Understanding the Temasek Review-style fascist phenomenon in Singapore
In a just published rant by Temasek Review, a well-known singaporean neo-nazi (confucian version) site - and with a disconcertingly high readership and support base - fascism comes most naturally to confucians - I was surprised to see TR's statement, with regards to the election of 20 far-right fascists to the swedish parliament,
"In the meantime, a wave of anti-immigrant wave has swept across the world with the Sweden Democrats, a small right-wing nationalist party winning 20 seats in the recent Swedish elections which the PAP must be watching with trepidation.
The next general election may be the last window of opportunity for native Singaporeans to reclaim ownership of their beloved country after which they will surely be relegated to being second class minorities in their own land of birth, completely dominated and overwhelmed by the PAP regime and the hordes of foreigners which it is mass-importing in a desperate bid to cling on to power." source
You really have to wonder after the nobs running TR, and not forgetting their equally nob-ulous supporters.
'An anti-immigrant wave has swept across the world'??
Silly me, and there was I thinking it was just Sweden. Well, to be honest (for the sake of encouraging critical introspection and change), I've heard many singaporean Chinese, over decades, discounting local evils by saying, 'everywhere also like that one lah!' ('that's the way it is everywhere'). And if you can prove to them that 'everywhere also not like that one lah', they either just ignore you, or tell you, 'if you like there so much, then migrate lah!'(to those Chinese who might be inclined to get defensive and say, 'not all of us like that', ask yourself if you are not an exception in what is generally the case.) So i'm not surprised that TR, emerging from the bosom of Singapore's confucianised (since the late 80s) milieu, would assume that the election of 20 far-right parliamentarians in Sweden is an indication of anti-immigrant feeling sweeping 'the world'. Just one state, and they're ready to assume that it is the 'whole world'? Then why is it that they don't use the far more numerous examples of anti-fascism in the world to toss out their fascist stance?
But what i found to be quite disconcerting is TRs associating their cause with the Swedish 'Democrats', and stating that the PAP (singapore ruling Confucian government) 'must be watching in trepidation'. And this is followed by a call for singaporeans to 'reclaim ownership of their beloved country'. This counterposes TR and the Swedish far-right on the one side, and the PAP looking on 'in trepidation' as the whole 'world' gets on the side of TR. They present fascism, preference for 'one's own' as a global and human norm. This is, as far as i'm aware, the most blatant statement by TR that they are nothing but neo-Nazi scum. It's sort of them 'coming out' of a 'closet' where they had previously mixed pragmatism with fascism and thus blurring the lines between both.
They go on to talk about the danger of their becoming 'second class minorities' in 'their own land of birth'. Perhaps they are very much aware that they might have to enjoy the same disadvantages as the non-chinese have had to put up with for decades. So, being thus aware of what 'being a minority' entails, they are fervently attempting to avoid being done unto as they had done unto others?
what the government introduced into the singaporean psyche is that of racial and cultural supremacy despite nationality as a prelude to associating the national identity with the 'preferred race'. Xenophobia is a natural corollary.
But the most ironic thing about this whole nonsense is that TR, the opposition, and their respective supportive hordes, are behaving exactly as products of the government's decades-old biased policies. You see, what the government introduced into the singaporean psyche is that of racial and cultural supremacy despite nationality as a prelude to associating the national identity with the 'preferred race'. Xenophobia is a natural corollary. They trained the people, and especially the 'native-born' Chinese, to not bother about anyone but themselves. They stated that singapore must always have a Chinese majority; being race-based self-help; started up the 'mother tongue' policy that forbade races from learning each languages in schools; zealously promoted mandarin and chinese culture; celebrated chinese culture throughout the nation whilst 'others' were kept to their traditional enclaves; begin SAP schools providing exceptional education for the chinese; et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.(i've said quite a bit about this in previous articles, but have repeated a bit of it here for those whom might not have read said previous articles).
Generally, people don't become xenophobes till they are well trained in racism. Local racism is like the prep school for xenophobia.
Basically, governmental policies re-associated the Chinese with their traditional 'race' and 'identity', turned 'preference for one's own' and the ensuing, 'tyranny of a racially-defined majority' into the overarching culture of singapore. Generally, people don't become xenophobes till they are well trained in racism. Local racism is like the prep school for xenophobia. And confucianism, with its fetish for traditionalism, subservience, uniformity and thus, harmony, is itself a source of bigotry-production. Pair this with getting people to identify with 'their own culture and race' and people are ready to graduate to xenophobia. The other races weren't of much help either. Given that they were faced with the choice of assimilating to the emerging 'Chinese' standard of thought and thoughtlessness, or face marginalisation, unemployment, or give up promotion, they, and especially subsequent generations, became 'chinese' themselves. Thus, the chinese, and just about everyone, tend to today confuse the confucian identity with the 'singaporean' one.
Till the influx of the new foreigners, the Chinese, like the Malays in Malaysia, could sit back and enjoy being the 'preferred race' in singapore. Its not suprising that I hear of more Chinese returning to singapore from the west than those of other races. Locally, they could keep out all difference and challenge and install their standard as the sine qua non of all standards. If the non-Chinese could 'make it', it was at their say so, and if they fit their criteria of what makes a good worker, friend, mate, etc. Of course, they were not always this way. The Chinese i knew, and got along very well with in the 70s and 80s were another breed altogether. They were more into fusion and were becoming the results of it in terms of their critical abilities, wit, and openness to contradiction and new ideas. Not so, the 'Chinese' of today. But when any race is 'preferred' over all others; credited for being the only 'practical and hardworking' race in singapore, and their culture promoted over all others, arrogance, amongst other perspectival and intellectual deficiencies, will certainly ensue as they discount all ideas not emerging from the 'majority'.
And then, when the new foreigners come in, phenomena like TR, and the other 'oppositional' parties will certainly emerge. You can always identify their fascist nature, not only by what they say, but what they fail to say when they should say it. Also, their call for a 'singapore for singaporeans' rings as hollow as a cut-price Ikea table, if we were to keep in mind that they were as silent as roadkill when the non-chinese had to put up with that which they now fear.