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Lim Ruey Yan
The Straits Times
November 2, 2022
A post on coconuts led to an exchange of views between local actress Joanne Peh and two netizens on social media.
Peh, who is married to actor Qi Yuwu and has two children with him, recently posted several photos of their family vacation in Thailand.
Last Friday, she shared a photo of herself drinking coconut water at a stall, as she wrote in Chinese: “I feel that coconuts are too expensive in Singapore and am reluctant to drink coconut water. I felt the same when I was in Phuket for a few days, until I saw this sign on Phi Phi Island and recalled it was the local product. I decided to get a big one right away.”
A netizen reacted to the post by commenting: “A coconut costs $2.50 in Singapore. Surely you will not be ‘reluctant’ to get one?”
Peh, 39, replied: “Where can I buy the $2.50 one? A small one in the supermarket costs more than $3 and it is gone after a few sips. This one was so big and sweet that I felt drunk after drinking it.”
Another netizen commented in English: “$3 you can’t afford?”
Peh replied to the second netizen: “Friend, ‘reluctance’ and ‘affordability’ are two different concepts.”
The second netizen then replied: “Have you heard of ‘humble brag’? Your reluctance to buy something which costs $3 is puzzling.”
Peh replied in Chinese: “I have not heard of it so that was not my intention when I wrote the post. Now that you mentioned it, I realise some people have pre-conceived ideas about others.”
She said everyone is entitled to his or her views, and she is just sharing hers on her platform.
“I think everyone has different views on the value of things,” she said.
“Some people spend lots of money on games, but they are reluctant to spend the same sum of money elsewhere. Some people drink milk tea every day, but they are reluctant to spend the same sum of money on other food and beverages.”
She continued: “You may feel something is cheap while I feel it is expensive. You may be willing to spend while I don’t. To me, this is simply a matter of personal preferences, and not a complex issue.”
The second netizen replied to Peh in English: “Very well said, but I think your reasoning makes more sense if it costs $300 or $3,000, but I respect your point of view. I think a lot of people can’t comprehend why a millionaire can’t bear to part with $3.
“We are all living in an era where students with no income are spending $5 to $8 on bubble tea. Hence knowing a celebrity not willing to spend $3 on a coconut is just weird, but you do you.”
Peh did not reply to the post.