YOUR VIEW: ‘What right do I have to complain?’

SINGAPORE - FEBRUARY 14: Commuters commute at lunch hour at Raffles Place on February 14, 2013 in Singapore. The government white paper revealed Singapore's population may increase 30% to over 6.9 million by 2030, with nearly half the population expected to be foreign-born. Many local residents are critising the plan ,concerned about the added strain on housing, transportation and healthcare and the diminishing identity of the Singaporean community. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

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I just came back from Thailand not too long ago.  Their way of life is so different from us.

Here in Singapore, we rush when we eat, we talk on the phone while we are walking, we multi-task.

We complain about this and that, every niggly thing we can think of. We chase after time and even when we are at home, we would get the kids to go to bed early because of school the next day.  Everything is about rushing and chaos.

Back in Thailand, they savour their humble food and the quality time they have with their family.  Be it a good or bad day, they are content with what they have earned for the day.   They can stand and sell things for over seven hours with only two buyers yet they still serve with a smile. They are not so fortunate like us that their government is able to give handouts. Their service is good.  They are not pampered people like us. They have just been bought up that way.

Bringing in too much foreign talent itself makes citizens upset. But if we look at another point of view, it’s very competitive to have them here.  Competition is very healthy. If we badly want what is right for us, then fight for it.  Show the government we can work thrice as good as the foreigners.

I went to a restaurant to dine with my two kids.  They are both toddlers.  When I asked one of the local waiter where I can get plain water, he pointed to me “there….” and then he walked off.

I couldn’t see it.  Being a pampered Singaporean plus not wanting to leave my 2 toddlers alone, I asked another Filipino waiter where I can get the water.  He pointed to me “there” but he offered to take the water for me since I have two toddlers to handle. He even brought me two glasses of water in case I needed a refill.  

At fast food restaurants, the ang mohs clear their own tray to the dustbin but do I? No, I merely wait for the waiter to clear the tray for me.  I must be too pampered. How can that be when I do the chores all by myself at home?

Whenever I have a problem with the mobile network or even at work, Singaporeans tends to sigh when you ask them repeated questions if you do not understand.  In contrast, Filipinos demonstrate everlasting patience and go through step by step with me until I fully understand.  It may take 30 minutes but yet they are patient.  You can tell from their tone of voice.

When Singaporeans cannot offer this kind of service, why am I complaining when FTs are taking over my rightful place? I should be ashamed of myself. 

I come from a middle class family background, spoilt rotten with love by my parents and family, grew up in a well sheltered country yet I forget to count my blessings. I keep complaining and comparing myself with those higher than me when I should have compared myself with those less fortunate.

I better start to be thankful for what I have been given and blessed with before everything is taken away from me.

Zarinah Idris, 40
Assistant buyer in a hospital

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