25 May 2010


On a recent visit to Vera's hospital NUH, I witnessed behaviour of some mainland Chinese (from China) that really cheesed me off.

Okay. It is known fact that there are now more and more foreigners living in Singapore than ever before, due in part to the very open policy that encourages them to come here to work (bringing their families along with them.)

Sure we don't mind sharing our city, but please, behave with a little decorum and civility!

There was this couple bringing their about 5-year-old daughter for what seems like a routine visit. Well, she doesn't seem like she's in pain or sick.

First the woman barged up to the counter staff and demanded in Chinese:

"Where is there Internet access?"

Staff replied: "There is no internet access for the public."

"You mean there is no internet access in the ENTIRE hospital?" She raised her voice.

Staff replied calmly: "There isn't."

"How can that be possible? What about in the doctor's room? No internet access??" She pressed on, sounding all high and mighty.

Staff, not reacting to her impatience: "No it is not for the public."

I was thinking in response: "Lady, in Singapore, if you want internet access, you have your own laptop or mobile phone."

I thought I had seen the last of her, but then her husband started shouting indignantly to a nurse:

"What do you mean we have to wait so long? This is ridiculous!"

Well, it is a government hospital and you pay subsidised rates, so don't expect the sky.

Next thing you know, both parents barged into Vera's doctor's room (we had just finished our consultation with sweet unassuming Dr S) with their daughter without even knocking on the door and shouted at Dr S. And guess what? They were seen to immediately.

Totally uncouth behaviour. So much for the gracious society that we've been trying so hard to cultivate!