JC – I strongly believe that what we are seeing now in Singapore is definitely not xenophobia as Singaporeans by and large have not been against foreigners. What we are seeing is a growing manifestation of resentment which leads to prejudice eventually. This arose as a result of the government’s overly lax foreigner policy which has created a huge imbalance in our society and mass unhappiness among the locals. Who wouldn’t be upset when nearly 40% of the population comprises foreigners and a large proportion of the new jobs created went to foreigners?
The people’s mounting frustration and resentment needs an outlet and is being targeted at those perceived as the most visible group which tends to be the PRCs working here. If the social balance is not restored in Singapore, this resentment towards foreigners will continue to grow. Just hope our government will see the light soon and do what is right by the people.
Around end November when Singapore saw its first strike in 26 years by 171 SMRT bus drivers from China, another seemingly innocuous incident, also centering on the beleaguered train service provider, stirred some disquiet among the Singapore community.
An Indian reader and a Malay reader wrote separate letters to the press questioning SMRT’s recent move to announce station names in Mandarin, on top of the usual announcements in English, the lingua franca of multi-ethnic Singapore. SMRT’s explanation that it was acting on “public suggestions” to announce station names in Mandarin riled netizens, including native Chinese who make up 74% of the population.
Surmising that this was a move to accommodate the growing community of non-English speaking Chinese from China, netizens seethed at the slight to Singapore’s racial equality and the alienation of its minority races:
Singapore is turning into a mini China, isn’t it? And as a Singaporean Chinese myself…
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