Dear SMU exchange student, this is what Singapore is actually like

100% true, no hyperbole.

By Nyi Nyi Thet | February 17, 2017

In case you missed it, a Singapore Management University exchange student recently wrote a piece on what SMU, and more importantly, what Singapore is like.

In it, she compared the governing system to Hunger Games, that we’ve been programmed since young to go into certain professions, and we lack social skills that can only be made up by bringing in Western talent.

And she’s 100% right, no hyperbole, in fact, it’s far worse than she might have realised.

As such, we’ve written a follow up to the Hunger Games society we have cultivated here.

Basic understanding

First, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of Singapore as a whole, not anything more than basic though, because then it might inject nuance into the piece and we wouldn’t want that.

For anyone who has seen or read 50 Shades of Grey, the island’s system and electorate, does not differ hugely.

Initially, the people will demand more freedom, autonomy, and just a bit more space to move around.

But sooner or later, we end up lying down on our backs and giving in to the various constraints and regulations placed upon us.

As it is so small, Singapore’s paranoia with being forgotten has led to the unneccessary breaking of tonnes of Guinness World Records.

Screenshot from ST
Screenshot from ST
Screenshot from CNA
Screenshot from CNA

Damn unnecessary.



SMU was also considered by Dwyer to be the perfect emblem for Singapore.

SMU could be seen as an emblem of Singapore – spotless, orderly, happy, safe, successful but also partially pretentious, rigid and narrow minded.

Which is a gross generalisation completely accurate representation of an entire country.

However, if Dwyer had stayed in Singapore for a tad longer, she would have found an even better emblem for Singapore society in another university.

Singapore Institute of Management is actually the perfect emblem for Singapore — spotless, orderly, happy, safe, but also expensive, very expensive, and sibeh expensive.

Death penalty

Dwyer also pointed to Singapore practicing the death penalty, but our entire legal system is worth reviewing.

Singapore courts have a long history of dragging people into courts, forcing them to kneel as 10 guards on either side menacingly tap wooden cudgels against the floor, all the while chanting “Wei Wuuuuuu”.

Most times, a mustachioed man will be gleefully twirling his facial hair while laughing at the accused.

The magistrate, who is also in blackface by the way, will then come in and pass judgement, usually by throwing the verdict near the kneeling victim.

This is all done in around 30 minutes.

Life planned out at four years old

Dwyer correctly points out that we all have our paths settled by the age of four.

From the age of 4, Singaporean students have their futures mapped out for them. Whether they are destined to be a taxi driver or a heart surgeon is somehow expected to be evident from this age with their education and career path decided as quickly as they learn to walk.

However, what she missed out was that other state programmes start at an even younger age.

From the age of three, Singapore students have their favourite hawker food mapped out for them. Their choices are either carrot cake or char kway teow. They are then forced to eat this for all three meals until they reach the age of 65.

From the age of two, Singaporean students have their television programmes mapped out for them. Some are assigned to cable TV, others get the free range of the Internet, and a few unlucky ones are forced to watch Mediacorp. These are the true victims.

From the age of one, Singaporean students have their future political parties mapped out for them. Whether they are destined to be a PAP, WP, or SingFirst member is somehow expected to be evident from this age. They are also expected to participate in walkabouts, as soon as they learn how to walk about competently.


Social skills

It is perhaps due to this nanny state mentality that Singaporeans have no social skills at all.

When left alone in a room, the topic of choice for Singaporeans will be how much they like studying, before powering down to await future orders from The Ministry of Manpower.

That is why every Singaporean has a helper-Caucasian to aid with general niceties such as “Hi” or “How are you?” and “Did you see that ludicrous display last night?” to aid the intellectual abilities of the natives.

Thank goodness for that.


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About Nyi Nyi Thet

Thet has a chronic fear of teenage girls laughing at him. He sometimes puts on a cap in his room and yells “Gryffindor”.

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