HENRY LIM: I write this in response to the letter Ang Moh Couple Mock “Stupid Singaporeans” Who Gave Up Their Seat to Them at the Food Court. I have lived and worked in England and Australia for the past decade (please don’t call me an “expat”, just “foreign worker” will do). There’s no doubt you will that as an Asian “chink” you will receive abuse from some quarters of the people in these countries, especially further from the city where the population gets more homogeneous and foreigners are a rarity.
But this doesn’t mean that all so-called “ang mohs” still have that old imperialist mindset and think lowly of Asian people. I have met many that have shown me more kindness than condescension and I’m grateful to count them as friends as living overseas without family can take its toll on your mind. I’ve gotten into scraps there with other whites, during which my “ang moh” colleagues have never failed to stand on my side when the fault didn’t lie with me.
True, I’ve never succeeded in dating an “ang moh”, but that’s probably more due to my portly appearance than discrimination on their end.
When it comes to social graces, I’d say that for most of the past decade, my experience with our former “colonial masters” has been very positive, in spite of my spontaneous Singlish as times. Definitely, there will be bad apples in every barrel, and I don’t doubt that some Caucasians who arrive on our sunny shores can be brash and haughty. But I hope that this minority will not represent all “ang mohs” in the minds of Singaporeans. Similarly, those laddish, misbehaving “ang moh” louts that appear in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Interact more and keep your mind broad and open. You’ll see that the good apples far outnumber the bad.
Thank you Henry for this letter.
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