Stephanie Koh has caused a huge uproar with her video “Why I Am Not Proud To Be Singaporean”. If you are one of the two people who haven’t watched it yet (really?), here it is:
She posted the video to make a few of clarifications about her interview with RazorTV where she stated that she was not proud to be Singaporean, but with a video explicitly titled “Why I Am Not Proud To Be Singaporean”, it went viral practically overnight. In the video, she gives several reasons to support her stand, which include widely-discussed points like “Singaporeans are not creative”, “Singaporeans are not happy” and “Singaporeans are not nice”.
She brings in her personal experiences of living in Singapore and in Australia, and comparing things like the locals, the standard of living and so on. Nothing particularly new, except for her delivery. I haven’t watched a YouTube rant like this in a while so I thought it was fresh. Nice, Stephanie, nice.
I am not here to refute what she has to say, neither am I here to agree with her points. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened in cyberspace.
We have the locals split into three groups: those who agree, those who disagree and those who simply couldn’t care less. I’ve noticed a trend within her first two groups. Those on her side tend to glorify the video, praise her endlessly for being ‘brave’ and for being the voice of countless people. Those who criticise her ridicule the video, claiming that she is a spoilt brat with an attitude problem.
(Although, what really is an attitude problem and why does this video reflect a “bad attitude”? Alas, that would be another discussion for another time.)
One thing I’d like to discuss, however, is the way people dealt with the video.
Granted, it went viral and people will get upset about what she has to say. To be more specific, what she has to say for herself. Video responses, blog posts and articles started springing up all over the place. In response to her video, 987FM’s Double D’s posted their very own response.
Dee Kosh and Divian Nair made an incredibly concise video on the matter, jumping straight into why Stephanie’s points were moot. They argued that, yes, there are things Singapore can improve on, but at the end of the day, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. The two argued that Singapore is a country that was built on the very backs of our parents in such a short time, but is doing really well regardless. They expressed their concern for having people “jump on the bandwagon” of being heavily influenced by and agreeing with her, thus breeding a subculture of spoilt, self-centred brats. Again, they, too, make valid points.
Let’s be real here: Stephanie was unfairly elected to be the “voice of the people”.
Like Divian said, “All things that she can’t stand about Singapore directly concern her.” Thank you for pointing out the obvious, because that is exactly what the point of her video was. The whole point of it was to clarify the remarks that she made in her interview with RazorTV.
She never once claimed to speak for the entire population or even a tiny group of people. It was, ultimately, a rant about her life here.
That is what I don’t understand about that situation. Tons of people are criticising her for not being proud of her home, but if she isn’t, so what? That hardly reflects on anyone else’s pride for Singapore. The video is simply about Stephanie Koh and her lack of pride for Singapore, which is completely acceptable.
She does not claim to speak for you, for me or for anyone.
Personally, I thought Dee Kosh and Divian’s video went a tad overboard. They too spoke for themselves, but, knowingly or not, they staged a personal attack on Stephanie. In the video, they called her self-centred and admitted being worried about her holding some sort of power over the masses that will influence everyone to drop their patriotism.
I don’t know about this, you guys, but I think that that would require a little more power, maybe? Perhaps if she were not just some angry, popular YouTuber and her audience could not think for themselves, then, maybe everyone who watched her video will turn into Singapore-hating droids.
It turns out, her audience can actually think for themselves, so the Double D’s do not have to worry about Stephanie having a Singapore-hating cult.
With regards to how people should deal with this hoo-ha, I say just move on. Do not desperately place someone in the spot and give them the title of “Voice of Reason” simply because they are an angry citizen with access to a camera and the Internet.
Likewise, in response to said angry citizen, state your points, but do not make personal attacks. If you so wish to defend your stand or report an issue or situation, please do not stir poop up in the process. This situation has turned ridiculously ugly in a short span of three days.
Like Dee Kosh said about thirty times in his video, ‘think about it’.