Sunday, April 29, 2012

Little Fish speaks against xenophobia in Singapore--or is it just against Temasek Review?

Sometimes Asiaone can be quite annoying by not providing the URL of the blog. Yes, I'm referring to this blog, "Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining" by a blogger "Little Fish". I googled for "every cloud has a silver lining blog", I cannot land to right site. Then I continued to google for "little fish blog", "little fish blogger", and eventually I hit the 'indirect' result when I googled for "little fish every cloud has a silver lining".

I said 'indirect' because the URL of the blog (it's at sgmoderateobserver.blogspot.com) is mentioned under the result page involving the Facebook page, "Fabrications About The PAP".


Could hardly resist (why else I was looking for the blog?!), and thus, I visited this featured blog.

It has so far 7 poasts since its inception last Wed, 25 April.


And well, I must admit the content is well-researched, but out of the 7 posts so far, the blogger Little Fish has hit hard against the Temasek Review. I'm referring to these posts:
- Speak Up Against Xenophobia in Singapore published on 25/04
- The Temasek Review - Original Source of Xenophobia (part 1) on 29/04
- The Temasek Review Caught Red-Handed 'Smearing' Andrew Loh on 29/04

Hey, I do hope it's just a coincidence and that Little Fish is not specifically setting his/her crusade against The Temasek Review. Why? Because being xenophobic is not necessarily a curse of a certain group. There are others. And I do hope to read Little Fish be the voice to speak up against those other misguided, blind, fearful .... uhm ... xenophobes.

By the way, the blogger Little Fish has also started a Facebook, "Speak Up Against Xenophobia in Singapore". It has so far 30 likes--and counting upwards, I'm confident.


Whenever there is a road accident involving a bus driver and a pedestrian, netizens are quick to assume the bus driver is a Chinese national and would then launch diatribes on their driving skills.

Foreign scholar Sun Xu called Singaporeans "dogs" and described the standards of public hygiene in Singapore as being "deplorable".

He was then flamed mercilessly by netizens even after he apologised and was fined $3,000 by the National University of Singapore.

Now, a few Singaporeans are speaking up against xenophobia.

A blogger, "Little Fish", had set up a blog, "Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining" to highlight the dangers of xenophobia.

In its first entry on Wednesday, it posted screen shots of The Temasek Review's Facebook wall post.

It highlighted how Singapore needs some 25,000 new citizens each year to keep the population stable and to support a growing pool of elderly Singaporeans.

This is so that by 2016, there would be 100,000 new citizens to keep the People's Action Party in power.

"Little Fish" questioned how it arrived at that assumption.

"Doesn't (sic) the new citizens have a mind of its own? Isn't 'The Temasek Review' misleading the public?" he asked.

"Little Fish" describes himself as a young Singaporean and a "moderate political observer who shares his moderate views to readers in his country of birth" and "doesn't have any political party".

The New Paper tried to contact him, but he did not reply by press time.

No comments had been posted on the blog, though there were three "recommends" on Google+ .

In his second post yesterday, "Little Fish" noted that a Google search for "foreign trash" turned up results such as "foreign trash singapore", which prompted the blogger to say: "We can wonder what some Singaporeans have evolved into today."

While "Little Fish" recognised that Singaporeans "may not like" foreigners from "third world (countries)", he said that "it doesn't give us the right to discriminate against them especially to those innocent people who have done nothing wrong to us".

He called on Singaporeans to do better than succumb to xenophobia.

"It goes against the human rights, multi-racial and peaceful harmony where we Singaporeans took many years to bond together to build up."

The New Paper (TNP) reader Lawrence Chowdhurie admitted that he used to resent foreigners in Singapore until a recent incident changed his mind.

A taxi driver had blocked him from filtering to the left lane, but a Caucasian motorist allowed him to do so.

"Through this experience, I thought to myself, why are many of us, myself included, complaining about foreigners, when many of us are just as guilty," he said in an e-mail to TNP.

In an article posted on The Kent Ridge Common, a National University of Singapore newspaper, a Singaporean student spoke up for Chinese national students, amid the Sun Xu saga.

"I write because I fear what xenophobia may cause and because I'm tired of tolerating prejudices."

As the topic was so sensitive, the paper said that it decided to keep the identity of the author anonymous.

Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng welcomed Singaporeans speaking out against xenophobia.

"We must remain open and not be biased, because sometimes what we read is not accurate," Mr Baey told TNP.

When a newspaper report on how a neighbourly dispute over curry was resolved sparked an online furore last August, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam weighed in on the matter.

He clarified that the incident had taken place about seven years ago and that the settlement had been suggested by one of the two parties, and not the mediator who was present.

He had then said: "We must affirm our Singaporean identity and must protect it. (But) at the same time, let's not turn this into a xenophobic attack on foreigners in general."

While sociologist and former Nominated MP Paulin Straughan recognised that much of these negative comments were Singaporeans venting their frustrations through new media, she was concerned that such behaviour had become "normalised".

She said: "In my parents' generation, we were very mindful not to use race or religion against each other because it will destroy us."

Noting Singaporean's concerns on the Government's projection that Singapore would need 25,000 new citizens annually to mitigate some of the effects of a shrinking workforce, Associate Professor Straughan said Singapore needs to target its catch of new citizens better instead of simply growing the non-resident population.

"We need to attract younger immigrants who have spent some time working here, and who might want to start a family here."

She added: "This noise is detrimental to us because we're pushing away people with options, and we could end up with people with no options.

"People with not enough assets to go elsewhere, but come here because we've certain gaps in the economy, because there's money to be made.

"If that happens, we'll end up with a lower quality of immigrants," she said.

Meanwhile, to help residents and new immigrants forge friendships, the Integration and Naturalisation Champions and grassroots leaders organised a carnival yesterday at the Singapore Zoological Gardens.
From Asiaone, "Singaporeans speak out against xenophobia".

1 comment:

Little Fish said...

Hello Anonymus_X