Transcribed & Translated by Dan Feng
A police report was lodged against Mr Wang Peng Fei on 24th July 2011 for allegedly uttering racist remarks against Singapore women in a self-made video clip posted on YouTube. After learning about the police report, Mr Wang fled Singapore and returned to China. He was also expelled by the East Asia School of Business for his act. Appended below is the translated transcript of the video clip.
They say coming to Singapore is the f**king path to good fortune. Why is it the f**king path to good fortune?
You sign an indenture to sell yourself. Sometimes you sign away six years of your life, sometimes three. You graduate and you can’t leave. Aren’t there cases like that?
Is electricity free here? It’s sweltering outside and one wishes one could be topless but they wear sweaters at the drop of a hat. Here, they wear quilted jackets to the office. They wear a downcoat when it’s 32 degrees Celcius. Come see if this is the case in Singapore.
Singlish is a language on its own. For over 20 years, I have studied English, Chinese, Japanese and French and I can’t use any of those languages here. Mandarin, Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka, Hokkien, Indian, Malay and English have all been combined into a unique language [in Singapore].
Over here, they don’t say someone is plump or someone is tall. Instead, they say that he is “dazhi” (big-sized).
They don’t say “gongzuo” (working) but insist on saying “zuogong” (do work). They ask you every day, where do you “zuogong”? I’m a person of culture for heaven’s sake. I’m not a coolie. I don’t “zuogong”.
They don’t call sea snails “hailuo” but call them “lala”…no they call them “gonggong”. They don’t call clams “xiazi” but call them “lala”. [In China,] father is called “gonggong” and mother is called “lala”. How can I eat them?
They pronounce 3 as “tree”. The say “one, two, tree”. Just like how we say “chuiling”.
Instead of calling 3:10 “sandian shifen”, they call it “sandian lianggezi”.
[short indecipherable sentence]
When you take the MRT, you ask them “Where’s the subway?” and they think you want a sandwich. You must ask “Where’s the MRT?”.
Is this the first time I’m in a foreign country? When I want a taxi I ask for a “dishi” and nobody understands me. They tell me it’s called a “deshi”. F** that.
And when you finally board the “deshi”, the “deshi uncle” asks you: Where are you from? You are from China? China is poor. Do you have houses there? Do you get enough to eat? F*** that. Did your grandfather not come from China? He probably came to Nanyang to be a coolie. No wonder you say “zuogong” instead of “gongzuo”.
Can’t you see that I am so “dazhi”? Love is forever, being plump is just a temporary thing. I want to become the ray of light shining on all the fatties of the world.
Singapore is like a little United Nations. On this small island are people of different skin colours and different faiths. Here’s a fair-skinned girl showing her long slim legs. There goes a dark-skinned girl showing her white teeth. There comes an Indian girl showing her fingers [unclear section]. They have that smell and then they put on perfume. Am I right?
I say to the Malay girl. Why are you so dark? So…what is this…[checks something next to screen] Why are you so dark, with such pale legs, such white teeth, and you smell of birds? Perhaps you’re just good for bearing children. You have one, and then another. Are you unsure of your childbearing ability unless you go out with at least four children in tow? You’re giving the Lee dynasty a headache don’t you know? The Chinese here don’t even have one child, and over there, you’re bearing one child after another.
Although Singapore has many races, you should know how to co-exist peacefully. They cane people here, but it’s not S&M. You may be M but you won’t be able to take it. The first stroke breaks the skin, the second breaks the flesh, the third reveals your bone and by the fourth you’re all helpless.
Cigarettes in Singapore are ten times the price of other places. Let’s not talk about this for now but can you please change the photos printed on the cigarette packs? If it’s not rotting body parts, it’s dead babies. Even non-smokers get turned off looking at this.
As for the good food in Singapore…f’**k that. When I want sliced fish soup, I have to choose from 48 possible combinations. With milk or without? Thick vermicelli or thin? Flat noodles or skinny ones? Extra fish slices or fish head? Have some chicken rice. You can have chicken rice, duck rice, char siew rice or braised pork rice. Breast, drumstick or thigh? With bone or without? I’ll starve to death before I finish ordering. But Singapore is such a pluralistic society.
Wahlau! It’s really hard being a Chinese newcomer in Singapore.
Every country has her own unique culture and terms. The people and way of doing things is also different. This makes a country unique. Instead of embracing and acceptance as well as respect, this PRC mock and made fun of the place and people while he is here.
Insensitive, ignorant, lack of exposure and too much money on hand to spend. I feel sad for him.
As a hospitality student, this should not be his way of handing issues of living and studying abroad. I am glad the school expel him for his own doos and positive image of the school and Singapore. as he does not have the graduate qualities of a hospitality student.
Thank you for the translation. While ethnically Chinese and Mandarin-speaking (the Singaporean version, heheh), I could only understood about 50% of what the student said in the video before viewing your web page. Keep up the good work in bridging the cultural divide of China and Singapore.
In my views, these are no racists remarks at all. More like his own personal cultural take of SG (with chinese sense of humor), which are mostly correct observations, I would add. Perhaps the part on the malay child-bearing remarks is somewhat insensitive, but isn’t this something that most singaporeans (unspoken) acknowledged too?
So TRE might have flamed that up a bit. He probably just need a gentle warning and that’s all. But is too late now.
Hi Proton, I disagree with your view that he probably just need a gentle warning and that’s all. I find him inconsiderate, senseless and he calls himself a person of culture? I’d have slap him across the face because I admit, I am not as cultured as him. Not that I’d want to be anyway.
For the senseless dude who ran back to china..
One, what you termed a object/transport in one country and another can be different. This guy either don’t travels much or he’s so narrow minded he don’t realise this! Is it not true people call cabs or taxis and some even other names we might not know in other countries?
Two, the older generations do not have good commands of languages because they’re probably too used to dialects and is it a crime? If not for them, would the Singapore today be viewed as a “GOOD FORTUNE” by your fellow countrymen to come here? IF you’re here, don’t complain. You know the conditions when you sign for it. IF you don’t like it, don’t come here. We don’t really fancy having someone foreign coming to our little island to complain about everything and causes our transport to be crammed everyday. But if you’re here and you’re nice, we will still be nice people.
So off you go, rude insensitive, idiotic chinese boy, we don’t need you. We have other nice foreign mates who are our buddies in comrades irregardless of nationalities, races and other differences. And we all recognizes your face now.
Apology by Wang Peng Fei: “First of alll I want to apologise to all Singaporeans, I had no intention of hurting you maliciously, from my dressing and my accent, some people may understand it was purely for entertainment and comedy… I didn’t think about racial discrimination, I also had a lot of Malay and Indian friends, we would go out together, clubbing together, working together, we get along very well.”
O dear, a clear case of a foreigner who had no idea that the exhortation “Speak Your Mind” is but a Singtel-mobile ad. Hahahahahahahaha (yes, with that said subject’s laugh). Laughing along is ok, right? Wink-wink, I am righteously OB-marked.
It’s a bit of culture shock for this China young man. His personal views through observation and interaction with local community are direct and sharp. Right or wrong is a matter of individual judgement. We as Singaporean has to learn to be receptive toward such kind of comments.
Initially he complains about being bonded. Singaporean & foreign students can be bonded. This assures them of not just student fees but a job. Still, no one likes to be unnecessarily restricted. Some bonds can be broken if the fees are repaid.
Is electricity free here, he asks because airconditioning is set to the coldest setting. In China, they are instructed to keep it at a comfortable 26 degrees Celsius. So Singaporeans, he implies, are extravagent or even senseless since they wear winter clothing because they have set the temperature so low. Perhaps we should be less wasteful.
Singlish is pidgin or creole. Seriously, no one expects foreigners to pick it up since it does not travel (except possibly to Malaysia). But speaking some may break the ice.
Singapore Mandarin, like Singlish, does not travel well. Still, that’s what many Singaporeans claiming to speak Chinese or Mandarin speak.
Then he talks about the taxi driver’s questions about the situation in China. Many Singaporeans still are not aware how much China has changed in the few decades, in spite of all the media reports. Or they want to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
Then comes the provocative bit:
“There goes a dark-skinned girl showing her white teeth. There comes an Indian girl showing her fingers [unclear section]. They have that smell and then they put on perfume.”
(Easily have heard such things coming from Singaporeans of Chinese origin).
“I say to the Malay girl. Why are you so dark? So…what is this…[checks something next to screen] Why are you so dark, with such pale legs, such white teeth, and you smell of birds? Perhaps you’re just good for bearing children. You have one, and then another. Are you unsure of your childbearing ability unless you go out with at least four children in tow?”
Again it is not as if Chinese Singaporeans never say such things. But maybe not on Youtube.
Then he speaks of the Great Marriage Debate (low birth rate of Chinese Singaporeans). Obviously he is not the first to talk about it.
Then he goes on about judicial caning which may people worldwide find shocking for a non-Islamic state.
One the restirctions on cigarettes here, the contrast to a China national must be great due to their availability and freedom to advertise in China.
On the food choice in Singapore, surely that’s a good thing.
Maybe it was the make up he had on. Was he trying to be Malay? It did not quite go with the script.
The humour falls flat.
The police report was a waste of time.
The expulsion by the school was over the top.
No doubt he will visit Singapore again. And ponder the issue of freedom of speech here versus in other countries, including his own.
I’d rather have provocative Youtube videos than madmen shooting. Let the young make their provocative videos. (They of course have to be prepared for feedback).
Would no one highlight the fact that it’s not his ‘personal views’? The ‘poem’ (various versions mocking various countries) has been around on forums and he was reciting it in what he thought was a humourous performance. You think he really learnt so many languages?
I don’t approve of his behaviour but I agree TRE and its readers blew it out of proportions.
The fact is that Wang Peng Fei has broken the law in Singapore and the school is right to expel him for his act. Please view below. In any case, he couldn’t have been let off by the SPF if he had remained in Singapore.
3. —(1) A seditious tendency is a tendency —
(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government;
(b) to excite the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure in Singapore, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;
(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Singapore;
(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore;
(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.
Apart from the stupid comments about Malays, nothing he said in the video was hateful. He just repeats the common gripes that most foreigners have here …. proper Chinese and proper English are rarely spoken, you have to wear three layers of clothes to work in 30-degree heat, PRC people are looked down upon as being poor by Singapore standards … Are these things not true? For this he gets charged by the police and chased out of Singapore?
I agree that his mocking tone was insensitive, but if hurting people’s feelings is a crime, then half of SIngapore should be locked up for the things they say about the PRC people who come here. Singaporeans constantly criticize all the “China workers” as being lazy, uneducated, rude, uncultured, etc. For the past four years, I always read these letters from readers in the Straits Times and Today full of nasty comments about PRC immigrants. How come none of these writers or newspapers get arrested for insulting the dignity of PRC people? This just shows that Singaporeans are thin-skinned and can’t take criticism when it’s lobbed back at them.
Takes all kinds to make the world. No point getting boiled up or waste time on “small” people…
“(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore;
(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.”
are true, then Singapore is the one with a problem. If the underlying/baseline social/ethnic tension is so bad that one, ONE, bad comedy by a foreigner could blow up such tension to a true conflict between different groups, then Singapore itself is having a problem.
Allow the police and court to arrest him for doing such thing is going to be the end for freedom of speech (although already very limited) in Singapore. If the law is so liberally interpreted like that, the next time anyone, including Singaporeans, criticize the government (as in clause (a)), he got booted to jail. The PAP can have a blank check to simply jail up all oppositions; not that it never happened before, but today is the 21st century, not the Cold War. Ponder about that for a second, do you really want that? Or you are going to play the race card?
We all hear Singapore government promoting learning Chinese and English, officially and unofficially, as it will give Singaporean an “advantage” of being “bilingual”. Well, what’s the point of being “bilingual” if neither of the languages are up to the international standard? I know that being excellent in both is very very difficult and it takes time; but can Singapore at least try? Though I gotta praise Singaporeans for having quite better English than some PRCs.
Also, he probably did spell out on youtube, in videos, views that many Singaporeans think about different ethnic groups in their society. It’s hardly original. In today world, though, mocking other people appearance is frown upon, even for comedy purpose, unless you talk about your own group.
And my experience of people’s perception of different countries? gotta tell ya, his is probably among the tamer ones. I know one who thought Vietnam was still in war or Japan being full of perverts.
My verdict of him? Bad comedian? Probably.
Racist? Somewhat, but not exceptional, still within the expected range. Racism in the world today still exist; but it’s rather a matter of being overt or not. Many people are much more racist than he is, but they simply don’t express it, or only among friends or people of the same group. He made the mistake of speaking out though.
Did what happened to him justified? Hardly. It satisfied a lot of Singaporeans and fuel the “FT are evil scums” to a T, but logically and morally, it’s hardly so. It’s blown out of proportion. If this happens in the USA (I don’t particularly like the US or anything) or Western Europe, the school can be sued for infringing the freedom of speech.
Did he made a stupid mistake? Yes. This is what I am critical of him. He is on a foreign land, all alone, among a sea of (quite) xenophobic (anti-FT) foreigners and the host government isn’t particularly fond of defending civil rights (the interpretation of civil rights may vary, but ask yourself, does Singapore government really protect its citizen will? If so, then what’s all this anti-FT thing is all about? And yes, it’s something some presidential candidates voiced. And notice this: few days ago, the Law Minister said that even the President can’t criticize the government publicly; giving the example of King George having done so and get killed. Wrap this around your head: the Head of State (President) can not criticize the Government of the State (I have to remind that in political terms, the State is bigger than the Government, even if the Government is the leader of the State; if so, what happens to the citizens? I’m not trying to incite anything, just a question to ponder.) and yet he went on and rambling about place. He is holding the (very) short end of the stick. It’s like you went into another person’s house then criticize the host’s photos and drawings hang on the wall. For all I care, you could be punched in the mouth or shot in the face. I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong for either parties to do so; but you should always consider your position of power.
Let’s play a little game of what if. What if the person made the video is a white, rich bank investor or CEO of a foreign company in Singapore? It’s not like those people are sensitive; most are but some are pretty darn racist. What would happen? Would Singapore government kick him out? Singaporeans would probably boo him but his Singaporean employees are unlikely to quit their jobs.
Remember that girl who said “We fucking did it!” at the end of her valedictorian speech. She drew half a crowd of sympathy, half of shit storm. What if it has been a PRC instead (it’s not like it’s impossible for a foreigner to be a Valedictorian. NUS Life Science PhD valedictorian of 2011 is a foreigner; I know it)? I would doubt even one-tenth of the previous sympathetic crowd would be the same for him. Everyone would probably wants to lynch him (to be understood metaphorically) and all of the sudden the “FT are scums” rhetorical are popular.
Just my 2 cents.
There is quite a number of people who think that what he says somehow is taken as gripes of a foreigner, making fun of it all for humor and jokes.
So i have a question, would you like us(singaporeans) or any other people around the world make jokes and humor, making fun of you guys eating dogs?
how does it make you PRCs feel?
Of course it triggers Singaporeans, you guys come here and you guys do all this shit. Obviously, you PRCs would feel the same if we all ever come to your country make a mockery out of you guys.
So much of make fun of this and that, no good singapore here and there. Malay women skin colour, indian curry how is that not an insult?
PRCs with culture who dont shave? how does make you guys feel?
Pure stupidity. If he really thinks its just jokes and humor why run home? pfft!
Nothing provocative or racist here. What he said has been said before over and over again by others, so this whole police report and expulsion thingy is really making a mountain out of a molehill.
There are tonnes of such blogs or vids out there just about any person/country. Read it and moved on!
From the translation it appears this fellow is provoking the racial sentiments – Unclear who is the dark skinned girl with the white teeth, Indian girl with?fingers, they have the smell they put on the perfume.Calling malays smelling like birds and procreating much to the displeasure of the govt.Taking a swipe at the local Chinese calling them descendent of coolies and for their uncultured ways and accent.THE WORST was painting his lips black. The toothpaste brand DARLIE from Hong Kong was actually called DARKIE many years ago and the lips were painted black exactly like this fellow. This was from the Black and White Ministral show in USA in the era of discriminATION 1960′s.BY A COURT CASE THE NAME DARKIE WAS WITHDRAWN AND RENAMED DARLIE and a hefty compensation was paid to the civil liberties group from the USA. IT appears that this is a doctored swipe at Singaporeans by an organized body not by an individual.Care had been taken that Indians were not called anything worse as the some locals and Malaysians do other than Hindus which only the PRC do.
I arrive at the conclusion that this is an act of frustration to influence the govt politically so they resort at taking a swipe at our society in exasperation.
He forgets that he and his ching chong kind say flied lice instead of fried rice. Sick bastards of Asia.
You all scold PRC.
Now on of them scold back you not happy.
Oh please don’t be hypocrites.