If there ever is a book that the Singapore Tourism Board may not want published, Singapore Sucks! may just be it.
The book consists of a forward by the enigmatic and elusive Dr. Algernon Giles French, followed by twenty-six chapters, and a very useful Glossary of Unfamiliar Singaporean Terms
Singapore Sucks! is a bouquet of sarcasm, humor, insolent honesty-and the discerning reader may even recognize more than a hint of patriotic fervor.
It is good to see Singaporeans making fun of their country and its foibles while still being proud of their heritage.
The book’s chapters contain a collection of short stories, essays, and poems that a group of mainly Singaporean writers has captured and managed to convey that peculiar frame of mind that can only be described as uniquely Singaporean.
If you have ever wondered about Singaporeans’ fascination with Western culture, the Singlish vs. English divide (Singlish being English spoken Singapore style), or what exactly is that moving target of “Asian values” Singapore’s politicians keep trying to push—then this book is a must-read for you.
With the construction of unique buildings, and the establishment of a major gambling site on its Sentosa Island, Singapore is viewed by many tourists as an Asian Disneyland.
However, for many Singaporeans who have had to put up with strict rules for decades now, Singapore is not just Disneyland.
As in other countries, including the U.S., Singaporeans can get very annoyed with their country’s mainstream media-especially the government-owned newspapers circulating in Singapore – for their fixation on the “Disneyland” side of Singapore.
There is more to Singapore than Disneyland, and that is why the authors came together to write Singapore Sucks!
Singapore Sucks!, 134-pages, ISBN 9789834479398, is published by Gerakbudaya, in Malaysia, and is available online.