A viral photo of a discriminatory notice pasted on an entrance outside Kallang Leisure Mall has caused outrage among Singaporeans (above).
The sign, which reads, “NO ENTRY TO ALL NDP UNIFORME PERSONNEL”, was found plastered on the glass door of one of the mall’s entrances. The notice specifically targets Nationa Day Parade (NDP) uniform groups who have been rehearsing tireless over the past few weekends for the upcoming National Day Parade – which is widely expected to be one of the grandest in Singapore’s history as Singapore celebrates it golden jubilee anniversary.
As of this time, the management of Kallang Leisure Mall has yet to explain its discriminatory policy against uniformed personnel – which likely includes the men from the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force, Civil Defence and possibly other school uniformed groups.
The lack of clarification however, has prompted netizens to speculate about the possible reasons for the ban.
One netizen argued that netizens should not judge the mall’s management too harshly as the ban may have been imposed to deter uniform personnel from dirtying the mall with the soil from their boots.
Yet other netizens had harsher words for the management. Several netizens said that the notice was both discriminatory, disrespectful and ungrateful, citing the long hours that NDP uniform personnel have to put it for rehearsals.
“I think it is fair if they put a notice to ask those who had soiled shoes to not enter, or best is send a notice to the NDP organiser so that NDP can arrange places for people to wash their and dry their shoes before entering,” A netizen wrote, “But you cannot base it [the ban] on a uniform or race. That is discrimination.”
Another netizen added that he was very disappointed with Kallang Leisure Mall’s management for failing to show support for fellow Singaporeans and the nation, “NDP is a national event and this is Singapore. This is not just normal discrimination. We should charge the person who put the note for treason.”
Comparing the treatment of soldiers locally to those in the US, a netizen lamented: “In the US, it’s customary on flights to give up business or first class seats to servicemen and shift yourself to the back of the cabin. Even Hollywood actresses do it. In Singapore, servicemen have their own chartered flight or military transport because the public finds them an eyesore or a stench.”