SG: Alex Tan and singapore's Chinese-centred oppositionI came across the following article by Alex Tan, entitled, 'Singapore, a Utopia no more'. Ed's comment and elaboration follows.
Singapore: a utopia no more?
Back when Singapore was still a developing nation, life on a general basis was affordable and national identity was strongly fostered among the people. In the population of 2.5 million before 1990, and everyone can afford a decent and pleasant standard of living, trust was deeply rooted into the PAP government because they indeed knew what was best back then.
Today in 2010, can we still say PAP still knows best?
Singaporeans are increasingly sidelined by the PAP and condemned as 2nd class citizens especially for NS men who have to go through National Slavery. For exmaple, the recent winning of Table Tennis Championship seems only to be celebrated by PAP and the foreigners. No true blue Singaporeans will ever do the traitorous move to call these players Singaporeans, because we all know they are no Singaporeans; they are mercenaries at best just like the Gurkhas. source
Yours (along with most bloggers and oppositional parties) is a highly chinese-centric analysis mate.
The pogrom against multiculturalism, grooming of a chinese elite, compromising of democracy, depoliticisation of the populace, etc, were well in place before the 90s. I know, I lived through the 70s and 80s. The fact that you don't appreciate the negative impact on the non-chinese of policies and perspectives of that time is itself indicative of your being chinese-centred.
No democrat would ignore that point unless he wasn't one - even without her/im realising it. And given your support for the 'gatecrash water festival' movement, the claim that you're a 'democrat' is nothing short of laughable. Here, in the UK, they'd call you 'fascist scum'. I suppose you might idealise the pre-90s simply because you subconsciously go by the dictum - if it doesn't happen to the chinese, it doesn't happen at all.
Whilst the chinese, and the non-chinese accustomed to doing their best with what’s left after the ‘preferred race’ has had their fill, complain about being treated as ‘2nd class citizens’, the fact that the opposition and almost all bloggers rarely, if ever, took or take issue with the ‘2nd class’ status of the non-chinese prior to the increasing influx of foreigners, indicates the grossly ‘native-born’ sino-centredness of these people. It is no wonder that the fascist twit Alex can view the pre-90s singapore as ‘utopia’. ‘Singapore, a utopia no more’? It never was mate. It could have come close, except for the rude interjection of the aforementioned events, and, I suppose, Alex, amongst the chinese-centred blogging world and oppositional parties, are a consequence of said events, reduced in perspective enough to view the cessation of foreign competition as the reinstatement of ‘singaporeans’ to their former position as the ‘preferred race’ with little appreciation of how this would return the 3rd class citizenship of the non-chinese back to 2nd class. One can witness this tendency amongst almost all bloggers and oppositional parties (save ‘solo bear’) in their discussions on ‘foreigners’.
I would say to these unwitting minions of the PTBs that it is they whom are ‘foreigners’. Upon failing to integrate with the best of all cultures to be found in singapore in the past, they became nothing more than chinese-inhabiting-singapore as opposed to, what i’d prefer, ‘Singaporean Chinese’. To elucidate on that point, ‘Singaporean’ refers to a common Singaporean identity that reflects the best of all cultures, whilst ‘Chinese’ becomes little more than a dialect group within a unified Singaporean ‘race’. I knew such Singaporean Chinese back in the 70s, and do certainly give them credit for a part of my own egalitarian evolution.
The opposition needs to do much more to wean their supporters off their inculcated racist and fascist attitudes instead of just pandering to their learnt biases via support or silence so that their support may be garnered to ‘vote for change’ in the next elections. ‘Change’, in such an event, will as a consequence mean little other than a change of clothes, but not essential form. There is a world of difference between talking about what affects all singaporeans on the one hand, and on the other, taking issue with what affects singaporeans despite them not being part of the racially-defined majority. If focus is on the former and not the latter, then the allegation that the opposition and bloggers are ‘chinese-centred’ moves on to becoming an indubitable description of their nature.
And Alex Tan, amongst other bloggers, are coming across as nothing but ‘young punks’ who are more inclined to basing their stance on what they know as opposed to focusing on what they’ve been trained not to bother about. Let me give you a piece of advice mate, there are precious few who can live through a state of affairs and not embody some of its principles and perspectives, and especially so if they are part of the generations following the initial stage of a civilisation. For if the first and subsequent generations do not take vociferous issue with unegalitarian conditions, they will be producing a culture that enables them to cope with it and normalise it in their progeny. There is no ‘between’. Err on the side of caution and believe that, lest you believe in yourself despite that and do nothing other than refine the evils of the past into more acceptable forms.
Empathy, like justice, cannot be claimed to be done, it must be seen to be done. Prove it. Don’t claim it. If not, the issue which the ‘native born’ opposition and ‘singaporean bloggers’ take with ‘foreigners’ and ‘PRCs’ is no different from the table tennis match i witnessed during the SEA games or whatever it’s called, where both sides hailed from China but represented Singapore and China respectively. In other words, existing PRCs vs. singaporean PRCs. Think about it.