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.