SINGAPORE is a multicultural nation and has always been lauded for the ability of Singaporeans to converse and interact with tourists and foreigners.
Unfortunately, I have found the inability of current service industry workers to speak English unacceptable. I understand these new workers are Chinese nationals. The fact that they do not or will not speak English but simply shake their heads and continue speaking in Mandarin and ignore you with a 'take it or leave it' attitude does not reflect well as they are on the front line of service, serving many tourists and foreigners as well.
Foreign workers who are employed to serve the public should be taught basic English so they will not shame the image of Singaporeans who are all taught basic English in school. After all, tourists probably cannot tell Chinese nationals from Chinese Singaporeans.
Lilian Reutens (Mrs)
This article was first published in The Straits Times.