Infatuation with the West

What is up with the recent infatuation with the West?

No, this is not about the usual invasion of Hollywood movies or American television shows on our screens – this is about the sudden infatuation with the old Chinese legend Journey to the West.

Yes, that classic Chinese story about how a monkey god, a pig and a former heavenly general worked together with a monk, overcame many obstacles and traveled to the West to fetch scriptures.


It is a very old tale from the 16th century, and remains extremely popular even today. I mean, most kids would immediately know what we’re talking about when ‘Journey to the West’ is brought up right?

Perhaps in an effort to ride on this five-hundred year coat-tail, the government roped in some getai singers, a marquee director in the form of Royston Tan, and a PR agency to produce this abomination of a video:


Yes, that is just a screencap of the actress looking embarrassed, probably because the video is that bad.

Here’s a summary of the video, so you won’t have to watch it – an old lady portrayed by a getai singer has health problems and is worried about healthcare costs. Another getai singer appears to explain that she need not worry because there’s the Pioneer Generation card now, while performing fake somersaults amidst unnecessary tacky animated clouds.

The government is not alone in trying to steal concepts from this classic tale.

One of the newest political parties in Singapore, the obviously non-xenophobic Singaporeans First Party, described their election plans as a ‘journey to the West’ that starts from Tanjong Pagar GRC. Which is okay, because it is technically a journey to the West.

Then they surprised everyone today by putting up this article and saying how they’ve learnt to govern from this classic tale about a pilgrimage.


Yep, they learned to govern from a tale about a team of four who went to the West, picked up some scriptures then went home.

That’s a really weird plan for politicians. Afterall, most people would want their MPs to stick around after getting elected!

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