Feng Tianwei’s Olympic bronze medal has, once again, attracted criticism. The reason? She is not a “true” Singaporean. Another criticism is that in bringing in and giving those like Feng citizenship we are “buying” medals. (Lets not forget that Feng – and those like her, including our own native Singaporean sportsmen and sportswomen, have to train very hard to have any chance of winning anything in the sports arena.)

The criticisms flow fast and furious, and they are repeated ad nauseum each time someone who is seen as “not a true Singaporean” wins some accolades. While these sentiments are understandable because of our immigration policy, and others like the Foreign Talent Scheme (under which, incidentally, Feng was brought in), perhaps it would be best if we could move beyond launching diatribes against her and her colleagues, and ask ourselves a deeper, more meaningful question: what, really, makes a Singaporean?

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