Singaporeans are Rubbish People

Ice Man has the amazing ability to create ice. Since Singaporeans has the amazing ability to leave tonnes of rubbish behind, we should therefore be known as Rubbish People.

Why is it so hard for us to clean up after ourselves? As an article in Vulcan Post showed, Meadows by the Bay became Garbage Dump by the Bay after the recently concluded Laneway Festival.

rubbish 1

Rubbish 3

[Image credit: Photos from Timothy Chua]

I am assuming that since Laneway Festival is an Indie music festival, the festival goers in Singapore are more likely to be young(ish) people whose dominant language is English. These people would, supposedly, more better educated. Whole fat load of good their education has done them if they haven’t even learnt to clean up after themselves.

“But not all the festival goers are Singaporeans!” Yes. That is probably true. There are likely to be some Ang Mohs at the festival too. So what? Assuming that ALL of those rubbish is left by foreigners (who are likely not to be from South Asia or PRC), can’t Singaporeans pick up the rubbish as they go?

“What?! Pick up rubbish that I didn’t leave behind?! Are you crazy?!” Why is that concept so crazy? A young Japanese boy was videoed doing just that in the Group E World Cup qualifier in June 2015. So why can’t Singaporeans do that? Why is it so hard for us to do that?

“Aiyoh… not that I want to litter la… But cannot find dustbin around!” So? Cannot hold your own rubbish with you until you find a place to throw it ah? Or better yet. Bring it home, sort your rubbish, then recycle! Cannot ah?

In all likelihood, most of the rubbish generated and left behind at the Laneway Festival is generated by young “educated” artsy-fartsy Singaporeans. Probably the same type of people who would clamour for human rights, active citizenry, stronger civil society, more arts and culture, and whatever have you. Yet, these people aren’t cultured enough to clean up after themselves. What a joke!

I can’t find more recent numbers. But in 2009, Singaporeans generated a whooping 527kg of rubbish per person per year. In comparison, Japan generated 421kg per person per year and South Korea generated 380kg per person per year. True, Singapore is much better off than Hong Kong, which generated 921kg per person per year in 2009. But we should look to those who have done better than us and aspire to improve, no?

Singapore isn’t a clean country. We are a cleaned country. Our cleanliness is an illusion maintained by the armies of foreign workers. Worse. Some of us look down on, humiliate, insult, disrespect these foreign workers. As if we are much better than them.

What can we do about this? We should fire all foreign workers cleaning our estates. Estate cleaning should be the responsibility of the people staying in the area. Only have workers to clear the rubbish dump area. And to do quarterly deep cleaning (e.g. water jetting).

Too drastic a move? Then let’s fire all the cleaners in schools. Let students be responsible for the cleanliness of the school. “What? My precious son doing such lowly work as cleaning?!” Yes ma’am. We are teaching your precious son important life skills and building his character through cleaning after himself. These are as important, if not more so, than the subjects taught in the classroom.

So. Before we even start talking about human rights, active citizenry, stronger civil society, more arts and culture, let’s first learn to clean up after ourselves. If we can’t even inculcate such a basic act of civic consciousness, it’s rubbish to think that we can aspire for anything else.


8 thoughts on “Singaporeans are Rubbish People

  1. Nothing other than simple selfishness and lack of consideration for others ….. a trait which is becoming all to evident nowadays.

    Always wondered if their homes are just as littered…!! However, I seriously doubt that… much more likely they are house-proud, spic & span. So what does that say about these “rubbish” people?


  2. Don’t blame the Sinkies coz monkeys see monkeys do. Culture & attitude starts from the top. If the top beam is crooked, the bottom beams will also be crooked. LKY once was fuming mad when his son LHL had to do toilet cleaning at OBS, even after explanation that all the boys are rostered to do it. What that incident taught me and many other boys as well as the instructors there was if you have to sacrifice make sure you’re damn well paid for it, and to the victors go the spoils. Why do you think people still want to get a degree — for knowledge & intellectual awareness?!? Why do you think parents want their kids to slog to become doctors or lawyers — to help people in need?!? Selfish?? Self-centred?? Hey, no free lunch, you die your business.


  3. Singapore used to enjoy the title of clean city in the 70s, 80s and 90s for a good reason. That time, we have a clean Government. Ever since the dirty Government took over (which of course voted in by our Rubbish Singaporean), chunk of Rubbish culture was introduced into this smelly country. So what you don’t really understand?


  4. RENCHoo,
    Since you like to bash Singaporeans. Let me ask you. Were you there in the first place? If not how do do you know the majority of festival goers were Singaporeans? If the rubbish were left by foreigners why should Singaporeans clean up after them? What kind of shit logic is that? Organizers of the festival who make a profit of the event should take the responsibility to ensure the venue is left as they were before the event. If you think foreigners are the ones who left the rubbish why didn’t you blame them or blame the government for letting them in? If you are such a saint what then is stopping you to go there to clean up and set an example? Everyday some where where people gathered there will be rubbish. Did you go and pick up rubbish? I see you are better in spewing rubbish yourself.


    • Your logic is impeccable! Must be those chow Ang Moh’s. And even if it’s Singaporeans, it’s ok. They paid for someone to clean up after them. So it’s ok! Litter away then! Get in armies of bangla workers to clear our rubbish! Certainly the way to go! Woots!


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