Racism cannot be excused – no ifs or buts.
The recent spate of racial discrimination cases that have made headlines are ugly and, simply put, disgraceful.
We can condemn racism, but to tackle it, we must look deeper into the root causes.
Or, the stress points that give push normally good-hearted people into such villainous acts.
In recent years, racism has once again come to the fore in the US, Germany and other parts of Europe.
This has been due to jobs competition, rice bowls of locals being threatened, shrinking living spaces, and large imports of immigrants who destabilised local culture.
The “foreigner” became an easy bogeyman to pin the blame on.
Certain politicians have been quick to latch on and fan the “us against them” flames.
Singaporeans today are experiencing similar stress points, because Singaporeans increasingly feel that their livelihoods are under threat.
The rising retrenchment of PMETs, surging cost of essential items such as housing and healthcare, income inequality, and the government’s opening of the floodgates to foreign workers deemed as “talents”.
The “us against them” sentiment in Singapore has been building up for over a decade.
If you recall – one of the largest recent protests in Singapore was against the Population White Paper in 2013.
The pent-up frustration among Singaporeans is coming to a boil.
The PAP-led goverment has outwardly condemned racist acts.
Yet, it fails to see that its growth-at-all-costs policies over the years that benefit the elite have hurt Common Singaporeans so much that we worry every day that our livelihoods are under threat.
Singaporeans are now lashing out again, unfortunately, at the bogeyman – the “foreigner”.
Racism is a societal ill.
We can do our part to treat the symptoms by showing our disapproval of racist acts.
At the same time, the real cure comes from improving the plight and prospects of Common Singaporeans.
So that we are proud of, and comfortable building our lives in our homeland, and welcoming of foreigners who want to share and value added in our happiness and prosperity.
Or as the SDA has been exclaiming – fix problems, not people!
SDA Chairman’s Office