Over the recent furore of xenophobia as claimed by the media and people in high places, it has somehow added fire to feed the anger of Sinkies towards foreigners. There were many comments by bloggers in TRE showing contempt for foreigners for not being able to speak English.
Language has become the latest kid for bashing. Foreigners coming here must speak English and nothing else. Hindi, Tagalog, Thai etc are not acceptable. Sinkies refused to speak to them if they can’t speak English. What is laughable or obnoxious is that they even rejected Mandarin as a language of Sinkies. What’s happening?
The immediate question is whether Sinkies are daft or smug or both. The next question is that our education system and our national policy on bilingualism must have failed miserably. These Sinkies, true blue Sinkies, not newly minted type, did not know that Mandarin is one of the four official languages of Sinkieland. Cannot speak, refuse to speak Mandarin, feeling hurt, insulted when foreigners speak to them in Mandarin! And sadder still, many knew how to speak Mandarin but refused to communicate with the foreigner in Mandarin. The foreigners must speak English.
What is the justification? Sinkies will not bend backwards to accommodate foreigners by speaking to them in the foreigner’s language, which happens to be one of our official languages, and deliberately making things difficult to the foreigners by demanding to speak in English and nothing else.
Other than creating four official languages to level the playing field, other than having the mother tongue as a social ballast to keep the westernised Sinkies rooted to their own culture, language is simply a tool for communication. The basic aim of bilingualism is to arm Sinkies to be able to communicate with East and West, which is one of our strength. Now jokers did not want to speak anything else except English to spike foreigners. Jokers refused to acknowledge that Mandarin is one of our official languages. Maybe some jokers don’t even know of this fact.
It is not funny.