Unhappy with quality and choice, Singaporeans take to social media to complain about free masks

PHOTO: Facebook

One unfortunate side effect of the Singapore society’s ingrained pursuit to be the best in everything possible is that we also expect everything we get to be of the utmost quality. Even if it’s free. 

On Sunday (April 5), Singapore kicked off a nationwide exercise that saw residents head to various community clubs and residents' committee centres across the island to receive their free reusable face masks. 

The fabric face masks given out are unlike the disposable surgical masks that people have been used to seeing since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Being reusable, these masks are believed to provide some help in protecting wearers from a virus that has been proven to spread even before symptoms start to appear on an infected person. 

Though it’s a great initiative on the government’s part, some Singaporeans just had to complain about the reusable masks which, again, were given out for free. It’s something that Facebook user Daniel Goh can’t wrap his head around perusing down the deep hole that is the Complaint Singapore Facebook page

“I feel that something about some Singaporeans is really very wrong,” he wrote on Facebook. “Government don’t give, make noise, give also make noise. Complain complain. Just waiting to see the world burn…” 

PHOTO: Facebook screengrab

In his post, he compiled instances of Singaporeans grumbling about things such as not being able to change the sizes of their masks and getting different brands of masks according to the district one stays in. 

PHOTO: Facebook screengrab
PHOTO: Facebook screengrab

And really, some of the things complained about by some people on Facebook groups are as trite as not being happy with the mask’s material and smell. 

PHOTO: Facebook screengrab
PHOTO: Facebook screengrab

As if the complaints aren’t enough, some have even resorted to selling the free masks online. 

PHOTO: Facebook screengrab

Perhaps the worst instances of entitled Singaporeans were witnessed by Chia Ti Yu, who volunteered to help distribute the reusable masks to residents in Pasir Ris East Community Club on Sunday. 

Some of the incidents he shared:

  • A lady who apparently tried to trick volunteers into giving additional masks by accusing them of short-changing her. “And even had the audacity to shout at the volunteers on why they think she is out to cheat another two masks that doesn't cost much.”
  • A man who complained to the volunteers about the quality of the masks being subpar to the ones available for purchase in the market.
  • WhatsApp group chats filled with negative comments about the masks’ design and colours. Some people have even encouraged residents to demand new masks if what they received weren’t up to their liking. 

What he saw resulted in an epiphany of sorts. 

“Then I came to realise that those who are not appreciative and nitpicking are generally those who are more affluent. They have the means to afford better and they definitely deserve to use better things in life,” he wrote. 

“Please do not come forward to crowd and make the volunteers work harder to serve you yet you become so unhappy after collecting. Stay away and life [will be] happier for everyone.”

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ilyas@asiaone.com