Upset Singaporean on Singa

Dear Singapore Kindness Movement.

人们说,直到失去了你才会知道拥有过什么。事实上,你一直知道你拥有什么,只是你以为你永远不会失去它。

(Some say, you don’t treasure what you’ve got until you’ve lost it. Actually, we all know what we do have, it’s just that sometimes we assume that we’ll never lose it.)

When I read about Singa resigning, words cannot begin to express how touched I was by the fake resignation letter. For many of us younger Singaporeans, he had been around ever since we were children, he was on events, on posters and even on TV. He was literally a part of our childhood.

So the first thing you learn in marketing SKM, is that you never, never, EVER call a bluff on your campaigns.

You do not cheat the feelings of your audience.

I actually thought that Government and bureaucracy had learnt a thing or two about social media and developed a killer campaign around it. Now you shoot yourself in the foot and say it was all a “publicity stunt”.

Of course its a publicity stunt, what do you think we are – stupid?! This is not cool man, not cool. We actually thought this mascot was gone forever.

Its almost as if someone lied to us and told us a friend was dead.

Although I’m upset at your marketing stunt, your campaign is right about a few things yes. Many of us have put our problems ahead of being kind to those around us. It says a lot about our society. We should never ever let kindness and graciousness disappear while we fix those “bigger” problems. We’re kiasu, kiasi. Often we forget that while those attitudes may help us remain competitive, it makes us cold hearted. While we stress meritocracy, we often forget that no man is an island. We become individualistic and self-centred, neglecting the needs of others. Every day, we complain and complain about our endless problems and fail to see the problems of others. In the end, we become an unhappy, selfish society.

Perhaps it is only by having a kind and gracious society that we will ever solve the problems that matter most.

After all our events and campaigns are over, ultimately, as your campaign quotes, “kindness begins with me.”

About the author

Justina Lee

Justina Lee speaks in Yoda: “No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.”

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