racist curry case: Sg Chinese support of Indian family hypocritical

I was chatting with ‘V’ (sg Chinese girl working in the UK) over a cup of Mocha this morning in town, and the topic of the perspectival affray between MPs, Viswa and Shanmugam, and local chinese support of the Indian family, with regards to the ‘curry case’ came up.

V herself immediately stated that the chinese are just attempting to drum up local all-race support for the xenophobic tendencies of many chinese bloggers and ‘netizens’.  To this, I had to add, “given the host of policies and popular tendencies that have severely affected the interests of the non-Chinese, and the silence of both ‘netizens’ and bloggers alike, their support for the Indian family is nothing short of gross hypocrisy.”

“look at the mother tongue policy, the SAP school system, the ‘keep singapore mainly chinese’ policy,  the ‘promote mandarin and chinese culture over others’ campaign, amongst a host of others, and look at the accompanying relative silence amongst these so called ‘netizens’, bloggers and so-called ‘oppositional’ media sites.  But when a foreign chinese family - not that the local chinese themselves are not of foreign extract - criticises a single Indian family’s gastronomic proclivities, all hell breaks lose.”

“how about all those policies and popular racism that affects all the non-chinese?  Where’s the fuss then from these supporters?”

In truth, every attack against the new foreigners has as its underlying perspective the same approach that underlay the marginalisation of non-Chinese difference in the past to the present. Basically, V observed that the Indian family, and other Indians shouldn’t feel gratified for all this hypocritical support. In essence, given the relative silence and absence of vociferous rejection of just about anything that compromises non-Chinese interests in the past and present, we can conclude that all that is desired here with this 'support' of the Indian family is that new foreigners be evicted and the local ‘native-born’ Chinese regain their advantaged and ‘preferred’ position relative to the non-Chinese. If the former was true before the influx of new foreigners, than this conclusion moves from being plausible to probable.

Till then, quite a few are just using the non-Chinese to bolster their claim to ‘first-class’ citizens once again. And as for the non-Chinese whom are part of this movement, they are just fighting for their 2nd class citizen status compared to the 3rd class status many are now occupying given the influx of new foreigners.   In truth, every attack against the new foreigners has as its underlying perspective the same approach that underlay the marginalisation of non-Chinese difference in the past to the present.

With regards to the ‘need’ for ‘foreign talent’, the funny thing about this whole situation is that if they weren’t as accustomed to being the ‘preferred’, they would have, (1) taken on the best traits of other cultures and not be in need of quite a few of highly skilled ‘foreign talents’.  Self-absorption, even if it delivers rewards in the short term, never bodes well for the intellectual and perspectival development required to allay quite a few of the problems which people bemoan thereafter.’  And (2) if people were empathetic enough to consider the interests of local others even if they were not ‘the majority’, they would not have developed enough self-absorption amongst themselves and their government to the point that cheaper and relatively less-skilled foreign labour is preferred over more pricier local ones. 

This is not a simple 'condemnation' of the Chinese, and shouldn't be taken as such.  Rather, it is a call for greater empathy and critical introspection amongst all so that when we stand up for another, we cannot be condemned as having a personally self-aggrandizing agenda.



  1. Why didn’t the local chinese stood up for the Indians when the government declared that the Thaipusam participants, after a few decades of traditional practice, cannot play musical instruments (beating drums, gongs, cymbals) during the procession. The police even stepped in and ensured that the policy was strictly enforced. The usual spirit of the festivity was killed off. Do we see similar enforcement of the no-drum-no-gong policy (no lion dance) during the Chinese new year? If we so-called build the singapore society on tolerance and acceptance, and apply the law even-handedly, why are the lion-dance troupes not ban from playing their musical instruments as those celebrating Thaipusam. Thaipusam celebrations take place over the course of one day while chinese new year lasts for 15 days! Why didnt the sg chinese stand up for the Indian? That’s why the sg chinese support of the Indian family is so blatantly hypocritical. It’s when the sg chinese first class citizenship is being threateaned by the FTs, that they start to rally for the support of the singapore minorities.


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