Singapore’s dirty Chinatown — whose fault?

Dirty Chinatown

TL;DR – Dirty Chinatown: Tiktok author takes a jab at Chinese nationals for polluting the physical environment at Singapore’s Chinatown

Recently, a Tiktok video depicting the filthy state of Chinatown has been trending on the social media platform, drawing criticisms of all sorts, targeted towards different people.

The video

In the approximately one-minute video, the author of the Tiktok, going by the handle @zeinsg speaks about the horrendous state of hygiene at Chinatown at the time of his filming. From the voiceover of the video and confirmation by the author in the video, @zeinsg is a Chinese student studying in Singapore.

Though he has not stated when the video was filmed, judging by the mask-wearing, it should at least be within two and a half years from now.

Author’s commentary

In the video, @zeinsg spoke about how Chinatown might just be the “dirtiest and messiest place” in Singapore and how the place has become dirtier and more congested with Singapore’s gradual reopening.

He continued on, lamenting that “would people still recognize Singapore as a world-renowned Garden City?” He shared about how Chinatowns around the world provides a window for locals to understand China, and a place for Chinese residing overseas to “touch base” with their cultural roots through delicacies and local produce.

He also raised that this was a common sight in several Chinatowns across the globe. Most importantly, @zeinsg said that he “really do not understand” why would such a thing happen.

Netizens’ reactions

Netizens jumped on the video, with some objective comments, saying how Singapore is a cleaned city, not clean city. Some went further to say that without our cleaners, “this would be Singapore islandwide.”

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The more xenophobic comments took jab at the author of the Tiktok video, with some asking: “You really don’t know who the real culprits are?” and “I wonder who the culprits are…” These comments took jab at @zeinsg, suggesting that as a Chinese national, he should know better that the ones dirtying the place are Chinese nationals.

The deeper meaning behind the video?

If anyone watched the entire video before jumping to conclusions, you’d notice that @zeinsg implored “everyone” (without direct referencing) to “observe their own behaviour when overseas”, which I personally read it as a subtle hint to Chinese nationals to observe Singapore’s laws when residing here and do their part in keeping Singapore, or in fact any places they go, in the clean state they are in.

You may watch the Tiktok here, which has garnered 263.6k views as of the time of the publication of this article — but do remember, stay civilized and objective when commenting.


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Author Wesley

A Singaporean talking about anything related to Singapore and Singaporeans. Current affairs junkie!

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