I don’t usually share my political or religious views on the Internet, but today, after spending 18 years of my life in Singapore, I’ve never felt so foreign my adopted home.
So whilst my family and I were having dinner at a Northern Chinese cuisine restaurant (which has its customer base made up of mainly Chinese nationals) near somewhere between Singapore sports hub and Kallang MRT, we were greeted by waves and waves of patriotic Singaporeans, mostly in red, making their way from the stadium to the MRT, presumably returning from a SG50 related celebration.
What was really shocking is that with each passing wave, we were greeted with xenophobic comments such as “f***ing Chinese” (from a guy wearing a bright red SG50 t-shirt), “this is a rubbish hole”, “let’s quickly get away from them” etc. Apparently, they assumed that no one in the restaurant understands English. But even if that’s so, it’s appalling how such vulgar and ugly xenophobic comments can be tossed around so blatantly like that.
It truly sickens me to the stomach that I lost my appetite. Try to imagine having a meal while being on the receiving end of such comments with each passing crowd. I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of society our late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew set out to build *sarcasm*.
On a more serious note, we pride ourselves to be a first class country, materialistically speaking, but has our attitude and thinking caught up with our material wealth? I really don’t want to sound like I’m ranting, but in this year of Singapore’s golden jubilee, I urge anyone reading this to think about how we can make our society a more inclusive and compassionate one.
Most of these foreign workers leave their families for years to earn a living here. They toil in the heat for long hours so that we can enjoy the luxuries such as HDBs and MRT that we’ve long taken for granted. Yes some of them can get a little loud, and yes some of them can be smelly from a whole day of work. But throwing vulgar xenophobic comments in public is no way a first class society should behave. In any case, I think we owe them a ‘thank you’ instead.
PRC Permanent Resident