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PM Lee raps Singaporeans for ‘over-reacting’ to Sun Xu saga: We should have ‘moved on’

Posted by temasektimes on April 4, 2012

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has expressed his worries of two new ‘societal trends’ among some ‘vocal’ Singaporeans: A ‘self-centred’ Not-In-My-Backyard syndrome and what appears to be a growing gap between Singaporeans and new immigrants.

Speaking to the Singapore media at the end of the 20th Asean Summit in Phnom Penh, he raised his concerns about these two trends which has led to an increasing outpouring of anger and frustration against the government in cyberspace.

“We must not go into a position where NIMBY (not in my backyard) becomes a general attitude among Singaporeans because then we will stymie ourselves. If we take this self-centred approach to problems, we will not be able to do the best for ourselves as a community.”

Instead of condemning NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu for making derogatory remarks about Singaporeans and reviewing the government’s pro-foreigner education policies, PM Lee felt Singaporeans should have accepted his apology and move on:

“”You look at the Sun Xu incident, he shouldn’t have made that blog post. He did. He has been chastised. He has been disciplined. He has expressed his contrition. He’s sorry about it. And I think we should accept that. We should have been able to move on from that and deal with it as one person who mis-spoke.”

He added that Singaporeans should not target other immigrants because of one person:

“We should not, because of one incident, make that into an issue, (to say) all immigrants are like that,” he said.

Despite the gravity of his offence, Sun Xu was only given a $3,000 fine and a 3-month community service obligation. Unlike two Singaporean students who were expelled immediately by their Junior College for kissing publicly, Sun Xu will be allowed to graduate from NUS next year.

The government introduced a $10-million dollar Community Integration Fund two years ago to help make the newcomers feel welcomed, accepted and happy in Singapore. Judging from the response of Singaporeans so far to the Sun Xu saga, there is still a long way more to go.


Related articles:

Sun Xu had job interview cancelled

PHOTO: Sun Xu in class of 2005, River Valley High School

Sun Xu apologizes to Singaporeans again

NUS circular for punishment on PRC scholar Sun Xu

NUS: Decision on Sun Xu send a strong signal we do not condone his actions

Sun Xu fined only $3,000 and reprimanded for making offensive remarks about Singaporeans online

Baey Yam Keng: I (finally) realized the deep sentiments of locals against foreigners

Tay Ping Hui: NUS needs to reflect what it really stand for

VIDEO: Singaporean student scolds Sun Xu

Singaporean studying overseas writes to NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu

Read all other articles about Sun Xu here


31 Responses to “PM Lee raps Singaporeans for ‘over-reacting’ to Sun Xu saga: We should have ‘moved on’”

  1. sweetee said

    Elected by Singaporeans but defend PRC. Who is your boss LeeHL?

  2. Ron Lim said

    Am glad the PM spoke up. Singaporeans need to be more matured. Okay to criticise but also need to see the bigger national picture. And we cannot all be the modern day Shylock who demands his pound of flesh not matter what.

    Spore should be glad we had one insensitive PRC chap making comments. A totally different topic but in USA an unarmed teen who was wearing a hood was shot and that is causing a national uproar. Some years ago a Japanese foreign student happened to knock on the wrong door at Halloween and was shot too. These tragedies have not and will not change the passion for owning guns in USA. These are much bigger issues but USA is matured enough to handle them.

    Spore needs to move on and work for a better future. Educate your PRC friends and colleagues if possible. Discuss with them. Not blanket condemnation of all things PRC

    • nfshp65 said

      As much as what you said was true, we Singaporans have this mindset , which is “We welcome you into our home, but if you do anything offensive, we will take action against you”
      Sun Xu here has, in moment of anguish, called us “Dogs” and the fact that he wasn’t kicked out of NUS,unlike the 2 students caught kissing and was immediately expelled, has caused a major uproar. Imagine the government betraying it’s own people, it not fair right?
      What we wanted was Sun Xu to receive the same punishment or as fair as of the 2 JC students, but it wasnt given therefore angering singaporeans

    • TS said

      Thumbs up* Thing already settled and over, we sure cont to move on.

      Urge T.T, I like this site because can see something different and voice from ST or Lian He….are you guys trying to make it into a site like stomp?!?!? please be mature and neutral what you report on, if not reader will getting tired and sick. I do not want a second stomp site in singapore =.=

    • alltheway said

      A recipe for Chinapore?

    • zinc said

      Lol, ya, ppl wanna move on, but your policies not changing or at least show you going to change. Then how do you expect ppl to move on?

    • jaded said

      haha as usual ron lim, you did not disappoint. you can always find something good to say about the pappies in every situation

    • sgstyle said

      “Singaporeans need to be more matured”? Seriously a $3000 fine and able to graduate still? And our own local Singaporeans got EXPELLED. Imagine you were the one that is being expelled how would you feel? Seriously stop bootlicking the govt.

  3. samlimts said

    PM missing the point, that this PRC is using tax payers money for his education. He is biting the hand that is feeding him. This is what Singaporeans cannot accept.

  4. zinc said

    Lol, I didn’t know he only saw that ‘deep’.. Haiz. Sad sad. Ppl are angry more of the policies made , not really because of the comments by some insignificant arrogant brat.

  5. Derp said

    You so magnanimous?
    What made you sue your opponents then when they spoke the truth?

  6. Ken Lee said


  7. Observer said

    What LHL says is geared towards what he wants to achieve which is self serving interests. He refuse to acknowlege the fact that Singaporeans jumped on this so aggressively not because this ingrate said something wrong but because his government would waste $36m on such ingrates instead of using that money on needy singaporeans. What this silly Sun Xu did was provided singaporeans an opportunity to attack that ill thought out policy.

    Unfortunately, this is not what he wants to admit so he will spin some crap. Its like talking to the wall. Its a waste of time. Hardly anything intelligent ever comes from him anyway.

  8. Sad Day for Singapore said

    A sad day for the nation of Singapore…

  9. choochootrain said

    Pleeeassse, we are a very gracious lot of Singaporeans.It is just that we want to let these people to wake up their ideas and not to pee at our doorstep just as they like. (sa yeh)
    This is what the chinese saying goes ” Sa yi jing pai” to behead one so as to warn hundreds out there.

    Yes, we will move on, Mr Lee, don’t put us as though we are wimpy and cry baby, but we also want you to know that we are not pushover.

  10. Community Integration Fund said

    “The government introduced a $10-million dollar Community Integration Fund two years ago to help make the newcomers feel welcomed, accepted and happy in Singapore.”

    Why? Why? Why? This is a waste of money. Not justifiable by any world standard to spend money to help newcomers integrate.

  11. jaded said

    of course he wants people to move on, this is a pappie policy failure

  12. GhostMan said

    Double Standards……

  13. Bernard Lim said

    Why are they always supporting the foreigners and blaming Singaporeans??

    Why, why, why?

  14. Anonymous said

    Happy now 60.1% for supporting the PAP? You voted for HIM to tell you that you are nothing & stop complaining about PRs & immigrants.
    What is NS for? What is the national pledge for? What does your red identity card mean?
    Hougang residents, if you read this article, remember to mark a cross against any opposition that contests in your byelection, anyone except PAP.

  15. Prataman said

    Had Sun Xu’s educational scholarship been paid for by LHL himself or the PAP, no one would give a hoot about it.

    The fact that his stay and education in Singapore is being paid from public funds which could have been better spent on our own citizens is the upsetting factor. The “punishment” meted out to Sun Xu is no more than a tiny slap on the wrist compared to the punishment given to the 2 Singaporean Polytechnic students. It is so downright unfair and shows clearly the double standards practiced by this pro foreigner PAP Govt.

    Apparently, LHL and the PAP still don’t get it and are hopelessly clueless.

    What more needs to be said, we will say it in 2016.

  16. Scumbag Ed said

    If someone comes into my house and calls me and my family members “Dogs”, I will definitely chase him out of the house and not “move on”.

    By the same reasoning, so should a country do the same.

    In fact, more so because the country spent a pile of taxpayers’ money for his education while I may just have offered a drink to my asinine guest who abused our hospitality.

    He may be contrite but who knows if it’s just a ruse to graduate.

    He should not be forgotten so long as he is here to serve his bond.

    Who knows? He might just as well collect his PR status as a bonus before he goes back to where he came from, laughing all the way at our stupidity of spending some much money on him and yet slapping him on the wrist for calling us “Dogs”. This is not the first time that we’re fucked and neither will it be the last.

  17. zinc said

    This is the type of ppl Singaporeans are paying millions for?! Still dare to boast what they’ve “achieved” in the past year on state news channels. Shame on them.

  18. Singaporean said

    Hi PM Lee,

    You are not addressing the problem and did not really put us Singaporean into your priority list as what you have promised to us in last year Election – Singaporean First.

    Actually Singaporean is not biased against Foreigners. The reason why Singaporean are so blown up with Sun Xu’s comment is because of the Govt Policy.

    Govt is wasting our $$ on oversea talents and did not even give Singaporean a chance. A lot of students are either defering their studies or working part-time to pay the school fees. Ours is not peanut $$. This is our hardearn $$ with blood and sweat. We would prefer to give it to Singaporean 1st. This is what other countries like Australia been doing too – citizen comes 1st. the worst things that happened now is we are seeing more & more so-called Foreign Talent student are getting scholarship so easily and upon they complete their studies & free stay in singapore. they just pack and leave. It is wasting our $$ again. so who should be accountable for this? Did govt do any screening when selecting the Foreign Talents? i believe Singapore also got alot of talents. It’s just that govt always think that ‘foreign moon is rounder’…

    There is problem in govt system which you really need to address – Education system, corruption, raising HDB price, Job occupation which likes Continential hotel prefer to employ foreigners that singaporean are also capable of.

    If the above problems are not address, PAP may lost a lot of votes and seat in GE2016.

    I have been a PAP supporter. But my confident level in PAP is reducing especially been seeing so many unfair, absurd system starting to arise.

  19. For Crying out loud. said

    LHL can’t be all that daft. Does he really not realise the root of our anger. The outcry against Sun Xu is just an expression of our seething anger at Papayas’ waste of taxpayers’ money providing free education for foreigners. We cannot afford transport subsidies for the disabled but we can give a much better future to thousands of undeserving foreigners?!!! Locals struggle to pay the high fees of their children’s tertiary education but foreigner get a free pass?!!!
    Stop pretending he has no idea why we’re enraged. Sun Xu is not the problem, he is!

  20. Dogporean said


  21. Qaz said

    Move on? Stupid answer. Yes, we will move on but unjustified. May god strike down on dua gong dai and who is the cause of so many prc or ft issue. Lighting pui

  22. Exaggerated said

    Singaporeans are generally easy going and tolerant towards foreigners otherwise many things would have happened many years ago. Foreigners coming in to Singapore to work did not happen just in these recent years but stretch back to many years.

    In the past, there were also incidences when the foreigners poke their fingers into the water to test how many ripples they can make and Singaporeans took in calmly. When in recent years they start to turn ripples into waves and start to climb on top of Singaporeans’ head and defecate on Singaporeans head, do you think we should still behave like what the minister said, ” We must integrate into them”. Hell no!!!

    I have only heard of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I have never heard of people coming to my home and start telling me what to do!

    As much as we want to live in peace, there are people coming in to stir the shit and by keeping quiet is not going to put a stop to it. Something must be done so that these foreigners will think twice before they test the calm waters again.

  23. Baker said

    We have no use for a leader who won’t stand for us.

  24. Busybodyl said

    Only a useless Guy would say such a thing. What a disgrace to have such a leader, let people screw still tolerate n move on. Is he from china?

  25. […] addition, PM Lee seemed eager to sweep things under the rug chiding Singaporeans for not moving on (…). What is worrying here is that the government does not seem bothered to defend its citizens and […]

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