Smiling because I’m finally done reading Crazy Rich Asians (“CRA”). Voyeuristic, vulgar, brainless, the book reads like a Hollywood script and trashy gossip magazine simultaneously. Personally, I think this book was written for the middle-aged Singaporean Chinese socialite homesick from constantly jet-setting and who has too much $$$ and time on her hands 😂
There’s been a lot of hoo-ha online over the movie but I think the two very divergent camps can be described as follows:-
(A) People who think CRA is the Singapore equivalent of Black Panther.
(B) People who think CRA shows Singapore in a bad light.
To me, I think the book paints a fairly accurate depiction of the elite. It obviously doesn’t represent the average S’porean and any moviegoer would be able to see that quite clearly. After all, this is a book about the #firstworldproblems of the super-rich who live in ivory towers (or rather black and white colonial-era houses), not a book about life in the heartlands.
Admittedly, this is also quite a tiresome and politically incorrect book. There are quite a few instances of casual racism which I won’t repeat here, but it is common to hear/experience such blatant racial discrimination. In that way, I felt that the book was realistic - it showed our ugliness. It showed our warts and all, not just shiny Marina Bay Sands or immaculate Gardens by the Bay.
I counted in this 500-plus page book all of 1 Indian female character and 1 Malay female character, both of whom are extremely wealthy and only appear for a few sentences. Again it’s frustrating, but that is also something that should be highlighted - the lack of proper representation in the media. I don’t think it’s far too different from your Channel 8 drama or locally produced mainstream comedy movie (neither of which I fancy). Flip through Tatler and you’ll see that the majority of rich people here are undeniably of a particular ethnicity.
I guess the ire drawn and the desire to boycott CRA is not entirely misplaced, but CRA is a book that can be easily misunderstood - what is the underlying message? (Continued in comments)