Attack the complainant and miss the complaint

The elderly gentleman was complaining about his neighbour because he was Indian. Any insinuation? No, this elderly gentleman must be a racist at heart. Right or wrong?

By the way, what was he complaining about? Bad smell, dirty habits, and what else? Now that the focus is on this elderly man, what happen to his complaints? Were his complaints valid and need to be addressed? HDB flats are homes to the ordinary Sinkies, not a farm or pig sty for pigs. The residents deserved to have a clean and healthy environment, no dirty and smelly neighbours and neighbours clogging up the walkways or turning their flats into health or fire hazards. No IMH patients running around abusing or threatening the neighbours with physical harm.

While the complainant now has been turned into a villain, a racist, it could be easier to accept his complaints as valid if he is not so dense to keep repeating the fact that the neighbour was from a different race but just about the problems. Then his complaints may be accepted and dealt with. In this case everyone forgot about the reasons for the complaints.

A similar case was Sylvia Lim raising the disquiet in Woffle’s case in Parliament. She was questioned and intimidated as if she was the wrongdoer. Is this the proper way to deal with a complainant, a messenger or a whistle blower? It is like killing the messenger of bad news to avoid hearing more bad news. Divert the attention from the issue and make the complainant the problem.


Anonymous said...

If you want THEM to really listen.
We must double confirm by continuing to vote Opposition.

Ministers will not listen until their jobs are in danger.
Ask George Yeo and his team.

Singapore's first woman Cabinet minister Lim Hwee Hua says she was caught by surprise at the "deep level of resentment" felt towards the ruling People's Action Party.

At a press conference to announce her decision to quit politics on Wednesday, she said, "It is a surprise for us that the resentment is so deep and the unhappiness is so deep."

She said it was only during the General Election campaign, that "we began to fully appreciate the extent of the unhappiness and resentment towards the Government."


Veritas said...

For the past few years, for unknown reasons, plenty of Indians KPKB racist. Why are Indians so special? If you look at many forums, Malay often jump up and defend Singaporean Chinese. (Although many hate racist PAP, regardless whether you are Chinese Malay or Indian)

There is no reasons I see why Singaporeans keep targeting Indians. And ST or or MSM keep on pushing articles that Indians are "victim". I reality is Malay who are over-represented in ITE, getting no jobs, are real victims of PAP racism. No MSM reported seriously on that. If Chinese cannot get jobs in SG, then please think more about our Malay brothers. Their plights are even greater.

Who are racist. Give you an example. And if you go around asking the Taxi drivers who are the biggest ASSHOLE today, most will unanimously point their fingers to FT Indians. No one give a damn about their arrogance and condescending behaviour. Today, I see MSM, racist Shame-mugan imposing racism on Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Well, our prime millionaire is still telling us to be hig-hearted and accept immigrants. What about the PAP accepting opposition MPs and voters? At this point in time, have they shown any big-heartedness? Nay!

Now, to add another twist to the making more babies call, they are talking of giving priority to applicants with babies. Those who are thinking of getting married better make sure you are fertile, otherwise you have to keep waiting for your flat.

Is this a policy that encourages marriage? Without marriage, how to have more babies. Or are they promoting the fashionable Hollywood idea of having babies out of wedlock to confirm your fertility before you will get your flat.

Another speaker tells Singapoeans to think big. No need to, because Singaporeans have all along been thinking big - big housing loans (for shrinking flats), big CPF balances that you cannot touch, big hospital bills that wipe out your medisave account at one go.

And they are aware that what you contributte throughout your working life is not enough for their wiping. They are going to get you to put money into medisave accounts for babies the moment they are born. I am sure there will be fanciful rules and regulations to make sure the money cannot be used except to wait for their wiping out.

Right hand gives, left hand takes back. Give you drumstick, will take back one whole chicken. Beware before you rejoice. This is another trap in the mode of the CPF rulings.

Matilah_Singapura said...

All you have to do is to stick to the relevant facts, without getting emotional.

Then you have a proper complaint.

In Singapore, communications skills are generally lacking. Any complaint will often be taken as a personal attack.

That's how fucked up people are.

Got understanding?

Anonymous said...

@matilah - very apt statement - we do not have the social skill to resolve conflicts - tolerance and communication skills with a rational arbiter (presumably a government appointed,non vested with ability to enforce agreement.

Redbean, as usual succinct and accurate. Educated and enjoying your insights.

Anonymous said...

Deflection is a strategy use by clever people. Sophistry is a master stroke.

Anonymous said...

Some people shoot from the hip, some shoot from their asshole. Some prefer you talk straight, some prefer you talk politics or politically correct language.

It takes great discernment to know the difference(kudos to RB).

Unfortunately, we have a lot of assholes working IN govt. The biggest pigs or hogs are the overfed, overpaid and over stayed.

Anonymous said...

Matilah is right. Stick to the facts and sooner or later, the truth will surface. But they prefer to judge from a distance and by their book. It makes their job much easier and also, help them to stay in power.

Only in some rare cases(very rare), the ground complains get the attention and reported by MSM. When that happens, you can be sure their efforts will be meticulous and sincere.

Just like attending a church service. Impressively good and sincere on the outside but rotten to the core.

Anonymous said...

Q: Why did the PAP politician cross the road?
A: He wanted to double confirm he was walking on the right side of the road.

Anonymous said...

You believe in the values of this nation?

You must be kidding!

Anonymous said...

Sylvia should ask what is he insinuating. Every MP has the right to ask a question in Parliament within being intimidated of insinuation.

Anonymous said...

Don't miss the bulls eye. You have a system failure and they will, in all their power, maintain the one eye dragon position.

What hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

"Divert the attention from the issue and make the complainant the problem."

It is called tai chi or in office politics, stabbing the back of people YOU ASSUME ARE STUPID.

Some are stupid but assume at your own risk.

Anonymous said...

The "elderly gentlemen" referred to "indian smells" in his letter. You can either accept that that is offensive to Indians or you can continue to ignore it and criticise it whenever Indians feel offended as so many Chinese people are so eager to do from their position of privilege. Thank goodness i no longer live in this racist country. This last incident comes at the tail-end of many.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance that you have left this racist country. Please warn all those wanting to come here not to do so. This is a racist country.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

I am just pondering what Sinkieland will be like if the racist Chinese become a minority?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

All kinds of racism should not be tolerated. But we must be aware, like Hsien Loong said, don't because of a few incidents to tar everyone as racist.

In this particular case, that elderly man's mental recognition is an issue. He did not even know that Shanmugam is an Indian. He is not the normal average Sinkie. He did not know what is sensitive, what is racist.

And don't because of an incident like this to call this country racist. Just live in a racist country like Australia or the USA for a while and experience the real racism, and don't come back here to say this is heaven.

I do encourage anyone who thinks this country is racist to go to their chosen non racist country to live. I also content that there will be that odd individuals from any racial group to behave badly against another racial group. No country is perfect, but as far as racism is concerned, this island is about as good as you can get.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I would like to add that Shanmugam should take that elderly man to task if he believes that he is being racist.

The law in the country is more than adequate to deal with individuals exhibiting racial biases against anyone, and so far has done so with no untoward incidents after that.

Anonymous said...

Magicians call it mis-direction.

By drawing attention to the alleged racist.
Shanmugam is no longer the problem.
He is the 'solution".

Anonymous said...

Solving the problem by attacking the complainant. Great skill. Now complainant becomes a problem and has to defend or run to hide.

Anonymous said...

Complainer could be Jesus

Anonymous said...

Maybe he is Ghandhi who rose from the dead?

Anonymous said...


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I would thought the following should happen.

1. Shanmugam should council the elderly man about his racist tone and to educate him from his racist thoughts.
2. Chastise him if he is a recalcitrant and continues to think on a racist line.
3. Send him to IMH for an assessment. Lawyers will approve of this.
4. If his complaints are still valid, setting aside the racist elements, then something has to be done to make living in public housing less stressful. It is no joke living with dirty and irresponsible if not dangerous neighbours. Though HDB flats are meant for the average Sinkies, it is still home and they need a decent and clean place to return do.

Two points are very clear. The racist elderly man must be talked to to prevent him from doing what he is doing or thinking. Done that?
Two, if the neighbour is really dirty and smelly, something must be done to that too. Done that?

Anonymous said...

"Bad behaviour by a small number of foreigners does not justify spiteful comment about foreigners in general, or all foreigners of a particular race. It does no one good," Shanmugam wrote.

One crazy old man's insensitive remarks do not justify all Sinkies in general as racists.

Anonymous said...

sick and tired of chinese chauvinism. Its very rich of you to say " I invite those who feel this country is racist to leave ..." Piss off seriously , you rather have a non-chinese Singaporean who feels discriminated against leave their own country rather than having to address an issue which distresses them. Typical response from a chinese person who has never felt what it is like to be a minority until now. Spoilt rotten by majority status for too long.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

If racism or Chinese chauvinism is a real issue here and victimising the minorities that make life difficult for them, I would gladly admit it here. For several decades, Chinese Chauvinism has never been a real threat to the minorities. In fact its presence were much stronger in the 50s when there were full fledged Chinese middle schools here and the pressure groups were very vocal and visible.

This govt has done a lot to suppress Chinese Chauvinism to the present state that they are hardly noticeable, not that they are totally wiped out.

Within every racial groups there are bound to be some bad hats that would push for their views to oppress others. And chauvinism is not just a Chinese traits.

I think the govt has done very well to keep the various communities at even keel and anyone stepping out of line would have his knuckles knocked.

The recent surge of cries of chauvinism is unfortunate and has a lot to do with the influx of foreigners from all quarters. The foreigners raised the level of awareness and some took the opportunities to test the tolerance of the society. The pulls to be different becomes stronger.

Without them around, the race relations could have matured to a much more advanced and acceptable level when Sinkies began to see themselves as Sinkies. This is the price to pay for the influx at such a short span of time and can get worst.

Without being chauvinistic, I think Sinkieland is one of the best managed country in the world as far as racial and religious tolerance is concerned. No minorities ever fear of being attacked and could speak and demand for their rights freely. And there is a govt there to ensure no one is being victimised.

Anon 2:44, are you a new citizen or original Sinkie?

Anonymous said...

What would this place be like if the majority is Malay or Indian? Would the chauvinism be worst or be better?

Anonymous said...

It would be good for Sinkies to have a taste of Malay or Indian majority and chauvinism.

Anonymous said...

Many countries are pluralistic and have majorities and minorities. The majority will want to maintain their majority and be in power and the minority will want to increase their numbers to compete for political power. This is an ongoing process in all countries. Any attempt by any group to change the demography will be met with opposition and resistance and there will be conflict and upheavals.

Most countries will keep a status quo with the composition fairly stable and a non spoken agreement to keep things unchanged. Don't expect any group to give way on this. This is realpolitiks.

Having said that, it is for the different groups, minority and majority to co exist as best they could. The best that can be had is for a majority that do not impose unfairly on the minority. No one is going to be happy as the expectations are different and never to be satisfied by all.

Is there a better solution or arrangement? Would any group think it can be better and fairer when in power? Would any group think that it can change the equation to its advantage while the other groups would not do anything about it?

Singapore happens to be like that and it would be kept like that for as long as it matters.

Anonymous said...

You anon 2:44,

Chinese chauvinism just appted an Indian Indian as Chief Justice. And don't forget two Indians were appted presidente.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.44 here. Red Bean I was born in Singapore and served my national service here, in fact my family has been here for 4 generations. I am not a new citizen, I don't know somehow people assume that locally-born minorities feel great about the way they are treated and only new citizens complain as a form of trouble-making. I agree that Singapore does well in terms of racially-related violence. There is practically none. However the everyday insidious snide comments and essentialising really eats away at your soul after awhile. And in that sense Singapore is really much worse than places like Australia, where apart from sometimes noticing that you are non-white, people don't slot you into some sort of box. ( ex. Indians stink and malays lack ambition etc). This kind of "benign" racism begins in primary school and for the unlucky, it dogs you all your life. I think malays probably have it slightly worse. I have so many Chinese friends who think it is completely acceptable to think and say that malays are "lazy". And this pervasive stereotype affects hiring practices and the occupational discrepancies that happen as a result are used to further justify this disgusting suggestion.

Yes, Indians were appointed Presidents. Institutionally we are not prejudiced against unlike Malays who can't be in armour units, the airforce etc etc and always have their loyalty questioned. ( Actually the PAP thinks Singapore is not ready for an Indian PM). However socially look at what our last President was known as...."Prata Man." Don't get me wrong, I think Nathan was useless, but the fact is that the nickname suggests that Chinese people found it so hilarious that an Indian made it to the highest state office because he looked like a prata seller. I've never actually seen Nathan in non-official clothing, and I can assume that most of these name-callers havent either. So I can only assume hat he looked like a prata seller cos he looked dark and looked Indian. This suggests the high opinion that commenters have of Indians. I dont in anyway look down on hawkers, but the tone with which he is called a prata-man is meant to denigrate.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.44: I'm not saying that racism is a "Chinese Trait." Of course it rears its head in every culture and if Indians or Malays dominated Singapore chances are that Chinese people would be getting the short end of the stick. That however does not excuse it. If it does than we are simply throwing in the towel and saying "human beings are shitty" and society is a reflection of human nature ,therefore accept things as they are without trying to better it."

Instead lets be open and accept that racism does happen in Singapore. For a start instead of denying every incident of racism and tying it into a debate about PAP vs Non-PAP or Singaporean vs Non-Singaporean, why not ask Indian and Malay singaporeans how they feel about it first before deciding for them? Also why don't we vocally criticize people who make negative comments against Indian and Malay Singaporeans with the same amount of passion and energy that is used against foreigners who criticize Singaporeans in general?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 3:07,

As sinkies, we have seen through many things in life here. In every group there will be bound to have the assholes that will talk bad about others and have negative stereotyped views as well. I sometimes visit 3in1kopitiam to read the diatribes which are fierce and uncalled for. But I do not go around pointing fingers at anyone. You may want to go there and feel the pulses. The biases are equally matched by both sides.

The bottom feeders of any racial group will act and behave in very unacceptable ways. What is impt are govt policies and the general population. I am sure as a minority you will not feel any insecurity here or worry that someone is going to attack you because you are a minority. In the train or buses, you can find the comfort level of the minorities and even foreigners here as far as social security and racism is concerned. I doubt you have any frightening personal experiences because you are a minority or even our Malay brothers.

The discrimination of the Malays in certain sensitive positions is a historical thing. If you are privy to some of the security issues during our country's formative years you will understand why.

It will take a little time to erase the concerns of the past as we get our national identities sorted out and Sinkies become more Sinkies.

I have no solutions to them but things will work out eventually.