The Formula One Fall-Out

So, it was a pretty big weekend for loads of people in Singapore – given the hype and publicity of F1 and F1 Rocks. Oh, and of course, the race.

This is the second year Singapore has hosted the F1 – and I thought the novelty would have worn off after the first one, last year. I remember Facebook being flooded by photographs of friends at F1 – and these were people I know for a fact have never had an interest in F1. But – fair enough – it’s the first year in Singapore – let’s all pose with champagne glasses and pretend not to look bored during 61 laps.

I am not a Formula 1 fan so I won’t pretend to be. Everything I know comes from my father, who is the most supreme F1 fan I personally know – I remember his favourite driver being Nigel Mansell – he’s a true fan of racing – not teams. In fact, one of his birthday gifts from my mother, many, many years ago was a trip to Monza. When he watches the races on TV, he actually makes comments before Steve Slater (if you don’t know who that is, you seriously should not bother going next year) makes them.

Now, I understand the need and desire to experience something new – to hear the roar of the engines, immerse yourself in the spirit of passionate competition – but I don’t think I’m asking too much for you to pretend like you actually care – beyond being able to brag that you took a picture with Hamilton.

Recently read on a blog:

“Hamilton won, as you all probably know by now. I couldn’t care less.”

And yesterday, I spoke to someone who was fortunate enough to have a pit pass (my father would have been over the moon to have that) and made a comment to me, “But the race is so boring – they just go round and round the circuit”.

What did he think they were going to do? Strap on big shoes and a red rubber nose? Right now, the event still has bragging rights but before you open your mouth to start bragging – at least Wiki for some knowledge or feign interest.


I was, however, fortunate enough to chance upon tickets for the final day of F1 Rocks from a friend – and even though we were waaaay at the back, Beyonce was fantastic to watch – a really great, confident performer that put up a good show. And in case anyone was wondering, I was that lunatic at the back who:

  1. yelled, “Bring Jay-Z out!”
  2. sang along, terribly out of tune (but lyrically sound), to Irreplaceable

I regret not making an attempt to catch No Doubt (and no, you idiots, it wasn’t a Gwen Stefani performance, it was No Doubt. And no, they never broke up – they were just on hiatus) cos I really do like their stuff – wonder if they performed Ex-Girlfriend?

The fall-out from the F1 Rocks would have to be Beyonce’s famed take on Singapore English – “…although Singaporeans don’t speak good English, I am glad that they sang along with me…”

Oh, the drama that ensued on our crappy radio stations the next morning (why I was listening, I had no idea). Our ninny DJs Glenn Ong and The Flying Dutchman (for god’s sake, get a grown up name already) had a field day discussing this (I suspect mostly because it saved them from having to research another thin topic to discuss) – and the most brilliant (yes, that was sarcasm) theory from the Flying Dutchman (what’s his bloody real name, damn it!) which was, “Well, Germans and French people have accents, why can’t Singaporeans have theirs?“.

Oh, you foolish, foolish man.

While I choose not to over-analyse Beyonce’s statement (it’s not like she’s the Commonwealth representative for Queen’s English) – the truth of the matter is that Singaporeans can’t speak English for shit. The 100 people you know that you think can speak English well, is nothing in comparison to the millions of Singaporeans who can barely communicate a simple sentence.

If you are Singaporean and speak good English – it means you should be capable of speaking both English and Singlish. If you can only speak Singlish, you cannot speak good English. If you cannot speak good English, chances are, you were lost somewhere in the middle of this post (look at the pretty picture!). I do not look down on Singlish at all – it’s my primary means of communicating. However, in situations where I would be conversing with someone who is not Singaporean (or a formal setting), I would revert to good ol’ plain English. It is really that simple – accents aside.

This has nothing to do with accents. Germans and French people are allowed to speak poor English because it isn’t their first language. I’ve know people who speak better English than the average Singaporean and English was their 4th language! English is technically supposed to be our first, so it’s perfectly logical for foreigners to expect a decent standard of spoken English (and please don’t even bother bringing up this bilingual shit. Being bilingual means that you can communicate somewhat decently in 2 languages. If you can only speak one, you’re still just monolingual. And if you’re going to be monolingual in Singapore, it should be in the official first language – English).

And I have found it terribly amusing that people have ripped Miss Singapore World Ris L0w to shreds on the internet when I would guarantee that almost all would know at least ONE person in their life that speaks that way.

Stop using Singlish as an excuse for poor English – if this language is to be my identity, I’d trade in my passport.

Till F1 2010!

If there are any grammar/spelling mistakes in this post – it was intended for dramatic irony.

2 Replies to “The Formula One Fall-Out”

  1. I am not one of those who blames the educational system. I do not blame any of my Cikgu’s in school for my shoddy excuse of a 2nd language, Malay. I blame myself. But until the day comes where I move somewhere Malay is spoken and are unable to integrate with society, I don’t foresee my lack of Malay language skills being a problem.

    I think I have also adequately proven that I lack the skills required for efficient teaching.

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