dear singaporeBy Pat Law • Dec 16th, 2012 • Category: Lead Story
I’m sorry but this lesbian of a Singaporean is staying put. Before your ego starts swelling, let me lay it all down for you.
I have many reasons to hate you.
Let’s start with the first – I’m the byproduct of a fucked up education system that treasures a good memory over practical intelligence. I topped every marketing project in school, I aced my Business Law examinations between parties and hangovers, and yet, I could not make it to be the top 5% in my polytechnic to enter a local university at a citizen-friendly rate. All because I chose to have a life beyond school. And admittedly, the complete lack of discipline. I could not afford to get a single warning letter to qualify to be the top 5%, and unfortunately I had incurred a significant amount of disciplinary warning letters. Significant enough to observe a progressive change in corporate identity in the three years.
But of course, I could have scoot off to London to study or something. I had a lovely invite from a top-notch university in London telling me I’ve made it through their doors. A natural choice if my parents weren’t hawkers toiling over 14 hours a day for the past 3 decades just to be able to call a miserable 3-bedroom HDB their home. I wasn’t prepared to send my parents to credit hell, and have the bank own their asses for the next decade to come.
The sense of self-entitlement running through the veins of the generation of today wasn’t a big thing then. I didn’t think it was my divine right to send my folks into debt for my fancy piece of paper. 300gsm or not.
Now comes the second – your warped concept of promoting culture in the same manner you run the country like a corporation. Listen, I get your need to run Singapore like a corporation. I understand Capitalism. I don’t have the Chihuahua syndrome – I’m very mindful of how small this country is compared to the world. But dude, you’re 47 years old. Cut yourself some slack. France had a couple of hundred of years to get to where they are now, for fucksakes. And a very self-indulgent king, if I may add. Instead of trying to find the next chest-beating headline of being “the world’s best whatever” or “Asia’s arts hub” with foreign arts shows to justify your minions’ salaries, maybe you should pay a little more attention to the locals? Or do we need to wait til we’re dead before you celebrate us?
I know you have KPIs, but culture is more than a half-page coverage on The Straits Times bragging about 100,000 visits to an art exhibition at Marina Bay Sands. Culture is more than a $300 ticket to a dance performance residents of River Valley and Sentosa Cove attend. Culture is certainly more than just a bunch of local artists struggling to fill in a fuckload of paperwork so that you can claim that you’ve given out $2 million dollars to them.
Yes perhaps at this point, I should state the obvious – my sexuality isn’t quite calibrated with my nationality. Financially, I can afford to pay the down payment for a typical brand new 3-bedroom HDB on my own right now. But I can’t, because I’m not thirty-five years of age yet, and I’m not about to marry a cock to do so. It is my entitlement you say, to buy a public housing (hence the name, I assume?) as a Singaporean, but get married or wait. How does that reconcile with you wanting us to be young budding entrepreneurs? Yes, Singapore, saying “Hi, I’m Pat, the CEO of the company you’re supposed to spend a million dollars with, and by the way, I live with my parents” is actually a little embarrassing.
I love children and I would like to have a couple on my own. But again, I’m not about to marry a cock to do so. I can’t have my children love a lie, and whilst its not scientifically proven, I’ve very sure by doing so, there is a chance my children will end up emotionally or psychologically screwed up.
Hi kids! By the way, your mummy doesn’t love Daddy that way. She just made use of him for his sperm so that she could have you both. Yes, go ahead and make use of people that way too! Marry for money and status but never love ok?
It’s not impossible for me to have children on my own (adoption, sperm bank, whatnot), but damn Singapore, you sure know how to make it hard for single mothers. In short, we pay the same rate for education and medical bills as a foreigner but yet if we have sons, they have to serve National Service? How are they Singaporeans if they are not given Singaporean privileges? I’m lucky I run my own business because I’m entitled to less maternity leave than a mother with a husband if I was an employee. Isn’t that a little ironic, Singapore? Don’t you think a single mother without a husband for support would need more maternity leave instead? Why can’t you reimburse companies for that one extra month of maternity for their single mum employees? Because you need more fireworks at the next National Day Parade?
So why am I staying put if I hate you so much, I hear you ask.
By circumstance, I was born a Singaporean. By choice, I shall remain a Singaporean. Like family, I didn’t choose you. Romantic as it sounds, it was Fate. Like my parents, I know you’re not perfect, and yes, I have many things I find annoying about you, but above all, I know you love me unconditionally. And guess what? I love you unconditionally too.
I’ve never depended on you to make my life better, in the same way I didn’t expect my parents to be paying for my education in London. I do demand of you to keep my neighbourhood safe from robbery, murder and rape, but I don’t demand for you to pay for the rent of my gorgeous walk-up apartment. I don’t know, it sounds a little arrogant to me to make such a demand.
I’ve never depended on you for my high-flying career, so no, you may not take any credit for it, but I am thankful of the meritocracy system you’ve built this country upon. I don’t have royal blood so it’s nice when my promotion comes not because I’m who’s-who’s daughter, but because I’ve just singled-handedly launched a new product across 9 markets in Asia, exceeding billings by $500,000. I’m glad my dad didn’t need to pass any money under the table to ensure my career growth because god knows he hasn’t got any.
I laugh at your attempt to create culture, but I know you’re at least trying. Your need to brag about your efforts is off-putting but my local artists and I are too busy doing our own thing than to care how insecure you are. I like that you’re trying to reach out to us but surprise! Before you got here, we’ve already been earning a decent living from various international brands. Singapore, before you came along, the Americans, British, Japanese and Koreans have already been financially feeding us for our work. I trust you understand why you’re not about to get a friendly Singaporean-rate for our services. We need to respect the Americans, British, Japanese and Koreans who believed in us before you did.
You’re not the best to the gay community, but you’re not the worst either. I know you’re treading carefully in the Pacific Rim (sorry, I couldn’t resist that pun) amongst the more conservative countries, but I know you have my best interest at heart. I’m as gay as it looks and I haven’t been gang raped by men thinking they should show me what I’m missing. Thank you for your Laws and keeping the streets safe. I haven’t been fired from any job for being out and about. Thank you for giving me a governing body that I could go to for any form of discrimination. I was once rejected of a job because my hair was too short, but that’s ok. I know it’d be difficult for you to govern ignorance and besides, I’m quite happy not to work for such an imbecile.
I could go on til my battery goes flat on why I’m staying put but I reckon it all boils down to this.
You’re my country. You’re responsible for me as I am responsible for you too. Protect me as I protect you for the next generation to come. You have a duty to me, as I have a duty to you too.
Because that’s what real patriotism is. It’s not selective. It’s certainly not about the person. It’s about the people.
It’s not about the 20 year old individual who somehow could find it in himself/ herself to whine about not being able to be himself/ herself in Singapore. I’m sorry but you’re just fucking 20 years old. And a bloody Singaporean. It’s a little hard to convince me of your motherfucking hardship living here in Singapore when you’re not even done growing pubes.
Meanwhile, I’m reading painfully about 15 million children dying of famine in Africa every year, innocent kids being shot by some teenager with access to guns in US, Chinese dissidents being jailed for criticizing their country’s polices (has it occurred to you the irony of your blog post about freedom of speech and that you’ve not been put away?), and an actual Bill that makes it ok to kill gays for being gay in Uganda.
Gotta love the self-inflicted first world problems created by these kids. I’m amused by how many they demand of their country, and offer nothing in return. Singapore, I think you screwed up with your parenting. Shouldn’t have told them they are the future of Singapore without saying the future depends on them too.
Singapore, I’m staying put for as long as I feel I can play a part for the future of our country. You will make mistakes like I will make mistakes too. But the love remains unconditional. This country is ours to build together. This country is ours to protect and to serve. We are Singapore. We are Singaporeans.
And I promise you I’d always try to help my country with action, before complaining and whining on your Facebook pages or on my blog.