Singaporeans are making more overseas trips - almost 7 million last year compared to 3.6 million a decade ago, said Minister for Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam in a Facebook post yesterday.
And last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) handled over 3,000 cases when Singaporeans overseas ran into trouble.
While many cases were genuine, MFA's consular staff did get "odd requests".
One Singaporean asked for help to get refunds for unsatisfactory, illegal sexual services sought abroad, while another asked for the launching of an investigation into a case of alleged racism after being served a smaller piece of chicken than the local.
Another unusual request came from a man who asked MFA to convince his foreign girlfriend to quicken her divorce proceedings so he could marry her.
These were just three of five examples cited by Mr Shanmugam, who is also the Minister for Law.
The other two were of a Singaporean who insisted it was MFA's responsibility to retrieve a kitchen appliance he had left behind in a foreign country.
CAN'T HELP THESE CASES
Another Singaporean, living in Indonesia, requested that MFA ship to him a computer that he had ordered online from the US.
Wrote Mr Shanmugam: "Our staff officers go beyond the call of duty, and help people. That is our duty. But I decided to list the above as examples of some requests which our officers cannot help on."
The light-hearted post was shared widely, with one Facebook user describing it as an account of "the entitlement mentality of some Singaporeans".
Some of these "unreasonable and weird requests" were also mentioned by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Sam Tan during the Committee of Supply debates in Parliament last year.
Last August, The New Paper had also reported on some of the more peculiar requests in follow-up articles.
This article was first published on June 6, 2014.
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