Just a different type of ang moh. They look up to the “Victorians” i.e. the arch colonisers. (Btw, one Raffles, was a pre “Victorian”. Farquhar with his Malay mistress and support of gambling as a source of revenue, was not.
But first, below is the govt’s response to an Economist article entitled “Rules are thicker than blood” which made fun of S’pore’s “Victorian” values.
It makes several good points that our ang moh tua kees forget or ignore or are ignorant of:
— “today’s Western norms … are historically recent and by no means uncontested, even in Western societies”; and
— “time will tell if a cautious approach to social change is wiser”.
“Rules are thicker than blood” (January 13th) derided Singapore’s norms on what constitutes a family as “Victorian”. Our values and social norms on what makes for a stable family unit are conservative and shape the government’s policies and rules on adoption. They differ from today’s Western norms, which are historically recent and by no means uncontested, even in Western societies. Singaporeans will determine their own pace of any change in family values.
A push for rapid social change, especially on contentious moral issues, risks polarising society and producing unintended results. In Singapore nearly all children are born and raised in wedlock, starkly different from what now happens in the West. We make no claim to know which values are best for every society. The Economist may think Singapore is quaint and old-fashioned, but time will tell if a cautious approach to social change is wiser.
FOO CHI HSIA High commissioner for Singapore London
OK, OK yes I know “Victorian” values were once ang moh values. And that shows that today’s ang moh tua kees are also real S’poreans like the PAPpies.