So is New York and London
We live in a multi racial and multi religious city. So is New York, London, Paris and many other big cities around the world. Why are we being hit by regular inter ethnic and cross religious intolerance and irritations? Or why are the residents here getting so intolerant and unbearable of people of different colours and beliefs? Three young men were arrested for posting insensitive racial remarks over the net and one religious leader were hauled up by the ISD to drink kopi. And we believe everything is normal though the tension is simmering beneath the surface of a false smile. We have 45 years of continuous effort in nation building to gel the people into Singaporeans, to think, act, live and behave like Singaporeans. Have we succeeded? I thought we have, or at least up to a decade or two ago. We have invested in a lot of time and effort to break down racial and religious barriers among our citizens and were quite successful until the recent influx of foreigners. The huge numbers of new residents and their unfamiliar ways of life and behaviour would definitely rub the wrong side of some citizens who are a bit more sensitive. And the new residents too would find us strange and perhaps unfriendly towards them. We want them to be like us, and accept our ways of life. They want us to be more tolerant of their ways of life and even see things the way they want it. There will be such forces pulling and pushing against each other. We even have new residents questioning why Lunar New Year or Christmas is celebrated in such big scale while other holidays were not. Soon they will want things their ways and demand more from the already accepted norms and ways of life here. The equilibrium will be changed, or will be tested and challenged. Will the natives accept such challenges meekly or will they be so pissed off with the new residents or citizens and come to a face off? We started to have this dangerous broth of multi racialism and multi religion under the British rule. They were not concerned about the consequences except their economic and political interests. And they also have the gun to deal with any dissident or trouble maker the colonial ways. Also the poor immigrants were ignorant and have little rights to talk about. They accepted their fate, live peacefully to avoid trouble and keep clear of the laws. Today we consciously decided to add more mixes in the broth. Today they talk about rights and privileges. We have new residents that are educated and know the laws and demand more rights or they will not come. They are seeing themselves as our saviours, not coolies, and will not care how the natives feel. They even feel slighted and unhappy because our walkways were not designed for their prams and convenience. And they will tell you right in the face. We will have to live with the consequences of all the new faces and residents and their demands on the meek natives. The meek shall not inherit paradise. Maybe we shall learn from New York and London on how they keep their foreigners quiet and not to cause trouble to the locals. They must know the way or else they will be plagued by all the spurious demands of the immigrants in their midst. Have we solve our foreigners versus natives problems, or they are just waiting for an opportunity to blow up? Shall we invite more foreigners to have more buzz in our lives? Don't worry, they have already brought in the buzz.