Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Welcome to Singapore!

As a loyal pappy dog, I read 7 government-controlled newspapers everyday: Straits Times, New Paper, Business Times, Zaobao, Wanbao, Sinmin, Berita Harian.

This helps me understand the peasants' thinking, and more importantly, the thinking of my Pay-And-Pay Masters.

Most days, there is nothing surprising. But this morning, I nearly choked on my breakfast when I read the following in Zaobao:





My Chinese is not very good. But I think I can still make out what the report is saying:

When China's women table tennis team - comprising Li Jiawei etc - came over yesterday from Guangzhou (where they had just been placed 2nd in the 49th World Tournament) for a visit, not a single Singaporean - save for 2 employees of the Singapore Table Tennis Federation and a student-player's parent (Singaporean?) - was at Changi Airport to welcome them!

What were Singaporeans thinking?

Hello! It is not everyday that an all-star women table tennis team from China visits our country!

We, Singaporeans, should be there to extend our "Uniquely Singapore" hospitality to these overseas guests: ex-Chinese citizen Li Jiawei, ex-Chinese citizen... etc etc.

For goodness sake, it's their best result ever!

The last paragraph even reported that at the very last minute, the Singapore table tennis team tried to round up some supporters to go down to the airport, but nobody give them face!

I really wanted to find a hole to hide my face when I read that. We Singaporeans are really uncultured. Confucius said:

When friends come from afar,
doesn't that fill us with great joy?

Of course, it does!

Aren't Li Jiawei and her team-mates our foreign friends from afar? You mean China is not far enough?

Today, I am so embarrassed to call myself a Singaporean.

If I had known of this news earlier, I would have bought some satay and Orchid flowers and gone to Terminal 3.

I would have presented our local delicacies and flower to these charming ladies from China, and introduce these foreign visitors to our beautiful homeland! I would have said:

"Welcome to my country,
our dear friends from China.
I hope you all enjoy your tour here!"

Being foreigners in a foreign land, they would have appreciated my gesture to make them feel at home.

And the next time, when I visit China, they would reciprocate, and show me around their country too!

That's how we make friends!

Sigh, Singaporeans really don't know how to make friends with foreigners.


Next time, the Singapore Table Tennis Federation should try to contact me and my colleagues. We are good at getting fake supporters to show up at events (e.g. at election rallies). We sure won't end up like them - last minute cannot get enough people to show up!

The last time, we even got Lim Swee Say to welcome the badminton(?) team from China and Indonesia, at the airport. We in Young Pay-And-Pay are very efficient one.