Foreign observer concerned with rising tide of xenophobia in Singapore
Posted by temasektimes on June 15, 2012
I am a dilettante of the Singaporean sociological/political/philosophical scene, and I felt obliged to offer my views on the growing concerns of this tiny island, what with the rising tide of xenophobia, racism, and plain bigotry that has been surfacing in recent months. I would like to stress that the views I am about to express are my own, and any and all are free to agree or disagree as they see fit.
First off, to address the issue of foreigners in Singapore. Were an unbiased, independent poll to be conducted, I am certain that sentiments on the ground would reflect the increase of the “us and them” mentality in the average Singaporean. Fair enough, each man is entitled to his own opinion. But a man should first substantiate his opinion with evidence.
It is true that there are certain individual foreigners who have been behaving badly, causing both damage and danger to life and property. However, one should not go so far as to tar all foreigners with the same brush. It is shocking to hear thoughts such as “all PRCs are the same” (replace “PRCs” with your own pet peeve), and to determine the behavior of one as representative of the behavior of all.
Another frightening example is the re-emerging tendency to highlight the presence of blood/race/ancestry as a determining factor in the behavior of any given individual. It is nothing short of pure racism to make statements such as “all Filipinos are racist” or “all PRCs are rude”. Such statements are no different from “all Jews are greedy” or “all Germans are Nazis” or “all Frenchmen are cowards”. To hear such sentiments expressed, in a decidedly First World country, in the Twenty-First Century, does not bode well for the future of this country.
I would like to end with the hope that a bastion of civilization such as Singapore will encourage a growth out of such primitive tribalism, and to focus on truly pressing issues, such as equal rights, freedom of speech and of the press, and the continuing struggle for individual liberty.