August 6, 2008

#27 Hating Singapore

Malaysia has a longstanding relationship filled with grudging tolerance and mutual animosity for its neighbouring country, Singapore. For the uninitiated, Singapore used to be a part of Malaysia a very long time ago. Some people still think they should be. But these are the same people who think divorce by SMS is perfectly legitimate.

But I digress. To help you understand, here’s an analogy: the relationship Malaysia and Singapore have is much like the relationship between the United States and Canada. Both countries are virtually the same save for one or two distinguishing factors and that they hate each other with a vengeance. If you guessed which country Malaysia is in that comparison, give yourself a pat on the back.

Malaysian people hate Singapore for various reasons. One of them is that Singaporeans are fond of claiming that they are superior to Malaysia as a country. Their basis for this postulation is their efficient public transport, totalitarian government, stringent pursuit of education and superior exchange rate. Some of these are things that Malaysians could debate but it would cause more bad than good through comparison. The usual retort of a Malaysian person is “Your country is a pirated version of ours”.

Malaysians will support the fact that they are better by stating the Malaysian origins of the hawker food which Singapore falsely acknowledges as theirs, a country much larger and richer with natural resources and the absence of laws on chewing gum. That’s it really. Of course, one could make the argument that a Malaysian may be kiasu but would never stoop to the depths that a Singaporean will. This age old question of who is more kiasu will one day be answered when both countries organize a free food eating competition to the death.

However there are a significant number of Malaysians who are constantly caught in this crossfire. They are the Malaysians plying their trade in Singapore and more often than not, are Permanent Residents. These Malaysians feel an obvious loyalty to their country of origin but are equally compelled to serve their own cause. If you should ever question the loyalty of a Malaysian living in Singapore, be prepared for a long, drawn out answer which they have prepared and perfected over time to deal with irritants like you.

This conflicted Malaysian will state that they are actually doing Malaysia a service. Although they may work in Singapore, they spend all of their hard earned money in Malaysia whenever possible. Because the exchange rate is 2:1, they are able to contribute more to the economy than the average Malaysian can. While doing this, they are also plundering Singapore’s resources and using up what natural energy that they have on a long term basis. So you see, the Malaysian living in Singapore is actually performing a national duty that is most ingenious but requires a great amount of personal sacrifice. Naturally this is something you must acknowledge.

Take this Malaysian aside and say to them “Hey, thanks. Sincerely, Malaysia”. Then grin and give them two thumbs up. This Malaysian will then return to Singapore with a smile on their face that stretches further than a Singaporean’s waistband after a buffet meal.


Anonymous said...

Hahahaha, come to think about it, those Malaysians ARE doing their national duty.

*Salutes them Malaysians*

katie said...

The thing is, of all the Malaysians living in Singapore as PRs that I've met, none of them are proud to acknowledge that they are Malaysian! Often they protest against being called Malaysians, and say that they've lived in Singapore their entire life blah blah blah.

No national pride? Haha.

Ashleigh said...

I love your satirical posts!! I've a suggestion, the Malaysian love (or the rarer one, hate) affair with durians! I see 'em EVERYWHERE!! =)

B.H. said...

K. Law- We sure are proud of them. Fly that flag high.

Katie- That's a travesty and bordering on treason. We should have them stripped of their citizenship.

Ashleigh- Thanks Ashleigh. Duly noted. Thorny issue though.


s kim said...

i spent my childhood in singapore but about half of my life in malaysia.

and now you understand the personal conflict i experience everyday.

i also hate answering questions about "where i am from" and "why i don't speak B.M even though i am malaysian".

B.H. said...


Perhaps the conflict you face is the one within, not without.

If your conscience is clear, no question of character can shake you.

It is what you do that defines you, not who you are.


Agagooga said...

You should've posted this on August 9th :P

Darth Sidious said...

Chewing gum isn't illegal in Singapore anymore.

Singapore +1.

Singapore Boleh!

B.H. said...

Agagooga- I forgot about your National Day. Remind me the next time.

Sidious- Thanks for the info.

Absence of ban on gum = +1

Presence of gum disposal laws = -1


Anonymous said...

That's ok, I'm a Singaporean myself and I have an active dislike for the people here.

Anonymous said...

Please dun post such a topic if you don't know about Singapore. It only shows that you're ignorant. And please don't compare Singapore with Malaysia. Don't need to compare. Cos Malaysia are way behind Singapore.

Agagooga said...

I see it's not only Malaysians who have no sense of humour =D

B.H. said...

Anonymous 2,

It is ironic that you would use the term "ignorant" considering the statement you made reeks of stupidity. If you are not capable of proper English and rational thought, I hope you will refrain from tainting my comments page in future.

By the way, if you have an issue with this post, ask who allowed it to be published in the first place. At least they have a sense of humor.


Anonymous said...

Wha what a big reaction. Its the first time someone comment that i'm "not capable of proper English". Its also the first time I see a Malaysian assuming that they have better English than Singaporeans. Well, if you can't accept open comments, then don't allow comments to be posted by public. I guess the only stupidity I have is to waste time and read such lame blog. And I even posted comments? What am I doing....haha...

† Misère Noire † said...

though i'm a singaporean and i find this a really amusing post (kudos to the author), then i thought, why not post some of the random thoughts i have in my head of why im thankful to be a singaporean instead? =D

1: It ain't illegal to chew gum, quit harping on that =)

2: We have a totalitarian government (somewhat), you have a politician who got screwed having screw some guy in the ass

3. The successor of your previous PM stabbed him in the nuts and the two are now caught in a petty squabble for a 20 year old infant industry that never lacked government support

4.You have ABUNDANT natural resources (gas and such)blahblah, we have nth and yet our economy pwn yours?

5.When you flood, you blame our reclamation projects (despite the UN report saying otherwise), shouldn't you blame yourselves for not selling us water? See, now you have enough to flood in =)

6. If the "pirated version" is superior to the "original", it goes to show how much we improved from your heap of mud

7. M'sians are undecisive, when we spend our $ on your place, we jack your prices (seasonal), you complain. When we stopped going, you lose jobs, then you complain again, wtf you want us to do?


Anonymous said...

I was the anonymous who commented at August 10, 2008 10:40 PM. To further clarify, when I talk about "the people here", I mean my fellow Singaporeans.

B.H. said...

Anonymmous 2- I need not assume. It is a fact, my English is far superior to yours regardless of my nationality.

The reason your comments are here is to exemplify bigotry in the purest sense.

Misere Noire- Thank you for the history lesson. It would bring me great pleasure to debate you but there are only so many hours in the day.

Thank you for reading, and leaving your opinion. Despite our differences I am appreciative that you managed to find humor in the post as it was intended.

Anonymous 10.40pm- Your candor is refreshing.

I suspect your two compatriots above will be aghast and require you to undergo mental realignment.


Anonymous said...

Your country has potential. Lots of potential.

The only problem is that Malaysia is currently not as fully developed as Singapore (it's easy to modernize a small country compared to a large one).

One day your country will overtake ours. Although it begs the question of "when".

We have a hardworking population, driven by greed for money and success (the definition of success in Singapore => lots of money).

Compared to us, the people in your country take things easier. That's not a bad thing, and obsessively chasing after money is not a good thing either.

That's why we're able to get to this point. And that's why we have to continue to run fast. It's a vicious cycle.

Malaysians, on the other hand, have a choice. Will they rather be Singaporeans (running on a treadmill and getting nowhere) or will they continue to live life the way they used to?

It'll be a trade-off. That's how life is.

Anonymous said...

I am a Singaporean, but I like what you wrote - it IS funny. I was aghast by some of the stuff that Singaporeans post here in the comments portion. No two neighbouring countries in the world love each other - it's a fact and we're no exception. I think we Singaporeans and Malaysians should look at our love-hate relationship with a greater sense of humour - we have so much to learn from each other.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear.

Completely agree with Anonymous except the part about hate. I seiously doubt Malaysians and Singaporeans hate each other. Its more like that irritating cousin you rather meet only once a year but unfortunately is in your face all the time.

I'm a Singaporean who have spent most parts of my life overseas. And I'm sad to say, in general, we are an ungracious lot. Unless of course the press or media is watching. Of course there are also nice normal ppl around, but these days its becoming a dying breed.

The ultra defensive riposte some of my fellow spores posted just goes to show how poor a sense of humour some ppl have. Come on ppl, lighten up!

B.H. said...

Anonymous 12:25, 12:33 & 3:13-

Thank you for being the voice of reason that balances out the negative vibes some of your countrymen put out.

Your rationale and appreciation of the blog's subtle humor speaks volumes of your character.

I hope you guys will start a "Stuff Singaporean People Like" blog. Perhaps by exploring our humorous idiosyncracies we can find some common ground to build on.


numbernine said...

"Of course, one could make the argument that a Malaysian may be kiasu but would never stoop to the depths that a Singaporean will."

That may be true, but just as Malaysians will never beat Singaporeans, when it comes to PRCs, we are like the sorcerer's apprentice meeting the sorcerer. We are suddenly reminded that kiasuism was invented by mainland Chinese immigrants like our forefathers.

Anonymous said...

You know what, Singaporeans can't even sing their own national anthem. What a shame.

B.H. said...

NumberNine- I know, it's in our Chinese blood. Scarcity brings out the kiasu in us regardless of nationality.

Anonymous 9.32pm- Majulah Singapura-pura.


Charmaine said...

I am half Malaysian, half Singaporean.

In recent years living in Australia.

How exactly do I react to this article, lol.

starwish said...

Charmaine, you can meditate on this.

denominator said...

man i think if i live in malaysia ill commit suicide.... last time i went there some ass pushed me in a crowd but was screaming dont push.... wth!!

Agagooga said...

My advice is not to go to China or other Third World countries then

Anonymous m'sian/half sporean said...

This entry is interesting....

my two cents worth...

Malaysia should learn from Singapore how to run a system in a better way

on the other hand

Singapore should not forget THAT SHE WAS FROM "TANAH MELAYU" Heard about "DON'T FORGET YOUR ROOTS/ANCESTORS???

Anonymous said...


Great advice. You're not welcome to come to China anyway.

xiao yee said...

MAlaysia,malaysians are liars but not all(thats what my malaysia friends told me)!
they tell lies and bullies!
So,i don't believe malaysian's history or views.

Anonymous said...

at one point, as a malaysian, i totally understand y majority singaporean are kiasu as they all live in a tiny, crowded, packed environment (u cant even find where it located on world map) and kiasunism is the way to survive in there. Thats why this small country that size smaller than Selangor state easy to be controlled perfectly. As in Taiwanese scared of Chinese, South Korean scared of North Korean, Singapore has to force their ppl to join military and they are surrounding by Malaysia,as well as Indonesia.

What's wrong with more kiasu and more selfish, who on earth know what will happen to this luxury tiny country if we, allied muslim countries declared war on them?

We might have bad political issue and we lost our natural resources soon, but we still have the most precious natural resources in the world that Singapore will never had in their life...which is land.

devan said...

this particular issue has been the topic of many arguments and conversations. singapore maybe more advanced in many ways (or so they claim), but here are my reasons for hating singapore...

1) if you buy a drink and say no ice please, they charge you 20 cents extra. It's not the money, its the principle of it.

2) the food is shit. and i mean this from the bottom of my heart. the prata is rubbish and even the fine dining is crap.

3) i love to drive. it's fun, and relaxing espeacially at night. every malaysian has pushed their cars to the max at least once in their lifetime. you can't do that in singapore. even crossing a double line can yield a hefty fine.

4) our education system may have its flaws but at least malaysian kids don't jump off buildings because they got a 'b'.(i don't mean to offend anyone here, but kids in singapore are just under too much pressure)

theres more but its late and im tired.

singaporeans may argue that malaysia has so many flaws but that the great thing about malaysia and malaysians. we have flaws and we admit it. we aren't exactly proud of most it but we can live with it. its okay to make mistakes in malaysia. you just pick up the pieces and move on.

on a final note, i would like to quote a journalist who once visited singapore...' singapore is not a real city. its more like disneyland with the death penalty.' truer words were never spoken.

B.H. said...


I would opine that Singapore is becoming more of an Orwellian dystopia.

Thank you for your comment and rationale.


Anonymous said...

#1) The first difference you could already measure is when you enter the immigration from Spore to Msia.

Spore - Airconditioned, organized, clean, custom officers concentrating doing proper jobs.

Msia - Fan not functioning, dusty, walls not painted, custom officers looking at hps, talking to female staff, not organized.

#2) Education
One is World-Class Education
The other is just starting to learn subjects in English few years back.
Also refer to: World Universities Ranking

#3) Peace & Harmony
How often a Malaysian gets robbed and killed in Spore? In spore, you can walk safely most of the time even after 12midnight. In Msia? You wanna get rob is it?

Malaysian rob, rape, kill Singaporeans in JB. Why? Maybe they need money, nothing better to do? Corrupted?

#4) Others
Look at most of the flats in Singapore.
Look at most of the flats in Malaysia? Flat in Larkin, not enough money to paint is it?
If you said Msians leave in landed properties, their landed properties prices is of the same price as Spores cheapest flat. Msians condominiums looks like spores HDB flat.
Thier most proud Twin towers looks like Spores condominium.

In recent news, refer here-
Malaysia ranked dirtiest country.

and the list goes on....

Anonymous said...

Oops. And one more thing! The hospitals!
My cousin, a Malaysian, went to Hospital Pakar Puteri, because she had a bad pain in the stomach. What the doctor in Pakar Puteri said, it was appendicites and had to be remove. Her father not satisfied with the result and decided to transfer to Singapore General Hospital for to confirm this. And guess what the doctor in SGH confirms? Its food poisoning only. She was discharged the very next day. Wow! That was lucky man, she did not LISTEN to the doctor in Pakar Puteri. or the hospital can get sued! Wakey Wakey doctors there....

Anonymous said...

I would want to ask the dumbass who said that if the malay community ally together and can defeat Singapore? Come on, don't doubt this small tiny country, they pack a punch as their millitary is WAY stronger than Malaysia. Not to be offensive, but stop picking on Singapore.

summerr said...

Dear B.H.
It is so refreshing to see a good satirical sense of humour like yours whilst rummaging through the never ending rants of 'victims' or 'complaint' postings, especially on a topic as volatile as this.

I for one appreciate your good humour because to be honest thats the only way to survive in my world - you see, like many others, i'm caught in between. I'm Malaysian, loyal as hell, married to a just as patriotic Singaporean.

If we didnt have a sense of humour about either one of our tanahairs, we'd have been divorced years ago.

Now we are trying to impart the same humour to our kids - we have two. And sooner or later, they'll be pressured to choose a side.

I say, why the need to choose? Mummy can be Malaysian and Daddy can be Singaporean and you can be who you want to be. Just learn to love both sides for the good stuff, and stuff the bad stuff.

Why can't we all just get along ;), albeit with a little healthy competition.


ps. Saying all that however, I would never give up my Malaysianness ahhaha...our Char Kway Teow beats theirs hands down!

Love said...

sg and my are pretty much the same genetically. so someday when malaysia gets to where singapore is, which is a matter of time, you all will also be labeled kiasu, ungracious, etc different. by the way many of my friends migrated here from malaysia. my wife too was a malaysian. so if you dont mind the crampness, life is good. we welcome you here.

fair play said...

many of you posting here have pointed out different characteristics of malaysian vs singapore. i would like to point out what i think are the root causes for these differences which i believe i am quite qualified to do so as i have worked in both malaysia and singapore.

the main reason why malaysia is sliding backward economically is because of corruption and racism. furthermore the 30% chinese population of malaysia have to carry the 60@ malay population on their backs in the economic sense. u can't run real fast to catch up to other countries with something that heavy on your back u know

singaporeans are singaporeans because they are stuck in their cramped little island like hamsters in a cage. the difference is that hamsters get fed regularly. but in singapore u don't work u don't eat.

singaporeans and malaysians could have balanced out each other if singapore was not kicked out of malaysia years ago. in which case i would bet that today malaysia with singapore would have been a country to rival korea and japan. but that would have been at the expense of creating a large malay underclass.

as to whether i am singaporean or malaysian i leave it to you guys to ponder.

thecuriousmind said...

Very true. I would be offended if a someone (a foreigner) asks me: are you from Singapore?

But if they ask me: are you from indonesia? I am less offended.

I am not the only person who feels that way; funny, I know.

Anonymous said...

@ thecuriousmind

u're not the only one who feels that way. Im sure many other Indonesian maids working in SIngapore feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, posting about such a provocative subject? Honestly. It's people like you who instigate hatred of one race against the other. Let's face it, we both have our flaws and what's the point of harping on it? The only reason one continually tries to prove that his ''whatever'' is superior to the other is testament to the fact that it is an inferiority complex or you are insecure. That's no point justifying the alleged flaws of another's country. Still, I love how you addressed misere noir's comments with sarcasm but afterwards simply dismissed it, never retorting him at all. Simple, but effective way of avoiding an argument that one cannot reply sufficiently.

Anonymous said...

Quote: Your kind of mentality that produces a primitive Arabic Islam-obsessed, dirty and increasingly violent Malaysia! Singapore is so organized,clean and efficient, even for the “working-class” flats! I feel save for example, just taking a taxi even at night time, with high-class uniformed and polite drivers, but in Malaysia, countless times I have to defend myself from sex-maniacs including filthy-looking foreigners who are even allowed to drive taxis and buses, especially from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan! They even rent for example 15 to a house or a flat in a respectable family housing area – but the rich hosuing areas are off-limits to them; so it’s the poor and Middle-class Malaysians who are suffering. No wonder we keep reading about tragically burnt naked raped female bodies dumped by the roadside or in the forest almost every other week – how do we know that they are not murdered by such taxi or bus drivers for example ! Even the buses and trains are full of sex-maniac conductors, bus drivers, security guards (unless they’re Nepalese Gurkhas or Burmese Karen refugees – very respectable of women) and leering male-passengers! And don’t talk about countless police-reports I made in Malaysia against such sexual harassment – the Malaysian police will wait until you get murdered or raped before they stop watching TV, lounging around, taking bribes in the Police-Station unless you’re a Datuk, politician or Royalty kin; or giving every detail information of our household to community RELA men whose background checks are dubious as from my own experience! The police and the RELA men cannot even speak to you like a civilized human being. And in Singapore, you don’t have to worry about being raped and murdered even in your own flats including in robberies with your families around you; or leering men just staring at you in public transportation, on the streets and even following you home – including by violent-loving foreigners! So, in a nutshell, I LOVE SINGAPORE – the best Asian country; no, make it the best “Third World” country – but it actually belongs in the First World!

haizzz said...

You guys are so inmature. NO ONE IS BETTER. Malaysia copied from singapore and Singapore copied from malaysia. And the actual fact is , our english all sucks so stop using fanciful words so you could sound more professional or whatever. A couple adults needs a 13 year old to shut their big gap up tsk the society we have now...

haizzz said...

You guys are so inmature. NO ONE IS BETTER. Malaysia copied from singapore and Singapore copied from malaysia. And the actual fact is , our english all sucks so stop using fanciful words so you could sound more professional or whatever. A couple adults needs a 13 year old to shut their big gap up tsk the society we have now...

haizzz said...

You guys are so inmature. NO ONE IS BETTER. Malaysia copied from singapore and Singapore copied from malaysia. And the actual fact is , our english all sucks so stop using fanciful words so you could sound more professional or whatever. A couple adults needs a 13 year old to shut their big gap up tsk the society we have now...

Space Miser said...

Singaporeans are not known to speak good English, maybe better than the population of many asian states but certainly not good enough. In fact, most of us are not even good in any other languages. We can't even speak our own mother tongue without injection an English word or two into a sentence. However, what make us a great nation is that a large percentage of our population, regardless of race and age, is able to speak at least 2 languages with many capable of simple communication in 3-5 languages.

Granted, there are malaysians who can speak 2 languages, but as a nation it is still far behind us.

Good for you if you think that your ability to speak good English puts you amongst the gods. I don't need to speak or write in good English to be in the top league. You see i am from a country that is already playing in the same field as top cities like ny, London, tokyo, paris, hk, seoul. We still get our respect even if we cant speak well. Malaysia is not our competitor as you play in the little league. We will always serve as a what could have been for malaysia.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate malaysia, where else can i go to behave like a total idiot and get away with a small fine. Driving at 200kmh, littering out of the car or rocking our cars to squeeze in more subsidised petrol. Maybe not subsidised anymore but still cheaper. Also i have many down to earth Malaysian friends who are not as arrogant as my fellow country men and myself when it comes to cross straits relationship. I just enjoy mocking malaysia cos you give us so many reasons to do so.

Space Miser said...

Malaysia had more potential since 1965 while singapore had no natural resources, high unemployment, slums, poorly educated population and many other problems that developing countries face. Malaysia will always remain as a country with potential while singapore will remain a country that had no potential at all.