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3/17/2007

myth 122

Myth 122 Social Integration The last few weeks the topic of new citizens not integrating or mixing with the locals was raised in many quarters. There were complains by the locals that new citizens lived their own lives and were completely cut off from the locals, or even worst, looking down on locals. This is another divide that is cutting across our nation despite people assuring the population that all will be well when we have 6.5 million people, mostly new citizens. Wondering how many are gullible enough to have so strong a faith to believe in the happy eventuality of this story. After 40 years of independence, social engineering, demographic management and distribution, national education, campaigns after campaigns, our inter racial relations is still on tender hook. At the slightest instigation we can see the cracks emerging very quickly and a lot of damage control to put it back in place. We have all kinds of grassroot activities organised to promote social mixing and understanding among the people of different backgrounds. We tried very hard in these areas. Now another problem is added to this mixed matches of people. Before an old problem is solved, new problems are added. And we believe all is well. We have this simple mentality that we must herd the people together, play together and feed together. And unless they are seen to be feeding together like a flock of sheep, we are not a people united, not one people. So we try and try. And everytime we see people not mixing together or staying away from each other, horror, we are splitting apart. Suresh Kumar wrote in the Today paper to address this apparent disunity among new and old Singaporeans. In his view, everyone have their own things to do and own interests. And why should they be forced to be with people that are so different to them and do not share the same interest? it is only natural. The same kind of experience can be seen with a family or between brothers and sisters. When each is busy doing his own things, enjoying his own interests, pursuing his own dreams, they have hardly anytime to be together. Maybe once or twice a year over some cultural or traditional events. Even husband and wife have different dreams will sleeping on the same bed. But they are a family when the crunch comes. While we strive for unity, the superficial herding of people together does not mean anything if their hearts are elsewhere or they don't share the same dream and aspiration. Just like a flock of sheep, with a blank mind, grazing the grass and oblivious to anything. A perfect target for the wolf packs. What is important is for the people to have a soul or spirit, that they believe in being a Singaporean and will defend and die for this island. That their future well being is intertwined with the well being of this island and people. The money kind of nation building will turn us into a soulless cosmopolitan city, everyone grazing their little patch of grass and will scatter in all directions when the wolf pack attacks. When the social glue is money and nothing else, we no longer qualify to be called a nation of people. We will become a country of mercenaries. To each his own. Grab as much as one can during good time and plan to run away with houses and properties in some safe havens.

9 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Social integration or social segregation when forced upon the people by the state is a very bad idea.

The market economy or capitalist system unites everyone—no govt interference required.

If you look at S'pore's history and see the wonder of the market (spontaneous order) at work, you'll see Chinatown (Chinese), Geylang Serai (Malay), Serangoon Road (Indians), Arab Street (Middle Eastern), Tanglin (Europeans)... Boat Quay/Colleyer Quay/Orchard Road (Commerce and Business) all these originated from a loosely planned, essentially market-governed policy of Stamford Raffles.

IMO Raffles was the best "leader" S'pore ever had—because he essentially left everything ALONE to occur naturally. (Hands-off approach) It is great that he had other interests which absorbed him—the local flora and fauna fascinated him.

However, now we have a polticised HDB with all the controls and racial quotas—i.e. FORCED integration.

Very bad idea. You can only sell such that the "racial balance" in your area is maintained.

Forced social integration breeds more divisiveness and contempt. The only solution is a hands-off approach, and allow the market to do its work.

When the market is doing its work, people cooperate for mutual benefit. As a result the become wealthier, and therefore peaceful. Social integration is thus a consequence of wealth creation and occurs naturally.

We are free to "look down" or praise whomever we choose, for whatever reason. Being able to "discriminate" or choosing not to, is an essential idea of FREEDOM, which stems from the freedom to hold and opinion and the freedom to associate or dissociate.

As long as people aren't violent toward each other, any situation is alright.

Governments, because of their political nature, never "unite" people—they create artificial DIVISIVENESS, instead of allowing natural DIVERSITY to function, by uncontrolled voluntary human cooperation.

Below is an essay of how people from diverse backgrounds cooperate in the market, and everyone's wealth increases as a result. Pay particular attention to the sections: No One Knows and No Mastermind.
Link: I, Pencil

Anonymous said...

I am a foreigner and I live on a street adjacent to a secondary school. Before school starts and after school ends each day I see groups of children to and from school passing my home. I have yet to see a group of children of mixed race together. They are either all of Chinese, Malay or Indian origin, but never mixed. Even at this tender ages they do not mix. How do you expect them to mix when they become adults????

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

that is the point i was trying to make. herd the sheep together, but together they are physically, but miles apart.

we can keep trying to get people together. but many people just wont get together not because of bad intention. everyone choose, intentionally or unintentionally to do certain things and mixed with certain groups.

what is important as a country is that the people must feel that they are citizens and will rise as one people when the country needs them in time of crisis.

what i see now is a flock of sheep. when the wolf attacks, all will scatter . they will watch and graze silently nearby as long as they are not eaten. sheep are like that, mindless.

but there are enough common interest here for the diverse race to want to live together and make the best of their lives. no need to force them to hold hands and hug each other. it is a farce.

if the people feel that they belong here and proud to be a citizen here, that should be the real test.

Matilah_Singapura said...

what is important to "this country" is that the government leaves the people alone to choose their associations.

Can you blame people from turning into people? Yes and no.

The kids observed by anonymous are attending a school which pollutes the childrens' minds with the poisonous GARBAGE of State Education— a system designed to strip every child of their individuality—such that the children become NEEDY. And needy people wish to "fill the void" made by a mind who has lost the individual ability to think for itself.

So what to do? Find a group with has something "in common" with oneself—something that one can relate to—race, religion, politics, idol worship... whatever.

Ever seen people who try to find the "meaning to life" join a group? Stupid but funny huh?

Enjoy the ENTERTAINMENT!

Matilah_Singapura said...

ERRATUM

2nd paragraph:

Can you blame people from turning into people?

should read:

Can you blame people from turning into Sheeple?

Anonymous said...

I am a foreigner and had spent almost 10 years in Singapore since the mid 90s. I see the racial harmony as something very fragile. It doesn't appear to be genuine harmony, more like enforced tolerance held together only by a strong central authority, not unlike the old Yugoslavia. Once that authority is undermined, we saw how quickly the situation degenerated into chaos with all-out violence erupting between the various ethnics. If you can't even get the various etnic groups to shed their bigoted prejudices against one another, how in the world do you expect them to think as one country and rise as one people. That is merely wishful thinking, Redbean.

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

i fully agree with you. the fragile facade of unity can be broken at the slightest tug. but there are many singaporeans who are deceiving themselves to think that everything is well.

and this talk of a 6.5 million population comprising mainly of foreigners. this is the most dangerous adventure that we are embarking on.

even today, with so many foreign workers here, if they riot, it will be out of control short of cutting everyone down in a sea of blood.

it is quite perilous to think that all is well. i fear for our survival if we do not take stock of the possibility of an internal strife and believe in our godlike ability to control everything.

Anonymous said...

If you fear for your survival, then you should be doing everything you can to setup a second home somewhere.

Matilah_Singapura said...

But by setting up a second home elsewhere—that would make redbean a "foreigner".

Then if by the same arguments of govt intervention to "integrate" individuals into "one" (a concept used by Hitler, Stalin and Mao) is not used in the new-home country, redbean might be dragged from his domicile in the still of the night and bludgeoned by the mob.

So why stop at social integration? If any govt thinks it can achieve "social benefits" by forcing people to "like each other", then perhaps they should go all the way and FORCE men and women together by a govt-selection process to produce the "right kind" of babies so that the country eventually becomes populated by a Super Race of people.

Sound familiar?

Heil Harry!