Saturday, August 04, 2012

That maiden medal

Ms Feng Tian Wei has won a bronze medal in Table Tennis at this year's London Olympics, and many Singaporeans are proud and happy about it. After all, the last time a Singaporean won a medal at these games was in 1960, by Mr Tan Howe Liang, in weight-lifting. I say "many" because there appears to be many others who have poured cold water over it because Feng is not a 'true-blue' Singaporean. And the quarter million dollar reward for achieving this feat appears to be one of the reasons. True, Feng, and compatriots, Yuegu and Jiawei, were imported from China, ostensibly for the very purpose of ending the Olympic, and in fact, any International sporting medal  drought. There were no other stated purpose. At least the importees were open and honest about this. A Singaporean is a Singaporean sol long as he/she has sworn allegiance to the country, right? If this weren't so, you'd have to ask who made the decision to grant this much prized citizenship status away. Someone said that TW and her compatriots have not made any effort to assimilate within the local environment - they speak Chinese all the time, whereas the world over has encountered that brand of English known as Singlish as a distinguishing identity of a native of the island of Singapore. The trio face an uphill battle for recognition, not so much on the ball court, but in the court of public opinion.

My advice, if it is worth anything at all, is to have each of them marry a Singapore guy and bear a couple of "authentic" Singapore children (must be born in KK Hospital). It doesn't matter if their offspring do not become TT champions. They probably will not when they are plugged into the Singapore system of educating its young ones. Yes, Jiawei is already married to a China Chinese, and borned a son in Beijing. So no chance that the child will become a Singaporean though maybe a great TT player after her mother. Lest history repeats itself, Singapore would not have been very wise in its investment of time and money. A good sporting history counts for little if it does not pay the baby bonus for Singapore. I know, I know, let's not demean female foreign talents as sows, but you just can't help it when you think of the millions of taxpayers' money expended on this venture.

Nevertheless, credit where credit is due. We must congragulate these women for their effort and victory on the world largest sporting stage.Let's not collectively "chase" them away. We will be shooting ourselves in the foot.

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