Man in street interview is maybe the stylish S'pore represent we needed, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Man in street interview is maybe the stylish S'pore represent we needed

Maybe because we are the 20th smallest country in the world, there are still many people in the world who feel confused or lost when Singapore is mentioned.

"Is it part of China?"

"If you are Malay, doesn't that make you Malaysian instead of Singaporean?"

"Which language do you speak in Singapore?"

These questions and many others have often been directed to Singaporeans abroad, who are only pleased and even eager to answer them and share information about the Republic.

We forgive TikTok content creator Khan for not knowing that English is the lingua franca in Singapore.

Khan (hikhann_) does street interviews of people whose clothes catch his attention. He usually asks what they do for a living and to give a rundown of their outfit.

In a recent TikTok video, Khan stopped an Asian man and asked what he did for a living, what he loved about his job and where he saw himself in five years.

Khan also asked the man about his outfit, after which Khan asked where the man was from because he had a "nice accent".

When the interviewee answered "Singapore", we could almost hear the pride swell in the Singaporean viewers, the opening bars of Majulah Singapura thundering in the background.

Khan then asked the man how to ask "what do you do for a living" in his native language. The interviewee looked momentarily puzzled, perhaps weighing the possible follow-up questions, and simply replied: "We speak English."

Perhaps feeling paiseh for his lack of knowledge, Khan said: "I'm so sorry."

Khan, if you are reading this, Singapore has four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Malay is also the Republic's national language.

We do not expect the whole world to know this, so there is no need to apologise, Khan. No need to feel paiseh.

Paiseh, by the way, is Singlish – the colloquial English which would require us to sit down with a pot of tea each because we will need more than just a minute to explain it.