04 May 2017
8 times Singapore went viral
Singapore is known for several things: its cleanliness, the award-winning Changi Airport, the F1 night race, caning of vandals, and rarely does it ping the radars of journalists overseas for other reasons. But once in a blue moon, something bizarre like an “unbelievable” song or online post pops up and it becomes the talk of the town at home as well as abroad. Here are eight times the little red dot went viral.
04 May 2017
When Gordon Ramsay gave his two cents on this plate of “fish and chips”
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is known for his straight talking ways and he certainly did not hold back when he was asked to rate the fish and chips served at LeVel33, a restaurant located at Singapore's Marina Bay Financial Centre.
“That's 8 chips & 8 anchovies @ $1 each please.... the lemon is bigger than the fish!" wrote the acid-tongued chef on Twitter. Yup, we couldn’t have said it better.
The photo of the plate of fish and chips went viral this week after Facebook user Jaze Phua shared how he felt “cheated” and “almost died from laughing with internal-organs-explosion” when the dish turned out like nothing he expected.
To be fair, this was from the bar bites menu which clearly states that it is whitebait. But still, to charge $13 for eight pieces of ikan bilis and fries is a tad steep. Next time just call a spade, a spade - or in this case, whitebait.
Photos: Jaze Phua
22 Jun 2016
When two shoplifting teens grinned their way to infamy
Two Singaporean 18-year-olds learned the power of social media the hard way after they were publicly named and shamed when their grinning mugshots went viral in Thailand last week.
The girls, who were caught on CCTV stealing two tops from an unattended store in Bangkok’s Platinum Mall in June last year, were caught in a nearby shopping centre and detained after their photos were widely circulated on instant messaging app Line. Though the pair claimed they were “very scared and confused”, the shop owner said they didn’t show any remorse and even joked around and smiled for their mugshots, which one of them posted on Instagram.
In their defence, one of the girls, Low Yu Min, said the security guard handling the case had “tried to lighten the mood” and that it was only after the case was settled that they posed for the photos. “On hindsight, it was completely wrong of us to make light of the situation,” Yu Min told a Singapore newspaper, adding that they spent the next few days feeling ashamed of their actions.
Photo: Auk Thanima's Facebook page
29 Sep 2015
When beauty blogger Juli ‘Bun Bun’ live critiqued her friend’s wedding
With friends like this, who needs enemies? Singapore beauty blogger Juli ‘Bun Bun’ earned herself the title of ‘Worst Wedding Guest Ever’ when she ripped apart the wedding of her husband’s pal in a live blog in 2015, critiquing every aspect of the event, from the bride’s gown and her bouquet, to the bridal car decoration and the wedding reception. She even claimed that people who peered into the bridal car were looking at her, thinking she was the bride - talk about having a massive ego.
Despite her scathing comments, Juli, who shot to fame in 2013 after sharing photos of her allergic reaction to a facial treatment, wrote that she was “not suggesting superiority over another couple’s decision” but just felt sad for the groom and also “sad that they kinda got ripped off”.
Her blog post drew the ire of netizens and went viral, even catching the attention of UK news sites. Though Juli has since deleted the post and changed her Instagram account to private, what’s on the Internet stays on the Internet. We just pity her husband. Must be awkward meeting his good friend after this.
17 Apr 2015
When Chen Tian Wen cracked us up in this Un-un-un-un-unbelievable music video
We thought this kitschy music video would only appeal to Singaporeans and maybe our neighbours across the Causeway, but to be picked up by TIME and dubbed “your instant mood lifter for the day”, the Channel 5 folks should give themselves a pat on their backs.
A teaser clip from sitcom Spouse for House 2 which premiered in April, the two-minute video, reminiscent of an 80s-style karaoke music video, features actor Chen Tian Wen dressed in retro garb frolicking on the beach and occasionally springing into comical dance moves.
But even more epic are the lyrics which feature cheesy lines like “come be my coffee table and I’ll be your sofa” and “you blossom like a flower, I so stunned like vegetable”.
Well, if TIME thought ‘Unbelievable’ was good, wait till they hear the club remix which is a mash-up with Kesha’s ‘Timber’. Definitely something you'd want to groove to on the dancefloors.
17 Apr 2015
When this maths question left us stumped
Who would have guessed an innocent Facebook post by MediaCorp TV presenter Kenneth Kong would go viral and turn into the maths version of #TheDress?
While some people around the world cracked their heads to solve this Maths Olympiad puzzle for Secondary 3 students, others - the smart ones, at least - were split between the answer. Is it July 16? Or August 17?
Regardless of the answer (it’s July 16 because the person who set the question says so), I am sure everyone agrees that Cheryl should stop playing games and just be more direct with Albert and Bernard!
17 Apr 2015
When the Lee Kuan Yew death hoax happened
Singapore and the world had been on Lee Kuan Yew watch since news broke that the country’s ailing former prime minister had been hospitalised for severe pneumonia in February 2015.
And when an image of a fake statement announcing Mr Lee’s passing circulated online on March 18, many reputable international media outlets jumped on it.
American broadcaster CNN and China's CCTV put up erroneous tweets that Mr Lee had died and the Chinese state broadcaster also broke the news on air. Hong Kong-based Phoenix New Media also issued an erroneous report, which they later retracted and apologised for.
Turns out the teenage boy behind the fake announcement just wanted to demonstrate to his friends how easy it was for a hoax to be perpetuated. Well, he sure made his point.
17 Apr 2015
When Andy's dad had a windfall
What was supposed to be an ad warning against problem gambling (pictured, top left) became the butt of jokes after 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil’s humiliating 1-7 defeat to Germany in the semi-final.
The ad by Singapore's National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) features a crestfallen Andy saying he hoped that Germany would win the tournament because his father bet all his savings on the team.
However, when it aired during half-time - by then Germany had already taken a 5-0 lead - it prompted a flood of memes on social media and earned worldwide coverage in the international media including The Wall Street Journal, Guardian and BuzzFeed.
Even The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon could not resist taking a dig at the infamous ad: “The tagline that used to read ‘Kick the habit. Stop problem gambling.’ now reads ‘Keep the habit. Gamble.’"
Fallon added: "How much savings can an eight-year-old have? $17.25?"
Despite the initial ridicule, NCPG made a good save when it ran a cleverly updated version (pictured, bottom) of the ad after the Germans lifted the trophy.
17 Apr 2015
When Xiaxue exposed Peter Coffin
You’ve got to give Singapore blogger Xiaxue props for her sleuthing abilities.
Fed up with American YouTube comedian Peter Coffin for constantly insulting her looks and vanity on Twitter in 2011, Xiaxue decided to dig some dirt on the “douchebag” and uncovered a gold mine.
Turns out Peter had faked his “Japanese girlfriend” Kimi Kobayashi (the woman in the photos is actually Korean star Lee Na-young) and created an online relationship with himself.
To cut the long story short, Xiaxue exposed the guy online, Reddit had a field day and Peter became the most ridiculed man on the Internet and went into hiding. Xiaxue 1 : Peter 0!