5 hilarious comebacks over inaccurate portrayal of Singapore in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

5 hilarious comebacks over inaccurate portrayal of Singapore in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
PHOTO: Video Screengrab
W.T.M. Why This Matters
American TV drama Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders features Singapore in one of its episodes, but netizens are not happy. They have called it inaccurate and stereotypical. Enter local blogger mrbrown, who gave a hilarious comeback to certain scenes in the episode that has riled up many fellow Singaporeans here.

If you watch American TV drama Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, you may have come across an episode that was set in Singapore, featuring a group of investigators on a case of two missing American flight attendants.

It may seem pretty awesome to be featured on screen again - but the thing is, the episode didn't quite portray Singapore accurately at all.

In fact, netizens are slamming the show for painting a stereotypical portrayal of Singapore. Think chewing gum ban and you get the idea.

Enter local blogger Lee Kin Mun, better known as mrbrown, who has taken to social media to respond to all the inaccuracies in the episode, even calling it out for not being Beyond Borders, but "beyond stupid".

The deadpan satirical humour from mrbrown, who takes on the persona of Kim Huat, "Singapore's No. 1 Police TV Show Fan", has left viewers in stitches and drawn approval from fellow Singaporeans.

Here are five comebacks from Kim Huat aka mrbrown that are so hilarious, we had to write about it.

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Kim Huat watches the episode of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders where Singapore is featured and gets triggered. Hat tip to Geek Culture who watched it and wrote about it first: http://mrbrwn.co/2oIkAqA

Posted by mrbrown on Tuesday, 18 April 2017

1. Huh? What Singaporean Proverb?

The episode starts with a "Singaporean proverb"... that no Singaporean has ever heard of.

Written in Chinese, the proverb is translated as "where there is a sea, there are pirates".

Baffled, Kim Huat says in response: "The only Singaporean proverb I know is 'Where there is a queue, there is good food.'"

The "Singaporean proverb" as seen in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders that reads "Where there is a sea, there are pirates."Photo: Video Screengrab

2. The "dark side of paradise" is Yishun, not Geylang

Special agent Clara Seger (played by actress Alana de la Garza): Geylang is the "dark side of paradise".

mrbrown: Eh, what you mean Geylang is the dark side of paradise? You can 2am go there eat the frog porridge, very safe! And if you don't like to eat the chicken, the chicken will not come and bother you one. You know where is the real dark side of Singapore?

Yes, Yishun.

3. Geylang is an "overcrowded slum with a thriving underworld"

Agent Clara: Officially it is known as the red light district, but more accurately it's an overcrowded slum with a thriving underworld.

mrbrown: Geylang is a overcrowded slum? Where got overcrowded? The only time it is overcrowded is durian season when everybody is trying to buy the Mao Shan Wang!

Agent Clara: That leaves the Ministry of Manpower with nowhere to put them, so a lot of times as a result, they end up in government dormitories in Geylang.

mrbrown: What government dormitories in Geylang? Government dormitories in Tuas, lah!

Government dormitories are located in Tuas, not in Geylang.Photo: Video Screengrab

4. Policeman speaking in Mandarin? We are not China you know?

Inspector Cheong (played by Hong Kong-American actor Tzi Ma) in Mandarin: It's Cheong, I need a review of the luggage system.

mrbrown: Eh, how come this police officer talk to his colleague in Chinese ah? Singapore police officer speak in English one leh, we are not China you know?

Mandarin-speaking police officer Cheong, played by Hong Kong-American actor Tzi Ma.Photo: Video Screengrab

5. "FBI can suka-suka take out gun in Singapore?"

The scene: FBI officers break down a door and crash into a room. Without warning, their guns are firing away as they mow down a man standing inside, before he has time to retaliate.

mrbrown's: FBI can suka-suka (as they please) take out gun in Singapore and bang the door and shoot the bad guy one? Got permit one or not? Is this called the Foreign Bureau of Interference?

Singapore police bo eng (preoccupied) ah, why must ask FBI to catch the bad guy?

BONUS: Chewing gum again?

Agent Clara: Judges have been known to pass harsh sentences for foreigners who commit crimes.

Technical analyst Russ Montgomery (played by Tyler James Williams): Like, chewing bubble gum.

mrbrown: Walao eh!


Much of the outrage over the episode was spurred by the blatant ignorance and portrayal of inaccurate stereotypes, such as the sensationalisation of Singapore's chewing gum ban and the assumption that Singaporeans converse mainly in Mandarin, which further perpetuates the common Western misconception that Singapore is located in China.

On Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders' Facebook page, where the episode was promoted, users who thought the show's portrayal of the country was accurate left comments such as "Why would anyone go there is (sic) the smallest thing can land you in jail???" and "Love the country info during the show..."

All we can say is, dear creators of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, perhaps a bit more effort can be put in conducting background research to ensure cultural accuracy, instead of portraying a false stereotype to a global audience?

We hope that we can at least educate those who don't know any better that Singapore is NOT in China.

pariel@sph.com.sg

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