Saturday, February 5, 2011

Singapore Straits Times atrocious lack of English proficiency

Ladies and Gentlemen,

With the unremitting brain drain out of Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, a place discredited through Lee Kuan Yew's dictatorial one party rule, one of the major consequences of this naturally is the dearth of qualified professionals proficient in the English language, since they have the most opportunities of leaving Singapore for settlement in the West. And as expected, they continue to leave in droves.

The need for and the lack of English language competent people in Singapore is particularly acute in the case of an English newspaper, obviously, for reporters journalists and editors, since they have to write in the English language, and not in Mandarin Chinese.

The sad fact that Singapore is hurting very badly in this respect can be seen by the following article in the Straits Times online edition of Feb 5, 2011 by Lester Kok and Grace Chua, presumably both local Singaporean Chinese with English names titled "That predatory hunger for shark's fin".

From the title, we would have obviously imagined the story to be about some other sea creatures of the deep who have a taste for shark fin, perhaps killer whales or some other larger fish than the shark, who have now gone on a rampage to confront sharks and eat their fins; thus the title "That predatory hunger for shark's fin". Sea creatures are of course hunters and predators who hunt and prey on other smaller fish. At least that was what I thought the story was about!

Actually it is nothing of the sort. The story actually, and who would have thought, is about the Chinese people of Singapore who have a customary craving for shark fin soup, which we all know, and despite the latest trend to stop the cruelty against sharks, and save it from extinction, it talks of their unwillingness to forgo the dish.

Anyone with even rudimentary English would have realized that giving a story about Chinese culinary habits the title "That predatory hunger for shark's fin" is surely a mile off the mark! Where are the "predators" in the story! Was he referring to the Chinesse who eat the soup as predators? Surely one need not be a "predator" to enter a Chinese restaurant and order Shark fin soup!

The quality of the work of the state controlled Straits Times with writers such as this has become abysmally poor, not even comparable to that of an American 8th grade school newsletter in California. And with the unabated alarming outflow of even more educated Singaporeans leaving the island and with no one locally capable of writing wanting anything to do with a state controlled propaganda sheet such as this, you are on the slide down the slippery slope to compete incompetence.

I take pride in being at least partly responsible for exposing the rot of what Singapore has really become today and I am looking forward to seeing its major newspaper discredited even further as long as Lee Kuan Yew remains in control of his dictatorship.

Frankly there is no other way to put it. With writers such as this who talk about "predators" who eat shark fins soup, Singapore's Straits Times today is just rubbish, or as the Americans would say, simply garbage.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Anonymous said...

When I saw the title "predatory" I immediately imagined in my mind about some new monster in the sea or even an alien with a taste for the finer stuff.

Anonymous said...


my thinking, worse than what anon 5 feb wrote.
i thought of lee kuan yew and his appetite for eating opposition figures during election campaign.