Racism in Singapore
Recently the outcry against racism is getting louder. Many, even a minister, are raising issues of racism openly. Yes, there are incidents of racism in this island and there is nothing to hide, or better to sweep them under the carpet. The case of this elderly man berating his Indian neighbour for unpleasant smell, unhygienic lifestyle, and turning his flat into a squalor, has been given special prominence by the minister in his Facebook posting. What is the intent of the minister, to prove that there is racism, to use this as an issue in the national dialogue or to say that racism exists in little pockets in the society?
Short of saying that this elderly man’s IQ or EQ is suspect, that he did not find anything wrong complaining to Minister Shanmugam who is obviously an Indian, I just dunno what to say. With such a strange behavior from an elderly man, it is equally strange to trump this as a good example of racism. And the case only helps to confirm the mindset of those who see racism as a big issue in this island. And some took the opportunity to beat drums and gongs to the screams of, hear, hear, there is racism in Sinkieland.
And the drum and gong beaters are raising their pitch higher, which is very unfortunate. No one in his right mind will deny that there is racism here and everywhere in the world. It is a matter of degree and seriousness. No one will accept the racial slurs by the elderly man even he if he is not the average Sinkie man one encounters in the island and thus not excusable.
The point is this, is racism really a big issue in the island? Since 1969, has there been any racially incited conflict or killings, of people being attacked physically or verbally abused in public because of race? There were a handful of racist postings in the blogs by some hot young men and they were immediately taken to task by the police. And these were about the most serious incidents of racial discrimination one could find. It is quite embarrassing really.
What more can you ask for? For those who believe that this island is a racist place populated by a racist majority victimizing the minorities, why not choose a country that has a more pleasant environment where different races live in better harmony than in this little island? No we are not perfect, but trying to.
Yes, I am offended as a Sinkie. I seeing more accusation and agitation of racism in this country I called home. And no, I am not saying that there is no racism, but when they manifest, they are so mild and so few in between to warrant the sounding of a tsunami coming. There are bound to be a few bad hats in all communities. But the bad hats here don’t beat up people or shoot people with guns. This is Singapore, a multi culture and racial city state with no equals in the world as far as race relations is concerned.
Sinkies should feel offended when people keep harping about racism in the city and tell the racist off. Only racists go around seeing everything racist using their racist lens.