would you want her to represent us?

As we all know, Ris Low gave up her Miss Singpore World 2009 title amidst the criticisms about her poor English and her prior criminal offences. The joke is still on her as spoof videos are made of her and viewed by a wide audience. However, there are also those who defend her. I refer to this letter in TODAY written in response to the issue.

Why do you think those two reasons are not sufficient for her to step down? Sure, Singaporeans may not be as forgiving as we picture ourselves to be, what with the yellow ribbon project, but the fact that she did not even report her prior criminal offences when taking part in the competition is going against the rules. It’s like lying on the immigration form that you have not been previously convicted of any crimes.

We are not fooling the rest of the world that Singaporean English standards are higher than that. Every country who takes part in the competition wants someone to best represent their country, so does Singapore. What is wrong with that? Seeing that your English is so much better, would you want her to represent your country in an international competition?

If Phua Chu Kang could go take English courses to brush up his English after being criticised, so can Ris Low and the rest of Singaporeans who speak as poorly as her. Until she learns how to speak properly, I really don’t think she should be given a second chance.

4 thoughts on “would you want her to represent us?

  1. I’m one of those who feels sorry for Ris not because she is continually lampooned for her lack of diction and her integrity issues, but rather on the concern that she is just a 19 year old girl.

    I think at 19, many of us may not be able to appreciate that our actions today can have serious ramifications to in the near future. And in this case, failing to report her past convictions.

    Not that I encourage or condone not coming clean with one’s wrongdoings, but I think it’s possible for us to understand what may have caused her in making the foolish move. Was she really coveting on that Miss Singapore title?

    In any case, I think the fatal jab was her repeated denial when given a chance to clear things up on one of her interviews on national TV.

    Still, I’m saddened that Singaporeans choose to see this as a celebratory platform to condemn a fellow citizen for her poor speaking skills and then integrity. Many even went further suggesting that there were under-table transactions which led to her crowning earlier this year.

    While one may not have the eloquence expected of Singaporeans to take part in a worldwide competition like this, I don’t think we, collectively as a country should go on insinuating additional charges, making ludicrous claims and speculations.

    Are we too critical for our own good?

    Another question is, if given a chance to brush up her English, are we able to re-accept her to represent us again? I doubt many will accept her, given her infamous background already in the limelight.

    My point is, with all our moralistic campaigns, apparent movements to encourage others to step out of their errant sides, why are we still so stingy in awarding forgiveness and encouragements?

    Any idea? 🙂

  2. Hi Elisia,

    Thanks very much for your interesting blog. It’s always nice to see how people on the other side of the globe live, how they share the same joys and sorrows, what they do in their free time, etc.

    I actually have a question about your blog. Would you mind helping us with a linguistic research project? We’re compiling data from various Singaporean weblogs. All it requires is checking a few boxes. If you want to take part and/or have more questions, I’ll send you the ‘official’ project eMail. We’d really appreciate your help.

    Thanks very much in advance!
    Best regards,
    – Fran

  3. the first time I saw the interview on youtube, I had to
    laugh my ass off (almost literally). my pal at down
    under sent me the link and being the poker-face joker
    that he is, we had a good laugh over it.

    turns out that a lot of locals actually commented and
    made this such a huge deal.

  4. I don’t know anything of this situation, but is being able to speak fluent English in a competition like this really necessary? I do agree that she shouldn’t be in the contest if she has done something illegal but I don’t know if her English should be a reason for her to drop out.

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