Singaporeans and Malaysians may have our differences, but we also share a lot in common and are virtually indistinguishable based on appearances alone.
Naturally, there was some confusion when a Taiwanese YouTuber decided to talk smack about Malaysians while he was travelling in Singapore.
Zhong Ming-xuan, a 19-year-old YouTuber with over 600,000 subscribers, shared his solo travel experience in a YouTube video published on Sept 3.
The video, chronicling his spontaneous two-day-one-night trip to Singapore, was generally uneventful until he decided to vent his frustrations about Malaysians after a walk around Marina Bay Sands.
"Because Singapore is right next to Malaysia, there are a lot of those Malaysians who keep staring at me. I feel so uncomfortable," he said in Mandarin.
"I've only been in Singapore for a few hours but I already miss Taiwan," he added.
Zhong's remarks upset many viewers, some of whom were Malaysians.
Some viewers took umbrage over the fact that he was making a generalisation about Malaysians despite the fact that the people he had encountered could have been Singaporean.
Others took offence with how Zhong said "those Malaysians", viewing it as rude and disparaging.
In response to the backlash, Zhong released a video today (Sept 6) apologising for his comments.
"I really, totally did not mean to discriminate against anyone," he clarified.
"I might have used the wrong words when I was expressing myself… I did something wrong so I will apologise. I'm so sorry," he said.
Zhong, who wears a full face of makeup (which could explain why people were staring, to be honest), is known for his candour and videos that often border on offensive.
He ended his apology on a defiant note: "Many people have been telling me not to visit Malaysia and Singapore again. I want to tell them to be quiet. I'm still going to go. Because Malaysia has pretty good food."
Let's just hope he doesn't get too "uncomfortable" while he is there.