News and views from an unique perspective

Shanmugam: There are ‘deep fault lines’ in our society

Posted by temasektimes on October 9, 2012

The Amy Cheong saga confirmed a long suspicion of Law Minister Shanmugam that there are deep fault lines in Singapore.

A former high-ranking director at NTUC, Cheong sparked a massive outcry with her insensitive remarks about Malay weddings held at void decks on her Facebook page.

In a post on his Facebook, Mr Shanmugam roundly condemned Cheong for her remarks:

“Some friends have asked me about Amy Cheong and her Facebook comments about Malay weddings at void decks. Her comments and conduct are shameful and completely unacceptable. This confirms what I had long suspected and said : there are deep fault lines in our society, based on race/religion.”

He described her comments as reflecting a deep-seated racist attitude:

“Her comments reflect a deep seated racist attitude coupled with contempt for those who are less well off, or who wish to spend less. I had said, in 2002, in Parliament, that we should look deep into our hearts and ask what the attitudes of non Malays are towards our Malay brothers and sisters. We will be a truly civilised society only when we deep in our hearts accept everyone as equal.”

Shanmugam is the latest minister to speak on the issue after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman, Acting Labor Minister Tan Chuan Jin and Minister in Prime Minister’s Office Lim Swee Say.


44 Responses to “Shanmugam: There are ‘deep fault lines’ in our society”

  1. James said

    A familiar statement of inflicting fear, of divide and rule, the old harry way!

    • compatriot said

      Hey Shanmugam some friends of mine say that why dont you have the propensity to think as an elected time frame parliamentarian that any would be conducting events and participations of wakes and weddings can be best appropriated to oommunity centres/clubs and town halls which have the facilities that can provide better conducive healthy environmental well being which is more dignified for the good of all concerned Singaporeans island wide

      Dont trust words
      Trust actions

  2. Tortoise said

    Deep fault lines is the fault of the PAP, not us. No one asks u people to import so many foreigners in such a short time. No one asks u to pay yourselves out of this world salaries. So, enough of your lecture. What are u going to do about these fault lines?

  3. dan said

    that deep fault lies in PAP , thats what is dividing our society

    amy is just 1 person and in no way represent the bulk of our society , the main problem is the endless influx of FT flooding our MRT , our cinemas , our home

  4. Poison Ivy said

    Shanmugam, how come you got so much to say about this but nothing to say about a certain 89-yr-old man who is allowed to “stand corrected” over calling Muslims to be less strict and Islam a venomous religion?

    • Jeff D said

      Because they (through the Home Ministry and the Ministry of Indoctrination and Regurgitation [officially, the Ministry of “Education”]) have spent half a century defining Singapore as the extension of one (now 89-year-old) man, much as Kim Il-sung or Josip Broz Tito. Neither of their countries were much to admire after their respective Old Men died. We’ve a lot of work to do to avoid a similar fate… starting with a post-PAP Government sooner rather than later.

  5. uea said


  6. Please so not use this as a pretext to divert the attention from the mass; on the immigration issues of the torrenteous influx of PRC that has upsetted the social norm, job displacement, salary suppression, decay of social etiquette, dilution of cultures, etc. Rhe racial divide is your perception and yours making a storm out of the tea-cup notwithstanding Amy Cheong. We don’t need a parallel like the CCP dealing with the masses using the territory spat with Japan to have power transition. In this case, power monopoly using nationalistic issue to bond the people, hoping to draw the attention of the people away from the actual issues that the people had with the ruling party.

  7. dragon said

    wayang,wayang how about those who did the same issue just close one eye.(One eye dragon)If is a foreigner ????????????? u can see the true colour.

  8. Knn said

    BS. Sham shame on u.
    Look @ how many Indians are holding Office position even they are minority.
    Trying to score d wrong points. Please remove those Indian trash and Immigrant trash from the Parliament. We do not needs such ppl 2b around 2 run our country.

  9. Jimmy Kong said

    I live through the 64 and my brother in 69. I am very sadden as what I am seeing as a few or more do not see the bigger picture to have a piecefull life in a chaotic world

    • Jimmy Kong said

      I am a person that went through a lot but if one is so self centered, I pray that the person have a good ending without all this rubbish that is ciculating in the net.

  10. Pink Panty Loong said

    We have a bunch of million-dollars ministers that are only blardy good at talk, talk, talk & more talk!!! Have you guys seen they have done anything that is worthy of discussion so far?!

  11. happy said

    there is nothing racist on her statement

    pap bastards using her as scapegoats

    the only thing wrong is vulgar words like asshole and fcuk

    what she was complaining was the nuisance created , the loud music and perhaps the carpark

    nothing is critical about any race,

    it is true malays have a high divorce rate

    dont fall into the pap trap

    it is all a convenient scapegoat to distract singaporean from the main issue

    • Sgt33 said

      I whole heartly agree with you. Pappies playing their tramp cards. So what with using vulgar words. If its a fact, its a fact. Asshole and fcuk are common expression of one being fed up. You hear that all the time in pubs, offices etc. Please, please grow up.

  12. Azzedine said

    Firstly. Look into the government organization because Amy works for a government organization and she is a representation of you. Secondly, why short listing the Malays. Sounds like Singapore is made of only 2 race. Malay and non Malays. How about Chinese and non Chinese. Indians and non Indians. Singapore and non Singaporean. Singapore ministers seems good only to be making policies and lack the understanding of what is happening or going to happen. You guys are so daft. Luckily I found my way around paying tax. You are a waste of my time and money.

  13. kiasuPAP said

    We will be a truly civilised society only when we deep in our hearts accept everyone as equal.”
    Shanmugam, may I ask whether PAP govt accept/treat everyone as equal?

  14. alamak said

    The foto show they all looking happy, even the minster got smile. Why ah? If so seriius matter why this two kind face?

  15. X said

    grossly exaggerated statement, please retract.

  16. The World is Laughing said

    PM Lee says it was an isolated case.
    Law Minister Shan says it confirms a deep fault line in Singapore..

    Ha ha, PM and Law Minister says opposite things!
    Maybe there is fault line in the PAP?

  17. alamak said

    Early post got foto PM LHL look serius say “this incident it is isolated case that does not reflect the strength of race relations in Singapore” . Here Mini Samu say he ‘long suspected got deep fault lines in our society, based on race/religion.” So who right who wrong, cannot be both right or wrong.

  18. Robox said

    The fault lines in Singapore are no deeper than any place else.

    Shanmugam is only making this statement to cement the groundwork that the PAP has previously laid, namely that racial fault lines is a great excuse for the denial of free speech.

  19. Ryan Adnin said

    There is no such thing as a civilised society, and there is no such thing as believing that everyone is equal:

  20. Lim said

    Deep fault lines – Middle-management Pinoys snooting on Sporeans. Mainland Chinese importing their `unique’ ways into Spore. Banks employ mainly mainland Indians who then bring in more and more of their own kind. Foreigners squeeze and fight with us for everything and push up housing costs yet govt openly welcomes them and let in more as SP now which is hurting Sporean’s jobs prospects as they compete in the same salary ranges. Wonder who is causing all the deep fault lines and expressing surprise?

  21. Danny said

    I thought PM said this is isolated case? Why her attitude reflected as the attitude of Singaporean???

  22. Optimist said

    Personally, I do not feel there is a fault line along the racial issue as we have co-exist for almost 50 years unless some entities want to emphasize it again.

    On the other hand, from daily conversation and discussion with other singapore, the line of local versus foreign seems very apparent. I just hope that we do not repair the latter using the former as both are undesirable. If either one of these surfaces, no Singaporean will be able to tolerate this. Neither one is good.

    I hope I am wrong, please do not repair the latter using the former as the former is more acceptable.

  23. Mojorising123 said

    Well said Mr. Shan. Now what about tangible measures and proposals from the Men in White. Real ones that erase these deep fissures you mentioned. Not simply creating an sociopolitically-constructed one-off event where all leaders from various racial and religious leaders pray together for 1-2 hrs, get snapped for a Straits Times photo, before they all go back to their respective different homes, and life goes on. A real solution to a very real problem that only gets surfaced from the masses but do receive real reforms or spotlight.

  24. Shanmugam said

    Wtf is he fucking stupid? Scared that the situation won’t escalate out of control? Come out and shoot off at the mouth with some lanjiao words?

  25. Derrick said

    If there are fault line in Singapore society they were the adverse consequences of PAP’s policies and decisions. It pro-alien policies is a good example.

  26. Ren said

    So who started with ‘All men are equal. But there are some more equal than others.’ ???

  27. you get what you give said

    “Her comments reflect a deep seated racist attitude coupled with contempt for those who are less well off, or who wish to spend less. ”

    So Shamu himself thinks that void deck celebrations cost “less”? Can anyone clarify this?

  28. matthew said

    this incident involves a foreign talent so what fault lines are you using as an example

  29. TheOracle said

    What deep fault line? Go and check out WikiLeaks when our leaders have been calling Japan a bit fat loser, Malaysia is led by incompetent leader, Indonesia is full of corrupted people, India always half-in half-out of ASEAN. Monkeys see monkeys do, nothing faulty about current saga.

  30. True-Blue Singapoor. said

    I smell something fishy about this Amy Cheong post. She is not an ordinary Director of a private company but a Director in NTUC. Nothing can convince me she is so naive to post her racist remarks unintentionally. For the past two days the way the Union and Ministers swift respond to her post and the way MSM report about the matter makes me wonder is it another “Wayang”. The Labour Chief immediately support her while Ministers condemn. MSM printed center page to this story for the past two days as though the whole world is coming to an end. CNA even show live telephone interview with Lionel D Souza a P$P Hougang grassroot leader and he talk about the racial riots of the 60s. I think what others have said here is not wrong. It has to be another divide and rule strategy. If the Malay is wise they should not play into the hands of the P$P. Continue to support the oppositions.

  31. Finally someone in government is admitting to this.
    This kind of attitude has been around for decades.
    It just wasn’t allowed to be aired. This is nothing new.

    It became worst when this government started to push for the mother-tongue
    to make Chinese more Chinese, Malays more Malay & Tamils more Tamil.
    What do you expect? Commonality amongst the races diminishes. An invisible wall is created.
    We loose the common ground that was.

    If you can recall, for those who are more than 50.
    We didn’t need a campaign to built multi-racialism.
    People just organically made it work.
    Racial tension is created by politic and not by people per-se.

    The question is…. How high up in the priority list is “Multiracialism in S’pore?”
    As far as I can say, multiracialism in S’pore is on “Auto-Pilot” since the introduction of mother-tongue scheme in 1979.
    Multiracialism is given only lip service since then.

    Have we asked ourselves lately… Are we Singaporeans first or… are we Chinese, Malays or Tamils first???
    The worst thing that was done to multiracialism in S’pore was when PM Lee introduce speaking Mandarin in the work place.

    If you want to keep multiracialism alive, we should keep mother-tongue personal rather than nationalize it.
    Speak mother tongue to family & friends BUT!!! In Public!!, we need to have a common ground, which is English.
    If race or religion is put in front of anything else, society will break down in multiracial Singapore.

    I sincerely hope this government will have the WILL to look into this matter seriously.

    • jack sparrow said

      I am really fond of our elders, those in their 50-70s. majority of them are so friendly, they interact with the minority races very well. this could be because their generation grow up in kampongs, where everyone is a big family.

      sadly, the same cannot be said of our current generation.

      look around online. you will find a lot of closet racists, posting derogatory remarks about other races.

  32. Naivety said

    The deep fault lines are caused by the Pro Alien Party themselves by bringing in extremely racist FTs into Sinkie Land such as Amy Cheong!

  33. nocando said

    i see what you are trying to do here, mr ministar.
    try to lay some ground about racist issue prepare for future same issues involving new citizens or FTs ? going by the situation getting worst and worst here, this is no surprise one day racist issue will involve new citizens and FTs ( in fact it just happened) but our insightful ministar once said: This confirms what I had long suspected and said : there are deep fault lines in our society, based on race/religion.”
    Shanmugam craftily shifted the blame onto his imaginary somewhat serious “already exist deep fault lines” between citizenry.

    to be sure, there are few racist ppl here, if not, singaporean wu be well-known super highly mortal on earth. but one or two case did not make us a serious racist society, we are no god but i dare say we are less racist ppl in the world. we have proved it in the past 40 years. i believe everyone cramming in this tiny space is highly unhealthy, it’s against human nature. u bet one day yr nightmare will become reality.

    “in Parliament, that we should look deep into our hearts and ask what the attitudes of non Malays are towards our Malay brothers and sisters. We will be a truly civilised society only when we deep in our hearts accept everyone as equal.”
    thanks for your ‘sudden” concern for our malay singaporean. we never act out our sudden concern towards our malay brothers and sisters becoz it need not to in the past. it was all too natural for us to get along.
    btw, ” only when we deep in our hearts………….” feel free to fill in the issues that weight in many sporeans’ mind, as much as you can.

  34. jack sparrow said

    Our Great Lee the Emperor once said, “Islam is a venomous religion”

    Welcome to North korea part 2

  35. P Koh said

    The existing True Blue Singaporeans grew up together for many years and there is a silent understanding and acceptance of harmony between the different races. What has caused the “deep fault line”? Think deeply not on the fault line but on what has really caused it in the first instance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: