MacRitchie TreeTop Walk security officer gives thumbs down to man who said he's from China, NParks investigating

He claims that the security officer was nicer to other tourists.

Ilyda Chua | March 29, 2024, 12:14 AM



An auxiliary security officer at MacRitchie TreeTop Walk was filmed giving a thumbs down to a visitor after he identified himself as coming from China.

The man later recounted the incident in a Mar. 23 video on Xiaohongshu.

He found the gesture humiliating and said that the staff member was entitled to his opinion, but he would have preferred if the staff member had done it in private.

"But you are a staff member at a place where tourists from many countries pass through, and you use such a strong gesture to express your preferences. Is this really appropriate?"

Claims staff gave preferential treatment to other tourists

The man, who goes by the username 嗨呀童瓜 (Haiyatonggua), shared that he had been on a visit to Singapore a few days ago.

He said that while at the suspension bridge, he noticed the staff member talking to a group of Japanese tourists.

He claimed that the staff member had asked them where they were from. When they replied that they were from Japan, he allegedly exclaimed: "Japan is the best country in the world!"

Curious to see if the staff member would react the same way to tourists from another country, Haiyatonggua made eye contact with the staff and said "hi" when he passed through the checkpoint.

As he had expected, the staff member asked: "Where are you from?"

But when he replied, "China", the staff simply waved him through.

It was only when he went back to review the footage that he realised that the staff member had given him a thumbs-down behind his back in front of the Japanese tourists.

As he gestured, the Japanese tourists laughed and said, "No, no."

Gif from Xiaohongshu

Thinks people shouldn't look down on other people

In his video, Haiyatonggua acknowledged that there are instances of Chinese tourists behaving badly while travelling domestically and overseas.

"This is the fact of the matter, and we accept it," he said.

"But don't be prejudicial and look down on people."

He also noted that despite this unpleasant experience, he would still recommend Singapore as a travel destination.

He said he would contact the authorities to inform them of his experience.

NParks investigating

In a follow-up video dated Mar. 25, he said that National Parks Board (NParks) staff had since contacted him to apologise.

They had managed to identify the staff member as an auxiliary security officer and would be conducting a "serious investigation", he said.

In response to Mothership's queries, NParks' director of conservation, Lim Liang Jim, said that the organisation is aware of the incident involving the security officer's "inappropriate behaviour".

"We have since reached out to the visitor to inform him that NParks does not condone such behaviour, and is investigating the matter," he said.

Top image from Haiyatonggua/Xiaohongshu and Boon Check Koh/Google Maps