They used to be guys behind a sexy, pretty profile on Line or WeChat – not very convincing. Now, there’s 杀猪盘 which takes online scams to the next level. They employ real girls who show their pretty faces and video chat with you. They direct you to a real cryptocurrency exchange and even earn you some real profits until … you’re fat enough to slaughter. Not too much details here from Winston as the scheme is just beginning its foray into the overseas market.
Next, a video by another former expat (another Chinese son-in-law and also a good friend of Winston’s in China) Matt Tye. It’s not something I find terribly surprising (given my personal experience with friends and relatives), but that chart showing the proportion of favourable versus unfavourable view of China compared to the rest of the world really sets Singapore apart. We have 64% who still think favourably of the current regime and situation in China, which I find bit uncanny if you think of our relative ease of access to information. The fact is, I still see many old folks with their smart phones, tuning in to heavily censored information and staged performances on Chinese apps.
While China’s propaganda is definitely not going to win many hearts and minds in most parts of the world, it does pretty well in places like Singapore and Chinese communities in Malaysia. It saddens me and this is the main reason that I’m going to town with all this seemingly “anti-China” (which is not btw, I love Chinese culture).
Over here in Singapore and Malaysia, I hear many people say that freedom and democracy cannot be eaten. Well, tell that to the victims of 强拆. Tell that to the hawkers who are constantly bullied by 城管. Tell that to people who are disappeared simply because they 上访 and lodged a complaint against someone powerful. You think that will never happen to you because you mind your own business and 闷声发大财? Think again. Finally, Simon’s presentation struck a very familiar chord. A paternalistic government is often worshipped by its spoon-fed people. These folks can’t imagine a better system or government than the one they grew up with. But governments and situations can change. Leaders may not be that altruistic and focused on serving the public. Their policies may benefit the big corporations more than they benefit the common folks. Do we have a system that allows those with a courageous mindset to make changes? We do have the former, but it’s the latter that is only found in the minority.