Another waste of time!
Mr Dumb or Mr Haughty?

Minor Gaffe

I have to confess that my Cantonese is still not good enough to really understand the news on TV. Worse than that, my simultaneous translation service is sometimes quite unreliable.

So I sometimes find myself trying to imagine what might be happening. I recently watched the story about the old blokes who were organizing cricket races and that had me fairly puzzled until right at the end. Then I rememberered that Hong Kong people will bet on anything and it started to make sense.

Tonight, the main story on the news was about DBS bank, which seems to have some rather unhappy customers. I was trying to guess what might have happened from the pictures, and my theory was that someone had set up a fake branch of the bank and people had been fooled into depositing money. It was a good theory, I thought (well, it happens on the Internet, right), but I did start to have my doubts when I saw that the people being pursued by the press were a bunch of well-fed Singaporeans getting into their expensive cars, rather than dodgy-looking Triads with newspapers over their faces. Turns out I was wrong.

Phil has already mentioned the real story, which is reported here. Do Singaporeans do irony? I'm not sure they do, so I think I'm going to assume that they are trying to be supportive of their fellow countrymen:

SINGAPORE : Southeast Asia's biggest bank DBS has admitted to a minor gaffe, saying it accidently destroyed 83 of its customers' safe deposit boxes. The boxes in one of the bank's Hong Kong branches had apparently been selected for scrapping by mistake while the branch was undergoing renovation.

But DBS stresses that the gaffe is an entirely isolated incident and does not affect the bank's services in Singapore or elsewhere.

So that's alright, then. However, this so-called "minor gaffe" seemed to fill the first seven minutes of the news on Cable TV. Which I must say I thought was a bit excessive, but I can see why people are upset, however much Channel News Asia might try to play it down.


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Just a minor point: DBSHK is a combination of 3 local banks: Dao Heng, Oversea Trusts and Kwong On, which the first two were sold by Gucao.

After the merger of 2003, this orange bank (for the colour it using) mainly target the middle class and upper class, ie, wealth management. This time the tragedy happened in its branch in one of the oldest middle class area, so...

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