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Thank God I am a coward

I had an unpleasant incident yesterday. The day started off perfectly with my breakfast but something happened to me in afternoon that wasn’t that cool. I was deciding whether to post the incident in my good nature blog. I finally made the decision to do it because I am still a little bit childish I guess. I even took the time to write about the incident and email it to The Strait Times Singapore. I am quite certain that they will not publish it. At least I get to hone my writing skills. The incident does not change my perception about Singapore and I hope you guys will not generalize how most Singaporean behaves. Below is my email to the Strait Times Singapore.

My Email to Strait Times


I am a Malaysian Chinese who often spend my holidays in Singapore. I am a big supporter of Singapore and have always been fascinated with the growth of this tiny Island. Whenever I go abroad I would sometimes referred myself as Singaporean rather than Malaysian. For the record, my dad is born in Singapore but he chose to be a Malaysian when the two countries decided to part ways as he was working in Malaysia. My auntie and cousins are still Singapore citizens up till now.

While I am a big supporter of Singapore, some foreigners do have some complaint about the attitude of Singaporean towards migrant workers. I’ve always tried to defend the Singaporean and argued that is just some bad apples that are acting that way. However today I get to experience first hand while in Lucky Plaza.

We were all queuing up to withdraw some money from an ATM machine of POSB. Right opposite of the ATM machine is a remittance company. Initially I thought everybody was queuing up to send money and not for the ATM. I realized that the queue was for the ATM and quickly fall in line. After a few minutes, a Singapore guy did the same thing by not realizing that he was jumping queue. He was about 7 people in front of me and I pretended to ask the girl behind him if this is the line for ATM hopping to make him realize he was cutting the line. I sensed that he heard but pretended to not care as I caught him stealing a glance at me.

When the ATM was available, he casually walked to the ATM and made his withdrawal. He then proceeded to go to PNB and I am still waiting for my turn to withdraw my money. At that very moment I was deciding to let it slide or to confront him later. When it was my turn to withdraw money, I decided to satisfy my curiosity if the gentleman knew he cut the queue. This is Singapore and this couldn’t be happening as the gentleman appeared to be very cultured with his attire and I-phone.

So when I approached him in the bank, I just casually asked him if he knew he jumped cue. He answered no and wasn’t in an apologetic manner. I wasn’t expecting him to be apologetic  like most people do regardless first world or third world. I just said thank you and walked away as my curiosity was answered.

As I was walking out, he then said excuse me and I turned back. He then asked me this question, “If I were to tell you that I did it on purpose, what you are going to do about it?” I have to admit that the question threw me off. I was shocked and angry at the same time on how someone not being apologetic is able to ask such questions. I told him I can’t do anything if he were to answer me that way and I would most probably shake my head and walk away in disgust and mumble something to myself. I am no muscle head and never fought once in my life.

He then proceeded to ask me to “WAIT OUTSIDE” like to challenge me for a fight. I told him that I’m not going to fight him but if he insist that we must, I told him we fight over it at the police station. He then answered me we never involved police one with his Singlish. Then he told me that this is not Philippines and if in Singapore, one must be prepared to face the consequences if you confront somebody. I told him I am not from Philippines and that made me realize that what really ticked him was he couldn’t accept the idea of a migrant worker confronting him about his mistakes.

Finally the bank manager came to us and asked us to tone it down as we disturbing the customers of the bank. I immediately felt embarrassed for being selfish and did not care about the customers feeling at that time. I asked the Singapore gentleman if everything is cool now and he said yes. I just walked off but being human, I was really not satisfied with the outcome.

I really wanted to go back to the bank and asked him if I can see what are the consequences of confronting someone who did something wrong in Singapore. My intention was really to keep taunting him and asked him to go police station with me to show off his manly side. I would either succeed in humiliating him as I don’t think he will go to the police station with me or scenario number 2 would be he will give me a sucker punch out of agitation. I was hoping he would do the later as they are so many witnesses around. I’ll just take one for the team, in this case is team Philippines.

P/S : I hope with some good editing, this email can find it place somewhere in any media. I sincerely believe it is a good read and comical at the same time. If not, it served the purposed of venting out my anger and disgust.

Warmest regards,

Alex Goh

( Still have high regards of Singapore )

There you go guys, that was what happened to me. For those of you who are curious why I chose that title that I thanked God for being a coward. I would have landed myself in trouble with the authorities if I weren’t one. Let’s just say the Singapore dude got a face that is really inviting to give him “ONE TIGHT SLAP”.

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Posted by on September 1, 2010. Filed under Chit Chat. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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