An Open letter to Tourism Management of Singapore

To whom it may concern,

I came across with interest with the advertisements that you have publicised in the mass media recently about the Miss Tourism competition that you are organizing. I perked up with complete rapture at the host’s voice asking me saucily, “Do YOU have it takes to represent Singapore as tourism ambassador”

Okay, so I’m slightly shorter than 1.65m as what the terms and conditions specified and that my body shape would most definitely not put me in the modelesque category and neither do I have the fair caucasian skin that talent scouts are always fawning about.

But whyย vote for an ambassador based upon by how they physically look like?

Everyone here is special, and everyone has their own experiences that are special. Having lived here all my life, I’ve formed bonds with people here. I’ve experienced different cultures. And I’ve walked in the different senses that is unique to this country.

Every few weeks I find the simple joys of exploring Singapore and see what different things that there are in this country. We may be small, but there are always interesting people and things to see if you search well enough.

Without the need to resort to using famous television actors nor singers or models, there are already many fascinating real life people here. Like the Indian uncle with the cool long beard who makes delicious teh tarik, or the friendly Chinese man who would chat with you while you order a potong ice cream from him on a blazing hot day. The interesting auntie that shows you how to handcrafts slippers using tiny beads.

The esplanade is a gorgeous and beautiful monument. Sentosa is a lovely sunny island getaway. But there are also beauty in the simple things, like the coffee-shop that we visit. There you see people of different creeds having their communal breakfast together and you close your eyes and hear different accents and bustling sounds of the atmosphere in the morning.

I’ve experienced joy, gratitude, remourse, excitement, sadness … and a whole load of phetora of being a citizen here. And like everyone else, I struggle … like every one of us, we struggle to reach our goal, our hopes, our dreams.

Since my mother has been more active in attending different community events, I’ve come to appreciate things that I would have never noticed before. The people, the festivals and the joys.

So I refuse parade in a bikini. Thats my freedom of choice. So I have a distaste of having a fake smile and posing like an insipid living doll like what I’ve failed to avoid to see on TV mobile – The Miss Universe pageant. Just seeing these contestants smiling vapidly, beckoning viewers to “Vote for me” sends a chill down my spine.

Why is it so wrong to have a more regular, person to represent? Why is it so wrong to have someone from the heartlands?

So you say that these beautiful vapid dolls will attract more demographics. But you have to remember that beauty is only skin deep and what makes a person is their character, their knowledge and their experiences.

I don’t believe that any one of the current contestant have the passion nor the dedication to ‘represent’. Maybe I could be wrong about that but till the day when I see the chosen delegate doing anything significant to promote tourism, I’ll still be firm in my stand.

Excuse me for being insolent while I look with helpless dismay on our passionless future ambassador.

12 thoughts on “An Open letter to Tourism Management of Singapore”

  1. I agree that you should send this on. You make great, valid points. When tourists visit, they want to see life, they don’t want to see the sanitized, approved version. Fantastic post!

  2. Aww *hugs EJ and jody and the complimenting commenter*

    Very tempted to submit this to STB, though I know that I’d probably be lambasted for it. I could try to give it a try and let you guys know what happens next ๐Ÿ™‚

    And yes, I do believe that one of the important thing in visiting a country is the interaction with people. Thats what makes the experience more meaningful.

    For example, the more memorable part of the vacation trip that I went with my best friends, Juli and Hema was the experience we encountered while interacting with the people there.

    Its undenyable that the scenery does help alot. The beautiful beaches, and the lovely hotels. But I really enjoyed being with the wonderful, warm people there.

    Its just a pity I couldnt speak Thai ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. send it to the papers…of course they’ll never publish it! I recalled another open letter to STB by Alfian Saat.
    Hey, got an idea…let’s collaborate & bash STB!!! hahaha!!

  4. Haha red, you really think so? What did Alfian Saat say in his open letter? would like to know about it too, but google doesnt seem to give me back any results about that letter. Erm bash STB? Its not my intention … my intention was to clarify that embassadors shouldnt be limited only to female models in ‘kinis but it could be the regular, typical heartland person, like you and me who probably have more pride about their homeland as compared to these models who are basically only out for the prizes and fame and have no ounce of passion in their blood.

    I would have liked the 20k too to be honest … ๐Ÿ˜› then I wouldnt gripe so much about being poor…

    Aww crazyphat *hugs* GIMME MOOLAH and I’ll go visit vancouver ๐Ÿ˜›

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