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Are Singaporeans becoming too entitled and feeding into their inner ‘Karen’?

These flattering numbers feed the brand reputation of the country: things work, everyone works, now get back to work.

But they only show what we can do, not who we are.

So it is with predictable ire that Redditors responded to Malaysia-born, Singapore-raised comedian Ronny Chieng’s March 21 post on Instagram: “This is apropos of nothing, but it’s a mistake to listen to any Singaporean about current affairs other than Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

“They are just a country of small island Karens with main character syndrome who literally think they have all the answers despite having zero perspective on the world.

“Great chilli crab, though.”

We like the chilli crab bit, but the rest rankles.

Perhaps we have grown too addicted to our Mighty Mouse narrative: puny Singapore is so phenomenally successful at making big money that we all qualify for red-carpet treatment.

We resent the insinuation that we live in a bubble, oblivious to others. Because if we agree that we can be brats, we lose face, and we have to follow up by reflecting on how we can do better.

All apologies to anyone named Karen, which in recent years has become pejorative slang for entitled, obnoxious behaviour, usually associated with a rich, white social caste. Apologies that it now, unfairly, refers to anyone who demands a privilege they do not deserve – people who place such stock in their own sticker value that they neglect their flaws elsewhere.

Chieng won’t be the last to call us out for being insufferably smug. He certainly isn’t the first.

In 1998, feeling that Singapore had not behaved as a friend, then-Indonesian President B.J. Habibie reductively dubbed it “that red dot” in The Asian Wall Street Journal.

Just last month, Thailand’s prime minister claimed concert promoter