Tourism Board of Singapore just got another mouthful of blasters from Singapore bloggers with their new promotion video which uses Shiok! to describe various situations of enjoyment in Singapore.
Many people have really harsh words for the video. True, there are some situations where Singaporeans will not be caught dead saying shiok like canopy walk, night safari, LV shopping (actually unless they are getting 80% discount) or partying the night away, but is the video really that badly done? What the video seems to be trying to convey is a sense of awe that the participant felt. Yes, we may not say shiok all the time or even use shiok, but its just a gimmicky verbalization After all, its only a short video, we cannot aim to teach too many Singlish in one video.
I think we must consider who the target audience is, which I believe are tourists from the Western regions. The video is just trying to portray or sell an imagine of Singapore that has a variety of exciting and mesmerizing attractions and things to do. This is a tourist promotion video for heavens sake, this is not an academic treatment of what Singapore is really like or what living in Singapore is like. I think from a tourist point of view, the video did its job to introduce Singapore as a destination and its shiokness to go with it. Of course, I do hope that we don’t end up with tourists saying shiok all the time for the inane reasons, just like how they try to end with “Lah” in the most stupid ways sometimes.
By the way, haven’t we all seen Thai or Malaysia promotion videos? If anyone have been to streets of Bangkok, you will know that there are scams everywhere, some taxi drivers try to make you pay more and people trying to sell you porn DVD or fakes good everywhere. Is this ever highlighted in Thai tourist videos? What about Malaysia and the stupid uniquely Asia theme? Its uniquely Asia for sure, with its bhumi putra policies passing off as a “one” Malaysian. But do we ever criticize them for not promoting their country in the correct light?
This is just an advertisement, its not a documentary about Singapore. Just like Laurel promised the next girl that she will look like sex goddess or MacDonald selling you how happy you will feel with its meal or those slimming centers promising a life changing transformation, not everything have to be truthful or at least advertisements should not lie. Personally, I don’t see what is wrong with the video and its use of Shiok even with an Ang Moh thrown in and stupid girls saying shiok for no reasons; the video does what it does, it sells Singapore as a tourist destination, that’s really all about it.