‘Proud’ Joseph Schooling draws netizens’ ire for saying he wants to “teach Malaysia a thing or two”


National swimmer Joseph Schooling earned the ire of netizens for his comments to Channel News Asia when he returned to Singapore this week after participating in the 2017 FINA World Championship in Hungary.

When asked about the upcoming SEA games which is to be held at Malaysia this year, the 22-year-old who won nine gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games, which was held in Singapore, said:

“We have a chance to do something special at the SEA Games; 2015 was something special for us, I think it will be nice to go to Malaysia’s backyard and teach them a thing or two.”

Here’s what Joseph Isaac Schooling thinks of Singapore’s chances in the pool for Kuala Lumpur 2017.

Posted by Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A majority of netizens responding to the interview were quick to respond to the Olympic gold medallist, calling him “proud” and asking him to be more humble:

However, some netizens have come to Schooling’s defense, saying that his words have been taken out of context or that this is just a normal part of competitive sports banter:

As for Schooling, he has his eyes fixed on the prize at the SEA Games. He wrote on his Facebook page that he’s not taking the games lightly:

Good to be back home. Next up #SEAGames2017. Look forward to compete against my fellow competitors in this region and…

Posted by Joseph Isaac Schooling on Tuesday, 1 August 2017

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  1. He says what he needs to say.Being bold n confident means being super competitive.Doesn’t necessarily means arrogant.This is sports.People..Dont have to get political.

  2. since the SEA games gonna be in Malaysia its only natural for him to mention Malaysia sharing knowledge or competing or meeting his Malaysian fans

    after all we see him as representing SEA rather than only Singapore

  3. James Seet says:

    Whatever JS said….Let it be Right or Wrong…He brought glory to Singapore by Getting A Gold Medal in A Olympic Games after So many donkey years….if any of you guys giving comments..,Why not you Guys try getting A Gold in 2020 before you all give comments…..???????…!!!!

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    Veritas Wallace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    losers will say he is proud.
    sore losers will say he should be more humble..

    winners will welcome him..

    Come on, if an Olympic gold medalist is not fit to teach , who can ?

  5. Just hope that it will not develop into a Sin bashing session during the Games!
    Just remember, the Malaysians won a GOLD at the recent FINA world swimming championship. They can teach us a thing or two themselves.

  6. Shaun Lich says:

    Its just one netizen. It just shows that hes determined professional swimmer who is going to have fun with msian swimmers and maybe even help them with their techniques from his experience.

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    Alang Ang ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, Malaysia did well in the recent FINA Final by winning a gold medal in Woman Diving beating the all mighty Chinese. We must always be humble and careful with words.

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    William Lim ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    he is saying go to m’sial’s backyard to teach them a thing or two. obviously referring to m’sial.
    arrogance? maybe. but he was also jesting.

  9. Alvin Peh says:

    He did say teach malaysians a thing or 2 but what he meant is to share with them since he has flown with the eagles (the best olympic swimmers) out there. He definitely learnt and picked up something useful

  10. When I watched the interview and read the article, I assumed he was referring to the younger Sg swimmers as ‘them’ .. as he was referring to them two sentences prior to this

  11. Come on you guys it was said more in jest he is not the arrogant type. It’s just an expression and when you are schooled in the states for a major part of your life you tend to pick up their mannerisms and gestures there is nothing to state that he is boasting it’s just a figure of speech. If you know the boy he is far from being arrogant just a young determined man who wants to achieve the goals he set for himself.

  12. Good job JS! Continue in what you want to do!!! You deserve and earn all these by yourself and inclusive family members too but not our rich pap government! Just see them invisible and work towards your dream, true blue Singaporeans are behind you! Well done!!!

  13. Seems like CNA could have helped put him in a better light no? His statement was possibly cheeky rather than proud. And if he was arrogant, why CNA want to sow discord huh?

  14. Tan Kenny says:

    Hello my fellow singaporean wat has u all got to make comments. JS got Olympics gold is his parents who pay for it. Did u all who comment Psy s single cents. Wake up.
    To me he is a star in KL SEA GAMES.

    1. It’s not the question of who paid for him, he got the nod from the Olympic Council, to represent Singapore, many parents willing to sacrifice for their son/daughter with their time and money. I will wait for the time to come in the next Olympic, not SEA games, because Sea games is not a big games compare to Olympic.

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    Roy Mathiew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If you knew the amount of dedication and training it takes to be a champ, you too would feel proud to be a winner. His words were likely in response to remarks passed by someone who thinks he’s a flash in the pan, which I doubt.

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    Josiah Paul ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Taking into account of his expression; he begins to break out into a nice smile at about the onset of those salient words in question, one cannot help but deduce that he was speaking in sport, not in earnest, with a certain fondness for the competition towards the Malaysians, rather than with any disrespect or the like.

  17. Kris Chee says:

    Watching the video. It sounded more like he expected to have fun with the Malaysian swimmers during the SEA games rather than being arrogant. After all….his mum is/was a Malaysian.

    1. Aja Lee says:

      That’s why they are young.Not much wisdom. We should give them the benefits of doubt. Hopefully one day when they grew mature they will ponder back the things they said and did before.But the sad thing is,not only the young says stupid things,Even old people today when speaking they don’t have much wisdom. It’s a much sadder things.

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