I am going to draw readers’ attention here to a very badly written blog, more so because I believe after having come across its entries, as far as it started out with good intentions, to bring readers’ attention to the dire employment or unemployment situation in Singapore, and the way this situation is affected by politics in that country which is nothing but a political red dot on the globe or map, it has strayed from its original intentions and meandered into a Dantesque wood of boggling sensationalisms and mangled English. Rather, should I say, Singlish? Granted that I was educated in the USA and Canada(most of my graduate school education was in Canada), I believe that it is a valid criticism of that person’s blog to note that he writes extremely poorly with numerous grammatical errors and is pathetically appealing to a vaunted logic of “oppose the government for the sake of opposing”. If we look at his blog, www.transitioning.org, the truth is, he does not only write very badly with grammatical errors and logical fallacies at work there, but in addition, he has a tendency to edit articles and interviews written by others such that they read badly as a result of his failure to even edit them well.

I realized a need to actually publicize this, because the writer of that blog, Gilbert Goh, was uncivil to me, and tried using an insulting stance at me in a bid to act defensive. When you unmask someone like him for who he really is, simply someone who is tapping into the negativity in Singapore, to use it to his political advantage and often without much of a real measure to want to improve any of the situations beyond complaining and petitioning, you will realize how pathetic and shallow that the logic of his writings are. I was very cordial initially to grant him a few interviews and filled in the 2 articles while I was still unemployed and searching for a job in Singapore, but he had on a few occasions added in statements which I did not write into the interviews, and indirectly, that had added to the rabid character of his blog posts, in which a Malaysian reader attacked me personally and said that I am not deserving of my English PhD. As far as it goes, bad editing leads to poor understanding, coupled with a bunch of rabid readers who have no tolerance for reading and just want instant gratification by reading articles that can stroke their negativity.

Let me fill the readers in on the story. I decided against writing a 3rd interview for him, because on one occasion of a Facebook chat while I am now in Japan, he constantly badgered me with tiring statements such as that I am in Tokyo or Osaka, that he envies me for being there(when ironically, I am in Nagoya), and he constantly assumed that I would live forever in Japan although he knew my contract does not allow me to stay in the job forever, and then he even threw in silly statements such as that I should get a Japanese wife because (quote and unquote from him here…) “they are good in bed and submissive”. Any decent self-respecting person, whatever his or her nationality or ethnicity, would know that no self-respecting person will make such stereotypical statements about Japanese women, because they sound insulting and misinformed. Maybe he seriously should tell that directly to Japanese men and women for his own sake, and see how they will react to that statement of his, as to whether they will feel complimented or insulted. In addition to all these, I figured out that his negativity would be contagious and hence, I had to refrain from adding fuel to the fire which was already voraciously spreading around to begin with. We have had too many Singaporeans complaining nonstop about things, and while I grant that it is alright to vent, it is not fine to actually continue to complain without putting forth real measures which will be implemented.

I had on 2 fronts rejected writing the 3rd interview for him: firstly, he writes very ungrammatical entries and has a tendency to edit articles haphazardly, which reduces the dignity of what its original posters intended; secondly, his blog promotes a blatant rabid negativity which will not restore things to the situation as they could be (for the better) in Singapore, and in fact, potentially drives away the more critical-minded Singaporeans away from the opposition. But his reaction inside an email was not only insulting but sounded as if he had in fact been defensive to the point of wanting to make me look bad for himself to look good. He had stated that “for an English PhD holder, you write horrendously” and went onto stating that I frame my thoughts in a rambling fashion and so on, and that some primary Four students can probably even write better than me.

As far as it concerns me, such negativity and insulting language from someone who does not even write any good English at all, speaks Singlish(which is basically pidgin English), and has no trace of thoughts about self-reflection, probably deserves more than just a reminder to him to go and re-learn his English in grade school. Since I have absolutely no intention of stooping to his level to call him names, and see him as a rabidly negative pro-opposition politician wannabe, who posts for the sake of ‘verbal masturbation'(basically, obtaining a high from spitting off whatever he can about Singapore and the government, without first framing his language carefully), I told him to try taking an English PhD first before he makes such remarks. For someone in his 50’s who behaves that negatively, I think this is that much he can deserve, although I am sure that my other friends would be meaner to him. He even tried on and on to email me to tell me to stop the damaging exchange when all I did was to point out that he is basically just being insulting, reading what I wrote as a means of honestly assessing what his website needs to improve on for greater readership as antagonism, when it was far from the matter. I basically just deleted him off my Facebook and blocked him from my emails, since I figure out that it is healthiest for me and my mental health. One thing is for sure, when I wrote in a short and curt reply(ONE short and curt reply), I really meant it when I said, “I do not befriend negative people. I will say this nicely and politely: GET LOST.” He obviously would not take a ‘No’ for an answer, and still went onto emailing something which was to the effect of “I cannot have kopi alone.” “Kopi” is the Malay word in Singapore for “coffee”. So, as a reader, all I can say is this, if this blatant, unapologetic use of Singlish as ‘good English’ is not ‘bad English,” then I must be speaking in angelic tongues which are not interpreted well by him the ‘ unreclaimed pagan’.

Be warned of such a man, Gilbert Goh, and his site, on the fronts of bad writing, and beware of his negative political ploys. He who deals in a Faustian deal with such people will only bring consternation upon himself when that person shows his true colours, basically a man who is impervious to constructive criticism and would still choose to thrive on rabid sensationalism and emotionalism. I have henceforth deleted him from Facebook and chosen not to have any dealings even in the form of interactions with him henceforth.

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