Tuesday 7 August 2012

Not my intention to mock foreign talent

On Sunday, after my column headlined "My mother says Tao Li is too fat to win" was published in The New Paper, I discovered that the article was discussed in two online forums at Hardware Zone and Spatchy.

On the one hand, I'm happy that people read my column and cared enough to share it online.

On the other hand, it's kind of surreal to read things about yourself written by people you don't know.

Of course, there are some negative comments. But I'm especially dismayed that my column is characterised as mocking foreign talent, which was not my intention.

But I'm relieved yet also feel conflicted that many people seem to enjoy the column because they think I was mocking foreign talent. Which I guess I was - but not intentionally.

My intention was just to make fun of the physical appearance of certain members of Team Singapore and it just so happened that they are foreign-born athletes.

But the point of my column is in the headline rewritten for this blog, "To win an Olympic medal, looks aren't everything."

So in a way, I was actually making fun of my mother for saying that Tao Li looks fat and that's why she can't win.

Ang Peng Siong looked like a world champion, but he never won an Olympic medal. Wang Yuegu looks like a beer aunty, but she helped win Singapore's first medal in 48 years.

As I wrote twice in my column, looks can be deceiving.

Yes, I also wrote that you can take Feng Tianwei out of China, but you can't take China out of her. That was just about her hair.

Ironically, I was writing about the National Day Parade for last Sunday's column but changed it hurriedly at the last minute after finding out that Neil Humphreys had also written about NDP in his column next to mine.

Not sure if it was a blessing in disguise.

I'm a little upset that someone in the Hardware Zone forum calls me an "unker". I suppose that's retribution for calling Wang a "beer aunty".

What's more disconcerting is that someone in the forum also mentions the area where I live. Scary.

UPDATE: The story of a story