“Being able to be Miss Universe does not make you a better person than others. Being rich is not always about money… it’s also about being well-mannered and mindful of others. Beauty not only on your face but most importantly in your heart! Go back and see where you come from (sic.),” said one Haza Ishak.
On Tan’s own Facebook page, the daughter of the elderly man in the photograph came to her father’s defence.
“He’s my dad. Not everyone is as lucky as you, making money off looks. We do not have the money to buy fancy clothes. But so what if there is a hole in my father’s shirt? There is nothing to be ashamed about!” said a red-face Cindy Tan.
Jesslyn Tan will be the unfortunate Anton Casey replica, just so we can have our anger issues sorted out.
Singaporeans’ anger towards Jesslyn Tan reveals a deeper issue within the social landscape of this society. We are at our height of resentment against those who have too much while many of us struggle to make ends meet.
Mr Lim, 52, who sells handphone covers next to Toastbox in Clementi Mall, can tell you that.
“I become a father at such old age. Every day, I think of dying because I do not know how I can find enough money to feed my child (less than one year old). I tell you, life is difficult. You worry every day about earning enough. How to support your family? I did not expect to become a father but now I am. What am I going to do? How many handphone covers can I sell?” he lamented when I spoke to him this week.
According to the Acting Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, Singpore’s income gap has come down “sharply” in 2013. Not to mention that Budget 2014 saw many incentives for both the elderly and lower-income Singaporean families, especially in terms of medical bills.
Yet the comments on the internet among Singaporeans against anyone who dare make fun of literally poor Singaporeans are still undiminished.
I wonder if this has anything to do with our physical surrounding. Seasoned urban developer, William Lim, once said Singapore attempts to be a global city with lifestyles based on income and affordability. In short, our urban livelihood and by extension our daily happiness are very much dependent on the expectation of the life we can buy.
Are we upset because that expectation isn’t coming true for many of us?