Recent happenings kind of got me abit confused. We have had 3 anti population white paper (PWP) protest which came off Xenophobic as claimed by some prominent opposition or just prominent figures. I am pondering if my experiences from my attendance in 2 of the 3 protests came out as Xenophobic?
In a large group setting, emotions run high, some key words/slogans resonates in my mind, “Singapore for Singaporeans or Singaporeans for Singapore” Both have different connotations. Some audiences are genuinely filled with hatred and as such you can hear the occasional screams of “Go back to where you came from” and “Fuck off lah” when some sensitive issues are announced by the participants. Most of speech givers are making good pointers and for the hype and funfare, some audiences have taken it to the extremes with the Xenophobic chants. Some sp
eeches are also meant to spur the crowds and rally the audiences. There is no fault in doing so and of course there are some undesirable effects but its necessary for them.
This is frowned upon but how can you fault them? Hong Lim park is the only physical place for people to let off steam! We, the civil and educated people understand why among a large group setting, some people do get too emotional and blurt out hatred! And for just for the fun of it, some of us participated in the chants. This is expected.
You must understand, the PWP protest is one of the first real and large scale protest in Singapore. We aren’t like the South Koreans, Hong Kongers or Australians who may be more organized, effective or advanced in their protests. I have seen on TV, the south Koreans strike the same tune in their protests: http://www.itnsource.com/en/shotlist//RTV/2013/08/19/RTV190813083/
It has been more than 30 or 50 years since the last large scale protest. Don’t expect too much out of it everyone. Of course the PWP could be done better but do you dare organize one, or 3? Gilbert did his part and I appreciate it. Though there may be pros and cons to it, that’s not within control. Occasionally, I’ve heard them reminding the audiences to behave and the importance of being civil! He said,”tackle the policies, not the foreigners.”
In many instances, these foreigners fall victim to unscrupulous exploitation from local SMEs and MNCs. I feel the policies have to change.
In my opinion, foreigners are welcome in Singapore. In fact, I embrace them (married one). Just that they have to also embrace us, our cultures and be one of us. The one thing that irks me and my family is that our tax monies are used for the education and living expenses of foreigners who leave after completion of their studies.
What the organizers did essentially isn’t XENOPHOBIA, we have rational reasons for rejecting mass immigration.
Xenophobia is the irrational or unreasoned fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.
Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity. Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form of an “uncritical exaltation of another culture” in which a culture is ascribed “an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality”.
Discrimination is the prejudicial and/or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, “in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.” It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction, influencing the individual’s actual behavior towards the group or the group leader, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making.
Are we discriminative then? Personally, I think the petition to revoke man’s (forgot his name) work pass is unjust. That’s downright discrimination. We should target only on La fondue’s discriminative practices. I’ve asked Gilbert about it and he explained that extreme measures are needed to drive down the message and to warn errant companies the consequences of doing so.
With regards to the RANDSTAD incident, its obvious isn’t it, the statement “This position is open to candidates who are not Singaporean Citizens or PR.” It portrays an obvious preference to foreigners even though some may say its still open to residents and Singaporeans. Load of crap!
Lastly, is limiting mass immigration discriminative or Xenophobic? I am saying MASS immigration. The stupid reason given was to replace the falling birth rates. The root cause is unsolved. You are still going to have low birth rates in the future if current working conditions and rising cost of living are unchanged. So if we perpetually import immigrants to replace the perpetual low birth rates, i guess 100 million population doesn’t solve anything unless the government proclaims that new immigrants are more “productive” and actually increase the bloody birth rate under these conditions.
Anyway, despite these mass protest blah blah, I am still quite certain, that the PWP will prevail and many pro opposition supporters will switch allegiance to PAP come 2016. I will tell you why in my next post shortly.
Last words: We’ve only just begun!