‘Salty’ Singaporeans put Razer chief Min-Liang Tan on defensive after his US$2.4m pledge to Malaysia e-sports development

  • The billionaire e-sports entrepreneur hits out at Singapore criticism
  • He says the investment is for the overall benefit of the industry in the region
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 November, 2018, 1:43pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 November, 2018, 1:43pm

A popular Singapore entrepreneur who pledged 10 million ringgit (US$2.4 million) for the development of e-sports in Malaysia has been forced to defend himself from compatriots who accused him of neglecting his own country.

Min-Liang Tan, a former lawyer who co-founded the Razer brand that makes gaming hardware and software, said his company is committed to Singapore e-sports development and contributes greatly to the industry in the island state.

“After my commitment to invest MYR10M into Malaysian e-sports in 2019, I got a slew of abusive messages saying we don’t do anything for e-sports in Singapore,” Tan, whose company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, wrote on Facebook.

“We are probably one of the biggest supporters of e-sports in Singapore – just this year alone we sponsored Hyperplay, the SEA Majors and PVP. We have been supporting Singaporean e-sports athletes like Xian for years and are always looking to support more who are committed to Razer like Xian.

“We have hundreds of employees in Singapore with some of whom hired for e-sports specifically. I suspect we might actually be the biggest employers of e-sports professionals in Singapore.”

Tan made the pledge last week to match the 10 million ringgit that Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq promised for the development of e-sports in his country.

Malaysia is a regional leader in e-sports and will this month host the Dota 2 Major, a prestigious tournament in the series that will attract the top players from Asia.

Tan, who has a net worth estimated at US$1.6 billion and has forged a cult following among e-sports fans, said Singaporeans should celebrate his investment rather than criticise it.

“We will continue to invest in e-sports in Singapore AND the rest of the world,” he wrote. “My investment in Malaysian e-sports is a good thing for the entire community, and Singaporeans should be happy that the entire region is going to grow in e-sports.

“So instead of being abusive – we should be celebrating the fact that we will be seeing the growth of e-sports in the region and we, at Razer, are committed to spearheading it.”

Reaction to Tan’s post was largely positive with Singaporeans and Malaysians welcoming his gesture to promote the industry.

“Although Im not a avid gamer, I like to think that we, as Singaporeans, should be proud of how Razer and co has grown on the international stage,” wrote Bryan Neo on Facebook.

Zechariah Toh wrote on Facebook: “I don’t know who those singaporeans are but i’m glad razer is doing more to bring e-sports into SEA. thanks for laying down the hardwork! for SEAsian by SEAsians!”

One user, Ahmad Suhaimi said it was typical of his fellow Singaporeans to complain about everything.

“Haters gonna hate. We Singaporeans will continue to keep complaining no matter what. Nothing to complain also will surely die-die find something to complain about.”

Users also indulged in some mild cross-causeway banter with one Malaysian saying Singaporeans are “salty”, slang to describe someone as angry and upset most of the time.

This prompted another to reply: “Generally most Singaporeans are salty. They can’t see people do good one [do good things].”

Nur Azhar Badiauzaman wrote: “I know there would be backlash from the Singaporean, but i never knew it was this salty. I guess you really cant make everyone happy.”