Netizen and local author, Balli Kaur Jaswal, has responded to a forum letter decrying the increasing racial discrimination prevalent in Singapore by reminding the letter writer, a Chinese Singaporean, of her Chinese Privilege.
According to Balli, who is of Indian descent, she experiences racist encounters several times worse than what the letter writer, Dr Lee Siew Peng, has ever experienced. She expressed no surprise that Dr Lee encountered a hostile racist in Europe where Chinese were the minority, and related that she experienced such incidents of racism even more often in Singapore.
She wrote: "Oh, Dr. Lee. I have no idea which generation you’re from but I can tell you that in my and my parents’ lifetimes, “regardless of race, language or religion” were words recited daily in a national pledge for 10 seconds during each morning school assembly and then conveniently ignored for the remainder of the day. You sound shocked and dismayed that race has become an issue in Singapore without realizing that it has always been an issue for minorities.
If you’ve noticed more conversations about race lately, it’s because we have more platforms to talk about it now – social media has been very beneficial for the previously voiceless (You do know there are other outlets besides the Forum section? I remember when state-run media was the only space to air grievances in Singapore. Strangely, they never published any of my or my friends’ letters about issues like racial discrimination in the workplace or those TV screens on the public buses that only played Mandarin shows during peak hour).
Unfortunately, it means that you and others who were accustomed to never having to think about race, have a lot of catching up to do."
Read her post here.