We’re not a country of cheaters, and neither do we condone such actions.
Singapore’s economy is kept healthy by many things, and one of them is tourism. Not too long ago, Singapore was voted best country to visit in 2015 by Lonely Planet. It still is up there despite the recent reports of tourists getting scammed at Sim Lim Square.
Sim Lim Square is not a place frequented by most Singaporeans. They too good to be true bargains are exactly what they are, untrue. Singaporeans are suckers for discounts and bargains, but no amount of low prices from stores like Mobile Air would really gain our hard earned money. Tourists on the other hand would know no better, it’s easy to fall prey to such false marketing and unscrupulous sales tactics.
So when a Vietnamese neighbour came over for a holiday and went to Sim Lim Square to purchase an iPhone for his girlfriend but was subsequently scammed off his savings. Singaporeans banded together to ensure that Mr. Thoai the tourist, didn’t bring back with him a horrible image of our island home. Led by Gabriel Kang, Singaporeans rallied to raise SGD$15,500 for the unfortunate Mr. Thoai. Humbly, he refused to accept more than what he lost leading many Singaporeans and Vietnamese alike to praise his humility despite his setback.
Singapore had come under much attack from Vietnamese netizens after the incident with many others stepping out and claiming that they too suffered losses in Sim Lim Square. The netizens however were quick to sober up from their anger once they heard of the actions of Singaporeans and were very quick to acknowledge that one or two bad eggs do not spoil a basket. It seems that our actions as a people and a community for not just our own citizens but our neighbours have put us back in a good light.
Vietnam has also issued warnings to tourists who are traveling to Singapore to refrain from going to Sim Lim Square after the incident. Netizens from Vietnam have also been doing their part to steer their own countryman away from the ill-reputed establishment. It has been a quick and sincere response from Singaporeans to our Vietnamese counterparts and it was heartwarming to see Mr. Thoai no longer in tears but with a big beam across his face.