“What is a controversial opinion you hold about Singapore? Many times people ask this question but get a lot of answers that aren’t actually controversial lol”
Judging others negatively.
Singaporeans judge others negatively that’s why we are all socially awkward. If someone tries to be nice to the boss, everyone will gossip behind that someone. If someone is too friendly with the opposite sex, everyone will get jealous. If someone is happy and jovial every morning, everyone will scratch head and give him/her a weird look.
Don’t want others to succeed
Controversial opinion: Singaporeans secretly don’t want others to succeed.
When one friend made it, the others friends are only superficially happy for that friend. They will secretly compare their lack of success to their friend and despise the successful one. Some will even sabo their successful friend and take joy in them tripping.
I do speak from life experience. So self-help books also advise against over-sharing of details with others, and I totally agree. The more people know about you, the more tools they have to trip you up. It is quite sad but true. I find that it is a byproduct of Singapore’s hyper-competitive society.
Act blur live longer
Singaporeans are the worst when it comes to speaking up in the public. I will use the chinese phrase “头低低“ (looking down, avoid eye contact) to describe us. It’s a bad culture that we give ourselves a lot of excuses: be “humble”, avoid confrontations, conflicts, shy, etc.
I see this a lot in schools where usually people don’t participate actively in class, when asked a question, majority will look away, LOOK DOWN DON’T CALL MY NAME. When I go overseas exchange programme, even the overseas lecturer knows this, they will always purposely call out Singaporeans to answer question.
In the public, we do the same. We see an issue right before our eyes, we won’t want to VOICE out and change the situation. A classic example is like when people don’t move in on public bus, we just PRETEND and hope that SOMEONE else will do the job of asking people to move in.
Worse still, with social media, it ENABLES this culture where people are VOCAL online but SILENT in real life. And you ask LOUDLY online who are the SILENT MAJORITY? lol. Just this past week on reddit singapore, there’s one post on a guy shaming another guy putting his shoes on the bus, another shaming his grab driver for driving 113km/h in the tunnel, one more here asking what should she do if someone sit beside her LITERALLY in a bus seat that’s meant for 1.5 person. NONE OF THEM SPOKE UP FOR THEMSELVES but instead, come here to ASK for help?
What happen is that there’s an increase proportion of our population losing their ability to COMMUNICATE their thoughts IN REAL LIFE – which is such an important social skill. We are famous for being a COMPLAINT nation since our parents era, but the online space actually makes this culture WORSE. Honestly I hate this culture. Whenever I see these INACTIONS before me, after I stood up to confront the matter before me, I will actually turn to those people who are MUTED and F**K them as well.
Please fellow Singaporeans, don’t pass this down to the next generation. If your son’s shoe laces come off, PLEASE F**king tie for him or TELL HIM, don’t post here or go post IG / FB / TIKTOK and LAMENT. (not real example, but I’m not surprised it really happen)
Already we can’t lift our heads (头低低）, social media push our heads even lower. The next generation of Singaporeans must do better. Engage in public discourses BOTH in real life and online. Speak up in your class, speak up against unjust things you see, IMPACT change WITH ACTIONS, then backed with WORDS.
Lack of social skills
Most Singaporeans have abysmal social skills.
Not saying I’m some kind of super-socially aware person. But living overseas for a few years opened my eyes to how inept Singaporeans are when it comes to basic social etiquette.
Things like introducing yourself and others when meeting new people. Not talking over others and interrupting. Being sensitive when it comes to touchy topics like religion, politics, beliefs, marriage.
Additionally, I’ve encountered so many people simply unable to carry a conversation. You have those who give one-word answers and put 0 effort into the conversation. It’s back-breaking to carry a conversation with these people.
Conversely, you also have people that will give you a jumble of word salad and expect you to eat it up whole. Talking for 10 minutes straight about a topic only you care about isn’t a conversation- it’s a lecture.
Sorry for the rant- I understand it’s a side effect of our culture where people generally keep to themselves. It’s just infuriating sometimes.