Saturday, September 8, 2012

British vs Singapore Xenophobia

Now such xenophobia in the UK is more like the real thing compared to our barking dog rants online against immigrants in Singapore. Over there and if my memory serves me well in Australia too, Indians had been killed for just being foreigners. Nobody is going to lynch immigrants here. The government is over reacting and the foreign media is picking up the wrong vibes.

The government does not have the courage to conduct a survey to discover how much xenophobia exist here. Anecdotes don't tell the complete story and it is sneaky to take advantage of people who by and large do not think in statistical terms which an issue like this calls for. They want to frame the challenge into a form where as usual we bear the larger burden of carrying the deleterious effects of their policies. It is the familiar Singaporeans are second class citizens until it becomes a vote issue. Well to their credit they are trying to right that now, but because it is done in a hurry, it is frightening the foreigners. They wonder where and when this would end. Where it matters, the foreigners here are probably more afraid of what the government might do than what they had to bear with online. Government policies discriminating against them have bite. Online insults are only harmless barks and some unhappy people letting off steam. They just need more time to learn that. A government that get nervous so easily is cause for worry.  They don't understand the Internet. President Obama is streets ahead going by how he used social media to raise funds and rode into the White House.

The government make a big issue of xenophobia here. Come on, irresponsible employers who caused their foreign domestic workers to fall from flats to their deaths cleaning windows is a much graver issue than online rants against foreigners living here.

If you are a foreigner with common sense, you will quickly realize that most other places today are more xenophobic than Singapore. Don't listen to the government, listen to Prof Tommy Koh. He describes us far more accurately without any political agenda.

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