Local actress Felicia Chin has given Singaporean men a major thumbs-down in a recent column with a local magazine.
The 27-year-old former MediaCorp artiste said, "Singapore men lack quality. Maybe they've been too well-taken care of, it's as if they lack something. It's hard to find mature and steady men of the olden days like my father."
Her comments appeared in the April issue of local Chinese women's magazine Nuyou.
Chin, who quit full-time acting in 2010, is currently studying for a business degree at the National University of Singapore. The student and part-time actress said in a subsequent interview with The New Paper published on Monday that she thinks that local men materialistic and shallow.
Referring to the majority of local men she's met, the 2003 Star Search winner said, "Some of these men in their 20s are successful, but their focus is on wealth and what they have on the outside".
Currently single, the former Tanjong Katong Girls' School and Victoria Junior College student claimed to have had "very few" relationships in the past but that all her exes are Singaporeans. She also said she prefers mature men who've "seen it all" and does not rule out dating a foreigner.
She also added her comments were not meant to offend but to make readers of the column think.
"I'm not making a personal attack... Nuyou is an intimate magazine and if I don't share what I really feel, it defeeats the purpose (of the column)," she told TNP, before adding that she welcomed feedback.
But are locally born-and-bred men all that bad? Fellow newsmakers Yahoo! Singapore spoke to didn't agree with Chin.
Well-known etiquette consultant Teo Ser Lee felt that Chin's comments were "a sweeping generalisation".
The 44-year-old former beauty queen, who now runs her own company, Protocol Academy, said she has met many Singaporean men over the course of work who are "down-to-earth, humble, and work hard for every dollar".
"I don't know who are the people she (Chin) hangs out with," Teo said.
"But since she's now an undergraduate, she could have met male classmates who are pampered and already drive a car, and who may therefore come across as arrogant and not knowing the value of money".
Still, Teo believed "there will always be an exception".
She continued: "It's unfair to label Singaporean men as that. There are also women who only know how to buy big handbags."
Popular radio deejay Lin Pei Fen said the traits described by Chin are not specific to just Singaporean men.
"Male species of any kind need to be suitably arrogant in order to fight for survival, lead or attract mates," the 30-year-old reasoned.
Besides, she said, arrogance, when portrayed correctly, can be a plus point. "I am attracted by men who can be arrogant when he needs to be."
As for Chin's charge that some local men in their 20s are too pre-occupied with "wealth and what they have on the outside", Lin felt that this is necessary trait for "living in Singapore".
Another local deejay, Dennis Chew, defended Chin, saying "women are by nature, more mature than men". Chin is one of Chew's godchildren.
On reports in Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao which quoted Chin describing local men as being "fond of gossip", Chew, 38, reasoned, "It could be the men she's met. There may be more such men in the entertainment circle, due to the nature of the industry. But there are also many male artistes who don't gossip at all."