'Chinese helicopters' should not feel inferior

I was amused to read the report on the petition to drop the term "Chinese helicopter" from the Oxford English Dictionary ("Petition to drop derogatory Singlish term from OED"; May 28).

As someone who came from a Chinese-stream primary school before transiting to an English-stream secondary school, I fully empathise with those who bore the brunt of ridicule with this term.

However, why should they feel inferior to those who called them by this derogatory term?

It is unlikely that the name callers had a good command of English either, and I am sure that these "Chinese helicopters" were better in Chinese than they were.

Using the term reflects more unfavourably on the name callers than on others.

I, for one, am happy to wear the term "Chinese helicopter" as a badge of honour.

Rather than wipe it from memory, it should be recorded for posterity.

Ngian Kian Fah

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.