identity is something the government cannot craft for the people – it can aid in its formation, but Singaporeans will have to find themselves, in their own way, and it takes time.

  29. Tinny

    Dear Roy,

    First of all, like many others ahead of me who pretty much told you the same thing that you do not represent me and certainly you do not have privy to such rights. I had apologize for many things in my life BUT i refuse and will not apologise for feeling the way i feel about this whole charade – this whole importing “top talents” in view of clinching a medal for Singapore… for putting us on the pedestal of the sporting map.

    You can treat this reply as a categorical rebuttal of your article, and i hope this brings some comfort to those who woke up today reading your article and realised that they were unknowingly represented by you who had taken it upon himself to offer apologies on their behalf…

    ============

    Dear Tianwei,

    Firstly, I would like to congratulate and thank you for winning the Olympic bronze medal for Singapore.

    As a Singaporean, I am very grateful for what you have done and what many of us couldn’t have done. You had the grit, belief and courage to stand on a world stage and go where not many of us have gone before – and bring back an Olympic medal for Singapore.

    [make no mistake about it, FTW is a fantastic table tennis player. However, she has opportunities that many Singaporean can only dream of – being trained professionally and earning a decent living by sport. Granted that FTW probably went through an extremely grueling selection process before she first set foot on our little island that I call home, but it doesn’t change the fact that she has to herself, opportunities and resources way beyond the wildest imagination of many aspiring Singaporean athletes.)

    This is only the 2nd singles medal that Singapore has ever won, and the 3rd medal ever, and the plain truth is we would not have been able to achieve this without you, not perhaps in another 10, 20 or 30 years, after our programme to train more local talent bears fruit. You have once again represented the hope that Singapore has in achieving pride on the international arena, as you and your team mates had in the last Olympic Games.

    [Is Singapore in dire need of another international recognition? What is wrong with the concept of “Singaporean winning for Singapore” that we have to specially import foreign talents to help us to put medals in our cabinet? Truly, one has to ask oneself to what end is most important for Singapore participation in international sporting event? To be able to remember who won the game and what went on OR to have medal sitting quietly in a corner of a cabinet with an obscure name engraved on it [of coz, i am not insinuating that FTW is an obscure name. Far from it. However, only time will tell if the remembrance of her victory will stand the test of time]. I remember my local sporting heroes like Fandi Admad, Sudramoothy and Super-sub Steven Lim. While they may not attain the success such as FTW, I am sure many remember Sudram bicycle kick when we were in the Malaysia cup during the 90s. But how many remember the game FTW had 4 years ago in Beijing, without so much as to turning to the internet for information. I guess there is no need for me to elaborate as to why this is so…. the contrast is so clear that it is glaring.]

    Thank you, Tianwei.

    When Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei won a silver medal in the badminton single’s finals yesterday, Malaysians rallied behind him and Malaysians cheered him on. They patted him on the back when he won the silver medal and showed their continuous support even if he had not won the gold medal. Because he dared to dream and he dreamt for Malaysians. And the Malaysians dreamt with him. Because they stood together as one people, with pride.

    [I actually agree with you on this. That the Malaysian dreamt with Lee. But to question as to why Singaporean do not dare to dream – simply because we are not dreaming together with FTW is again so blatantly obviously that i do not want to insult the intellect of your audience here. But to be clear as water, perhaps I should point out that Lee is a locally born Malaysian and played under the Malaysian flag with passion.I guess the simple criteria for all athletes is to be the citizen of the said country FIRST and then the athlete. With FTW and gang, they will always be known as the athlete first and then Singaporean.]

    So, many have said that you are not born in Singapore and because of this, we cannot be proud of you. Because they say, you wouldn’t be proud of representing us. I’m really sorry that it has to come to this.

    [Roy, I understand why you do not understand our angst. Because you do not see whats wrong with getting someone who do not have the fundamental interest of your well-being to represent you. Just like you, who do not have an interest in my life, had taken upon yourself to apologise on my behalf. Understand this and you will understand why people are unhappy.]

    You had dared to dream for us, but we had forgotten how to dream.

    [How do you know that we had forgotten how to dream? I dream about my life, about how I can make this a better place for my children. I choose to give up a PR that I had from somewhere else and choose to reside here against all odds. Who are you to say that I dare no dream… Do not assume my friend, it makes an ass out of u and me.]

    But do we have the right to take personal attacks, or make snide remarks at you? Truth is, it’s not about you. The debate, at this point, isn’t really about you. You, like many other foreigners who have contributed greatly to Singapore – some of whom are now Singaporeans like you – have become a symbol and a pawn for our unhappiness towards how we think we’ve been unfairly treated by the government. Singaporeans are unhappy not because of you. Singaporeans have learnt not to be happy, because we have learnt to.

    [Many of us have different political views. Much is driven by our need to have a larger say in our own life. However, this has got nothing to do with who we want to put in charge of Hougang or Potong Pasire or anywhere else for that matter. This has got to do with why Singapore chose to embark on this medal grabbing exercise by importing talents specifically for the purpose. What is wrong for us to get another bronze medal in another 60 years even if it means taking it slowly by promoting the sports from the ground up? What is this insatiable need to attain quick success just because we can afford it?]

    For a long time, we’ve been unhappy but we’ve not learnt to speak up. And now that we are beginning to find our voice, we’ve learnt to voice our anger and displeasure. Because that’s what we remember. Or choose to remember – anger.

    [Really? Is Singaporean only about being angry? I do not think so. Certainly not my part of town. You could do with a little different company if you think you are constantly surrounded by angst. buddy – do not take random internet babelling as the statistical truth.]

    Tianwei, I would like to apologise on behalf of Singaporeans who choose to get angry at you when they shouldn’t. Their anger was transferred onto you because they felt that they felt that if their anger towards the government wasn’t being responded to, they would then get angry at the people that they feel the government was favoring over them.

    [I do not understand why do you have to keep apologising over the same issue… over and over again. Are you naturally apologetic?]

    I’ve been rethinking about my thoughts about my government for the past two weeks again. My government might not have done some things as well as they could – they could help the poor and the elderly achieve a more respectable lifestyle. They could devise policies to ensure real wages respond more adequately to inflation. They could ensure transport and housing policies respond to the rise in population faster. In these areas, yes, they didn’t do as well.

    [You are muddling the issues. Those are for another time, another forum and for another day.]

    But I’ve also been thinking and learning to appreciate once again that there are some things that they have done well – they have given us a standard of living that is financially more sustainable than many others, they have ensured that we can walk around at night safely and freely. Yes, I still think they can allow us to have more freedom to express ourselves and speak up for what we believe in. But with great power comes great responsibility. We’ve learnt to speak up online but we’ve equally learnt to abuse it. Perhaps it’s no wonder why the government is threading very carefully with regards to whether they should open up in this area – because of the implications of how we might only cause further rifts among ourselves.

    [At least on this I agree with you with no exceptions…]

    See, Singaporeans have learnt to be angry and unhappy over the many years where we’d felt that the government wasn’t responding. And perhaps sometimes the government wasn’t. And sometimes the government was. But if anything, the government has also forgotten to explain to us what they are doing adequately. And which is why Singaporeans feel that they’ve been kept in the dark, that their concerns are not being met, that they’ve not been heard.

    [Again… muddling the issues…]

    I cannot be sure if the government has finally heard us, but I would like to give them one more chance to make it better, not right – because we are kidding ourselves if we think Singapore is not good enough.

    [Again muddling the issues… buddy, i am beginning to think that you are being paid on word count rather than on gist… But again i am sure the government heard it loud and clear… changes are underway, they may not being taking traction as quickly as some of us would like but i like the way things are turning out.]

    But the government has to learn to explain better what it’s doing. The government needs to look at their governing principles again and live up to these principles. The government has to believe again. It’s no secret that the government has looked at economic growth and prosperity as the highest priority for Singapore but with our knowledge economy and a more educated population which has a achieved a higher attainment of living, thanks as well to the government, it does mean that the government would need to also shift their focus on to the social and psychological well being and welfare of Singaporeans.

    [Not that i agree with you but if this is the slant that you are taking perhaps you should consider to retitle your article to read instead “I apologise on behalf of the government….”]

    I know the government has realized this. And I know the government is responding. But is the government not responding fast enough or is the government not explaining well enough? The government has to ask this of themselves. And if the government is not explaining well enough, perhaps it’s about being more transparent in the communication. Perhaps it’s not just about using The Straits Times to say what they want us to hear but to say how things really are, so that we can learn to trust them again.

    [With you rationality…. this topic is perhaps a little too deep for you.]

    But for now, Singaporeans will still be angry. They have to. Firstly, we don’t understand or know if the government is responding. Because the government isn’t sure how to let us know, without making us feel offended even further, as well. Secondly, the years of accumulated anger is finally being let out with our new found voice through the online medium and it has sparked an emotion within that many do not know how to rein in responsibly. And thirdly, we do not seem to know how to respond positively to our negative emotions but have learnt to express them through our frustrations and misplaced anger.

    [Really, let’s just say I agree with you – which i DO NOT. YOu are muddling the issue here. At best, FTW is the result (failure) of a particular national policy. It in itself does not constitute the failure of the government. The national report card on the government is best left to each individual to decide. I struggle to envisage the consequences when you choose to take it upon yourself to generalise everybody’s feeling about Singapore political arena.]

    And thus we have learnt to get angry at you, Tianwei. Even if we have disagreeing viewpoints, we can still express them in non-personal ways. So I am very sorry.

    [Even the waiter who spilled coffee on my shirt in the middle of a workweek said less “sorry” than you. You have alot more in your artile but really… they are very much repetitions of the same thing. I do not know what drove you to penned the article the way you did but I can only for that these represent your most honest perspectives, albeit flawed…. I certainly do not hope that these are your attempt to gain 5 minute of internet fame for if it is the case… we may have a bigger problem at hand…]

    • Jason

      Really, a yellow thong wearing eyebrow plucker was playing football in the same team as Sundram & Fandi Ahmad. Great, was i supporting the wrong team or? Would there be anything wrong for people to put their ego down? Is it wrong to say sorry? So much pride we have, us singaporeans. These arguments might be flawed but who are we to judge the freedom of expression?

      I’m sorry if i don’t have the “artile” as compared to the artillery of points of rebuttal here but i think it would be nice if people look at the intention rather than the act. If the original idea of this blog was to start us in faciliating thinking & critique of the happenings of the govt & of things going on in Singapore, it certainly has.I guess everyone of us who has a heart that things be done fairly. But then again, nothing is fair in this world. For every superstar who made it, there have been many others who were overlooked. I learnt that in life, the hard way, that you have to make the opportunity happen for yourself. For us to moan, whine & bitch about us not given the chance is just sad, & like what says in the blog, we seem to prefer to be angry than trying to find happiness. On another point, ask any athlete out there who competes or trains for competition, would you take part just to lose or make the numbers? So should we just get any tom dick & harry to represent our country, just because he/she was born here? What if the person was born here but spent his/her time in a foreign country? Is nationality an issue since all of us were descendants of immigrants before. Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger would have be a governor if the people in the states thought along the same lines as us? We have lost our sense of sport that its all about success for us & not for enjoying the game.

      For the haters who seem to put down FTW, or the govt, whether or not they have done the right thing; & for all who seem to want to want to criticise about everything, I’d ask you, let him who have done no wrong before cast the 1st stone. Only time will tell whether she might be a turncoat or is in this for the money. Like the saying goes, don’t hate the player, hate the game. For now, is an apology is in order? I kind of guess so. It’s so low class of us to just keep dishing hate after hate. & we say that we have more class than the foreigners? I tend to kind of think that so many criticising of FTW & all that has just happened are bordering on the poor excuse of xenophobia.

      The haters should just shut up & give credit where credit is due. Either that, or knuckle down & start training if you think that local athletes should be out there instead of foreign talent. If people really have been been dreaming, then I guess we would see more people out there busting the arses in training rather than just sitting behind their computers moaning about how their rights have been misused because of the phrase “on behalf of singaporeans”.

  30. Spammyface Buk

    Dear Blog Readers
    On behalf of Roy, I would like to apologize for the furor that this article has caused. While it may have been self-serving, I am certain that his intent was never to stir up controversy about self-appointed representation in our democracy.

  31. Sandra Fong

    When our overseas Singaporeans crowded to watch Team Singapore winning the medal in London, do you think our overseas Singaporeans feel shamed? I was not there, I wouldn’t know. Judging from the cheer from the crowd, I think they feel proud that Team Singapore made it up to that level. I also saw other nationalities cheer for Team Singapore and why couldn’t we in our home town?

    Some of you asked, do we need to make Singapore into the world stage in sports. It’s up for debate where we make Singapore’s name at global level but I think common sense is that we should move up to global ladders and we need our name at global events. Global sports event like Olympics garners millions of global viewers, if not billions. Team

    As for how we made it to the global stage, it’s a domestic issue how government grooms local or foreign talents. I am sure government will make more efforts to groom local talents after all these outcry. Nevertheless, we all should be proud of Team Singapore’s efforts in Olympics 2012 and unite ourselves behind it. Look around all other countries, it is never unprecedented that countries recruit foreign sports athletes or coaches, instructors to build their sports reputation. I am not saying it is right or wrong thing to do, but I personally believe it is a good start and many countries have reaped the fruits from doing so.

    Voice from a 5.5-year Singaporean.

  32. rick grimes

    i watched timo boll play the top seed who was from china and win his match. not only was he representing his country, but being the only european in the top 10 ranking of a sport dominated by asians, he was also representing his race.

    i’m afraid you have completely lost the concept of sports. the main purpose of sports, especially on an international level, is to represent. you can pay someone to win medals for you but unfortunately you can’t pay someone who really has no roots or ties to a country to represent it.

    i would have loved to see someone who i could relate to, someone just like me, someone who could actually represent me, succeed and give me belief. it’s not just about the pride of winning.

  33. Xd

    im not in the right position to criticise your comments, but neither do you have the rights to apologise on behalf of me(or all the singaporeans). Pls withdraw that statement as you are infringing my legal rights to an apology i never agreed to. Sure you can have your views, but pls do not pull all Singaporeans into your ideals. Ironically, you should now address all Singaporeans; in the form of an apology.

  34. seeyz

    Shame on you. Who do you think you are? A hero? GOSH! You are just being a KPO here.
    No one gives you the rights to say anything on behalf of fellow Singaporeans. Be it apologizing or thank you, we DON’T need you to voice out. You are not us, we are not gays, therefore, please don’t say anything on behalf of fellow Singaporeans.
    If you feel so proud of all the FTs winning medals/ helping Singapore or whatever that is, why not migrate to somewhere & don’t stay in Singapore. I believe our country will be better with one less gay, because you are such a destroyer to the society. You are destroying the image of all Singaporeans. Don’t you have anything better to do, besides blogging about this? Since you are a gay, you have everything to blog about being a gay. Stop being an extra & butt in everything you shouldn’t even bother. Do yourSTFU

    • Spammyface Buk

      If people like TJH and seeyz represents the kind of ‘talent’ and ‘attitude’ that Singapore will be left with after we have expelled everyone whose sexual, political, social or geographical orientation they find disagreeable, our society will have no need for destroyers.

  35. seeyz

    Shame on you. Who do you think you are? A hero? GOSH! You are just being a KPO here.
    No one gives you the rights to say anything on behalf of fellow Singaporeans. Be it apologizing or thank you, we DON’T need you to voice out. You are not us, we are not gays, therefore, please don’t say anything on behalf of fellow Singaporeans.
    If you feel so proud of all the FTs winning medals/ helping Singapore or whatever that is, why not migrate to somewhere & don’t stay in Singapore. I believe our country will be better with one less gay, because you are such a destroyer to the society. You are destroying the image of all Singaporeans. Don’t you have anything better to do, besides blogging about this? Since you are a gay, you have everything to blog about being a gay. Stop being an extra & butt in everything you shouldn’t even bother. Do your own things & STFU

  36. CT says WTHell!!

    You spoke up for me and the many other Singaporeans? Why? I do not know you neither do you know me so what rights have you to do what you did? Did I give you my mandate to speak up on my behalf? You obviously behaved as so. I along with the many other Singaporeans have the rights to our views as do you. Do not for one moment think that we share the same ideals and views. What audacity to impose yours as ours! I do not need you to speak for me. I am capable of doing so on my own and will do so as and when I deem fit. If you like sucking up, please do so on your own accord but just leave the rest of us out as we do not share your views.

    You love apologizing don’t you? Well, now you owe us Singaporeans an apology.

    • doug

      As impolitely put by “CT says WTHell”, he has a valid point. The title suggests that majority of the Singaporeans share the same sentiment as Roy. This is clearly not the case.

      Yahoo! polled a sample pool of Singaporeans and 8 out of 10 were not proud of the medal win and they are entitled to feel that way. ( http://sg.news.yahoo.com/almost-8-in-10-not-proud-of-medal-won-by-foreign-import–yahoo–poll.html )

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion whether you like it or not. Roy i suggest you change the title to reflect that it is your opinion and not the general sentiment of Singaporeans.

      You do not have the mandate to speak on behalf of the Singapore citizens, especially when a estimated 8 out 10 of them disagree with you.

      • just another Singaporean

        @doug

        He’s being nice and apologizing for the lack of graciousness of the ‘8 out of 10’ Singapore citizens. And anyway, it takes time for society to accept things that they find ‘unreasonable’ or ‘weird’. Its not the players fault for winning the medal..I’m sure they might have had some thoughts about what if they were playing for their homeland, would they have done better? They see their fellow countryman representing their own homeland and doing so much better then themselves. I’m sure its not wrong to be nice to them since they are staying put to help us when there are better training grounds.

    • just another Singaporean

      Go take that head of yours and stuff it into a toilet. Anyone who feels the same as you do can do the same. He’s apologizing on the behalf on GRATEFUL Singaporeans…not ungrateful, obnoxious and arrogant snobs like you. So piss off you foresight-less pig.

      PS. I don’t know you so you can you don’t look like a pig but you sure behave like one haha!

      • singaporean

        Firstly, by phrasing your disagreements the way you did, you are one of those netizens who do not know how to properly control their anger as reflected in the way you reply to a comment that you don’t jive with. Please reconsider your phrasing in future comments.

        In your comment to ‘just another singaporean’, you said he was apologizing for the lack of graciousness of the 8 out of 10 singapore citizens. I am among those 8 and I do not feel that I lack any graciousness for me being part of that statistic. That’s a huge generalization which reflects a lack of thorough thought.

        Firstly, the poll was about whether singaporeans felt proud of the medal win by a foreign talent. Not about whether singaporeans were proud of the foreign talent. It’s important to understand the difference because your comment seems to indicate you think the poll shows 8/10 singaporeans being not proud of Feng Tian Wei when according to the title of the poll, it’s clearly not that way. I say this as a prelude to the next point.

        The olympics, or any other national sporting competition, in my opinion, is about competition between athletes that derived their skills and identity by being in a certain country. Hence, they represent that country.

        I feel that the larger part of FTW’s skills was developed in China, but honed to perfection here in Singapore since March 07. Because of this, I feel that the medal win is (at least) as much China’s as it is Singapore’s. Therefore, I concluded through the poll that I do not feel proud of the medal win. I will feel proud of a medal win when I know that the Singaporean has gained most of his skill in and because of Singapore. This has not been the case, in my opinion.

        I do not feel that my reasoning that led to me being one of the 8/10 has been ungracious in any way, but rather different to yours in what constitutes to ‘being proud of a medal win by a foreign talent’.

        By the way, I am extremely impressed by FTW’s skill. And I’m happy for her, in the same way I’m happy for any athlete that competed for any nation who won a medal.

        But here’s the important thing. Whose achievement is this? Whose individual’s bronze is this? Yes it’s the athlete’s medal because of his performance but equal (or at least a good dose of) glory is given to the represented country through that athlete because of all the work the country has put into that athlete. That’s what I’m uncomfortable with, and that’s when I’m not proud of Singapore claiming that glory.

        At this point of the 2012 Olympics, I still feel that maybe China deserves more credit than Singapore does for making FTW the champion that she is. I may be wrong because I’m no expert at the game and I haven’t analyzed her progress prior to and after March 07, but that’s the conclusion that I’m entitled to nonetheless.

    • hey dude

      hey dude, im not sure if you haven even thought about it and know why you are so unhappy and against this policy and whatnot. if you do, and have a better idea, why not tell us about it rather than blast someone down who is tryna be nice>?

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