Tourist from China gets thumbs down from MacRitchie Treetop Walk security officer, NParks investigating

MacRitchie TreeTop Walk security officer gives thumbs down after man says he’s from China

A tourist from China who recently visited the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk has said he had a “humiliating” experience.

When he told a security officer there that he was from China, the man appeared to make a thumbs-down gesture behind his back.

Source: 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu

The National Parks Board (NParks) has said that it’s investigating the incident.

Security officer lauds Japanese tourists

A video of the security officer’s “thumbs down” gesture was posted on social media platform XiaoHongShu on 23 March, by a man going by the user ID of Hai Ya Tong Gua (嗨呀童瓜).

He said when he and his girlfriend crossed the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk, a pair of Japanese tourists were in front of them.

The security officer asked the Japanese where they were from, and when he learnt that they were from Japan, he allegedly said in an excited voice:

Japan is the best country in the world!

Source: 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu

MacRitchie security officer makes ‘thumbs down’ gesture

Based on this interaction, Hai Ya Tong Gua said he was curious as to whether the security officer would say the same thing to tourists from other countries.

Thus, he made a point of saying “hi” to the man as he walked past and was indeed asked where he was from.

Source: 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu

After he replied, “China”, the man waved him through without saying anything further.

At first, the Chinese thought the man was indifferent, but when he was going through his videos later, he saw that he made a gesture with his right hand behind his back.

Source: 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu

Worse still, the “thumbs down” gesture was made in front of the Japanese tourists, he said.

This prompted the Japanese pair to laugh in an embarrassed way and say, “no way”.

The security officer also appeared to be wearing a T-shirt from Singapore Polytechnic, netizens pointed out.

‘Thumbs down’ gesture by MacRitchie security ‘humiliates’ China: Tourist

Hai Ya Tong Gua took issue with the security officer’s gesture, interpreting it as one that “humiliates” China and the Chinese people.

Source: 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu

It’s no problem if you dislike China or Chinese tourists, he said, as long as you keep it to a private discussion.

But “is it appropriate” for a person working at an “important location” visited by tourists from all over the world to make such a strong gesture, he questioned.

Unfortunately, when he shared this experience on social media, some netizens expressed doubts, asking him whether he did anything to deserve it.

Source: 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu

He acknowledged that some Chinese tourists exhibited negative behaviour overseas and they’re “willing to accept criticism”.

He hoped that all Chinese citizens would work together to correct their behaviour.

However, they shouldn’t be so quick to “look down” on their fellow citizens, he added.

Despite this incident, Hai Ya Tong Gua still recommends Singapore as a tourist destination.

He will also get in touch with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to give feedback about his experience.

NParks contacts Chinese man, says it’s investigating incident

In another XiaoHongShu video, Hai Ya Tong Gua updated that NParks had contacted him on 24 March.

According to an email that he shared, NParks said it doesn’t condone such behaviour, even from their vendors, and is investigating the incident.

Source: 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu

The Chinese man then agreed to a phone call with NParks at 9am on 25 March.

During the conservation, he was told that the man had been identified as an employee of a security company they had engaged.

Source: 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu

As for the Singapore Polytechnic T-shirt he was wearing, NParks would also conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

Hai Ya Tong Gua asked whether the man had committed an offence under Singapore’s Racial Harmony Act, but NParks couldn’t give him an answer about that at the time, he said.

NParks confirms it’s aware of incident

In response to queries from 8world News, NParks Director of Conservation Lim Liang Jim said that it was aware of the incident.

The agency also confirmed that it contacted the Chinese tourist about the security officer’s behaviour.

An investigation is being conducted, NParks added.

Also read: Tourist Finds S’pore Service Staff Unfriendly, Some Comments Attribute This To Stress & Pressure

Tourist Finds S’pore Service Staff Unfriendly, Some Comments Attribute This To Stress & Pressure

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Featured image adapted from 嗨呀童瓜 on XiaoHongShu.

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