Blogger Emmanuel Daniel Complains About Terminal 4’s Design Flaws In 3000-Word Viral Facebook Post

If there’s one word Singaporeans should learn today, it’s “cantankerous”. Because when you’re called something you don’t understand, you should really find out what it means.

According to Oxford Dictionary:Source

Malaysia-born financial blogger Emmanuel Daniel, a self-professed airport connoisseur, called the people of Singapore “a cantankerous, complaining, indulgent and never-satisfied lot”, explaining that this attitude is somehow the reason for Changi Airport’s success in his gargantuan 3000-word blog post on 6 Nov.

In it, Emmanuel details his frustrations about the design flaws in Changi Airport’s latest Terminal 4 (T4), dissing everything from the layout, to the software engineers in charge.

At some point, he even called on Madam President Halimah herself to ask pertinent questions about the bus transfer point’s location within T4.

He then copy-pasted the entire 3k word essay into the longest Facebook status in modern history, presumably to seek validation from the public for his opinions.

Bringing Out The Haterade For T4’s 8 Design Flaws

Emmanuel elaborated on 8 of T4’s “design flaws” in his post:

  1. T4 has no theme and is a “transactional idea of what an airport should be”.
  2. T4 is proof that there is no “consistency” in experiences across terminals.
  3. T4’s lack of a combined concourse makes it lose its “uniquely Singaporean” flavour.
  4. T4’s food court is the worst “architectural malaise” and is “meant for the traveller not the visitor”.
  5. The size of elevators in T4 is too narrow and “frankly embarrassing”.
  6. T4 viewing gallery is “a rude little section” that deserves the “Global Oxymoron Award”.
  7. T4 is dictated by software engineers who have made the check-in experience intimidating.
  8. T4 is isolated as there is no Monorail Service and you have to rely on buses to get there.

Valid points aside, we should respect his right to his many opinions. After all, he is a successful Malaysia-born financial blogger now residing in China, well-equipped with the expertise required to comment on bad design.

Cantankerous Singaporeans Speak Out

Of course, the people of Singapore, being cantankerous and all, soon jumped in to make their opinions heard on his post.


Most people obviously didn’t read it because it was too long.

Some said he was nitpicking, albeit professionally.

Netizens mused that he should not unilaterally impose his idea of what Singapore should be like, highlighting the difference between functionality and design.

Others shared his opinion of Terminal 4’s lack of connectivity to other terminals. A netizen was quick to point out that there are existing buildings and an a MRT tunnel in between, making it difficult to build a rail track above the ground.


One netizen even wrote an essay back. Agreeing that the engineers should work with designers to create a seamless travelling experience, she cited London’s Heathrow Airport as a good example of a “budget” terminal that ensures connectivity.

Worthy points to note indeed. Hope you’re paying due attention Changi Airport. Better buck up if you want to be the best airport in the world. Oh wait, you still are.

P.S. I Love You Terminal 3

To be fair, Emmanuel did express a lot of love for Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 in his post stating,

In using Terminal 4, one appreciates all that Terminal 3 actually achieved. It is truly the benchmark of a world class Singaporean airport that ambitiously broke through the limitations of airports everywhere else, and built its own DNA that is uniquely Singapore.

He attributes it to these 5 compelling reasons:

Firstly, it is spacious.

Secondly, harmony with nature through the huge garden effect that is visible to both visitors and travellers.

Thirdly, truly environmentally friendly, with the energy conserving ceilings.

Fourthly, strong communal experience for both traveller and casual visitor.

Fifthly, telling all these stories visibly so that the traveller and visitor can experience and interact with them.

All of which would make sense, if Terminal 4 was created with these goals in mind.

Unfortunately, as rightly pointed out by most Singaporeans, Terminal 4 was created with the space and layout limitations of working with the old budget terminal’s building.

Perhaps if he had known this prior to writing his post, he would have understood the design and structural decisions of the team behind T4 a lot more.

“It’s just one of those things you can’t fake or buy.” – Emmanuel Daniel, 2017

Emmanuel Daniel concludes his post by asking Changi Airport to explain themselves and respond to his feedback. He also professed his hope that Terminal 5 will restore the energy that is Singapore in a monumental way because it’s just one of those things you can’t fake or buy.

The catch here is that he expected Changi Airport to reply him without actually tagging them in his Facebook post or sending them an email directly with his constructive criticism.

With all these outlets available, one wonders why he chose to make his discontentment public instead.

All things considered, Terminal 5 better be nothing short of monumental or Changi Airport may risk losing loyal fans like Emmanuel Daniel forever.

Or you know, haters gonna hate. You can’t fake or buy that either.

Featured Image from Facebook and Changi Airport’s YouTube Channel.