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  • SumoMe

When an interview with Miss Singapore World 2009 winner Miss Ris Low hit the Internet, harsh comments were aplenty. Did she deserve it?

An article by Penny K

Miss Ris “Boomz” Low, 19, whose nickname was given to her since her interview with the RAZORTV is nothing to be proud of. It’s derived from her comment about how, if she were feeling naughty she’d wear something “rad”, something “boomz”.

Ever since some contestant from another pageant a few years back said, “James Dean once said, “Dream as if you’ll leeeeef forever, leeeeef as if you’ll die today”, I had given up hope on local beauty queens and their oratorical skills. Boomz, though, takes bad English to a whole new level.

From talking about her “bigini” (bikini) to “leopard preens” (leopard prints) and “duck gins” (dark jeans), I found myself squinting from cringing too much to watch the rest of the interview. I failed to realise all I had to do to end my misery was to shut my ears, not my eyes.

Then came the Sunday Times and the head of the Speak Good English Movement defending Boomz. In a nutshell, she said Boomz’s English shouldn’t come as a surprise to Singaporeans since a lot of us speak that way.

Question is, and excuse the Punctuation Parkinson’s, do we???

It’s one thing to say that since it’s a beauty pageant, we should judge her for her beauty and not her ability to speak but it’s another thing to imply that many of us use “boomz” in our description of a loud sense of style.

We don’t all speak well but our speech isn’t as appalling as hers. It’s unnecessary for a nation to take a beating down in order to justify one person’s bad English.


  1. I sincerely hope that it’s true that very few people in Singapore speak English the way Ris Low currently does. Because if that’s the case, what’s happening to our education system?

    When I first watched the video, I thought she was saying ‘boobz’, not ‘boomz’. I was probably confused about how the word ‘boomz’ suddenly popped into the conversation relating to one’s dress sense.

    Ultimately, I think it’s not fair to judge someone based on one impromptu video. I recorded a response video to the Ris Low affair, so I know it takes practice to sound credible on audio-recording. It took me 13 times before deeming it acceptable.

  2. Dear ZenSensei,

    You are indeed very Zen to come to Ris Low’s defense :)

    I do have to agree, though, that it may not be fair to judge someone based on an impromptu video. But then again she’s a beauty queen if we don’t judge her by the way she carries herself on camera, etc, how else will we get to know Ris Low? Such is the downside of being in the public eye.

    Have you read the Sunday Times feature of Ris Low? Apparently she also has bi-polar disorder and has had the urge to steal since primary school. I’m not sure what that interview has done for her other than strip credibility off her even more.

    Perhaps she’ll make a better career out of being a compere on Channel 8 or U.

    P.S. Great website you have, and cute video! – and you sound way better than her.

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