#ChaiCheePrick sums up everything that is wrong with Singapore society

You’ve seen this video right?

In one video, this man has basically summed up why it is so miserable to live in Singapore.

 

 

1. Everything is about “regulations”

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In the video, the man says “the regulation for this road is 40km/h, you’re driving 50km/h…you’re road hogging”. We have built up such a legalistic society that every little thing needs to “follow the rules”, so much so that we’re unable to think for ourselves. This is not unique to this video, this happens everywhere.

Read the Straits Times forums, whenever something goes wrong, the reader is always asking for “more regulations, more laws and more policing”. And then after all this we complain that we live in such a strict and stifling society.

 
2. As long as you pay money, you have an absolute right to be an asshole

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Ask someone to clear their trays at the hawker centre. Ask someone to pick up their trash at the cinema. Observe what the reactions would be. Just because you have paid, we seem to think that it gives us the green light to be an asshole.

 

3. Road immaturity

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If you’re a driver, you’ll know how frustrating it is to use Singapore roads. Switch lanes and they think that you’re “cutting into their lane”. Some childish drivers would even chase you and cut back into your lane just to get even. Grow up.

 

4. When I do something wrong, it’s for convenience. When you do something wrong, you’re an idiot

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Earlier in the video, #ChaiCheePrick starts yelling at the poor driver because he did not wait at the location he specified. But did he think it was wrong? Nooo… when he does something wrong, it’s for convenience.

When I litter, it’s because I want to keep cleaners in a job.
When I cut queue it’s because I have no choice.
When I talk rudely to my maid, it’s because she can’t understand.

Do you see the problem?

 

5. You look down on other professions

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The way #ChaiCheePrick behaved shows utter contempt for another person’s occupation. Would he dare speak this way to a lawyer or a doctor? I doubt it. Would he dare speak this way with a grass cutter? A condo security guard? How do you think this person will speak with a hawker centre cleaner?

 

6. “I’ll complain” is the biggest threat you can pull

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It seems that “i complain you” is the worst thing you can do to someone. You know what it shows? That you’re so weak that there is nothing you can do except call mummy for help. Are you not able to convince someone to do something right for you? Are your abilities to fix something limited only to a complaint? Quite pathetic really.

 
7. Name dropping

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Name dropping is one of the rudest things a person can do. This is like the “do you know who I am” argument – we don’t know, and we don’t care. Your relative could be the Emperor of the Republic of Comfort, it doesn’t mean squat – you’re a passenger like everyone else.

 

8. It is ok to demand

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“I pay so I have the right to dictate”

And we have no right demanding things of other people. We’re a small country and we have to share many of our resources with everyone else. Nothing in this country will suit you completely and you cannot always ask for rules to be bent for your convenience.

 

9. Everyone is out cheating you

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Poor taxi drivers get this the most. Take a slightly longer route or get stuck in a few more traffic lights and the passenger thinks that you’re out there to “cheat” them of money. Use some brain please. Even if a driver could squeeze out a dollar or two from a customer, how many customers would he need to “cheat” in order to make anything substantial?

When a hawker shortchanges you of a prawn, or a supplier misses out a rim of paper – they’re not out to “cheat” you. Is it that hard to be more forgiving? Is it so hard to just point out the mistake and and accept the apology with a big heart?

To err is human – chances are we’ll be making mistakes ourselves to someone else.

 

10. Chronic impatience

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At the end of the video, the one very stark unpleasantness that stands out is this: our society is just far too impatient. Someone is late by a few minutes, we lose our cool. Something cuts into our lane and we freak out because its “costing us time”. When the train is 2 minutes late, our blood pressure explodes because our “time is precious”.

Seriously Singaporeans, sometimes I think much of what is wrong with society can all be observed in this video. It is attitudes like this that make Singapore so hard to live in.

Have we been ourselves a #ChaiCheePrick at some point in our lives?

Lee Kuan Yew once criticised that we will never be a gracious society…at least not during his time. I think there is some basis to that comment. When the NTUC tells society to try to be nice to our fellow workers, we think they’re talking rubbish. We brush it off as bureaucratic bullshit.

I overheard this on a friend’s wall about this fiasco: “i’m sure our service staff and blue-collared workers face this on a daily basis, either from employers or customers. this is not just the shaming of one asshole, but the shaming of an entire nation.”

 

 

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About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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