9 Nov 2006

Who Is Wee Shu Min?

From CBS News, Blogophile By Melissa McNamara

One of the most talked about people in the blogosphere, Wee Shu Min, is likely largely unknown by many Americans. Just who is Wee Shu Min and why is she one of the most searched name on Technorati?

Wee Shu Min is the 18-year-old undergraduate daughter of a Singapore MP and a college student. She recently posted a snarky entry on her blog — and, classist, according to some — in response to fellow blogger Derek Wee's fears about Singapore's struggling labor market.

Derek Wee, 35, is a Singaporean who works for a multinational corporation, had written in his blog that he was concerned about competition from foreign talent and the lack of job opportunities for older workers here. He urged the government to understand Singaporeans' plight. Wee Shu Min called Wee one of her country's "wretched, undermotivated, overassuming leeches." "If uncertainty of success offends you so much, you will certainly be poor and miserable," she added.

Wee Shu Min's blog has since been taken down, but many bloggers have reposted her entry and are angry at what they say is her disregard for others.

"…There is a strata of society in Singapore that is oblivious to the plight of others," Shang Jun writes at The World Through My Eyes.

"People like Wee Shu Min should really take a good look in the mirror. Try waiting on tables and giving private tuition to raise funds to pay for your own tertiary education," Stressed Teacher blogs. "Try taking a loan from the bank to fund your university tuition fees. Many of us stand on our own two feet. We did not receive any freebies from the State, even though we are from a significantly lower-income group than the elites."

While some bloggers denounce what Wee Shu Min wrote, they also don't think she's being treated fairly. "(Derek Week) may be whining (or may not be), but the underlying issues are real. Anyway, I don't think she deserves to have her photos dugged up and splashed across the Web," a blogger at The-Double-O-Project writes.

Ixora05 agrees. "I begin to understand somewhat how Wee Shu Min feels. Something written in a moment of silliness, rashness, recklessness, stupidity, carelessness, impetuousness, can come back to haunt you and bite you in the butt very severely," Ixora writes on LiveJournal.

And some defend Wee Shu Min's remarks because she is young and her views are not fully developed. "She's 18, she's young, she has everything going for her, being scholar at a top jc (junior college) in singapore etc. full of ideals, opinionated, energetic, outspoken, not yet tried and tested in the world, hence hasn't faced any failure of any sort in the real world," déjà vu writes at Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

Meanwhile, as bloggers continue to debate Wee Shu Min's words, Derek Wee says that his mission was accomplished. "Some may be wondering how I feel about the whole episode. Well, my objective was to create an AWARENESS of the plight of people in their 40s," Wee wrote on his blog. "Looking at the numbers who have visited my blog & the 'accidental' limelight as a result of a 'visit from the elite,' I should be happy some level of awareness has been achieved indeed."

By Melissa McNamara
©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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