Singapore BMW passengers criticised for 'chope-ing' parking lot in Malaysia

PHOTO: Twitter/sumishanaidu

No self-respecting Singaporean leaves the house without a pack of tissue - how else would you chope, or reserve, your seat at crowded hawker centres?

Well, this group of alleged Singaporeans took chope culture a little too far when they tried to reserve a parking lot in Malaysia by physically standing in it, drawing flak from both sides of the Causeway.

Journalist Sumisha Naidu posted a series of tweets on Aug 10 calling out the passengers of a BMW with a Singapore licence plate.

According to her, they ran ahead of her to reserve a parking lot and refused to let her park in it.

As if that wasn't bad enough, they accused Naidu of blocking the way when she confronted them, saying, "If you don't move, you'll cause a jam."

They also stood in front of her car and noted down her licence plate, only leaving when she took a photo of them.

In case you didn't know, chope-ing parking spaces is not just inconsiderate - it's illegal in both Singapore and Malaysia.

Some netizens criticised the group for being kiasu, or selfish, and shared their own experiences with Singaporean drivers.

However, Naidu was quick to discourage generalisations on the basis of race or nationality, adding that "not all Singaporeans are like this".

Meanwhile, Singaporeans, including blogger mrbrown, were embarrassed by the group's behaviour.

Others zoned in on the fact that the offending car was a BMW.

What's wrong with BMW drivers? Well, BMW drivers in Singapore are often stereotyped as self-centred and assertive. Unfortunately, they have also been in the news for a variety of traffic infringements, such as switching car plates, hit-and-runs, and more.

But here's a quick disclaimer - obviously not all BMW drivers play into the stereotype.

If anything, the main takeaway from this debacle is that we should all be considerate no matter what car we drive and regardless of what country we're in.

kimberlylim@asiaone.com

SERVICES