Once, when I was living in Sydney, I saw a highway flyover pylon with a piece of graffiti sprayed on that read ‘Asians Out’. A couple of days later, it was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that that work of graffiti itself had been vandalised, and new spray words had been added to the original, making it read ‘Take Asians Out To Lunch’.
Here in Singapore, we seem to have cultivated that uniquely Singapore ‘I report you to police’ mode of discourse. You write something bad about me? Nabeh, I report police! I sue you!
Blogs have no place in Singapore, really, given this litigious habit which I don’t know from where we picked up.
While I am very sure what the bloggers/forumers convicted of sedition said were wrong and have no place online, I am also very sure the only violence they might have incited would have been against themselves and no-one else. The rest of society was hardly roused enough to pick up a pitchfork (where to buy ah? Carrefour have or not?) and riot. So, maybe the sentencing was for their own protection.
If the judiciary, as the independent pillar of law, was thinking of taking a strong stance against racism and racist remarks, then it has done its job, and then some: it has sent out the message that if you have racist thoughts, keep them to yourself. You’re not going to get into trouble if you don’t put these racist thoughts online or in print. It’s a huge step towards eradicating racism, I tell you.
Everyone else has done their part already: We’ve got Multi-Racial Day in schools, where the teachers and kids come dressed in their ‘traditional costumes’, you know? Those they wear only once a year during Multi-Racial Day? It makes everyone so aware of each other’s culture and race. (And kids of mixed parentage get to wear a choice of costumes too.)
What I am interested in is the state of the whistleblower, the woman who was sufficiently angered and hurt to report the lunatic rantings of those foolhardy boys to the police. I mean, apart from what the Straits Times wrote about her on Sunday. We know she’s a 21 year old ‘Media Executive’. What about her religious beliefs? Have those been sufficiently vilified that she had to report the boys’ acts to the cops? And what’s a ‘Media Executive’? Who does she work for? Come on, conspiracy theorists, here’s a job for youse!