Singaporeans Believing Anything (we want to believe in only)


Recent interesting gossiping and knee-jerk complains going around the Internet were Seth Rogen’s comments on Singapore on the Conan O’Brien show and Samantha, a caller on a radio show who said that HDB heartlanders are uncultured.

In the Seth Rogen complaints, while there were some who insightfully laughed about it as the context was after all a talk show and not Hard Talk or the Charlie Rose show, there were a number of others who took the opportunity to either become right wing or passed scathing comments about Singapore. They either  supported or rejected the comedian’s personal exaggerated experience of Singapore. In another instance of wild microblogging criticisms was this perhaps deliberately out of context quote of SM Goh Chok Tong on Gaddafi by The Online Citizen where most people just did not ask themselves about the context and just wanted to believe what they wanted to believe.

Similarly, in the The Married Men radio show where Samantha called in to complain about heartlanders, many were furious and complained about SPGism or elitism, but nobody stopped to think that perhaps the call was staged for publicity and fun by the radio show themselves. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t but everyone assumed that the call was genuine because they want to think that it was genuine.

This rant on pet political peeves has a small point. As the election comes, would we voters transcend our prejudices and view the promises by and criticisms of the ruling party and its challengers in context? Nothing is black or white and it is all opportunistic political rhetoric when the time comes. A party or two in the opposition would be more balanced, but the rest would be mostly smoke and mirrors. Whatever they say on stage during the rallies and outside of the rallies should be taken with a pinch of salt. Ideally for Singapore, we would check what we want to believe in and be consciously reflective on confirmation bias when we vote, or spoil our vote even.

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3 responses

  1. Hey Chem Gen. Long time no read. I always like reading your posts because they are balanced.

    It is hard to get past confirmation bias though, and having read so many blogs, there are very few bloggers who are fair and balanced.

    Everyone sees what they want to see. Like the young PAP candidate, Tin Pei Ling. She does have 7 years of political experience working the ground at the former Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, which is more than some opposition candidates/parties have done. But everyone seems to harp on how young she is. She has been more involved in politics than I have been.

    Ah well… Keep on chugging.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm

  2. chemgen

    Hi modernburrow

    Thanks and good to hear from you.

    I didn’t know that Tin Pei Ling was active at the grassroots for so long. She is a novelty, being the youngest and yes she might be involved for many years and only her community can testify whether those years were constructively spent on them or she was just a wallflower. Let’s see if she can stand the pressure and show potential when the rallies start.

    March 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm

  3. Pingback: Isn’t this a bit too far? – Under the Jambu Tree

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