Sunday, February 25

Happy Chinese New Year?

Out of curiosity, I decided to check out our government's website at, to see if they displayed the Prime Minister's e-mail address anywhere, since they did say they were trying to connect more with citizens at the grassroots level. Surprisingly, you can reach him at I'm not kidding. I wouldn't mail him to complain about how long it takes for bus 970 to come, or ask him for a loan though.

Anyways, there's a forum that you can go to, to air your views (or grievances), and get some healthy discussion going along with your fellow Singaporeans. (Somehow I think the PAP bashers will take their discussions elsewhere)

I came across one post which I felt was quite interesting, and no doubt sums up what some people feel about Chinese New Year visitations. The contributor's user name was sunfacer:

(quote) "This chinese new year, the conversations have proved no less disgusting. The talk has always been the same - talk has always been about work, salary scales, homes (especially condominiums) and cars.

And young as I am, the ones who have displayed interest in my monetary affairs are 40 to 60 years old. They do not know my ways, do not know my principles, do not know my inclinations, do not know my culture and do not know how I have grown mentally. They do not know about the trials I faced in the army, nor about the relationships I failed in.

No, they come prepared to scout around, often starting their conversations subtly with how fat/thin I have grown. Within a minute, they are on to their main agenda - my salary, my working hours, my duties and responsibilities, my network and connections, my new home and possibly a new car.

How shallow. ...(censored)... Such character is superficial, it is rude and barbaric. There is no class, no personality and simply distasteful.

But this CNY is only a trigger, my conversations with many people in this country has been this way. People size me up by the salary I draw, the size of my home and my ability to spend. They might as well ask how big my fleshy urinary member is. I would be less offended.

But as I calmed down, I tried to figure out how these barbarians think. They seek confirmation, affirmation and recognition. When they were young, the signs of success were looks, sporting abilities, academic performance and the ability to attract the opposite sex. As adults, the signs of success are money, landed property and the tin can with 4 wheels.

So... they grew up ... without actually growing up.
No, such silly childish acts: attention - seeking and manipulative behaviour are just a sign that they lived their lives so furiously and yet so fruitlessly. They lived so many years, yet lived so little. They have so much, yet have so little.

I thought that adults concern themselves with grooming the young, nurturing the less mature, guiding the less talented and setting the standards.

But it is clear to me, a junior, that we do not need more money in our lion city. We need heroes." (end quote)

I don't necessarily agree that people that ask about your job/house/car are 'barbarians', they could just have nothing else to talk about. Sunfacer brings up some interesting points about his view of Singaporean society. (You know sunfacer is a 'him' because...umm...never mind)

The Bible clearly states that God sees us all equally (while we all have different roles), in that He sent Jesus to die for the sins of all mankind. All you need to do is believe that He died for you, and respond by living the way that God originally intended us to, in a personal relationship with Him. So as a believer, you can be rest assured that your worth isn't tied to the job you have, how fat your paycheck is, what sort of house you live in, or what type of car you drive.

That said, I find myself unconsciously
sizing people up. In school, especially when it comes to forming project groups, it could be how good a person's grades are, how he/she carries him/herself in public, etc. This past year, I've been trying to make the effort to form project groups with people I genuinely want to get to know better, and not judge people by whatever measures people use to measure someone's worth. I'm still guilty of judging people though. Argh! =( Hoping to work with as many people as I can over these 4 years at SMU.

At the end of the day, God isn't going to look at 'what we had'. Rather, He's going to look at 'how we lived'. Really hope I can be that 'good and faithful servant'. It's a long and narrow path, but by His strength, we can do this.