The loss of a porker in the Chinese Zodiac - the difference between 'being sensitive' and 'being appreciative'I don't know what the fuss is about. So you might not have an oinker amongst the overpriced dolls offered by MacDonald’s, but unlike the Malays, the Chinese have first digs at becoming a PM. This is simply a case of a 'figurehead' concession. Not surprisingly, some Chinese are fussing about the loss of a porker amongst some dollies but aren't as vociferously concerned about what the Malays are deprived of.
Instead of local bloggers banging on about ‘sensitivity' to Chinese sentiments’, I would suggest they consider some healthy mutual empathy and 'appreciation' instead.
There is quite the difference between 'being sensitive' and 'being appreciative' of difference and another's interests. The former is a double-edged sword that can keep others silent for the sake of sensitivity whilst the rest promote their interests over all others whilst ignoring the interests of others - that is how chinese culture was allowed to dominate the singaporean political, economic and cultural sphere to the detriment of all difference. 'Being appreciative', however, tempers the negative effects of sensitivity by prodding one to appreciate another's interest as much as one would one's own. It pairs sensitivity with equal respect and appreciation. Sensitivity, however, pairs silence and ignorance. We could say that 'being appreciative' is a check on the negative effects of 'being sensitive'.
Try to put yourself in others’ position, even if they might not be ‘majority what!’, and empathise with them as you do for those you’ve been taught to view as your perceived group. Try to speak up for egalitarianism as and when it is slighted by the many subtle and blatant means that at times seem to be 'uniquely singapore'.
Whilst you’re laughing along with others at the antics in ‘Serves you right’, ask yourself if there is anything amiss with the various portrayals alongs racial lines; whilst you’re celebrating your festivals, ask yourself if you’d like to have your celebrations confined to traditional enclaves whilst others are celebrated nationwide; ask yourself if you’d be happy about some government official stating that in 2 generations, the language of another ethnic group will be our mother tongue; ask yourself if you’d be thrilled to bits about policies that blatantly state that the country should always comprise mainly those of one ethnic group; and finally,
ask yourself if stamps and McDonald's toys are issued for all cultural celebrations; etc, etc, etc,
.....and after you’ve done all of that, ask yourself if kicking up a fuss over the loss of a porker is not inspired by your being used to having the advantage over all others. It's easy to 'be sensitive' mate, but it takes a leap beyond one's self-absorption to 'be appreciative'. If we were, we would have kicked up a fuss about the above way before a porker was extracted from the Zodiac by McDonalds. And if you didn't realise some or all of the above, and still call yourself a democrat, than you ought to be ashamed of yourself for these oversights as they point to your being more of a racist and fascist as opposed to a democrat. Remember, a racist is not only known by what he does or says, but what he fails to do or say.
Egalitarian multiculturalism. Let's see how we can bring it about shall we.