Dec 14, 2006
'Hua Yu cool'? No, boorish Mandarin-speaking youths spoil the image
I can attest that Mr Peter Donkin's observations of young Singaporeans are true.
I have many negative opinions of young Singaporeans too, despite being a youth myself.
My observations of inconsiderate behaviour among young Singaporeans almost always involve the Mandarin-speakers.
While not implying that all Mandarin-speaking youths are rotten (nor are all English-speaking youth angels), an overwhelmingly large group of offenders are observed to be from this group.
This seems to stem from the Chinese school of thought which advocates 'If I don't take, I lose out' and 'If others can do it, so can I, otherwise I lose out', among other factors.
Before anyone takes offence at my discrimination, go on a MRT ride across the island first, and my theory will come to life.
On a train ride from Jurong East to City Hall last month, I saw three groups of Mandarin-speaking youths huddled with their handphones playing Chinese songs at full blast.
The three groups were in the same cabin. It was terrible. One couple left the cabin for another because they couldn't take the racket.
Many people glared at the youths. A girl from one of the groups declared in Mandarin and English 'Wa, wo men hen attract attention leh!', which translates to 'Wow, we are attracting a lot of attention!'.
Was she thinking that people saw her group as 'cool' just because her handphone played MP3 music and they were the latest Mandopop hits? I was outraged at the inconsiderate behavior.
The Mandarin-speaking Singaporean youths also seem to ignore rules that make the world an orderly place. For example, they ignore repeated reminders to keep to the left on escalators. They also ignore the markings that serve to allow passengers on trains to alight first.
A Malaysian classmate who recently visited Thailand spoke of how gracious the people there were, and their good etiquette on the train.
Step into a shop and you will notice that the Mandarin-speakers are rude to service staff and they never say 'please' or 'thank you'.
Based on their interactions with my peers, they take offence easily,
yet they have no qualms about being sarcastic and rude to foreign teachers.
Many young litterbugs are also Mandarin-speaking youths.
When I visited Melbourne some months back, I was greatly impressed at the clean streets. I saw everyone putting their litter into bins, and there were no cleaners around.
While many Mandarin-speaking youths are nice on a personal level, their mentality can manifest the antisocial behaviour that I have mentioned.
My friends and I belong to the minority English-speaking group and we are ashamed to speak in Mandarin in public. No, we are not elites, just normal teenagers.
Unless the association of bad behaviour with Mandarin-speaking youths can be negated, 'Hua Yu Cool' isn't going to work on us anytime soon.
Gosh another clown!
Personally I am quite surprised that The Straits Time published this letter. I wonder if the letter will be published if the writer is commenting on English speaking youths or other races.
Ang Lixing’s view of society is so so stereotypical.
There are ALWAYS rude, inconsiderate idiots from ALL race, religion, education background and nationalities.
Lixing, you just proved to Singapore that you are one of them.
Also Lixing commented how clean and beautiful Melbourne is. So does this mean English speaking countries is better off then Mandarin speaking countries?
I was in Melbourne before too and there are streets that are clean and there are streets that are dirty. Perhaps Lixing was walking behind a street cleaner while she was in Melbourne.
With China's expected dominance in the next decade and with the European countries' economies slowing down, it would be ironic that Lixing finds it a shame to speak Mandarin and choose instead to speak in English. Doesnt she keep herself updated on what is happening to the world now? You may just end up working for a chinese boss when you start working and that will be the real irony.
If she think she belong to the minority youth who speaks English and is embarassed by the so-called chinese speaking youths, then by all means migrate overseas. I am sure her departure will not be a loss to the nation.
And may I add that I do come across irritating English speaking youths who added an american accent in their conversation which is so fake and I swore they had their education in Singapore. Who is she to comment that Chinese speaking youths are boorish, rude and all the negative comments. I do seriously think that Lixing needs to see a counseller over her obsure opinions.
I am expecting a public outrage on this matter…. Time to sit back and enjoy another WSM saga unfolding… hehe…