Jaime L (avatar)
updated 1 year ago

ang moh's exit interview

Not sure if you guys have seen this yet, but this Reddit post was shared a couple of times this evening.

Titled "Another Ang Moh's Exit Interview", this guy criticises a couple of things about Singapore after his 4 year stay on our little red dot.

🔗: https://www.reddit.com/r/singapore/comments/6huavg/bye_sg_another_ang_mohs_exit_interview/?st=J4492BAN&sh=7f65e616

The screenshot above is just two of the things he talked about; he also mentions our expensive housing, asshole drivers, mediocre coffee, and hostile Singaporeans. Apart from this extensive list of cons, he also argues the pros of our island; that it's clean, green, safe, and convenient.

I mean, I love Singapore and all... but are we just a nation of followers? Do we think we're thriving but really are just... frogs in the well?

Especially with his mention on the media industry, it's seems like the points he highlighted made me consider that we may value the completely wrong thing.

It's not that we aren't smart or stylish or talented. We are, but it's just that we aren't very original. At least, not enough to create a breakthrough in the industry. I know you're thinking of the Singapore industry right now, and that's the exact problem. The industry being the worldwide industry, including the giant 'Murica.

I always thought that it'd be enough to 'Make It' in Singapore. Haha and now I admit it was really small thinking. Even if you're the number 1 celebrity in Singapore, who are you to the rest of the world?

It takes 6 hours to fly from one end to the other in the US.

China has one thousand MILLION more people than us.

It feels like we limit ourselves in our bubble sometimes, afraid to ask and hope for more.

Qn: Do we value aesthetic; do we care too much about style, over substance? With big content creators like TSL that holds the reigns to SG's social media, telling us what we need to try and buy, just how easily are we swayed by this? Granted, these exist everywhere but it seems we like them especially so?

How many of us travel out of our way for the next food trend, already half knowing it'll disappoint... but still armed with a camera to capture your photogenic table flatlay... I'm guilty too.

He mentions a little bit about local cuisine, that it's bland, oily and MSG laden. Okay- let's not pull the guns out, I know we're people who love our food. We live for our Hokkien Mee and our Satay and our Murtabak.

However, I think about what he's saying from a critical standpoint and you know what, say he's wrong. We do have good, great, excellent local dishes. Maybe he doesn't have the local palate. BUT, it may just as well be that he is constantly... hitting the wrong spots for them?

There are countless, mediocre at best. It doesn't blow his mind.

Which begs the question, maybe you can go to Boon Tong Kee or Tian Tian for your standard 5 star rating fix, but is the chance of eating a 'meh' plate of Chicken Rice at any random stall reasonably higher now?

What with rising rent costs, something has to be compromised somehow. Food quality, service standards, ingredients... I realize nearly all of my parents' favourite local haunts from back in the day are long gone by now.

So it leaves us with an aesthetically pleasing feed of rainbow bagels, avocado on toast, glittery unicorn drinks and charcoal coloured edibles... That was prooobably copied from a bakery in NYC or a restaurant in London. Probably.

This post is all over the place with my 4am ramblings, but it's given me a lot to think about; even drawing from my own perception of the average Singaporean life.

(Ironic. Last post mentioned hawker fare and how great it was. Hah.)

Leaving you with this excerpt:


"[The government] keeps preaching the importance of innovation for SG's future, but innovation at its core stems from dissent and challenging norms, and sometimes that's not always harmonious. If it's ingrained in your population from birth to instinctively avoid challenging authority, I don't see much true innovation ever happening here."


Day 171

Tuesday, 20 Jun 2017

166 4
theprincessbride (avatar)

theprincessbride Yes , I think Singapore has become a sleepy country, we never challenge authority or innovate , we don't have originality and we are too stuck in comfort not realising what the real world out there is truly like. I think we have become too proud of ourselves and lazy, resting on the laurels of the past. Everyone complains but no one takes any steps to improve anything !

1 year ago

Kozonis19 (avatar)

Kozonis19 I'm no expat and I totally agreed with that post!!!! There were so many things I've noticed since a few years ago and he managed to summarize it so well lol

1 year ago

hildings (avatar)

hildings Actually I was nodding my head to all his points but when I came to the part about our food, I was like, okay get out 🔫

1 year ago

hildings (avatar)

hildings I do agree with your points though, about how the better hawkers are slowly phasing out as compared to our parents generation. It's really sad but at the same time, unavoidable. It's hard to attract others to be hawkers now to continue the legacy. But I don't think he was considering these things when he criticized our food. Ironically, his descriptions for SG food - oily, bland, filled with MSG - fit Western fast food culture to a T.

1 year ago

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