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02 January 2013

F**k-Up Singapore

Wake the f**k up, Singapore!

[Warning: this blog write-up contains obscene words. Readers be advised.]
My final standpoint is that Singapore is a great place to go on holiday to – sunshine, beaches, great food. But it is one of the worst places to work in (and thus live in, since you need to work to sustain yourself, duh) in the world.
I’ve had enough of this fucking parade of egos, moral righteous asses and self justified fucks.
I’ve had enough of job interviews.
Yes, I’ve been lucky. Yes I’ve aced almost every interview I’ve been to and been offered a fuck load of jobs. But no, I’m not happy about it. After this past fortnight of nightmarish interviews, I am now convinced the only reason I am here is because my family is here.
I can’t make films because the government is made of conservative cunts who censor all the good shit and banned the only local made film which has been decent (15 by Royston Tan). And all the other so-called independent productions companies are not independent because they’re all linked and commissioned by Mediacorp. And Mediacorp, the SOLE broadcasting company in Singapore is a government company. How fucking great. Is it just me or does anyone else see how damned ridiculous this whole situation is? Singapore is a joke. Our press and our media are monopolies owned by the government- How the FUCK are we ever going to achieve a free press and freedom of speech/expression status?
So yes, I can make films, but nobody will help me or give me the money because they are either (A) the Government or (B) too Fucking Scared of the Government. I’ll make my films still. I’ll make films with a camcorder and no lights and no equipment and no money, but I’ll make films where nobody in the fucking world can censor my content or tell me where the fuck the moral of the story should be in my plot. SO FUCK OFF.
I’ve gone for interviews where someone has:
1) Used his age against me to win an argument. I.e. I’m older than you and have a successful career whereas you haven’t proven yourself therefore your opinion (on this unrelated issue) is wrong. HELLO, THIS IS 21ST CENTURY SINGAPORE, WE ARE NO LONGER IN ANCIENT CHINA WHERE ELDERS AUTOMATICALLY GET RESPECT WITHOUT EARNING IT.
2) Used the fact I’ve studied and worked overseas against me. I.e. You can’t fit into the culture because you have been westernised and Singaporeans value efficiency whereas Western people are too laidback and unproductive. Also, there is the whole “How do you think your white boyfriend will impact on your image and lifestyle?” – YES THIS HAS COME UP IN INTERVIEWS 3 TIMES
3) (This point applies to all of them) Made me fill in an application form asking about my religion, marital status and intrusive details about my family such as their names and where they are working or studying. These forms weren’t as part of an equal opportunities form. And no, Singapore has no equal opportunities principles either. When I refused to fill it in, I realised I couldn’t cite the right to private life or freedom of religion as a reason, because SINGAPORE HAS NO FUCKING HUMAN RIGHTS. I got told off by a few people for adamantly not filling it in.
4) Interrupted me while I am speaking all the time. I fucking hate that. If you love the sound of your own voice so much why call it an interview? Why not call it a talk from the start, so I don’t even bother to speak at all?
5) Made assumptions about my values based on me being a Girl Scout in High School. Yes, there were assumptions I had good values, but then again, the good values were defined by him, and values are subjective. Also, I hate it when people make assumptions about your character based on the ecological fallacy (logical fallacy using stats of a group to define an individual in the world). I am an individual and I have my own values and I will not be defined by the fact I went camping and sang songs around the campfire.
6) Told me that if work clashed with my boyfriend’s birthday for example, I must put the job first. Are you fucking kidding me? When you are so short-staffed / have such poor management you cannot let employees off for important events like family / good friends / boyfriend’s birthdays, you need to reexamine your company structure and hire more staff to cover, NOT threaten your prospective employee during the interview that she MUST put work force. Go fuck off and kill yourselves please.
Wake up the fuck, Singapore. We can’t call ourselves a developed country when people still barge into you when you try to leave the lifts, trains or buses. That’s uncivilised barbaric behaviour. We can’t call ourselves a leading nation in politics when all we have is a dictatorship and we piss every country off by killing their people when they come in with drugs. We can’t call ourselves a leading nation in the economy when the only reason the economy is so successful is because we piss on the poor and our ministers are higher paid than President Obama. We can’t call ourselves leaders in international issues when we don’t even have fucking human rights.
Singapore is definitely a pitstop. A fucking short one if I can help it. And if any fucking person wants to bitch about how I am ungrateful and disloyal to my country, I’d say fuck off. Loyalty is earned. What has my government done for me? Fuck all. My parents fought for every single cent they got in this capitalist work environment, they paid for my medical bills, they paid for my school fees, NOT THE GOVERNMENT. Certain teachers in school inspired me to think and shaped my character. These were individuals who inspired and helped bring me up in the world through their unique views which didn’t conform to convention, not the school academic syllabus, and certainly NOT THE GOVERNMENT. A good government doesn’t need emotional blackmail to get its citizens to stay. And now it is griping about how the best talents leave, has it stopped to wonder why? It’s because not everyone can stand to live in a dictatorial draconian country, especially when they have been exposed to the benefits and necessity of free speech, media and press. Singapore is the only country in the world I know who has legitimised corruption.
Yes, I have great affection for Singapore (THE LAND) because I grew up here with many fond memories. But one cannot be citizen in a country where they cannot respect the government. The government is the influencing factor which determines social culture, politics, human rights (or lack of). So yes, I have tried to be happy in Singapore. And to a great extent I am, with my family, my good friends, and the sunshine. But I cannot bring myself to work in, and therefore pay taxes to a government I don’t trust or respect.
Maybe Paul and I will be in New York by Christmas.
Melissa Low
* The author is a writer and film & theatre director and producer. She blogs at

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