Someone needs to tell the ruling party to stop with cultural appropriation. PAP ministers tend to wear costumes of minority races whenever they get the chance, like when they grace an event, come under spotlight, or when the press is around.
Take for example Lee Hsien Loong who recently wore a turban at the reopening of the Silat Road Sikh Temple, and former Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew who did the same many years back.
Truth is, it’s insensitive and tone deaf. This is a cultural appropriation of minorities’ dressing and it’s not the same as cultural appreciation. On the contrary, it shows their lack of understanding and respect.
While there is nothing wrong with us wearing costumes of other races, it’s a different story when people of power are involved. They are politicians and are of a dominant race. When they do that, moreover in front of the press, it makes themselves look good. It gives them credit and significance and prioritizes their feelings. It robs minorities of the credit they deserve and in a way trivializes the event.
What they believe is a cultural exchange is in reality, cultural appropriation and racist. They may not intend to offend but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s racially-insensitive and lacks consideration towards minorities. This habit of the PAP must not be tolerated.
As leaders of the nation, it’s appalling that they don’t know better.
Contributed by P Lin