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Monday, September 09, 2013

The poverty of anti-FT rhetoric

Rich Malaysian Girl Living in Singapore laughing at us poor Singaporeans | The Real Singapore

"I want to expose this rich spoilt brat currently studying in the University of Queensland in Australia. Only rich pampered kids like her can afford to go overseas and study because their parents are loaded. She currently picked up an ang moh BF and it looks like she is planning to migrate to Australia and attacking us Singaporeans on her blog by saying stuff such as poor Singaporeans deserve to be poor and also look down on us NSman. Singapore provided her a place to receieve such a good education and this is how she repay Singapore?"

Krystal Choo: This is starting to get boring. Someone says something that could be interpreted as an attack on this fictional national ego, local web trolls fire away with the typical "you're stupid, ugly, your mother's *, [some other sexual jape], [some other irrelevant jape]". I'm confused as to how pointing out the source of her wealth, looks, grammar, or any other incidental serves any purpose in either invalidating her entry or making someone feel better about themselves.

It is blatantly obvious that she is frustrated about the extremely negative vibe being cast towards PRs. One does not simply make shit like that up. And though not the most politically correct, she is actually pointing out that Singaporeans originally came from elsewhere, and not to be so damn nationalist.

As a local, I can safely say I am very disgusted with the comments I read. The top comment here is that she is ugly. It is almost laughably predictable as well - my fellow local keyboard warriors come out with the trigger words "FT" versus "locals" and attack everything instead of taking a step back and trying to understand the issue.

This is a girl who has spent her life growing up here in Singapore, making friends and living as a resident, but is hurt by the fact that despite her 20-odd years here, still does not belong. She still gets accused for things based on her demographic. There is an increasing divide between "us locals" and "them foreigners". This crack has deepened even further with the ease of vomiting opinions as a mob, fuelling each other on - ironically decaying any form of civilisation or culture we've fought hard to build over the years (think racial harmony, tolerance and compassion). Foreigners make a land richer - in culture, skills, knowledge, and yes, even population.

Even if they have idiosyncrasies they bring over that may be undesirable, as a country we do NOT need to be black and white. "Be just like us, or get out." This is uneducated and embarrassing. An ideal way would be to, as a country, not stand for things that disrupt (littering, being inconsiderately loud etc) and politely invite them to integrate by showing them how it is to do so harmoniously. If we show kindness, we wouldn't see so much defensiveness.

Foreigners do not 'take' jobs. Singapore has one of the lowest unemployment rates IN THE WORLD. Everyone is essentially employed, bar those under extenuating circumstances. The way I see it is like this: you want a certain job or position, go get it. Be better. Do better. Be the easy choice for that job. And you will get it. That is what we call a meritocratic society - just like in our pledge. Stop being entitled. A doctor studies for years to be a doctor. He earns it. A business person fails, scrapes the barrel, and learns before becoming successful. He earns it. Attending 4 years of university on your parents' dime does not entitle you to anything - it's up to you to make your own opportunities. This will obviously fan the flames of all my fellow keyboard warriors. I obviously do not understand how this country works.

Long story short - Here's an alternative scenario. How about engaging this girl in a thoughtful discussion and explore what led her to feel this way? What would happen if all this hatred for demographics was taken out of the equation and we approached it with curiosity and determination to subsist in peace? What if, God forbid, we showed compassion and took a leap forward as a society? Would that be a Singapore you want, or is holding on to a false citizen-to-alien ratio the only thing you care about? I want to live in a place that is safe, where people are nice, where I know someone will help me instead of judge me, where I am confident I would do the same.

These articles and comments are NOT part of that Singapore."

Sun Koh: "to be fair, no sensible person reads anything from TRS. Their only agenda, and that of their readers, is to promote xenophobia. Best way for a sensible person is to ignore this TRS's trash."

Being anti-foreigner is conflated with being pro-Singaporean (just like how wanting to make all males in Singapore suffer is equated to "strong support for National Service").

I was surprised no one made a particular personal jibe at Krystal Choo, since I saw that very obvious angle...
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