I took offense at a comment again..

I’m offended by a comment posted on this post about appreciating Singapore. The commenter came and criticize me to urge me to read BBC and what not to get more “world view”.

Well, its not that I do not like criticisms. I do in fact welcome criticisms as long as you can show me that you have a valid point to make. I do not appreciate people telling me what to read, as if I am a utterly ignorant frog in the well, whilst not contributing anything factual to the discussion.

The comment in question?

Someone sent me this link to read. Suffice it to say that when I read your praises for Xiaxue, I knew what to expect. Pls go read onlinecitizen, NYT and BBC to have a more open world view. My 80+ yr old mother used to be a loyal PAP supporter. She voted the opposition in the last election and expressed her happiness that at least one of her children emigrated. She wished more could do so. She’s seen how badly the gahmen has treated her citizens in the last few years. Enough said , go widen your world view first….All the best!

I don’t see how much the commenter has a wider world view than me. In fact, he has not told me which parts of my post showed that I am a frog in the well.

He has made some generalizations, of which I feel that it is my duty to convey my own opinion.

I feel that I should not be flamed as a xiaxue supporter. Just because I am a reader of her blog does not mean that I am ignorant and lack world view. I don’t see how my praise for Xiaxue makes people “know what to expect”. My post is about my feelings that we should appreciate Singapore and make it a better place instead of whining and whining. Ironically, thats what the commenter seemed to be doing. The exact thing I posted that people should not do.

Has the poster helped in the discussion? Not really. So what exactly is the bad things that the government is doing to its people? Not mentioned. All he mentioned is about his 80 year old mother who wished that more people could emigrate. I’m not saying his mother’s opinion is wrong. His mum has his own opinion and I have mine. They are just different. They do not mean she is right and I am wrong. Older people are not necessarily right.

“onlinecitizen, NYT and BBC” are worthy reads? I do not doubt them but I do not fully believe that they carry absolute accuracy either. Why should I listen to foreigners when I am staying here? If the issue in contention is about the British situation or the current Myanmar situation, then i believe I should read widely in those publications to gain more insight. However, this issue is about me saying that people should stop whining. Will I change my opinion if I read BBC? No. I am a loyal citizen of this country no matter who the government is.

Besides, please stop linking Singapore = PAP. It is not the same. When I blog about my love for Singapore, its Singapore the country and not the party. Whilst I do not have problems with the current administration, it has absolutely nothing to do with my blog post.

I want to make it known that my reading Xiaxue has nothing to do with the quality of my posts. I support Xiaxue for certain blog posts and I do not support her blindly. I do see the facts and I can see for myself that she is right in some aspects. If you do not like her, so be it. But do not demean me just because I am a supporter.

Stop generalizing me. I’m not truly ignorant.

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14 thoughts on “I took offense at a comment again..

  1. Well you are not seeing the point here. The point is I want to have healthy discussions, this means I can’t turn comments off.

    Yet, I want to address certain issues in the comment, thus I can’t wipe and move on can I?

  2. You are also missing my point. If you felt the comment is offensive, at that point of time, you can wipe that comment and ignore that moron, or you can turn off the comments. In simpler words, when you take offense, how is that even healthy anymore?!

  3. Well Anonymous, I understand what you mean, but my point is that I cannot turn comments off because I hope to encourage healthy discussion. I’m not encouraging criticism without valid points.

    Thus whether I take offense or not, it has nothing to do with my stand on healthy discussion.

    I do wipe comments, for your info, but as in my reply above, I wanted to address some issues in that comment, thus I did not delete it. I left it there as a proof.

  4. Hi km80,

    yes I agree everyone is free to write and comment, but I just thought that sometimes we should have certain responsibilities when we comment on other people’s blog.

    In my opinion, I feel that when I comment, I should be polite and not belittle the writer’s views. If I have a differing stand, I will offer my point of view to the writer and explain why I think in that way. I think that is healthy discussion.

    I agree that I could have ignored the comment, but I felt that I should blog about it because of certain unfair elements in the comment that I thought everyone should avoid making when commenting, that is the reason why I did not ignore the comments.

    I do ignore certain comments though, when the comments doesn’t seem to be dealing with the subject matter at hand.

    Thanks for commenting!

  5. The comment was not meant to be offensive. It is a sincere wish that you read more widely than just xiaxue’s blogs. What you wrote is also offensive to people who have emigrated from Singapore. You wrote “I don’t think we want to keep people who have such low loyalty to their birth country. In fact, please keep in mind that it is Singapore that groomed you and you are brought up using the Singapore education system. People want to come her to receive an education because we have a certain standard. Now be glad and stop whining.” My 80+ yr old mother rightly noted that the Chinese in S’pore are descendants of “quitters” (i take offence with that word but using your terminology) from China seeking a better life for their future generations.If I may suggest , go and read Mr Brown’s latest on “Who is a Singaporean” and the linked article to littlespeck or Seah Chiang Nee’s post. If you cannot take a constructive criticism, I suggest you should also not comment on “people who don’t like Singapore by blaming the government”. You and Xiaxue make the fallacy of equating people who leave as having no love for S’pore; as opposed to no love for the powers that be. Have you done any indepth investigation on the Marxist Conspiracy , Tang Liang Hong , Chia Thye Poh etc? How do you conclude that the government is all that good ? Go read “to catch a tartar” by Francis Seow to see the other view. Not saying he’s totally right either. Just saying that you need a more balanced world view n not blindly heap praises on the gahmen or worse , Xiaxue ! No offence meant to you and none will be taken from you. Just that different people have different world views. You have the right to say what you want in your blog ; allow people to differ in their views and comment accordingly. If not , do what Xiaxue does and just leave praises and delete criticisms ; or better still disable comments. Sincerely wishing you the best as you consider views from the other side as well – ie blogs like Mr Brown , Onlinecitizen, littlespeck, Molly Meek , Diary of a Singapore Mind and not just xiaxue. Keep your mind open. You are still young and the world is your oyster!

  6. Well Stayer, well put and its a whole chunk of text, pasted twice in two different posts. I deleted one, since its a repetition, I hope you do not mind. I must say, you have the opinion of me just reading xiaxue’s blog. I merely saw her post, felt that I have a certain feeling towards that post, and linked it. If I saw someone’s blog and liked what I see I will link it too. However, that certainly does not mean that I only read so and so’s blog, and don’t read things from other sources. I do hope that you can see that it is unfair to me by simply labelling me as a xiaxue reader and generalizing it as unwidely read.

    Stayer, I do not know if what I wrote was offensive to people who have emigrated from Singapore, but the basis of my post was that how much do you feel yourself as a Singaporean? If, you are more than willing to change your citizenship, then why would you be bothered with what Singapore does? Then why would you feel hurt when people say you have low loyalty? Unless you are forced to change your citizenship, then I can accept that. But to freely change your citizenship by saying that other places are better than Singapore, that I cannot accept, and that is my basis of the post I made.

    I do not see how offensive it can be to people to have left and do not care about Singapore. If they do not care, certainly they would not care about another Singaporean writing about them. Besides, I am targetting those people who chose to leave with a one-sided view of other places are better, and not comparing the pros and cons. This is a much narrower population than what you are talking about.

    Stayer, you can take offence with the word quitter for all I care, but it is certainly not invented by me, since I guess you should be more widely read than me. But given my context, what term would you give then? I just feel that people who leave with a biased view should be labelled as quitters. Shouldn’t they?

    I know that in the past China citizens flock to Singapore and they created Singapore, but that is not the main bulk of my argument and post.

    Once again, Stayer, you deliberately link me and Xiaxue together, knowing full well that I do not like that since I am myself and she is her. I guess she would not want to be linked with me either, so I hope you can respect my feelings by stopping this comparison.

    Stayer, I have to say again that I am not talking about the good in the government. In fact, what I meant was we should stop blaming everything that is happening. You do agree with me that some of us are especially whiny and talk as if they could formulate better policies,and that they want to leave Singapore because of the policies? An example would be I would like to leave because of the taxes, but they have not stopped to think that Singapore is not the place with the highest taxes.

    Besides,I do not blindly heap praises of the government, and please use the proper term please,Mr Widely read. Gahmen is a slang. In fact,I have my fair share of dislike for certain aspects of our government, for example,the recent anuity scheme. I am not a supporter of that scheme, but I did not comment because I have not read much about it.

    I would like to remind you that I am praising Xiaxue for certain aspects. Please do not bring your personal feelings towards Xiaxue on to me. People who like to read her blog need not suffer your wrath because of your hatred towards Xiaxue. In fact, I like to read her posts because of her straightforwardness, regardless of whether she is right or wrong. SHe may be wrong, but I am not so blind as to accept what she says without thinking. Please do make that clear.

    It would seem to me that you just love to equate me and Xiaxue, further proving to me that you are just a biased man. I would like to take the chance to invite you to reread my post about appreciating Singapore, because you made the following errors or misunderstandings:

    1) That I write to praise Xiaxue and my blog exists to glorify her post.
    2) That I am a blind government supporter when all I said was I feel that our government is good enough.
    3) You also misunderstood the people I am talking about.I am not talking about emigrants as a whole.

    If you re-read and feel that I am biased and lack of world view, do email me or leave a comment. My email is ignorantsoup[at]gmail.com. I do like to hear what exactly about my post that you think lacks world view. I would prefer that you can quote me specific parts of my post which glorifies the government or insult those who emigrate. If you would so gladly do that for me, I would be deeply appreciative of your efforts. However, I do feel that you will find none in that post to strongly support your stand.

    Yours,
    Ignorantsoup

    P.S. If you would, kindly please not fake an email address to scold me. That isn’t very gentlemanly.

  7. As I said , I meant no offense and I take no offense. Go and read the blogs I recommended. All of them are written by Singaporeans , even onlinecitizen. Again you maintain the same stance as Xiaxue – that people who left SG have no love for the nation. It’s just a place on a map; it’s the people you leave behind that matter. PAP welcomes foreign talent but calls its people who are foreign talents to other nations “Quitters”. Not all S’poreans who emigrated have changed citizenship. They may have left for a better quality of life for their special needs children . They may have left cos they feel suffocated by the lack of freedom in SG (freedom to vote without being “bribed” with estate upgrades , freedom to jog / cycle even if they are not young PAP) , or the hypocrisy of a government that rewards itself with million dollar salaries while saying that the old/ poor of the nation need only $290 a month !! Many reasons for people who leave ; but they don’t owe you a reason for leaving. Ask Goh Chok Tong why his daughter and her husband are in the UK and not SG. Is his own daughter not a quitter then? And if his daughter has a son in the UK , will she let him give up 2 yrs on NS in SG while his peers are moving on to university in the UK? Why accept quitters from Malaysia as ministers in the PAP cabinet ? Why pay thousands of $$ for english tuition for foreign students in SG ?(read Mr Wang’s blog for details). You praise Xiaxue in one post and now want to dissociate yourself from her in this post. Make up your mind ! You can’t use her post as a backup for your comments on how great Singapore is / how bad emigrants are ; and turn around now and try to dissociate yourself from her. Anyway , no point going on abt this. All I am saying is that if you are prepared to post comments criticising others , be prepared for comments that criticise your views. Like Mr Brown does – he writes and he allows admirers and detractors to write what they want. That’s why he’s well respected in the blogging community. Perhaps when you have children or older relatives who are suffering from the policies of the PAP gahmen , you will see things differently. But if you don’t , good for you. Just don’t generalise abt people not loving Singapore when they don’t agree with the powers that be. I wouldn’t have bothered to post if I was not sincere in wishing you a wider world view. And I don’t understand your comment that I “scolded” you. If you are offended with comments that disagree with your views , I suggest you not blog or better still disable comments. I sincerely wish you all the best as you discover more of how PAP has been treating its citizens over the years. I can sense your sincerity in wanting the best for S’pore and good on you for that! At least you are no Wee Shu Min ; lol ! Anyway , don’t be offended with what I wrote cos I meant no offence. Let’s agree to differ and move on from here. I am still Singaporean and am a stayer – just staying elsewhere to enjoy the freedom and avoid the frustration of PAP govt policies. I will return when the govt stops being high handed and paternalistic …when it does not threaten its citizens that without them, the women in SG will be maids elsewhere. They give themselves too much credit for what people like my parents did for our generation….yes the PAP would not have been successful if not for the support of citizens who are now in their 70s / 80s who can now afford to die , but not to be sick… shame on the PAP for that. Another suggested read for you – Singapore Surf. Go check out these blogs and I trust with an open mind , you will see both sides of the argument and agree to differ. Cheers !

  8. As the father of teenage children, I am in a conundrum. Do I teach my sons about social justice or do i encourage him to believe in the Singapore story set out by our ministers-

    That we are all rich, 1st world countries, high employment rate, etc, or that our ministers are paid millions but bemoan a $290 monthly allowance for the poorest Singaporeans.

    Do I teach them to respect the honest fight put up by the Burmese monks, or do I teach them to stay indoors, like our NUS students, or risk being put into jail like Chee Soon Juan – and that the military junta is the role model for Singapore – clamp out the opposition, fix them, fix the citizens with a good dose of bonus drawn from GIC / Temasek holdings, fix the electoral boundaries.

    Do I teach my sons that we have justice in Singapore, or do I highlight to them that a bunch of Caucasians dressed in Red can protest along the streets in Singapore, but not a bunch of Singaporeans along Orchard Road.

    Do I teach them to consider the plight of migrant workers in Singapore like Indonesian and Philippino maids and talk about social justice, and would he be branded as Conspirators with a Marxist leaning?

    And would the stayer staying elsewhere be considered a quitter, unless she is Goh Chok Tong’s daughter,

    And do we continue to absorb Malaysians quitters into our cabinet, promoting means testing so that lesser or our government’s money is spent on the health of true born and bred Singaporeans. While he is accumulating pension off our Singaporean taxes.

    This is a strange country. But I remain a true, quiet Singaporean, staying indoors, behind my PC.

  9. Family Man: I share your sentiments. And I’ll like to share this:

    Quitter and Stayer. Heartlander and Cosmopolitan. Nothing has done more to rip apart (撕裂) or divide Singaporeans than the use of these terms.

    It’s the old divide and conquer strategy. I have stopped listening to what Goh has to say after he did that in 2 National Day rally. Instead of unifying the people,

  10. Stayer, I do wish to settle this peacefully so I am going to reiterate my points.

    Since you do not see my post as offensive then I will not see yours as offensive.

    I do agree on your views in the latest comments, but I hope to make it known that the whole saga is a misunderstanding on my intention to post.

    I quoted Xiaxue because I read her post and got inspired to blog about it. Nothing much. It cannot be that I am attacked for being shallow simply because I said I read it from her blog. If I posted the same post, but I quoted Mr Brown, it does not mean I am more knowledgable too isn’t it?

    My point is that I hope I do not get attacked for this Xiaxue thing because its not about her entirely.

    My point about emigrants is not emigrants as whole. I’ve said this countless times but you do not get what I said. I told you that my feelings are towards those that blindly compare, not those who emigrate because of their own special needs. As I said the targeted topic is very specific, and I hope we can talk about such people instead of talking about emigrants in general.

    I do hope that you all can understand that I am not pro government, so stop thinking that I am pro government. I am not anti government either. But I do not wish to indulge into government talk. This is because as you said, I do not have enough information to talk about this.

    I know what you mean, and I hope you can see my point too. In fact I am starting to regret writing the post when all I wanted to do was feel patriotic about myself. Its supposed to be a post about my feelings, but it turned out to include government stuff and other what nots that I am too tired to debate on.

    Thanks for recommending the above sites to me, I will definitely check them out and read more widely. However, I hope it is the last time this Xiaxue thing comes out. This is because I absolutely do not see why I have to be stereotyped because of her. It is not a good feeling.

  11. Quoting xiasuay usually evoke a negative impression among some bloggers. I don’t even bother to read her because her views might be outrageous and loud but it is not like they are new, insightful or even refreshing.

  12. Dear Ignorantsoup,

    He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool. Avoid him.

    He who knows but knows not that he knows is asleep. Wake him.

    He who knows not but knows that he knows not is ignorant. Teach him.

    He who knows and knows that he knows is wise. Follow him.

    You have made yourself understood. Please make yourself feel good again. We live, we learn. I respect your humility and please keep blogging.

    Peace be with you.

    Thank you.

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