S'poreans laugh at SCMP video about allegedly High SES S'porean doing crazy rich things

Singaporeans laughed the video back to China.

Belmont Lay | August 16, 2018, 04:57 PM

A video supposedly about Singapore put out by a Hong Kong media outfit is getting laughed back to China by Singaporeans.

South China Morning Post, Hong Kong's English newspaper of record, slapped together some scenes featuring a supposedly High SES Singaporean woman with a somewhat threatening aura, who might cause outsiders to believe smiling is a crime here.

She is shown introducing what crazy rich employment-free Singaporeans allegedly do everyday, because work is a middle-class concept to maintain social order:

Singaporean woman with fashionable day job

The woman featured in the video is Esther Quek, a 35-year-old Victoria Junior College alumnus who is now editor of an online fashion thingamajig and public face of what a crazy rich Asian can be -- if imagination is allowed to run wild -- in Singapore.

Decked out in bling and a gaudy mix of primary colours and metallic tones, while liberally utilising Chigga mannerisms and having the clothes wear her instead of the other way around, she brings the camera into supposedly oft-frequented places of the well-heeled.

These locations she showed off include the club on top of Marina Bay Sands, another club at Nanson Road, as well as an overpriced food court called Lau Pa Sat, otherwise known to the Shenton Way office workers as, "Wah sian, 10 percent Kopitiam card discount still damn ex".

Singaporeans and others react

Since the video came out on Aug. 15, it has been roundly mocked by self-respecting Singaporeans and many others with little tolerance for the farcical and misrepresented.

The main opposition to the video is its blatant mischaracterisation of what financially-well-endowed Singapore is and how affluent Singaporeans behave in public, which is dependent on how much class a person of many means possess, rather than what the bank account balance reflects.

Old rich vs New rich

The generally-accepted sentiment is that the old rich in Singapore are known to be less visible in polite society.

They are mostly ensconced within camera-free, privacy-respecting quarters, living a comfortable existence, while socialising a lot, but without social media exhibitionism.

And if they do appear in public, they generally portray themselves a mere fraction of what their net worth really is -- otherwise known as embracing "austerity aesthetics".

The vulgar ostentatious displays of wealth are the purview of the nouveau riche in Singapore -- the new arrivals and those who lucked out in recent years and still getting used to the feeling of being awash with liquidity.

These are the ones wondering what to do with all that excess moolah besides flaunting it for public consumption, especially with little risk of getting mugged because safety is synonymous with Singapore.

Best criticism

The best criticism is still reserved for the scenes in Lau Pa Sat.

This is where Quek is parading around, mysteriously windswept, seemingly blown by an industrial strength fan -- literally exuding hot air -- and where she gingerly nibbles on the supposed best food the whole of Singapore has to offer, which is also known as fodder for corporate rats.

The rest of the comments on the video are pretty gold as well.

Or should we say, very rich.


Some background

SCMP has little qualms holding Singapore up as Hong Kong's competitor all the time.

Coverage on Singapore has been unflattering and has become routine for the English Hong Kong press, which has led to audiences to recognise the deliberateness of such comparisons and the value they add: